Managing Courses Easily Using a Learning Management System

Learning management system is the in-thing in vocational training right now. A lot of companies and organizations have started to adopt them to train up employees and new recruits. There are more than a handful of reasons for a company to take up these training modules for full time professional training. The flexibility of usage and effectiveness in training are some of the greatest highlights.

Another invaluable factor that makes a learning management system essential for training is that it makes managing the learning material a very easy job. It becomes necessary for a course and its contents to be easily understandable by whoever takes it. This can be made possible only by managing it properly.

One can choose the best from a wide range of options and software present in the internet. Regardless of the company the software comes from, you can be hundred percent sure that your decision to take it up would be totally beneficial for your employees. All these facts about this new training method would make you think that it is difficult to implement them in real life. But one would certainly change this notion if they start working with these systems.

It is only experts who are involved in the making of these training systems. Their experience in working on creating different training modules for different professions makes them capable of serving the needs of employers appropriately. Hence, deploying and managing the training system for a particular department or line of work would certainly look like child’s play.

The following features of a learning management system are those that make it the best option for organizations to choose them.

A learning management system helps you learn sans the horde of notebooks, papers and stationery. Switching on the computer and connecting to the internet is all one needs to do to take up this training. This saves a great deal of time for learners as well as trainers. Learning can be made completely enjoyable and interesting if a learning management system is implemented.

The content used for training is not restricted just for those that are textual. We can also make use of audio and visual content in the module so that the lessons can be taught more easily and enter the minds of the learners. This ensures that the knowledge they gather stays in their minds for long and can be remembered easily. There are many evidences to substantiate this claim.
 
All these factors only make it obvious that learning management system is the next big thing in the area of vocational training.

The Best Way to Manage Training and Education – Learning Management Software

The usage of Internet has greatly benefited a large number of users, due to the wealth of updated information that is available just a click away. With the growth of the Internet, many online educational programs and courses have also emerged, through which knowledge can directly be transferred, irrespective of geographical location. For imparting this knowledge, learning management software has been created for students and employees, which incorporates the different training modules and also tracks the progress of users.

A learning management system facilitates the process of e-learning, which is knowledge through the digital platform. E-learning is the new form of learning, which makes education and training much more interactive and engaging than ever before. The learning environment also facilitates interaction between the different users, so that they can discuss ideas and concepts on forums. This in turn allows collaborative learning to take place, in which each individual learns from the knowledge application of the other. Thus it can be said that learning management systems help to strengthen the learning culture in organizations.

Using learning management systems, it is also possible for tutors to interact with students from remote locations. The tutors can provide students with feedback based on the assignments submitted from time to time. Software tools created by IT companies can track the progress of students and employees, based on completion of these assignments and tracking scores of online tests.

Learning management system software is capable of running on a variety of platforms such as Microsoft.NET and JavaEE. Apart from extensive course management, other services such as online computer-based training, training workflow and learner self-service.

The advantage of e-learning is that it makes the whole process of gathering knowledge into a flexible one, as users can learn at their own pace. Apart from virtual classrooms where users need to log on at a particular time, e-learning in other forms can be customized as per the user’s requirements. This is extremely helpful for some professionals who would like to work and study at the same time. E-learning also helps in gathering updated information at all times.

Apart from using computers for e-learning, mobile devices such as phones, net books and tablet PCs can also be used. This way, knowledge can easily be imparted while on the move, and this concept is known as m-learning, or mobile learning. Similarly, game-based learning has been implemented, wherein users can put strategic skills to test in order to achieve the goals of a particular game. Game-based learning makes knowledge enhancement into a very interesting and engaging process, enabling healthy competition among users.

Due to the high level of sophistication and flexibility of learning offered, a learning management system can be considered to be the future of education and training in the world.

Learning Management System (LMS) Vs Learning Content Management System (LCMS)

E-learning brought to an organization learning options that are not only less expensive, but are more flexible than classroom training. Although e-learning would never replace “a human touch” that face-to-face training is privileged to, it is de facto that current technologies allow creating e-courses that are relevant, engaging, participatory, and with “a fun element”.

As a growing number of organizations utilize e-learning or “blended learning” (a combination of e-learning and classroom instruction), more organizations face questions of choosing the systems that are best fit to their environment. Larger organizations are on look for the systems that not only deliver and track e-courses, but also allow integration of performance reviews and development plans. The needs of smaller organizations may be more succinct and limited to training delivery. So, what do we consider when choosing the best e-learning program? Let’s look at the differences of the two main e-learning systems – Learning Management System (LMS) and Learning Management Content System (LMCS).

LMS is a software application that is most often web-based and is designed for the administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting of e-learning programs and training content. LMSs, such as WestNet, Halogen, Flextraining or Mindflash require importing a content that is built externally using Microsoft programs, or e-learning development software such as Adobe Captivate or Articulate. Many LMSs offer monthly subscription for a fee based on the number of active users (training participants). Some LMSs offer one-time licensing, and charge annual fees for software upgrade and technical support, which can from 10% up to 25% of the licensing fee.

We have knowledge of at least 210 different LMSs with a range of features offered: from simple content delivery and reporting to sophisticated integration of learning management and social media platforms. Similarly, the difference of subscription and hosting fees is vast, ranging from $3,000 to over $23,000 annually for a thousand users.

In comparison, a Learning Content Management System (LCMS) is content-centric software for creating and managing of e-learning content (Xyleme, Exact Learning Solutions, Kenexa). Instructional designers and trainers can re-use e-learning content. As a result, it requires less of resources and saves time needed for course development. Rather than re-creating entire courses, LCMS provides the ability for courses to be modified and published for various audiences maintaining past versions. E-training elements that developers can manipulate include media files, assessment items, simulations, text or graphics. LCMS technology can also be used to deliver and track courses (as LMS), or as a standalone application for learning initiatives that require rapid development of learning content.

Thus, the main difference is that LMS does not allow creating and manipulating courses; it cannot reuse the content of one course to build another. The LCMS, however, can create, manage and deliver not only training modules but also manage and edit all the individual pieces that make up training modules. The subscription or license of LMCS is usually pricier that of LMS.

So, what does an organization need to consider when choosing the best fit e-learning system?

– An amount of training content to be developed and delivered. If an organization develops and delivers a great amount of training – either because of internal or external requirements – then LMCS may be a better choice. LMCS will be able to save instructional designers’ time by reusing training content that’s already had been created.

– Long term training and development needs. When an organization plans to grow and expand, it means that training and development needs will be growing as well. Thus, even when an LMS might seem a better fit today, considering long terms an LMCS may be the best fit. That way, an organization will avoid additional resources and confusion of switching from one system to another.

– Training audience. Larger organizations that employ workers nationally or internationally would experience a greater need for training modules being updated – because of local regulations and cultural preferences. Thus, LMCS might be of a benefit in this case.

– The plans to integrate e-learning into organizational social platforms. A few LMS and LMCS allow integrating organizational social platforms such as Intranets or wiki’s. Though these systems are usually pricier, this emphasis on learning encourages workers to participate in more training, and increases their engagement.

– The needs to utilize e-learning systems for performance management. Selected LMSs and LCMSs may perform performance management function by allowing managers to track employee performance (incorporating learning application results of completed courses), and by providing employees with an opportunity to create development plans based on performance reviews.

E-learning is a powerful learning platform. When an organization chooses “the right” system, such system can be not only a cost saver, but it can also enhance learner engagement and learning retention.