Learning management system software LMS : what it is and why it is so important

Learning management system software LMS : what it is and why it is so important

Do you have an Learning management system software LMS : what it is and why it is so important LMS? If the answer is no, do not worry, you have almost certainly happened to use it, even if you may not have been able to give it a name at the time. This is the learning management system software platform from which a user benefits from a distance training course (the acronym stands for Learning Management System). The vast majority of large companies or institutions have one, because digitization also involves learning and online training is increasingly in demand.

 What is a learning management system software LMS?

Maybe you’ve heard of it, you’ve certainly used it, you probably want to know more. An LMS is a digital learning platform : it is the place where users are trained, but it is also the software through which those who manage online training can create, organize and release materials.

 Of course, the acronym is speaking: the acronym LMS stands for Learning Management System . But let’s find out, one word at a time, what LMS means.

 LEARNING – As we said, an learning management system software LMS is the space dedicated to learning. If we wanted to make parallels, it is the “class” into which to enter to enjoy lessons and learn.

 MANAGEMENT – Organization is another key word. The LMS learning management system software is a tool that allows you to manage courses, students, training materials and user participation. It is therefore also the class register and the blackboard.

 SYSTEM – Doing all the things listed above is possible thanks to a software, therefore to a system, conceived and designed to respond to these training needs.

 An LMS is a learning management environment , which – in a nutshell – allows students to:

 View course catalogs;

Enjoy the courses;

See your progress.

On the other hand, an LMS allows teachers to:

 Publish and check the use of the courses;

Send communications;

Verify learning.

 In the beginning it was ……..

Let’s talk about history ? Certainly the historical moment of epochal turning point for LMS platforms, as well as e-Learning in general, is what we are experiencing now. In the two-year period 2020-2021 practically anyone of us who wanted to stay up to date had to do so by relying on platforms or digital tools, and it is easy to understand what this is representing for the sector. But let’s take a step back in time to understand when the first LMS was born and how the technology has evolved over the decades.

 You have to turn the clock back almost a century, did you know that? It was 1924 when Sidney Pressey , a professor of American psychology, worked on what is commonly recognized as the “prototype” of the Learning Management System : imagine a typewriter a little more advanced, equipped with a window capable of managing multiple choice questions.

 At the end of the 1920s, to be precise in 1929 , it was the turn of the “ problem cylinder ”. A cylinder able to present a problem to a student and then check if the steps taken to arrive at the conclusion were correct. This invention was signed by ME Lazerete.

Learning management system software

 The first adaptive learning system was then introduced in 1956 . That is, personalized. This tool automatically adjusted the questions for the students according to their level of preparation.

 As it is easy to imagine, the learning management system software LMS were the protagonists of a real turning point with the arrival of the Personal Computer in 1970 (thanks to Hewlett Packard) and then with the birth of the Internet in 1982 .

 An equally important date in our opinion is 2002, when Moodle was born , the most popular free and open source LMS in the world, whose debut was a key step in the evolution of distance learning.

Why an LMS

“Ok, but why would I need a Learning Management System? “. If you’re wondering just that, here are some answers.

First, however, we need to understand who you are. Because if you are a training manager, training manager or, more generally, a trainer, then we will call you “Administrator”

More specifically, an administrator of an LMS can:

  • Manage training plans;
  • Manage courses;
  • Manage the contents of the courses;
  • Assign routes to user groups;
  • Monitor the use;
  • Track progress with reports;
  • Easily update content when needed;
  • Dialogue and answer students’ questions;
  • Also organize face-to-face training.

 If, on the other hand, you are a student, therefore the ultimate recipient of the training, then for us you are a ” User “.An LMS user can:

  • Consult the catalog of courses;
  • 😊Register and attend courses;
  • Finding materials to study;
  • Meet and discuss with tutors and teachers;
  • Try quizzes and get certified.

 School never ends

If you agree with the maxim that “you never stop learning”, you will quickly understand why an LMS platform can be very useful in both academia and business . But how does the application of this technology differ in the two sectors?

 In the business environment, the need to update content is probably more frequent, which is why it is essential to be able to update courses quickly and without too much difficulty ;

Usually in the business environment there are no votes and judgments regarding the progress in training. More than a grade assignment system, therefore, in an learning management system software LMS environment conceived and designed for corporate training, a certificate delivery system will be necessary ;

The training objective is often different, because in the training of workers the number one aim very often is the acquisition of practical knowledge , and in any case we tend to consider the ROI of training (the return on investment), given that instead it usually has nothing to do with academic training.

 Types and services of an LMS

One of the main choices to make for a company or an institution that finds itself wanting to identify an LMS is whether to opt for a free and open source Learning Management System or prefer a commercial platform . In the first case, there will be configuration costs and a high potential for customization. If you choose a paid software instead, there will be purchase and licensing costs, easier and more immediate implementation and a lower degree of customization. This type of LMS can be:

  1.   Saas LMS (software as a service): it is in the cloud and the support is up to the supplier;
  2.   Locally hosted LMS : they are hosted on the company’s servers. This means that the management of the platform and updates are the responsibility of the internal IT.

Ok, but what are the features that an LMS should absolutely have? Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the services expected from a good Learning Management System:

Learning management system software

  • Personalization of training courses . That is, to create training courses tailored to the user;
  • UX / UI . It must be able to manage a user interface and an intuitive user experience;
  • Easily create and manage courses . Categorize them, easily assign them;
  • Training tracking and certification. A good learning management system software LMS allows you to maximize user engagement by setting typical game and game design logic to training;
  • Responsiveness – LMS Mobile. An learning management system software LMS environment must ensure optimal access to content from any device, desktop or mobile;
  • Compliance with SCORM, AICC and xAPI standards (formerly Tin Can);
  • Manage SSO. Accessing a single environment with only company credentials is very simple with Single Sign On (SSO), the property of an access control system that allows a user to carry out a single authentication valid for multiple software systems or IT resources to which it is enabled.
  • AR and AI. Augmented reality and artificial intelligence are the directions of the future, a good learning management system software LMS must contemplate them to make the learning experience even more complete and effective.
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