What are examples of learning management systems and which do you need for your business?
Learning management systems are growing more and more popular, with over 80% of organisations now using one.
If you’re undecided whether you want to introduce a learning management system into your organisation consider this: companies who use LMSs effectively increase employee retention up to 92%!
Elearning is fast becoming one of the busiest markets in the technology industry, and we are sure to see this increasing at lightning speed in the wake of the Corona virus pandemic with an increase in remote working.
In this post, we are going to look at what a learning management system is, how it can help your business and what are examples of learning management systems in the market today.
We aim to guide you to decide which learning management system will suit your eLearning program and give you the best benefits for your type of organisation.
What is a learning management system?
Are you looking to provide your people a high quality, convenient and straightforward eLearning program? If so, using a learning management system is essential to building online courses and training.
So what exactly is a Learning Management System?
A learning management system (also known as an LMS), is basically a software platform that simply provides the framework which enables digital educational training to be delivered and monitored.
Most LMSs will house, deliver and track employee learning and development.The tracking is a particularly important feature of an LMS, as key analytics on users can be fed back to the organisation. This enables organisations to measure performance and progress for supervising the learning process and working towards learning goals.
Why use an LMS?
There are many reasons why an organisation will choose to use an LMS. We will discuss the benefits of an LMS in another post soon!
In brief, the benefits of an LMS to an organisation would be to save on training costs, to roll out organisation-wide training (most commonly, health and safety), track learner performance and provide easy access to learning material to name but a few.
If what we’ve talked about so far fits the remit of what you’re looking for, then let’s look at some LMS example types to help you decide which platform will suit your needs best.
What are examples of learning management systems?
With many LMS’s available in the market it can be an arduous task trying to decide on the right system for your organisation. So to make matters simple, we’ve narrowed down the different types of LMS to the following:
SaaS stands for software as a service. SaaS platforms can be an umbrella term used for any hostedLMS or pure cloud LMS. You may also hear it referred to as on-demand software or web-based software. Sometimes SaaS models can even have on-premise installations but generally, they are cloud-based.
SaaS platforms are user-friendly LMSs, typically hosted by the software provider and usually licensed out on a subscription service with an annual or monthly fee. However, this is a flexible model with some pricing models based on the number of users learning. (It can also be based on named users, but this is a dying model as it’s very costly to organisations who don’t enrol all their named users into online classes.)
SaaS LMS is a popular option for many organisations looking for LMSs as there are no technical aspects required to learn such as loading software, backing up data, storing data, carrying out server maintenance, updates and security.
This model also makes flexibility with company growth and scaling easily when fees are based on a number of users.
The benefits of using a SaaS or cloud-based system allows instant access any time and anyplace, which means this LMS model has grown rapidly during the past year of the Corona virus pandemic where remote working has been essential.
Large companies or fast-growing companies typically will opt for enterprise LMS. This is because an enterprise solution can accommodate an unlimited number of courses and users as companies expand hiring and operations. Enterprise LMSs also have integrated tools for managing large numbers of users, as well as tools for delivering training to corporate customer accounts.
Individual LMSs are more suitable for small scale companies who don’t need as many learning features which will allow them to have lower costs.
An on-premise LMSs require your own server or multiple servers to be hosted at a location. It will require technical expertise to operate and ensure data is uploaded, updated, secure, backed up, stored and maintained. Which makes scaling up more difficult and expensive.
Open Source LMS
An open source model that you may be familiar with is the website creation platform WordPress.
Open Source, models like Wordpress, are where creators provide a blanket platform available for any users to modify and design their own platform to their own preferences.This makes it easy for organisations to customise their LMS to their own learning needs.
However, you will have the responsibilities attached with monitoring and running your own LMS that can be avoided with a closed source LMS such as a SaaS LMS. But, it is a great way to avoid ongoing licensing fees after the initial purchasing for the rights to use the source code to customise your own learning platform.
A proprietary LMS is the polar opposite of an open-source system.
A proprietary LMS is built and hosted by one company. The source code is prevented from being changed or modified in any way due to copyright licensing. The owner of a proprietary LMS is the only one who makes design or software changes. They do typically come with a support service.
Company examples of learning management systems
SaaS LMS Example
An example of a SaaS LMS is Calibrae.
Calibrae is a user-friendly LMS that enables you to try a free training site for your organisation. It just takes about 45 seconds to get started! Their pricing strategy is based on ‘seats’. And you only start paying when your learners are begin accessing your published live courses.
Your training site will be white-labelled if you wish and all hosted by Calibrae online. One of the favoured features is the ability to create your own courses on the Calibrae site and provide access for learners to third-party training courses, all through one portal.
They also have a uniqueness in their learning style. Through a clever ‘exercise engine’ courses can be created to allow the user to learn by doing. This way they can make mistakes, receive tips and redo the same learning principles in different scenarios so the concept is learnt and not memorised.
On-premise LMS Example
Paradiso is agreat on-premise LMS.
Paradiso focuses on security, information and data.
They have engineered their platform to handle complex, high security risk learning courses.
You can customise your LMS with Paradiso’s self-Hosted solution. Changing your branding image for example, generating integrations and even maintaining the LMS system within your servers.
Open Source LMS Example
An example of an Open-Source LMS is Moodle.
With Moodle, companies can design and customise the design and layout. Any of the Moodle platform features can be adapted, modified or extended to their needs without any licensing fees.
The software can be downloaded onto your own web server and begin customising your LMS with plug-ins, third-party add-ons and easy integration with video conferencing, CMS and CRMs.
Proprietary LMS Example
BlackboardLearn is one of the most popular examples of a proprietary LMS. It is most commonly known for its use by higher education.
The platform is primarily web-based but can be self-hosted.
It’s favoured for its ability to integrate with Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox and school information systems. Blackboard has a mobile app that students can access on the go. It also has a feature called Blackboard Assist - a 24/7 resource to aid students with school services.
Have you decided what LMS you need for your organisation? Understanding the key differences between the LMS types and looking at examples of each will make your decision that little bit easier.
Now all you need to do is ensure the LMS system you choose is suitable to your organisation objectives, training budget and talent skills training. Which platform will enable you to deliver your learning content to your potential user numbers? Can the LMS host your eLearning needs? How much of your team's learning do you want to track?
All these are important questions that you need to figure out before selecting the right LMS for your organisation.
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