LMS Meaning: What is a Learning Management System?

For those of us outside the L&D (Learning and Development) industry, it seems to be full of mysterious acronyms. LMS, ILT, CBT, ISD, SCORM, xAPI…is any of that English?

Worse, it's corporate English.

If you're going to pick one L&D acronym to learn, then LMS (Learning Management System) should be the winner. But don't worry, we'll sneak in plenty of others along the way.

What Are Learning Management Systems?

A learning management system is a software platform that helps an organization manage learning and development by tracking its educational and training efforts.

LMS software can be used to store and deliver computer-based training (CBT), but it can also be used to schedule and track offline events like seminars or instructor-led training (ILT) courses.

Learning Management Systems used to come in the form of traditional enterprise software, but now a lot of LMS software follows a SaaS (Software as a Service) model.

 

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What is a Corporate LMS?

The term "corporate LMS" is often used to distinguish learning management systems built for businesses from those built for general education or academia.

Academic LMS software is built for fewer, longer courses delivered on a semester/quarter/trimester schedule. They track success in terms of grades and test percentages. They often have social features that allow interaction with a teacher and classmates. Examples of learning management systems for K-12, university, and adult general learning include Blackboard, Moodle, Google Classroom, Brightspace, and Open edX.

Corporate LMS software is designed for shorter self-paced eLearning courses and discrete offline events. They track success in terms of completion and certification. Social aspects are becoming more popular in corporate LMSs but weren't traditionally emphasized. Examples of learning management systems for business include TalentLMS, iSpring, Docebo, Absorb, and many others.

Is a Corporate LMS Only for Large Corporations?

Nope. If you shop the market, you'll find LMS software for organizations of any size and type.

LMS software was developed to serve large corporations, but it's caught on for all types of businesses. It's especially helpful for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) when they're responsible for delivering required regulatory training, like contractors that must provide OSHA training.

The benefits of a corporate LMS are similar for businesses of all sizes. A learning management system helps you:

  • Deliver training consistently to each employee
  • Measurably improve employee confidence and performance
  • Track progress and performance with little effort
  • Ensure regulatory compliance with learning paths, course scheduling, and certification records
  • Analyze the effectiveness of your training efforts
  • Improve job satisfaction through access to professional development

Using an LMS for corporate training can also save significant amounts of money. First, a corporate LMS typically means more eLearning, which is far more cost-effective than in-person training. Second, a corporate LMS helps you organize your training efforts, deploy courses with just a few clicks, and passively follow up with automated reminders and completion tracking.

How to Pick the Best LMS for Corporate Training

No matter what advertising might claim, no one LMS can be the best choice for everyone. You have to pick the right LMS for your needs.

A few LMS features are almost universally helpful, like the ability to:

  • Import course material and comply with eLearning standards like SCORM or xAPI
  • Group courses together into learning paths
  • Assign courses or learning paths by individual, role, or team
  • Schedule courses, deadlines, and test dates
  • Send automated notifications and reminders to students
  • View progress as both an admin and a learner
  • Deliver learning on mobile devices as effectively as on desktop
  • Supports assessment and testing
  • Access detailed reports about learner performance as an admin
  • Issue and pull up records of digital certifications

Then there are considerations that vary from organization to organization. A small business trying to organize its regulatory compliance doesn't need the same bells and whistles as a multinational corporation.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before choosing an LMS:

  • Do you need to create and edit your own training material? Some LMS software offers this capability, but keep in mind it's usually proprietary – meaning if you change software, you lose your courses.
  • Do you need to track multiple kinds of training events, like eLearning courses, classroom sessions, and webinars? Which ones?
  • Do you need the ability to scale up as your organization grows?
  • Do you want learners to be able to self-enroll in some courses, or will it all be top-down?

Did You Know We Offers a Free LMS For Corporate Training?

We're best known for our large catalog of regulatory training that spans a variety of industries. What you may not realize is that businesses can use our free LMS to deliver and track that training.

Features include:

  • Role-based user management with personalized learning paths to satisfy unique training needs at the employee, role, or team level.
  • Secure web hosting with a leading cloud service provider. Protecting your company's private data is our priority!
  • Batch enrollment to save time when setting up training for multiple learners at once.
  • Support for advanced custom reporting, requesting feedback, sending announcements and reminders, tracking course progress and enrollments, and monitoring overall performance.
  • Flexible integrations with your current systems and workflows through SSO, AICC, or REST API (plus an ADP plugin).

Our LMS is an ideal match for anyone without their own L&D department. It facilitates the delivery of whole-business training solutions, from industry-specific topics to general HR and management. Most importantly, our regulatory content is always up-to-date and approved by the necessary regulatory authority.

Talk to us about our enterprise solutions today!

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