In the present technology-driven era of the internet, the majority of businesses and organizations have adopted e-learning as a preferred method of training their employees. There is a wide range of tools available in the market, which make it easier for businesses to train their employees in an efficient and effective manner, and turn them into productive members of the organization. If you happen to be a business that is thinking of making the switch, it is important that you are familiar with the different types of learning software in the market, so that you can make an informed decision regarding an LMS that is most suitable for your individual requirements.
When it comes to choosing a tool to integrate e-learning into your business, the primary confusion is choosing between a learning management system (LMS) and a learning content management system (LCMS). More often than not, the aforementioned tools are mistaken to be the same. While there are a few similarities between the two, both the tools are different from each other. This article aims to give you an overview of what an LMS and an LCMS are so that you can make an informed decision about choosing the one that best suits your needs.
What is an LMS?
If you are looking for a simple platform that enables you to manage the interaction of the trainees with the e-learning content, a learning management system is what you need. Remember that while dealing with an LMS, it is essential that the e-learning content has been created in a format that is compatible with the system. A few of the defining features of the learning management system are listed below:
• It is an ultimate platform for the delivery of online courses to participants, along with features to track and evaluate their activities and performance.
• It has an inbuilt capacity to interact with the HRIS (Human resource information system) of the organization in order to evaluate the candidates who are eligible for participation, and report back once the outcome is available.
• An LMS gives a boost to the talent management functions of an organization. Remember that such a feature is also an inherent part of the human resource information system. However, the integration of an LMS enables a business to get the most out of it by supplementing the role of an already existing HRIS.
• While not all learning management systems include this feature, the prominent ones have a built-in tool for management of performance reports and analytics.
What is an LCMS?
A learning content management system is relatively more complex than an LMS and is primarily put to use when content is to be created for e-learning and delivery of online courses. More often than not, a wide range of tools incorporated in an LCMS is identical to that of an LMS. In some cases, however, an assumption is made that the business already has a reliable LMS set up and maintained, and so, only tools focusing on content creation are part of the LCMS. In simple words, the primary focus of the LCMS is on making it convenient for the developers to create content for e-learning, and the rest of the functions can be managed by employing the services of an LMS. A few of the prominent features of the LCMS are listed below:
• It puts a greater emphasis not only on the creation of content for online courses, but also its management, with a significantly reduced focus on the overall experience of the trainees.
• It is a platform that provides a multi-user environment where a wide range of developers can exchange tools and interact with each other for the best possible outcome.
• The system has a built-in learning object repository that offers the entire content for learning in a user-friendly manner. The content can also be archived, making it accessible on demand.
In the event that the learning material of your organization is in a format not supported by an LMS, a common learning management system will fail to import the content and allow modification as per the requirements. This gives rise to a dire need of developing the entire content from scratch and that is where a learning content management system comes in.
Which One is a Better Option for You?
There is no argument that the similarities and differences between an LMS and LCMS make it a tough task to choose the platform that is most suitable for your specific training needs. There is a lot that needs to be addressed before finalizing the decision. However, considering the below-mentioned points can set a solid ground for choosing the solution that is most suitable in the context of your company.
• While the ‘C’ stands for ‘content’ in learning content management system, you should always remember that it rather refers to the ability of the system to ‘create’ courses. An LMS and LCMS, both have an element of content. But for the creation of this content, the LCMS is the only option at your disposal.
• An LMS should be your preferred choice if you are concerned with how your trainees will participate in the online courses that you have created for them. However, when you wish to create those online courses from scratch, an LCMS is what you need.
• Provided that you have experienced trainers and coaches in your organization, it is recommended that you opt for an LCMS, since such professionals can act as developers and turn the knowledge they possess into a comprehensive online course for the trainees. On the other hand, if you are buying the content from some third-party, an LMS should be sufficient for you.
Now that you are familiar with the basic features and uses of an LMS and an LCMS, all you have to do is assess the requirements of your business and decide which solution is more suitable for your unique needs.