Traditional education has become increasingly expensive and inefficient when it comes to learning and retaining information. Many academic institutions and businesses turn to online training and e-learning as the new method for teaching their students and employees.
Learning management software allows us to consume educational content in an engaging way, learn anywhere on-demand, and develop a customized hub for social learning. Whether you're teaching math or business management, the advantages of learning management systems can be harnessed to benefit your organization.
In this article, we'll discuss what an LMS does and the pros and cons of open-source software.
What Is a Learning Management System?
LMS is an acronym for a Learning Management System. It’s a software to help businesses and educational institutions create and organize learning materials in one place and track the progress of their trainees or students. The term LMS originated from e-learning, however learning management systems are much more intuitive than a standard e-learning platform.
Many learning management systems use intelligence technology to customize the course curriculum and track their students' progress. One significant difference between a learning management system and basic e-learning software is its interactive features. With an LMS, you can engage your students with various contact tools, enroll students in courses, track attendance, monitor students' screens, send online tests, and give tailored educational material based on their skill profile.
But why use a learning management system in the first place? The learning management system essentially mimics everything an indoor classroom can without the expenses of printing physical copies, the limitations to the number of students per class, and the lack of tracking features. With LMS, students can learn remotely and learn with ease.
Disadvantages of a Learning Management System
Administrative costs and setup time – Learning how to implement an LMS system may take a considerable amount of time. Converting all of your instructors to e-learning will require a transitional period. Many teachers will still prefer their standard whiteboard and paper handouts style over a fully operating LMS. Even though it's on the LMS software and IT team to make the interface easy to use, teachers may still run into hiccups during class. Training on the system will be required, along with ongoing administrative costs to upkeep the interface to suit your needs.
Requires IT and programming knowledge – Unfortunately, a massive drawback to having a learning management system is that your organization will need coding and IT skills to customize the platform to suit your training needs. It might not be as easy as tweaking the color schemes or dragging blocks of texts around. Many systems require actual backend coding to be able to control the user experience.
May lack features – Many learning management systems use a "freemium" model in which only a limited amount of features are available to you. To gain full access to the system, you may have to pay a subscription cost. Typically paid features include additional support and a reporting system.
Benefits of a Learning Management System
Makes learning simple – An LMS software solves the problem of wasting time on menial tasks like grading papers and saving time on travel. Create or upload a course onto the remote cloud-based server, and see your students go through the material. From there, you can track their progress and provide additional support as needed. It's easy to design your curriculum and get all of your students on the same page.
Provides unlimited access to e-learning materials – A learning management software gives students access to learning material in one place from any device and the ability to return to the content as needed.
Consolidates all training information – An LMS allows you to consolidate all of the learning materials into one place so that students can conveniently access them. Also, you can assign these materials based on specific needs. For example, if you're assigning a group project, you may assign students a different learning material for each student based on their role in the group.
Reduces learning costs – For educational institutions and businesses, online training poses a cost-effective method of learning. With a learning management system, your organization can eliminate expenses such as classroom rentals, transport and accommodations, instructor's salary, textbooks, supplies, and physical printouts.
Integrates social learning experiences – This tool provides the functionality to collaborate with other users during the learning process. Whether students need to ask the instructor a question or students need to work on group projects, social learning helps deepen the understanding of the lessons taught in lectures. Plus, links to Twitter pages, Facebook, LinkedIn teams, and online forums that may be useful to learners can be included by these tools.
Enables tracking – An LMS can easily track compliance with mandatory training. The software will create reports and display training records to view the progress of each student. From there, you can better personalize your program for each student to create content that tailors to a particular need for one student or group.
Intuitive and personalized – An LMS can be implemented to test current skill levels, determining what training is necessary and therefore saving time. This system can intuitively understand where your students are and assign them custom learning material based on their current understanding or skill level.
Saves time – One of the most significant benefits of LMS is that it saves everyone time. An LMS allows you to set unified learning standards and assess and develop student knowledge regularly. With e-learning, you save the long commute hours for both students and faculty. Also, students can efficiently learn by having everything in one place. The tools provide instructors the ability to control students’ screens and block distracting websites or apps to help students focus.
Easy to update – This platform serves as a repository for all training materials, which can ensure that only updated versions are used. Updating your course is super convenient. Make changes to the forms, specifications, product forms, and requirements—no need to revamp the entire course. Just make tweaks with updated information. Students get immediate access to these modifications.
LMS is customizable – You can fully customize your management system to fit your needs by adjusting the layout and personalizing the dashboard. Modify everything from the branding, all the way to the user interface of the programming, so students can quickly progress in their learning.
Check out the GoGuardian Teacher™ Classroom Management software to see how you can effectively save time, better connect with students, and eliminate distractions during learning sessions.