Online education was a fast-growing industry during the past years. However, pandemic spurred its growth even more since bringing classes online is the only option for many educational institutions and companies to continue their operations. Even though going online presents great business opportunities, management of the learning process requires special skills and software.
That is why having a learning management system is essential for your eLearning platform or business. If you are not sure why you would need it, when there are already plenty of traditional instruments to use, this article is for you. Here, SOLVVE explains why it is essential to have a learning management system and what benefits it grants.
What is a Learning Management System?
In short, a learning management system (or LMS) is software that helps to streamline all tasks related to the educational process. For example, taking attendance, distributing assignments, having exams, tracking progress, etc. Depending on the needs of a particular business, there are plenty of LMSs available on the market that deliver these functions in all sorts of combinations. However, whatever option you choose, the set of benefits you receive is rather extensive. Let us take a look at some of them one by one.
Benefits of Learning Management Systems
LMSs allow to flexibly work with all sorts of elements at all levels. For example, school or company administrators can automate their routine tasks of communication with learners, keeping everyone on the same page with scheduling or changes in the course, notifications about new arrivals to the library or trials of instruments needed for work.
The roles of all participants can be defined and supplemented with different levels of rights and ways to interact with LMS. This helps students, teachers, administrators, and other participants to always stay updated about their circle of interaction and to contribute to course development through content creation and their feedback on the existing materials.
Easy course modification
Modifying courses is also a piece of cake with LMS. It only takes several easy updates on a course provider side or teacher’s account to add or delete materials, restructure course flow, send out notifications to hundreds or thousands of learners, etc. Compared to traditional ways of course and material management, learning management systems save lots of time and effort to navigate the course for all involved parties.
One of the biggest LMS advantages is having all the necessary materials stored in one place. This is especially easy to do with cloud-based technologies that allow you to store and expand your material base anytime your business is ready to take the next scaling step. Moreover, LMS users get instant access to any item they need instantly and around the clock. No one has to wait for library opening hours to match their schedule or stay in line for the books they need, or even pay for them, provided that one’s school or company covers for access to JSTOR or EBSCO, for example.
There is even more freedom to how and when people are engaging with the courses if your LMS has a mobile version. While extremely popular as a language learning tool, it can also accommodate different disciplines and media formats to cater your material to students. For corporate training, this option is a must, since students will probably try to utilize their commuting or house chores time to listen to lectures and podcasts or take revision quizzes.
2. Tracking and Analytics
When choosing an LMS for your organization, make sure to pick up the one that supports data tracking and analytics, the best when supported by machine learning technologies. Not only do they allow to stay on track with what is happening in your organization in general but also to analyze the individual performance of students and identify areas that need improvement.
Including tracking and analytics tools in a learning management system is a good practice across the industry. However, similar to the control instruments we mentioned above, it is important to talk through your targets and requirements with your software developer or service provider to make sure that LMS fully covers all of your needs.
Some of the core functions usually deal with building real-time progress or engagement graphics as well as finding roadblocks and slacks in the learning process. However, did you know that in addition to tracking students’ performance, you can also make sure that people are not cheating during the exams by using their webcams and a cost-efficient AI-tool to track their behavior?
If you are not sure, what tools you need in your LMS, contact us to get consultation and estimates from our technical experts and business analysts. It is a simple 3-step process to get the most of your budget. Speaking of costs, investing in a properly-fitted LMS now helps to return your investment fast and to cut operational and support expenses drastically.
3. Saving time and money with LMS
Compared to traditional teaching settings learning management systems are extremely cost-efficient to set up, run, and maintain. So saved costs can be allocated to other needs of your business.
Firstly, there is no need to set up a physical location and to equip it. Thus, you are also not limited by the number of people who can take a course at the same time. Moreover, you do need to cover up for cost and accommodation expenses in case you are the one who is responsible for covering the educational expenses of your employees. It opens doors for clients that reside outside traveling distance from your educational establishment or corporate training site.
Nevertheless, if you are expecting a lot of students, confirm with your service or support provider that your system can handle the load by running the load tests. If you are not sure what kind of tests your LMS should withstand before deploying it to your students, you can always ask our QA experts.
Secondly, as we have talked about above, modifying your learning base or scaling up your business will cost you significantly less, compared to the similar upgrade in a physical world. Moreover, online systems allow you to add social learning to your LMS, i.e. connecting social networks to your system. On the one hand, this approach drives engagement and inclusion, on the other hand, stimulates friendly competition.
Thirdly, in the same manner, students and participants save on travel costs and textbooks. This might not be true for all countries, but owning required textbooks, renting them, making copies, or paying for excess to online libraries stops people from continuing their education. Access to LMS and training might not be true for
4. Compliance and security
Learning management systems are also handy when it comes to areas that are not directly related to teaching or the learning process but cannot be ignored.
For example, security of data about people using your LMS and compliance with regulations about personal information as well as other policies governing eLearning. LMSs allow to better manage information sharing and personality identification, including biometric identifiers like fingerprints or face recognition to log into accounts. Moreover, learning management systems can be internationally certified to comply with such requirements as data centers location, encryption and transaction standards, penetrating testing, etc.
Staying compliant with technical and legislative requirements helps to better brand your services and build trust with your clients faster.
Last but not least, learning management systems are also useful for branding. Whether you are using one of the ready-made solutions on the market or building a custom service as MATR did, you use it to drive brand awareness and enhance company loyalty.
For example, LMS design can be developed by UI/UX designers to match your corporate color scheme, incorporate logos or banners, or other distinguished visuals that help your company to stand out. You can also include e-commerce options to manage course payments, discount programs or sell branded merchandise to users.
Provided how many benefits learning management systems will provide to both service providers and its users, it is only natural that they will continue to become more popular and widespread. With several strong players on the market like Moodle or Blackboard, it is nevertheless a good time to get into the game and explore possibilities. As more schools, companies, or even countries are turning to eLearning as a primary option, there inevitably will be a drastic need for all sorts of LMS to accommodate diverse demand. Thus, if you have any questions or ideas related to learning management systems in your eLearning projects, do not hesitate to contact us. Let us make this happen!