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What Is a Learning Management System? The Complete Guide

Did you know 44% of organizations will struggle with skill gaps in the next five years?

If you think your company might suffer from a skills gap, you may benefit from a learning management system. Yet, if you’ve never heard of this concept before, you may be asking yourself, “what is a learning management system?”

Read on, and you’ll learn what learning management system is. If you want to eliminate employee skill gaps, you’ll soon discover how a learning management system can help you. 

Let’s begin!


1. What Is a Learning Management System?

In simple terms, a learning management system (LMS) is a piece of software that helps companies train staff.

So, suppose you own a company, and you want your staff to learn a new skill.

You can use the LMS to manage the documents and lectures associated with this skill. You can then direct people to the LMS, and they can learn everything they need to know about a given topic. 

2. What Are the Benefits of an LMS?

Now that we’ve explored what an LMS is, we’ll now cover some of the benefits of LMS.

One of the great things about an LMS is its ability to act as a central database. All learning materials are now in one location, and this is especially helpful as you no longer have to keep track of paper worksheets and exams.

Another good thing about an LMS is that it makes employee onboarding easier. You can direct new hires to the training materials on the LMS, and they can quickly get up to speed. 

Furthermore, an LMS can also help you lower the costs associated with employee training. With an LMS, training is done ‘in-house,’ and so employees don’t need to leave your premises.

This can save a lot of money because you no longer have to cover the costs associated with travel. You also don’t have to pay for the use of an external training center. 

LMS’s are also good because they make it easy for you to track employee progress.

Without an LMS, you’d have to rely on an employee’s word in regard to whether they’ve completed a certain kind of training. This is not the most reliable approach as the employee might not be honest when reporting their progress.

Well, if you use an LMS, you don’t need to worry about this, as everything is tracked digitally. You will have a central dashboard that you can review, and this dashboard will tell how much training a person has gone through.

3. What Are the Downsides of an LMS?

Earlier, we covered some of the benefits of using an LMS. Thus, it’s only right that we now cover some of the downsides of this approach.

Perhaps the biggest downside of using an LMS is that it can seem impersonal.

After all, people will not be interacting with ‘real’ teachers anymore, as all their learning will now take place in a digital environment. Some people struggle with this approach to learning, and so you may experience poor results because of this.

This problem could also affect the people that are delivering the lectures.

These individuals might be used to delivering lectures to a full class, and they might’ve done their best work this way. Yet, if you use an LMS, teachers will need to get used to crafting their training materials for this new system. 

This can take some adjustment, and some teachers might have a hard time switching from in-person to digital lectures.

Additionally, you’ll also need to teach people how they can use the LMS. This can be a drawn-out process, and you might need to hire an employee that can manage support queries associated with the LMS.

4. Tips on Implementing an LMS

Implementing an LMS can be difficult, and it’s not something you should rush into.

Ideally, you should think about hiring a company that understands the basics of implementing an LMS. Such companies will know how to implement an LMS, without harming your existing IT infrastructure.

When you’re looking to hire an implementation company, make sure you ask them for case studies.

These case studies will help you determine how much disruption you’ll have to deal with during the installation process. You can then use this information when you’re scheduling events within your company. 

If you want to get the best results from an LMS, you might need to invest in extra IT equipment.

That’s because there will now be a greater need for computers within your organization, as people will need them for training. If you don’t address this bottleneck, employees might have to join a long queue to get the training they need.

You might also need to select a few rooms in your building that are dedicated to the LMS. This is because people will use the system a lot, and you need to give them a quiet learning space. 

You also need to ensure you backup your LMS, in case the system breaks down.

Fortunately, most LMS’s come with an inbuilt backup feature that allows you to save documents to the cloud or a physical disk. You just need to make sure you use this feature often so that you’re safe in the event of system failure.

Will You Invest in a Learning Management System?

Congratulations! You should now have no problem when it comes to answering the question, “what is a learning management system?”

If you have some doubts about using an LMS, think about implementing this concept in one department. In doing so, you can test-drive an LMS, without causing a lot of disruption.

During this process, you might want to note some of the problems you encountered and how you overcame them. You can then use this knowledge if you decide to roll out the LMS to the rest of your company.

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