Fact: Around 1.5 billion children worldwide have been affected by school closures prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of workers were also forced to work from home until further notice. The question is: How are they continuing education amid the unprecedented situation?
Thanks to digital technology, foremost being LMSs and the Internet, students and employees worldwide didn’t need to stop learning during the pandemic. Of course, we all know what the Internet is; however, some may not know what an LMS is. Don’t fret, we’ll tell you all about it in this post.
What Is a Learning Management System?
An LMS is an application that lets users (typically educational institutions) manage, document, monitor, report, automate, and deliver academic courses, training programs, or learning and development programs.
The LMS was born out of e-learning. The first LMSs were used by higher education institutions (colleges and universities) in the late 1990s (probably the oldest LMS is FirstClass, which Soft Arc launched in 1990), but these days, they are used by pretty much all sectors that need to provide more scalable training to all employees.
How Does a Learning Management System Work?
An LMS delivers and manages all kinds of educational content. That includes videos, entire courses, and documents.
LMSs designed explicitly for schools have additional features like rubrics, a means to facilitate teacher- and instructor-facilitated learning, a discussion board, and a syllabus. Educators can use the rubrics feature to input criteria for scoring students’ tests. They can use the syllabus feature, meanwhile, to provide learners with an overview of the topics covered.
Most LMSs designed for business use have slightly different features. Let’s look at the example below to see how an LMS works.
Company A wants to teach new employees about its products. It can start by using an LMS’s course builder function to create slides, bite-sized documents, quizzes, and certifications. When all the materials are ready, it can ask each newbie to log into the LMS with their own accounts to start learning. After finishing the course, each employee can take the required tests and get certified. The LMS can track every employee’s progress so their managers can see how well they are doing, who has obtained certification, and who needs more help.
Keep in mind that businesses can also opt for the development of custom LMS software as per their specific requirements to further improve and personalize the learning experience.
What Can You Get Out of Learning Management Systems?
LMSs have features that let users manage courses and roles; assess learners’ attendance and progress, and provide necessary feedback.
Apart from enhancing student and employee knowledge, an LMS also gives a school or company a central repository for all training and development content. With a single application, you can store, manage, edit, and even delete any content in one place.
Academic institutions and businesses alike can also save money by using LMSs instead of sponsoring students and employees to attend out-of-town or even international seminars and training workshops. An LMS lets learners access their e-learning environment from anywhere, anytime. It also enables them to study at their own pace without costing their school or company more.
Even better, some LMSs can be tailored to fit a school or business’s specific requirements. For example, usage of a custom LMS can help students personalize their applications so they can stay engaged while learning. Employees can make the software fit their learning needs as well, including the pace at which they consume content.
Do You Need a Learning Management System?
Schools that wish to let students continue learning despite being cooped up at home may need an LMS. In fact, without the help of a full-featured LMS, teachers may have a hard time monitoring student attendance, sharing knowledge, giving tests, tracking student performance, and more.
Companies that constantly hire workers need an LMS, too, to make their newbies business-ready. And even employees who have been with the same organization for years need to brush up on their know-how or learn about new products and services.
A reliable LMS can help educate learners while making it easy for administrators to facilitate, manage, and track their achievements. That’s especially true these days when everyone needs to abide by strict social distancing guidelines and travel restrictions.