LMS vs LCMS

As companies grow, many companies understand that new employees need to be trained to be better adapted to the company’s environment and business processes, and that existing employees need to be trained and evaluated to stay on their career path. “Okay, we need a learning system,” a manager of a newly created training department might say. But the reality is not so simple. There are hundreds of learning system providers out there and none of them can fully meet your needs. So what can you do? This write-up will compare LMS vs LCMS for your understanding.

First of all, you need to be aware of the terminology that exists in the learning market. What you are looking for is probably referred to as a Learning Management System or LMS. This can confuse many evaluators and learning system buyers with the wide variety of solutions offered as LMSs. What is typically referred to as an LMS includes classroom and e-learning management, content creation and publishing, communication and collaboration, assessment and assessment, competency and performance management, reporting, analytics and integration with HRIS/financial systems. While the basic LMS features include: administration, learning management, reporting and measurement, security, HR related features, content management, content integration and e-commerce. Analytics is an advanced feature that not all vendors include in a basic LMS package. Analytics includes: effectiveness, efficiency and compliance measures. As well as performance management, which is a new trend in the LMS market.

Second, LMS vendors identify three types of markets: mid-sized companies with 1,000 to 10,000 learners, which can be small and medium-sized businesses, companies with more than 10,000 learners, and global companies with offices located around the world. So, identify your niche and narrow down the list of providers.

Third, there is an important criterion to think about – your company must have a human resource system already installed and implemented that keeps records of all employees in your company’s headquarters and branches in one place. LMS is just an extension for such systems and feeds from HRIS (and sometimes from financial systems). The data goes back and forth, but should be kept in one place for consistency.

However, a typical LMS product does not meet the critical need to create, manage, and maintain learning system content. If the answer to your question about how to import your existing courses from different media is “You can’t do it unless they’re SCORM compliant!” and you have no idea what that means, then you probably have to create all your courses from scratch. Packages such as MS PowerPoint and MS Word, i.e. all those that training departments usually use to create learning materials, do not support any existing learning standard. So you need a course creation tool. This new class of learning products is called Learning Content Management System and is purchased in conjunction with LMS. LMS vs LCMS are not the same. let me explain. For example, learners enter a web portal. This portal connects the learner to LMS generated pages where learners can select a course. This course is created by LCMS but delivered by LMS. So if you don’t have LCMS, you either have to buy courses from vendors or… or you don’t have courses. Therefore you need to be sure that LCMS is really a part of your purchasing LMS and not a separate product. Content Management, which was mentioned as part of the basic LMS, is not the same as LCMS as the latter deals with the creation, storage and delivery of personalized learning content. Content management, on the other hand, deals with storing and indexing the content for search.

In summary, the evaluator is well advised to become familiar with LMS vs LCMS products.

Thanks to Shamil Nizamov

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