Key LMS Concepts
The “LMS Fundamentals” series will examine the fundamental concepts involved in choosing and using a Learning Management System to centralize, streamline and maximise the impact of your company’s training and development initiatives. This first article lays the groundwork for this exercise by clarifying what and LMS is, what key features can be expected from platforms, and how companies can leverage this to drive business success.
What is an LMS?
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software platform used by businesses and organizations to manage, deliver, and track employee training and development programs. A corporate LMS is specifically designed to meet the needs of companies, as it provides a centralized platform to create and manage training content, deliver courses and materials, and track employee progress and performance.
Most LMSs are cloud-based software solutions that companies use as the fundamental tool for managing their corporate training programs. A cloud-based LMS is an online platform that is hosted on remote servers and accessed via the internet. In other words, a cloud-based LMS is a software application that is hosted on the cloud and can be accessed by users through a web browser, without the need for local installation or maintenance.
Who uses an LMS?
Just as sales teams depend on CRM software, or HR teams rely on HRIS software, LMS software is usually the core technology used by an organization’s Learning and Development (L&D) department. These professionals use LMSs to deploy a variety of learning strategies across different formats, including formal and social learning, to manage functions such as:
1) Employee onboarding
An LMS can be a valuable tool for employee onboarding, as it provides a centralized platform to deliver training and education materials to new hires.
2) Compliance training
An LMS can streamline compliance training and ensure that employees receive the training they need to meet regulatory requirements and industry standards.
3) Employee development and retention
An LMS can provide employees with the tools and resources they need to develop new skills and progress in their careers, which can increase their job satisfaction and engagement.
4) Customer training
An LMS can provide customers with the knowledge and skills they need to use a product or service effectively, which can, in turn, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
5) Partner training
An LMS can provide partners with the tools and resources they need to sell, support, and market a company’s products or services effectively, which can increase partner satisfaction, loyalty and efficiency.
What are the benefits of using an LMS?
An LMS helps onboard new employees, partners, and customers, and then gets them the knowledge and skills required to perform their roles, more effectively and efficiently. In this way, an LMS ultimately creates a variety of training scenarios and situations that can help drive your business success.
In addition to this, an LMS can save your company money by reducing training costs (including travel and accommodation) significantly. And since the learning experience is no longer bound to a classroom, learners can take courses at their own pace, wherever and whenever it’s convenient.
Online training can also reduce senior employees’ workload as new employees, partners and customers can get up to speed more independently, reducing the amount of face-to-face mentoring required from seasoned employees.
Finally, an LMS makes it easy to keep track of which employees, partners or customers have completed trainings and how well they have performed. With careful planning and implementation, these analytics can be used to report on training and development ROI and gather the insights required to make data-driven decisions that will optimize training and development programs for maximum impact.
What are the key features that an LMS should include?
Your company’s unique training needs will determine your specific requirements for a prospective LMS. So while there is no universal agreement on the full feature set of a standard platform, any LMS will address the following three basic requirements:
1) User Management
The LMS should allow administrators to manage user profiles, assign training courses, and track learner progress. This can include features such as user groups, user roles, and user permissions.
2) Course Management
The LMS should allow administrators to create and manage courses and training materials, including the ability to upload, store and categorize different content types, set completion requirements, and track learner progress.
3) Assess Training Progress
The LMS should provide detailed reporting and analytics on user progress and course completion rates, which can help administrators assess how a particular learner or a group of learners are performing and identify areas where intervention may be needed.
Additionally, you can think of the following features as advanced:
4) Event calendar
The LMS allows administrators to schedule and monitor calendar events for live training sessions, assessments and deadlines, and then notifies users accordingly.
5) Mobile learning
The LMS is compatible with mobile devices, allowing learners to access training materials from anywhere and at any time. For example, some platforms have native mobile apps for viewing courses even when offline.
6) Social learning
The LMS supports informal training activities that improve engagement by encouraging collaboration and idea sharing. This can include features similar to social media platforms that allow users to share content and then discuss, like, and share colleagues’ posts.
The LMS allows administrators to incorporate game elements, such as points, leaderboards and badges, into training programs to create a more immersive learning experience that motivates active learner participation.
The LMS has the ability to integrate with other platforms, such as such as your Salesforce CRM and video conferencing tools, to keep your company’s data synced and streamline training and development processes.
9) White labeling
The LMS allows for branding to help maintain brand consistency throughout the learning experience; such as the ability to add company logos, colors, and branding elements to the user interface.
10) Multi-domain (multi-tenancy)
The LMS allows you to build multiple different platforms to suit your audiences (i.e. subsidiaries, customers, or partners in extended enterprise scenarios) by assigning custom elements, including custom branding, for each subdomain.
Pluto LMS is a Business-to-Business training platform with an extensive feature set, geared toward helping companies simplify their training and development administration while maximizing impact.
If you would like to learn more about how Pluto LMS can help your company achieve its training and development goals, you are welcome to schedule a call with one of our LMS experts: