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From the Training Blog:
Learning Management Systems
It is like that old journalistic question, “what did he know and when did he know it?” Had the person been tracking their training and learning through a knowledge management system, the entire learning curve of that person would be on display via a learning management software program, and no such questions would need to be asked. Getting the team up to speed by combining technology and learning in one software package means a seamless destination learning management environment for employees to thrive and learn.
What is a Learning Management System?
What is LMS? Learning Management Systems are a holistic approach crafted to deal with the creation, delivery, and tracking of instructional technology-based training. Learning management system software allows for the building, administration, documenting, tracking, reporting, and delivery of training material to employees in a manner that assures that no employment educational component drops between the cracks.
Learning management software, or LMS software, is used by universities offering online content, and is popular with corporate training officers as well. LMS applications are a one-stop shop for delivering quality online educational content without the risk that the training administrator will lose control of the technology will.
What are Talent Management and Knowledge Management Systems?
As a human resource trainer, you know that attracting, developing, and retaining quality employees is a difficult and expensive prospect. Talent management software allows for coordinated processes that streamline this entire process. Creating a high-performance team that is firing on all cylinders is the goal of talent management. Learning management is easy with a viable talent management strategy in place. Integrating a talent management system into your hiring practices means not having to fill the same position every six months. Getting the educational information you need from Point A to Point B is the purpose of knowledge management software. Knowledge management, otherwise known as information management, ensures an efficient distribution of materials through all levels of a business or organization. Combining a knowledge management system with a talent management software packages is one of the most powerful educational delivery and employment training tools available.
What is SCORM?
The SCORM definition, or Sharable Content Object Reference Model, was born out of an idea that originated in the Department of Defense with the noble aim of rationalizing the collection of standards and specifications regarding web-based e-learning. Specifically, the system, used in conjunction with a Learning management system, facilitates the communication between the hosting system and the end-user, commonly referred to as “the run-time environment.”
Launched in 1999, the program’s marching orders from the DoD was to develop learning standards that could be implemented across both governmental and private sectors. The vast majority of learning management systems supports SCORM 1.2, the first widely used SCORM version that is still popular today. Since the debut of SCORM 1.2 in 2001, enhancements to the system have been added such as improvements to the SCORM api, the availability of cloud-based delivery with SCORM CLOUD, and improvements of the SCORM player that allows seamless user connections to the learning management platform.
Why we Chose Not to be SCORM Compliant: A Story of Customer Service
Here at Lessonly, we intentionally decided not to subject our clients to that bumpy passage of SCORM. Designed to make your learning environment easier by allowing you the ability to create lessons once with Lessonly, then reuse them across a myriad of devices, the idealized vision of SCORM quickly was bogged down in a haphazard and failed implementation strategy. By refusing SCORM compliance, we made the conscious choice to do right by our clients, and we have never once regretted our decision.
To Open Source or Not to Open Source? …That is the Question.
Among the tech crowd, open source learning management systems are all the rage. Indeed, there is a lot to recommend when considering the savings of a fully functioning free learning management system. Open source LMS therefore is set to join the popularity of open source CMS applications. Utilizing an open source learning management system offers free online learning, and everyone likes the word free. When it comes to free online learning platforms, you get what you pay for and sometimes you end up paying more than you expect with a free LMS.
Advantages of an Open Source Learning Management System
Free learning management systems offer a cost-effective way to infuse flexibility and innovation into your organization’s e-learning platform. As mentioned, free e learning is a cost-effective way for organizations and businesses to acquire free learning management systems.
Beyond few if any licensing fees, open source learning management systems are easy to manage while providing continuous real-time improvements in the guise of user updates. Additionally, open source coding provides stability in an uncertain economic climate. If the company that created the code were to close up shop, their product would still be out there and available for use.
Examples of open source options that support free online learning include Moodle, Joomla LMS, Drupal LMS, and WordPress learning management system.
Downsides of an Open Source LMS
For every up, there is a down, and that same fact applies when assessing the ultimate utility of adopting an open source learning management system over a commercially-licensed version of the product. For many, a turnkey system is the ideal way to proceed for several reasons.
For those who are less than tech-savvy, the learning curve to implement the open source free e-learning software might be a little steep. As such, you may need to hire an open source expert to get your IT team up to speed thus, potentially negating any licensing fees.
Another consideration for the technologically challenged, open source free LMS offers a vibrant community of tinkerers. For instance, due to ongoing changes and parallel development attempts, the end user may well get confused as to what version or what software platform might be the correct selection for their particular task.
When you don’t really know the capabilities of your learning management system open source, the world can be a lonely place when it comes time to finding answers to questions when you’re only half-informed. That is why despite many of the exciting advantages of open source learning management systems, if you really want to scale your business and focus on what’s driving business, not managing technology, a customized, turnkey operation is the best route to go for your e-learning needs.
Higher Ed vs. Corporate Learning
What sets the educational LMS apart from its corporate brethren? As with any tool, the difference lies in the utility that it provides the user. Where the university student needs learning management software to help them in the act of learning theory and principle-based material, corporate trainers need learning management systems that are designed to help employees demonstrate competence in training and compliance issues that are more practical and often times trackable. While the former is looking for a more esoteric approach to learning, the latter seeks to show the efficacy of the corporate training program. Both populations however, have adopted the use of learning management systems to help their learners grow.
By the Numbers…
When it comes to breaking out the numbers regarding the use of learning management systems, it’s perhaps no surprise that educational institutions as a single category of users has nearly 22% of the total market. What might be surprising is the widespread adoption of the systems into the non-educational sphere. Of the remaining 78% of LMS users, they embrace a wide range of industries and companies, with a sizable representation from the financial, legal, real estate, and insurance industries. Although many companies like blackboard, Litmos, Canvas LMS and others focus on both educational and business learning, we have made it our goal to be as laser-focused as possible on the business side of training so that we can be the very best solution for corporate training. Period.
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