What is an LMS?

Nick van Oostrum

LMS means Learning Management System; a system with which you manage learning within your organisation. From your LMS you manage the learning supply, and you have insight into the rapports and activities of your users. In this way, administrators and content creators can make courses, assign them to users, and track their progress. A user gets a personal account with which they can take assigned online courses in an online learning environment.

A little piece of history...

The history of LMS is rather short. In 1924 Sidney Pressey made the so called ‘Teaching machine’. This was a typewriter in which in one window there was a question and in the other window there were four answer possibilities. By means of the four buttons on the machine, the users could answer. In 1970, Hewlett Packard -better known as HP- introduced the first mass produced computer. Thanks to this the development of LMS’s went faster than ever. 12 years later Robert Ellioth Kahn and Vint Cerf introduced the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol; the basic language of the internet. Hereby the developments concerning the internet and thus online learning speeded up.

Focus on mobile

The different contemporary Learning Managements Systems are perfect for managing a learning process. We do note a shift from LMS to the Learning Xperience Platform (LXP). The experience of a learner is central in an LXP. 

LMS’s focuses besides the experience more and more on mobile devices. The contemporary systems often have a mobile version, but this is often merely a concise display of the desktop version. This shift entails that LMS’s don’t perceive the smartphone as a secondary device, but as an actual primary channel for a learning process. 


Why an LMS?

Better training, more knowledge of products and services and the ability to gain knowledge, ensure employees to be more efficient and develop themselves more. This will benefit the organisation and its results in the end. Good informed employees can contribute to the success, are often more loyal to the company and perform better at their work. Because all the learning material is made, linked, managed and saved in one system you create an overview and accessibility for both employees such as the content creators and the administrators of the LMS within the organisation.  

Besides, people work more flexible nowadays than they did before. The advantage of the use of an LMS is that the user can learn whenever and wherever they want, regardless if this is from home, a different work location or on the road. By facilitating learning online in an LMS you stimulate the learning and you save costs in contrast to providing ‘live’ trainings. 

Data collection 

To understand and improve the effect of the training of your employees, you need to have insight in the activities, progression, results, etc. An LMS makes collecting this data much simpler. The system automatically collects data and generates rapports based on various requirements and needs. An analysis of these data can provide a quick overview on every aspect of the content, the courses, the progression and the results of the employees. This helps you to improve the trainings and to achieve a higher success rate. 

By using an LMS you make training employees easier, for both the manager and the user. When you make learning easy for your employees and keep their knowledge on a certain standard, this will eventually lead to better operating performances and lower company costs. Other important advantages of an LMS are the data which you collect with it and the rapports that give you insight in the progression and the achievements. An LMS offers you a lot of comfort, and you will eventually provide the actual input to improve the operational processes and the knowledge within the organisation.