LMS Features & Technology: What To Look For In A Learning Management System
Amid the pandemic, digital innovations have always bridged the gaps between a business and its customers, be it any industry type. The educational industry is endowed with a virtual platform for both instructors and learners that can help them in their continuous growth and learning.
Leading industry solutions, such as the eLearning software solutions are becoming crucial hence, in this article we are focusing on the major features that a learning management system must have. We will also see the technology stack used for the development and scalability of the platform.
As per 2019 stats, 46% of respondents said that they have purchased learning software to train their staff virtually. The stats can define that many out in the market are unable to understand the full potential of this wonderful and dynamic software.
How Do You Relate to LMS?
A solution that IT professional service providers develop for the educational institutions to deliver everyday learning opportunities.
This solution lets professionals perform core functions, such as content creation, content management, and delivery of respective courses and materials. The interface you get is intuitive enough to operate the entire software conveniently.
Which Areas Does a Learning Management System Cover?
LMS, not just reduces cost, it also enhances security. The main focus area of the learning management system is tracking and delivering eLearning initiatives in a single platform.
The operation of any LMS depends on the objectives and goals of the company. Moreover, learning professionals can take advantage of the LMS and ensure that the learners are getting what they were searching for.
In order to engage learners more and more, you should leverage the key data elements within LMS. Only by tracking and analyzing these elements, the organizations can operate high-regulatory industries while remaining compliant.
Classification of Learning Management System
LMS is classified into three main types:
- Cloud-based or installed
- Open-source or proprietary
- Commercial or free
The reason behind these classifications is to meet any kind of business needs. However, a few have been outdated and new ones have dominated the market.
Installed vs Cloud-based LMS solutions
Earlier, IT consultation services providers offered installation solutions that are no longer scalable in the market. With the rise of cloud services, clunky and conventional LMS setup and maintenance are not needed. This saves the companies from a lot of in-house maintenance costs and time.
Solutions integrated with cloud-based platforms benefit by offering regular updates for the software that not just provides a security layer, but also adds extra features to the software at very low monthly costs.
Commercial vs Free LMS Solutions
Commercial LMS solutions are recommended over free solutions. As commercial solutions offer compliance features, which are vital for the high-consequence industries.
Free LMS solutions are only recommended for those with tight or limited budget options, such as startups or tech people looking to educate or spread their internal talent.
Open-source LMS vs Proprietary LMS
An open-source category is linked with cloud-based and installed LMS solutions. Organizations can integrate open-source LMS solutions and can study and edit the software as per the company culture and needs without the need for prior permission.
Unlike open-source, closed-source or proprietary LMS is the solution that does not allow you to make changes. Hence, you do not get the freedom to mold the LMS software as per your culture or theme.
These types and purposes of a learning management platform explains that this software has been crafted to deliver the best experience of learning or teaching.
So, does that mean you can call a learning management system a learning experience platform? Despite their similarity in purpose, they differ. In order to clarify the doubt, let’s understand their key differences.
Difference Between LMS and LXP
LMS is designed to track, analyze, and distribute the training content among other learning opportunities. Whereas, LXP (Learning Experience Platform) is more inclined towards aggregating and exhibiting learning content that helps in providing a personalized learning experience.
LXP focuses on inspiring learners for knowledge creation and sharing the same with others. While LMS is a controlled solution that is managed by a leader, who is responsible to upload and administer the content, which is further distributed among respective learners.
Any LMS platform, whether it is a moodle-based LMS, improves the learner's focus, cognitive ability, and levels up motivation.
In order to ensure that your hard work towards your goal is encouraging more learners to join in then it is essential to have these requisite features in your LMS.
Features to Integrate Within your LMS
No doubt, that your LMS software should have highly intuitive user-friendly designs that are easy for navigation. Some functionalities that are required to solve the purpose of a learner should not be missed for the scalability of your LMS.
1. Easy Data Migration
LMS only becomes scalable when it is developed keeping its compliance aligned with change in mind. Despite a big warehouse to store numerous amounts of data, your LMS must be integrated with seamless migrations and upgrades services for simple and straightforward transfer of data.
2. Built-in Gamification Tools
Gamification acts as a motivator in the background. Not just for the corporate learner, it enhances the chance of increasing retention of knowledge and online training ROI. You can integrate storytelling features, mini-games with real-life scenarios, leaderboards, reward points for high scores, badges for achievement & much more.
3. Social Media Support/ Social Learning Platform
Social media is one of the biggest learning platforms for everyone. Hence, you can always take advantage of these open-source platforms. You must allow your learners to integrate learning tools in the LMS for better online training.
This strategy works best for increasing engagement, as learners get the opportunity to interact with their peers directly, while you can identify their engagement level. Hence, integrate forums and discussion boards that allow knowledge sharing & resources, sections for content ranking and commenting, and RSS feeds.
4. Learning Assessment and Feedback
Any online training initiative is incomplete without the learning assessment and feedback. Hence, it is essential to integrate this management feature for measuring and managing the performance and progress gaps of the learner as well as the trainer.
As LMS is designed to improve the competency of the learner, it should have features, such as certification management for successful completion of course, competency management & reporting. You can also integrate features to underline training gaps through polls and surveys along with tests and quizzes to make learning interesting.
5. Compliance Management
For seamless online training material sharing, an LMS must have compliance management integrated. A sharable content object reference model defines ways to create shareable objects that can be reused in different systems and contexts.
Today there are different versions of SCORM available to integrate into an LMS for compliance, such as SCORM 2204, SCROM 1.1, and SCROM 1.2. The newest eLearning SCORM is xAPI that offers more flexibility to track learning content and activities outside LMS. Other compliance standards can be used, such as AICC for flexible and secure deployment configurations.
6. eLearning Management
Among other management features, the eLearning management system makes it easy to manage a large volume of learners. This feature of the learning management system can help the institutional leaders and administrators to assign and enroll the current learners for training. Organizations using LMS can schedule a training session for their employees as well as track their training activities. With the help of the integrated feature, learners can receive alerts regarding their schedules and notifications for assignments' results or live sessions.
7. Learning Content Management
Any robust and multi-feature software requires a dedicated software development team, who evaluate the use and integration of a key feature. Content is the vital portion of LMS, hence its management is the foremost essentialism. With the help of customizable tools you can create text, graphics, add audio & video content that will be responsive or mobile-friendly. The in-built collaborative tools enable content embedding from another source, authoring content, and encourage advanced search options.
8. Mobile Learning
A personalized form of learning is mobile learning, which allows you to learn without being static. The mobile learning feature offers training through your handheld devices in small chunks. The opportunity to use LMS from your smartphones is only effective through an appropriate synchronization with the LMS running in the backend. Corporate learners must also have the leverage of online training tools & resources to address specific gaps and goals.
Along with features, there are other characteristics to look for a perfect eLearning platform. Today's enterprise software development companies are looking forward to integrating new and advanced technologies in eLearning software to make them reliable, scalable, and future-ready.
Technological Consideration For eLearning Solution
Regardless of the niche industry, LMS must support those looking to train and wanting to get trained virtually.
A simple unified eLearning software solution can be created with a simple HTML and amalgamated with a CMS for wide and complex enterprise-grade development.
Since, LMS must be created keeping online learners, online instructors, and administrators in mind. Hence, along with different management systems, programming languages and authoring packages integration are quintessential.
As aforementioned, the fundamental language and the most common programming language is HyperText Mark-Up Language. HTML helps in developing simple online lessons. But, because it does not provide a high level of interactivity like today's LMS's, most eLearning software development companies choose programming languages, such as -
- CGI Scripting
Front-end Development of Learning Management System Software
Complete software is segregated into back-end and front end development services. Where front-end development is the client's side and back-end is the server's side of a software or an application.
The job roles of both sides of development are pre-defined, hence programming languages differ to develop both sides of a product.
Many IT firms offer separate front & back-end solutions while many offer an amalgamation of both in the form of full stack development services.
The client-side development is focused on analyzing code, design, and debugging applications. The team of developers ensures that the look and feel of the software design can offer a seamless user experience.
Preferred Languages for Front end development
Back-end Development of Learning Management System Software
The server side of development, which focuses on the performance of the site or software. This service differs from the software integration services offered by the front-end developers.
Back-end developers ensure that the database information is seamlessly communicated with the browser. Hence, they constantly monitor the functionality of the site and make improvements in their code for optimized connectivity.
Moreover, API development services are increasing to connect the front-end with the backend for seamless communication, which is an essential component of backend development.
Preferred Languages for Back-end development
Most back-end developers prefer languages, such as HTML and CSS as base languages. But, modern connectivity has encouraged developers to integrate back-end languages, such as Java, Ruby on Rails, Python, and .Net for optimum and effective development.
These languages are best known to assist in dynamic and versatile web development solutions. A few examples of sites created through these languages are - Facebook, Twitter, and Google Maps.
These programming languages assert flexibility and independence to create an LMS platform as per their comfort or requirement.
A few newbie developers may also use low-code or no-code platforms to create a customized solution. However, sometimes these options might not solve the real case.
Integrating these packages can assist in creating high-end, enterprise-grade sites. Authoring packages can be visually oriented, which can help developers to overcome their programming language challenges.
Authoring packages were essentially crafted to perform background coding without the need for writing codes to perform certain actions.
Hence, when a learner or instructor highlights the text or adds an image to the software, authoring packages ensure proper coding interaction and functionality in the background.
These packages include some essential products, such as TrainerSoft, Lectura, and Macromedia's Dreamweaver.
In a Nutshell -
A powerhouse of eLearning platform, a learning management system lets organizations store, unpack and facilitate training seamlessly. However, its development requires time, efficient resources, and continuous maintenance & support services so that your LMS can deliver productivity and a consistent learning experience.
The aforementioned features are quintessential for a scalable LMS, however, you can always expand the list to meet the organizational needs. All you need is the right tool and a skilled software development company so you can offer a personalized online training experience.
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