LMS And LCMS Platforms: Can You Tell The Difference?

LMS And LCMS Platforms: Can You Tell The Difference?
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Summary: You're ready to invest in a Learning Management System for all your online training needs. But before you start narrowing down your top contenders, you need to make one very important decision. Will it be a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Learning Content Management System (LCMS)? In this article, I'll highlight the 5 differences between LMS and LCMS platforms, so that you can choose the one that's just right for you.

5 Differences Between LMS And LCMS Platforms eLearning Pros Should Know

Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) are two of the most popular acronyms in the eLearning industry. They are both software platforms that allow you to develop and deploy online training content, and they each focus on organizing and managing your eLearning course design. However, there are notable differences between LMS And LCMS platforms. In fact, the following 5 differences may help you decide which software solution is best for your organization.

1. Learner Vs. Content Management

LMS software focuses on user management. You are able to develop and deploy online training content. However, these solutions are usually geared toward enrolling, tracking, and evaluating corporate learners. LCMS platforms, on the other hand, specialize in content design and management. Their forte is creating top-notch online training resources for your online training course, rather than monitoring the online training experience.

2. Intended User

Another key distinction between LMS and LCMS platforms is their intended user base. LMS solutions are used by eLearning professionals. However, their primary market is corporate learners. Learning Management Systems allow you to develop personalized online training paths for each corporate learner. They also make the online training content easily accessible for your corporate learners. For example, users can find all the online training materials they need in one centralized location, without having to seek out external resources. Learning Content Management Systems are mainly intended for eLearning professionals, who use the platform to develop, organize, and manage online training materials.

3. Online Training Content Creation And Repurposing

LCMS platforms are ideal for creating, storing, and organizing online training content. You have the ability to customize each online training course based on corporate learners' needs. For example, a corporate learner requires more visual aids to improve their comprehension. Learning Content Management Systems give you the opportunity to modify the online training course design for that individual without having to affect the online training experience of other users. This is attributed to their built-in learning object repositories. eLearning professionals are able to revise and repurpose online training content with ease, whereas LMSs are usually intended for larger audiences. For instance, everyone receives the same version of the online training course by accessing the online training catalog.

4. Tracking Capabilities

LCMS and LMS solutions have the ability to manage and monitor online training content. However, Learning Content Management Systems have limited features when compared to LMS solutions. This is due to the fact that Learning Management Systems can monitor "non-traditional" initiatives, such as blended and social learning activities. For example, robust LMS metrics allow you to schedule and track the effectiveness of live webinars. Here are a few of the most common metrics that you should look for in your next LMS tool:

a. Completion Rates

Completion reports provide a general overview of how many people completed the online training course, as well as how long it took to finish each online training activity and assessment. If most of your corporate learners are unable to complete the online training course, this may be a cause for concern, as it indicates that they are either unmotivated or lack the necessary information and skills. In most instances, the LMS platform offers group and individual completion rates.

b. Progress And Performance

These LMS reports indicate how each corporate learner is progressing and how they perform during online training activities. As such, you're able to use this data to intervene when necessary in order to provide additional online training resources. You can also personalize future online training experiences to make them more relevant and meaningful. For example, integrate more videos and simulations to help corporate learners apply what they've learned in the real world.

c. Learner Satisfaction Ratings

How do corporate learners really feel about your online training course? Did they connect with the online training content and the online instructors? Or do they have some suggestions that can help you improve your online training strategy? Learner satisfaction ratings are the summation of surveys, polls, and focus groups. They allow you to identify trends and patterns in order to create more effective online training courses.

5. Collaboration Features

There are no winners. But if there were, Learning Content Management Systems would claim victory in the collaboration department. LCMS platforms usually contains built-in online collaboration tools. As such, every member of your team can upload online training content, share feedback, and revise online training materials. However, Learning Management Systems have another strong suit. They are able to directly interact with a variety of other systems, such as CRM and HR platforms. This gives you the power to track specific user groups and gather data from other sources.

Which Tool Is Right For You?

The simple answer is that it all depends on your online training needs, as well as your budget. In some cases, you may need both platforms to handle different aspects of online training development. For example, Learning Content Management Systems allow you to create personalized online training experiences, while Learning Management Systems help you deploy and track the effectiveness of those experiences. Learning Content Management Systems also produce online training content in compatible formats, which makes it easier to upload to your current LMS software. However, if you have to pick one, it all boils down to intended use. If you want more robust tracking capabilities and blended learning support, then, an LMS may be the ideal choice. LCMS solutions are great if you need to modify online training units and create personalized online training courses.

LCMS and LMS platforms may have their differences. However, each gives you the power to create more cohesive online training courses for your audience. Meet with your eLearning team, research your audience, and identify your learning objectives to determine which tool is best for your organization. When in doubt, schedule a free demo to see which platform has the features and functionalities you require.

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