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LMS Vs LCMS – What Is The Answer To Your E-Learning Needs?

In today’s technology-driven internet age, most companies and organizations have adopted e-learning as the preferred method of training their employees. There is a wide range of tools available in the market, which make it easy for companies to train their employees efficiently and effectively, and turn them into productive members of the organization. If you have a company that is thinking of making the switch, it is important that you are familiar with the different types of learning software on the market, so that you can make an informed decision regarding an LMS that is most suitable for your individual requirements.

When it comes to choosing a tool to integrate eLearning into your business, the main confusion is choosing between a Learning Management System (LMS) and a Learning Content Management System (LCMS). Most of the time, the aforementioned tools are confused with the same ones. While there are some similarities between the two, both tools are different from each other. This article aims to give you an overview of what an LMS and LCMS are so that you can make an informed decision about choosing the one that best suits your needs.

What is an LMS?

If you’re looking for a simple platform to manage student interaction with eLearning content, a learning management system is what you need. Remember that in the case of an LMS, it is essential that the e-learning content has been created in a format compatible with the system. Some of the defining features of the learning management system are listed below:

• It is an ultimate platform for delivering online courses to participants, along with features to track and evaluate their activities and performance.
• Has a built-in capability to interface with the organization’s HRIS (Human Resources Information System) to screen candidates eligible to participate and report once the result is available.
• An LMS gives a boost to the talent management functions of an organization. Remember that such a feature is also an inherent part of the human resources information system. However, the integration of an LMS allows a company to take full advantage of it by complementing the role of an existing HRIS.
• While not all learning management systems include this feature, the leading ones have a built-in tool for managing performance reports and analysis.

What is an LCMS?

A learning content management system is relatively more complex than an LMS and is primarily used when creating content for e-learning and delivering online courses. Most of the time, a wide range of tools built into an LCMS is identical to that of an LMS. In some cases, however, it is assumed that the company already has a reliable LMS set up and maintained, so only tools that focus on content creation are part of the LCMS. In simple words, the main focus of the LCMS is to make it convenient for developers to create content for e-learning, and the rest of the functions can be managed by employing the services of an LMS. Some of the prominent features of the LCMS are listed below:

• Places a greater emphasis not only on creating content for online courses, but also on managing them, with a significantly reduced focus on the overall learner experience.
• It is a platform that provides a multi-user environment where a wide range of developers can exchange tools and interact with each other to obtain the best possible result.
• The system has a built-in learning object repository that offers all the content for learning in a user-friendly way. Content can also be archived, making it accessible on demand.

In the event that your organization’s learning material is in a format not supported by an LMS, a common learning management system will not be able to import the content and will allow modification as per requirements. This gives rise to a compelling need to develop all content from scratch and that is where a learning content management system comes into play.

What is a better option for you?

There is no doubt that the similarities and differences between an LMS and an LCMS make it a difficult task to choose the most suitable platform for your specific training needs. There is much that needs to be addressed before finalizing the decision. However, considering the points mentioned below can lay a solid foundation for choosing the most appropriate solution in the context of your business.

• Although the ‘C’ stands for ‘content’ in the learning content management system, you should always remember that it refers more to the system’s ability to ‘create’ courses. Both an LMS and an LCMS have a content element. But for the creation of this content, the LCMS is the only option available to you.
• An LMS should be your preferred option if you are concerned about how your students will participate in the online courses you have created for them. However, when you want to create those online courses from scratch, an LCMS is what you need.
• As long as you have experienced trainers and coaches in your organization, it is recommended that you opt for an LCMS, as these professionals can act as developers and turn the knowledge they possess into a complete online course for learners. On the other hand, if you are buying the content from a third party, an LMS should be enough for you.

Now that you’re familiar with the basic features and uses of an LMS and LCMS, all you have to do is assess your business requirements and decide which solution is best suited for your unique needs.

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