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A Comprehensive Guide to Learning Management Systems

This learning management system guide includes a comprehensive exploration of the software, its benefits, popular features and advice about how to choose the right one for your organization. Use the navigation below to jump around.

What is an LMS?

A Learning Management System, or LMS, is a software application for the management and delivery of online learning content. LMSs help subject matter experts (SMEs), educators and business professionals deliver materials to their target audience, communicate with the online community, administer assessments, monitor progress and track records.

The characteristics of an organization’s target audience (the end user, typically called the “learner”) depends on the type of organization using the LMS and their training goals. Learners may be students, employees, external workers, clients, channel partners or the general public, to name a few.

From the corporate perspective, companies typically use an LMS to train anyone and everyone considered part of their larger workforce. For example:

  • A healthcare company may use an LMS to deliver customer service training to their patient care support representatives.
  • A software company may use an LMS to train their salespeople on product knowledge and launch trainings for newly released features.
  • An on-demand tech company may use an LMS to deliver resources to their service providers.

Other ways LMSs are used include the following:

  • In the education space. To deliver online courses or supplement in-class instruction as part of a hybrid or “blended learning” course.
  • In an online course marketplace. Independent experts sell their expertise through eLearning content; universities digitize professor lectures to deliver a catalog of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
  • Any scenario in which content, knowledge or expertise can be digitized and delivered in an engaging and trackable manner.