A learning management system (LMS), sometimes called LMS software, is a software application companies can use to manage and deliver online learning content. There are many different varieties of LMS platforms for companies, but the best ones provide the features necessary to host a robust online meaning academy for customers, employees, channel partners, gig workers, or any group that might need to educate themselves about the company’s products or services. LMS systems for business are one of the best tools for educating a large user base in a thorough and consistent manner.
You can use an online LMS to educate various kinds of users. There are different types of learning management systems that are designed for specific kinds of users. Still, there are also LMS software examples that can work great for educating nearly any kind of user.
Here are some of the groups that can benefit most from a user education program powered by any of the typical learning management system examples:
Implementing a learning management system can provide your organization with a lot of different benefits. Here are some of the most impactful changes you could notice to your business after you start using a learning management system to deliver online resources to your users:
A learning management system makes it simple to create and maintain educational content for your users. You can develop, scale, and update courses for your users with ease. Most learning management systems allow you to upload previously created content like videos or audio courses and deliver them via the new online platform, and some of the best learning management systems can even be used to create brand new content from scratch.
A learning management system is great for delivering content within the relevant context. Instead of simply presenting users with a list of resources, an LMS can deliver content whenever it’s needed via whichever channel is most appropriate. For example, new customers don’t need to seek out onboarding materials — the LMS-powered materials can be emailed directly to new customers or embedded within your organization's onboarding software. Some learning management systems also let you program learning paths to guide users to the most relevant courses for them, depending on their roles and actions.
One of the best advantages of using a learning management system is how much time and money it can save your organization. If you’ve been relying on traditional, in-person training sessions for your users, you may be surprised at how much you can save by switching to an online learning platform. Expenses related to things like travel, venues, and physical learning materials can be eliminated — not to mention how much faster it is for users to access resources online instead of attending in-person classes and seminars.
A learning management system is also a great tool for tracking your organization’s education goals. Without any data about how your users are interacting with your learning content, there’s little way of knowing whether or not the content is effective. An LMS can allow you to track metrics like learner engagement that can show you where your education program is working and where it isn’t. Tracking learner analytics allows you to make adjustments to your program to make it more effective as well as reach out to help individual learners who seem to be struggling or having poor experiences.
Using an LMS benefits not only your users but also drives real business results. Every organization has a slightly different set of education goals in mind. The most obvious goal of your education strategy is to improve user understanding of your products and services, but this goal is linked to real desired business outcomes. These business outcomes might include things like decreased support costs, increased Net Promoter Score, or a boost in revenue. Using a learning management system to improve user education at your organization can contribute to real business results like these.
Choosing a learning management system for your organization is a big decision. You might be tempted to simply go with the most popular LMS, but the most popular LMS isn’t necessarily the best choice for everyone. Declaring any one LMS example the “top LMS software " is difficult because the benefits you get from an LMS depend so heavily on your specific goals for your organization’s user education strategy.
Perhaps the best way to choose the right LMS is with an LMS feature comparison. Carefully considering your organization's needs against the kinds of features each LMS comes equipped with is a great way to eliminate software that simply won’t work for your needs and narrow in on the platforms that will. Here are a few of the most valuable LMS features you should take into account:
A customizable LMS gives you total control over the look and feel of the experience from the user’s point of view. This can help create a more seamless experience that remains consistent with your brand.
The best learning management systems can integrate with the other tools in your tech stack to make content delivery and management simple.
Today, many people work remotely or on-the-go. Mobile devices are better equipped than ever to accommodate business and it’s common for people to use their mobile devices just as much (if not more than) their desktop computers. A large portion of your user base will likely need to access your learning materials remotely.
Again, if some or most of your user base works remotely, they will need remote access to your learning tools. Plus, you likely need a system that can support a growing user base without needing to be rebuilt just a few months or years down the line. A cloud-based LMS means you can upload resources to one central location, and any number of users can access it from anywhere.
A good LMS also includes security features to protect your data in the cloud. Features like single-sign on (SSO) ensure users can access their training content conveniently without exposing it to security risks.
You need visibility into your user education program so you know how well it’s working and how to adapt to improve it. Many learning management systems include analytics features that provide insights into how users are interacting with your content.
Naturally, the price will be a significant factor as you consider the best platform for your organization’s user education needs. LMS pricing typically uses one of a few different models:
Paying per learner means you pay a fixed price (once per month, usually) based on the total number of learners your organization serves. For example, you would pay $2,000 for 400 learners at $5 per learner.
Pay per active learner is very similar to paying per learner, except you only pay for the number of users who are actively logging in and using your resources.
The pay-as-you-go model requires you to pay an amount based on how much you use the software. It’s the same concept as paying your phone plan by the minute — the more you use it, the more you pay.
A licensing fee is a flat rate that’s usually charged annually. Some licensing fees give you full, unrestricted access to the software, and others allow you to bundle only the features you need for a lower cost.
LMS implementation is simple, meaning you can get your education program up and running relatively quickly. If you’re wondering how to use LMS software to set up a user training strategy, you can follow these easy steps:
First, you need to consider factors like what features you want out of an LMS and what kind of existing educational content you have. This will help you choose the best LMS to implement.
Next, you need to gather a team of people to make your user education plan a reality. The team should include a team lead, a subject matter expert, an instructional designer and possibly a graphic designer, technical lead and video editor.
Then, you need to outline the specific learning objectives and business objectives you want to accomplish with your LMS.
Now, you’re ready to create your content. Remember to utilize any pre-existing content you’ve built to avoid redundancy.
Once your content is built, you can launch your program. It’s a good idea to do a soft launch first so you can test everything before you put it in front of end users.
Finally, you should continually collect data about how your users are succeeding and struggling with your education program. This allows you to optimize what isn’t working and ensure your program is always improving.