What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

A good way to start this blog on our HR Learn LMS product is to define exactly what an LMS is for and can do. One starting point, as the search engines seem to agree, is a description that displayed on Wikipedia:

“A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting of training programs, classroom and online events, e-learning programs, and training content.”

While Wikipedia’s reference is no longer online, it holds true that a robust LMS should be able to do the following:

  • centralize and automate administration
  • use self-service and self-guided services
  • assemble and deliver learning content rapidly
  • consolidate training initiatives on a scalable web-based platform
  • support portability and standards
  • personalize content and enable knowledge reuse.

HR Learn meets all those challenges (and more!) in allowing you to quickly load and deploy your eLearning SCORM-compliant content to employees or customers, organize catalogs, manage users and groups, generate reports, issue certificates and even collect course fees.

A distinct advantage of offering training online is that accessibility to users is 24/7 and courses can be taken anywhere there is an internet connection. Why use an LMS as opposed to just putting the courses on-line? The answer lies in how you want to provide access to the courses and what type of tracking and reporting you need. An LMS should be able to handle anything from a single user browsing or searching a course catalog and self-enrolling (or purchasing) a course to something as sophisticated as synchronizing to a company’s Human Resources System and using a more complex rule based system that automatically prescribes training, grants LMS permissions (user management and reporting), or provides access to restricted courses all based on the users profile (ie job title, department, location, etc). The other great value in an LMS is the tracking and reporting that can happen. Supervisors can automatically receive weekly reports on employees that are overdue on prescribed compliance training. This is critical LMS functionality for any corporate training system. Likewise, knowing what courses sold this week, to whom, and for how much is key to any training provider. It is all this backend administration, automation, and tracking that makes the LMS so valuable.

Our LMS is also highly flexible. There are many excellent authoring tools on the market, each specializing in different areas with their own unique features and strengths. At HireRoad, we embrace SCORM and work on being compatible with all those tools instead of recreating them inside the LMS. We feel you should be free to pick an authoring tool independently from your LMS and vise-versa. Between the custom content we create for our customers and the content our customers create themselves, HR Learn has been ‘field tested’ with most current tools and their collective published .zip files all work in our system; thus you have the flexibility of picking the tool that meets your requirements and being assured the output will work as expected within the HR Learn LMS.