Learning Management System (LMS)
A learning management system (LMS) is a
database system that records all details of any
education has taken or will take.
• Software for delivering, tracking, and
managing online training
• Range from simple systems for managing
training records, to software for
distributing courses over the Internet and
offering features for online collaboration
– Interface to login, access courses, view progress
– View and register for available courses
– Track performance
– Assign courses to students
– Generate reports on student progress
– Create new courses
– Manage e-learning
• 50% of all training provided in major
corporations accomplished through e-
• At least 250 LMSs on the market (not
including education and open-source
• Prices range from $5,000 to $200k+
depending on features and number of
people using the tool
Licensed – Benefits
• You own the software – and likely won’t
have to pay re-occurring fees for anything but
maintenance and/or upgrades (if you choose
to purchase it)
• You control the security – if security is a big
issue for you, licensing the software might be
better than a hosted solution because you
can control access to the LMS (through a
corporate firewall, etc.)
SaaS* – Benefits
• Usually less expensive – Buying the
software outright you will likely face a bigger
• Don’t have to manage the servers – Let
someone else set up servers, deal with
security, manage load balancing and firewall
• Updates are usually included in monthly
costs – If you own your own server you may
or may not be entitled to free upgrades
12 * Software as a Service
• What is required by the LMS to view content?
• Does the LMS work without additional plug-
ins or odd system requirements?
• Do your LMS system requirements match the
systems your students will be using?
– Do they support Safari browser on a Mac?
– Do they support Firefox?
– Do they support IE6 and later?
• SWF, or Shockwave Format, is the default
and most common publication option for
• Popular because Flash SWF files can play in
any Flash-enabled browser
• Use the most recent version of Flash unless
you are certain that your audience will be
using older versions of Flash Player
System maintenance and…
Integration with legacy systems
0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0%
2009 Learning Circuit Survey
• Average Implementation times for an LMS
– 19.2 calendar days for a simple implementation of
a stock-standard LMS
– 47.6 days for a “typical” implementation, as in the
usual experience of LMS vendors
– 85.3 days for a complex implementation involving
integration and custom development
• How does your system upload my
– Do I have to do it myself?
– Can you do it, if I send you the file – and if
yes, is there an additional cost?
– What types of files does your system
accept when I upload the data?
– Do you take .csv files ?
– What other formats?
• What fields do I need to have in order
for the data to be uploaded correctly?
– First name, last name
– Employee ID # or a number you generate,
– City, zip code?
• Do you have to have the last name
• If I have a new employee, how do I add them?
– Can I just upload that data record – i.e. via .CSV?
– Or do I have to enter it manually?
• If we decide to do just weekly full employee data
uploads, will it wipe/replace the original data that
exists in the system?
– Or will it only add the new information into the
system and keep the other data in existence?
• SCORM can provide a wealth of data about
what a Learner does in a course, but it’s up to
the LMS to keep the data and use it
• At a minimum, you’ll want to know what kind
of reports there are, how data is tracked, and
what the Learner sees
• Reporting should drive system configuration,
training processes, data storage
requirements, and organization of employees
• Example: reporting requirements associated
with mandates to hire and train local
employees vs. expatriates
• How often did the student go into the course? i.e.
how many times or visits?
• How long (time wise) were they in the course?
• What sections or modules or areas or pages did
they visit and how long (time wise)?
• What courses did all the students for that
curriculum go into? How long were they in
there? How often?
• Who accessed or entered the LMS? How often?
(you can identify it by day, multiple days, week,
• On a daily, weekly or monthly or whenever
basis, i.e. how many times did student Y go
into course A, course E and course G during
week Z. OR Who accessed the courses on
• By department or division or curriculum
• By people who have completed the courses
and reports of people who have completed
the curriculum or learning track.
• AICC = Aviation Industry CBT Committee
• IMS = An organization dedicated to
developing specification for distributed
• SCORM = Sharable Content Object
• SCORM Version 1.2 = AICC + IMS
• XML = eXtensible Markup Language
(a superset of HTML)
Standards – AICC
• AICC standards apply to the development,
delivery, and evaluation of training courses
that are delivered via technology; i.e., more
often than not, through learning management
• AICC stands for the Aviation Industry CBT*
Committee, an international association of
technology-based training professionals that
develops training guidelines for the aviation
29 * Computer-Based Training
• Course Server Communication
– How are student results stored?
– How does the course "player" obtain user
• Course Structure Definition
– How does the server load and broadcast
– What content is served next?
• Sharable Content Object Reference Model:
a set of specifications that, when applied to
course content, produces small, reusable
• A result of the Department of Defense's
Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL)
initiative, SCORM-compliant courseware
elements are easily merged with other
compliant elements to produce a highly
modular repository of training materials
Adherence to Standards
• Can import and manage
content that complies
regardless of the
• Unless the supplier
certifies that the content
will work on your LMS,
plan on extra expenses
Standards – Questions
• Can they save a score for each page of test
• If so, do they save one score per course, one
score per test, or one score per test
• If a student re-takes a test, does the first
score get stored or overwritten?
Things to Consider
• Most major content authoring tools support
AICC, SCORM 1.2, and SCORM 2004
• If you often use custom-developed content,
make sure your content developer can also
work with your LMS’s standard of choice
• Both the ADL (who controls the SCORM
standard) and the AICC offer certification for
LMS vendors. If an LMS claims AICC,
SCORM 1.2, and SCORM 2004 support, has
it been certified as compliant?
• With more and more employees on the
road and working at a distance, there
has been a strong demand to make
applications accessible via mobile
devices—laptops, personal digital
assistants (PDAs), and cell phones
• LMS applications are going mobile, too
Meridian Anywhere Mobile LMS
SCORM-conformant courseware to
launch and track with all the same
functionality as if online, including:
– Standalone desktop application
– Single-user or multi-user
– No Internet, network, or LMS
– Courses can be loaded from LMS or CD-ROM
– Tracking of course starts, progress, completion,
and test scores
• Creates content for
quizzes, tests, and job aids
that can run on mobile
phones, smart phones,
podcasting devices, and
• Tracks the delivery and
usage of mobile content so
managers can measure
what people learn and
Allows its users to
interact with each other
as contributors to the
websites where users
are limited to the
passive viewing of
information provided to
Web 2.0 and LMS
• Streamlining access to LMS courses and resources
tied to ongoing training and certification activities
– Tailored to the individual, providing at-a-glance status and
next steps information
• Increasing visibility and ease of access to additional
performance support content
– Both resources tied to training and certification requirements,
as well as those in support of day-to-day job activities
• Centralizing and streamlining access to disparate
– Where possible, focusing on enhancing access and
availability, not redundancy of information
Web 2.0 and LMS
• Incorporating new ways to deliver knowledge
and best practices within and across Learner
• Employing tools and technologies to aid in
content presentation and administration while
engaging end-users through personalization of
content and updated look and feel
• Expanding inbound contribution of knowledge
and best practices by increasing collaboration
within and across Learner communities
Type of website in which Students working
users, such as students, collaboratively on research
can easily add, remove, or projects can use wiki
edit the content spaces as a depot for note
taking, or to learn from other
student research projects
Teachers can also create a
compendium of concepts for
the course to use as a study
Interactive, online journals Teachers may write a blog
for students with links to
Internet sites which aid in
learning and/or research
Teachers may have
students use blogs as
learning reflections, story
writing, etc. Viewers can
leave comments which aid
the writer in his/her writing
Series of digital media files Teachers may provide a
(either audio or video) that series of audio recordings to
are released episodically supplement a WBT
and often downloaded
through web syndication Students may contribute
audio or video recordings
that show specific examples
or experiences relating to
– Active Directory Authentication setup for LMS
working via LDAP to validate credentials with a
Microsoft Exchange Server
– Link outside the firewall
– Forget Password Login
– Registration process
• How is data going to get into the system to
begin with, and on an ongoing basis?
• Will the system cycle its employee data from
the organization's HRMS system?
• Will the LMS pick up new associates at
regular intervals via an HRMS upload?
• IT Help Desk
– Install software
– Check machine configuration
• Support Team
– Analyze user logon and course
• Custom Courses
– Types (e-learning, PDF, video, audio)
– Costs per user
• What types come with the system
– At the minimum – M/C, T/F, Matching
– Random question capability
– Question bank
• What reports are needed?
• When should reports run?
• Who should have access to reports?
• How many offered?
• How do reports work?
– Filters, labels, etc.
• Can reports be customized?
• How can the reports be exported?
– What format, etc.
LMS Selection Questions
• How does the system import user ID information (Active
Directory, or whatever system your HR team uses)?
• How responsive is the Vendor to your inquiries, troubleshooting,
• Can Users access the system from home?
• Is there a yearly license or a one-time fee; per User or for the
• How often are upgrades issued? Are they part of the fee?
• Does the system track external credits?
• What kind of comments have you heard from Learners using the
• How intuitive is the system for Learners and Users
• Does the system allow for email notification to Learners?
LMS Selection Questions
• Does it integrate with Outlook or with your mail/calendar
• Is there space for News, Updates, Info text to be displayed on
homepage of system?
• Is it searchable? How so? Might you need to purchase a mini-
• What kind of reporting does it allow? Can reports be exported, if
so, in what kinds of formats? Is it customizable – can you report
• Is it SCORM/AICC compliant? What version?
• How robust is the support documentation for the User and/or