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Learning Management Systems 101


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Are you looking for an e-learning solution? Confused about all the jargon surrounding learning management systems? Interested in ways a good learning management systems can improve your training initiative? Check out our presentation and give us a shout if you have any further questions.

Would you like a copy of this presentation? Visit to download a PDF or give us a call at 512-794-8440.

Published in: Technology, Education
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Learning Management Systems 101

  1. 1. What is a LearningManagement System?What you need to know to beginevaluating E-Learning solutions.
  2. 2. The Basics A learning management system is like the bones and brains of your training. body of training It provides a structure for your training modules to live in and feeds you information about your learners and lessons.
  3. 3. Basic LMS Features• User authentication• Course enrollment & tracking• Security• Content management• Assessment
  4. 4. Advanced LMS Features• Training resource management• Instructional design tools• Assignments• Social learning tools • Forum • Podcasts • Wikis • Journals • Chat • Surveys • Blogs • Resources
  5. 5. Advanced features give youthe opportunity to tie in• Mentoring• Knowledge management• Social platform• Performance reviews • Peer reviews • Manager reviews • Customer feedback
  6. 6. What should yourlearning managementsystem do for you?
  7. 7. Ideal LMS Benefits• Competency management • Classifying competencies • Defining levels of capability within the competency• Role management • Defining roles & responsibilities• Career paths• Maturity model
  8. 8. Ideal LMS Benefits Consider these benefits on your roadmap as you progress through your Organization Maturity Model.
  9. 9. Other Considerations• Languages• Accessibility• Ease of integration with existing systems• Licensing
  10. 10. Will your training beprivate- or public-facing?
  11. 11. Considerations for Public TrainingOpen source LMS implementations are ideal No license cost • Per user • Per course/class/module • Per instance/siteMore complex requirements • Browser support • Multiple languages • Security • Accessibility
  12. 12. Evaluating an Open Source PackageNo licensing costs does not mean free! Your currency will be the time investment in configuration, ongoing management of patches and upgrades, curriculum support, user management, etc…
  13. 13. Evaluating an Open Source Package• Match your requirements to the feature list • Server technology • Client technology• Read the support forums • How old is the last post? • What issues are common?• Take it for a test drive • Check for a live demo • Test install• Who else is using it?
  14. 14. Private/Internal Training Internal training generally allows for greater flexibility • Makes deployment of advanced LMS features more feasible • Enables competency models
  15. 15. Let’s talk nuts and bolts.
  16. 16. Learning Management System Training Authentication Resource Assessment Reporting Management Content Management Training Course Collaboration Methods Workflow Calendar Registration Blogs Wikis Training Modules Forums Podcasts Internal Content Etc. Application Program Interface (API) External Content
  17. 17. Roles & UsersHow can an LMS identify learners? • Manually (administrator-created) • E-mail based self-registration • External database • IMAP server • LDAP server • Network-specific authentication • POP3
  18. 18. Role Based SecurityHow can security be controlled based on theneeds of the users as a group? • Via pre-created roles such as • Administrator • Non-editing teacher • Course creator • Student • Teacher • Guest • Custom roles
  19. 19. Course Enrollment & TrackingHow do users get enrolled in a course? • Self-enrollment • Controlled via course • Manual • External Database • LDAP • File upload
  20. 20. This is important!The LMS does not produce training materials.An LMS facilitates the authentication,enrollment, and distribution of trainingmaterials.It’s the wrapping, not the present.
  21. 21. LMS vs Content SCORM API Learning Web-based Management training module System
  22. 22. What the heck is a SCORM? SCORM is an XML-based frameworkSharable used by the LMS to define and accessContent information about learning objects.Object SCORM was developed by the UnitedReference States Department of Defense toModel promote standardization in E-Learning and facilitate moving course content and student records from one platform to another.
  23. 23. Proprietary LMSs & SCORM If you select a proprietary LMS that is not SCORM compliant, it will be very difficult to use off-the-shelf training or training that others have developed.
  24. 24. One More Word on Porting TrainingWill you be developing your training in-house?The tool used to develop the training moduleswill also affect which learning managementsystems the modules can work with.
  25. 25. Technology Considerations• How will you keep everything backed up?• What systems will the LMS need to interface with? • HR systems? • CRM?• What’s with your servers? • Will you need additional storage? • Additional hardware? • More bandwidth? • Who will maintain your system?
  26. 26. Engaging Your IT DepartmentResearch your current situation and what youmay need to execute your learning initiative • Web servers • Server operating system • Database server • Available hardware • Programming language (if applicable) • Capacity: hardware, bandwidth
  27. 27. Making it Easy on Yourself• Keep tech options open • Mandatory: Limit interfaces • Suggested: Align with current technology• Strategies for new technology • Look at outsourcing pilot/first phase hosting • Negotiate with vendor for gap help
  28. 28. Take-Aways1. Define your audience to elucidate your requirements2. Engage your IT department • Create a technology guideline • Stay flexible3. Determine how proprietary the LMS is4. Determine your minimum feature set
  29. 29. Awesome! You’re ready to begin evaluating solutions! For more information on E-Learning, contact Heather Poggi-Mannis at or 512-794-8440