To fully understand the role of LMS or learning management system is, you have to understand how it compares to the other system categories that are used in e-Learning.
One of the most popular associations with LMS is the CMS. Short for content management system, it is an application that functions differently in terms of what data they are focusing on. This is different from another CMS (course management system) – a topic that we will differentiate in another article.
Both the LMS and the CMS include activating the content, enrolling participants, providing communication portals between instructors and students, and assessing of behavior and performances.
Let us begin with the CMS.
The content management system is focused on the content or learning objects that are used in academic courses. This is probably the most user friendly of the applications because you do not need any technical knowledge to create the content that you will use for the course. Popular CMS includes WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Through the use of a CMS, the instructor can create a website that will allow them to upload content as needed. The content format uses the typical programs like word document, powerpoint, etc. Whether, the content is in video, text or audio format, instructors can easily upload them thanks to the available content management system. Since the CMS is very user friendly, there is no need to convert it into HTML or the technical web format.
When the instructor creates the content, it is placed in a database where it is published online and accessed by students and trainees via the Internet. Like the LMS, this allows remote learning which is one of the core benefit of e-Learning. The content is cataloged using keywords to enable students to find the specific content that they need.
The instructor is able to follow through with the learning of the students via discussion forums and similar communication tools.
The LMS, on the other hand provides a framework that permits content distribution and the management and tracking of users. When the system is created, it is implemented through a user database that is distributed and is able to track the behavior of the participants. The coverage of the learning management system is broader than the CMS. The latter is focused on content. The LMS is also concerned about the content but it also incorporates a system that can help monitor the behavior and performance of the students and users. Not only that, the LMS is usually accessed by students through a registration program. This is how the behavioral tracking is initiated.
Among the popular LMS is Bluevolt or BizLibrary.
To say that LMS is better than CMS is not accurate. The focus on content in the latter cannot be matched by former. A content management system becomes useful when the content producers are increased. On the other hand, a learning management system is most useful when the members accessing the content increases. To create a sophisticated e-Learning program, the instructor is encouraged to use both systems when needed.
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