What are the Different Types of LMS?

What are the Different Types of LMS?

What are the Different Types of LMS?

While employee training is crucial to gaining a competitive edge in the market, individual learners have unique needs, and those needs require being catered in a way that benefits the learner. Online learning enables participants to learn and upgrade their knowledge from wherever it suits them, and whenever it suits them.

Corporate training powered with a Learning Management System (LMS), allows employees to build new skills and update the existing ones with the convenience and comfort of remote or mobile learning. The tech-savvy gurus have indeed, aptly understood their customer needs, making great progress in the eLearning industry sector.

Have you heard the term ‘LMS’ being thrown around a lot, but you’re not sure what it actually refers to? Here’s a quick glimpse into the meaning behind this acronym. For starters, LMS platforms are used for online learning and the acronym refers to “Learning Management System”, with each word meaning:

  • Learning: The essence of any learning process, be it product training or sales training.
  • Management: Control the tasks and schedules of individual learners, enrolling, offering courses, tracking progress, analyzing areas for improvement, enabling personalized learning experiences, etc. 
  • System: The online platform delivering the training programs.

Several different types of commonly used Learning Management Systems, also known as LMS, are now being offered and used by organizations for managing mobile and remote learning online and delivering relevant course content to the learners.

Although the general purpose behind LMS is to promote enhanced learning in a personalized and convenient manner, the core features of each of the various types can vary.

Therefore, when choosing an LMS for your organization, you must have full understanding of its goals and needs and the LMS benefits you're looking to achieve. Once you’ve grasped that well, you must check different learning solutions for the features they offer and how they plan to deliver training materials to the learners.

Moodle is an LMS with a lot of customization options, but since there are many LMS offerings on the market, a side-by-side comparison of LMS features, pricing, and reviews is a worthwhile exercise.

For example, looking at Canvas vs. Google Classroom or Google Classroom vs. Schoology can help you understand the key distinctions between systems you may miss otherwise.

There is some debate around whether Google Classroom is an LMS or not, but it's worth a comparison with traditional LMS.

This article discusses the various types of Learning Management Systems (LMS) hosting popular features and how they differ from each other.

How Many Different LMS are There?

Learning Management System software is a software solution that aims to enable learning and training of individuals as well as groups in a way that caters to their unique learning styles and upgrades their necessary skills.

Both small scale enterprises and large organization benefit from deploying an LMS. It enables organizations to train their employees as well as customers, with ease and convenience.

The rapidly growing popularity of LMS is because of the robust learning management features, ability to create useful courses, and learners and train them according to their requirements and learning styles. Learning programs can be carried out in real-time through webinars and tools like Zoom, or individually through self-paced course content.

Commercial LMSs have enabled convenient corporate training that employees can resume from their choice of place and at any hour. This helps them build and upgrade knowledge and skills. For those searching for a learning solution for their organization, the options are many.

However, you must first understand your needs and organizational goals, consider your budget estimate, and choose the best learning solution available that’s suits both.  

The major types of LMS are:

  • Free LMS
  • Commercial LMS
  • Cloud-based LMS
  • Hosted LMS
  • Educational LMS
  • Corporate LMS

types of lms

How Many Types of LMS are There?

While there are several LMS available in the eLearning industry, the one that is best for your organization is the one that meets its training needs and goals as well as the budget constraints. You should also be aware of the LMS disadvantages you can encounter in any system so you can prepare in advance and make sure to enjoy full benefit.

Based solely on the accessibility and hosting of an LMS, it has the following types:

  • Cloud-Based Learning Management System

Cloud-based LMS is used by many students and it easy on the pocket and easier to maintain, as it is installed on another company’s server and based on the cloud, meaning it can be accessed from anywhere.

Cloud-based LMS does not require any on-premises servers and a dedicated IT team for maintenance. This means that the Cloud model incurs low set-up costs, no infrastructure or in-house team costs, has easy implementation and automated updates, with a high level of cybersecurity.

However, for organizations in search of a long-term solution, this may not be a cost-effective choice.

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), On-Demand LMS

SaaS Cloud LMS, also known as web-based software and on-demand software means a software solution that is licensed on a subscription basis. Such an LMS is hosted centrally by the provider which solves a lot of LMS problems when it comes to system upgrades and maintenance. It can be scaled based on the growth or decline of users. A single pricing model provides different levels depending on the number of active users, at a time.  

  • Open-Source Learning Management System

A well-known type of learning software solution is the free learning management systems which are known as ‘open-source software. An open-source LMS means the source code is available for any developer to use or modify, free of cost.

Due to the open availability of the source code, users can make improvements to the software and reshare it with the online community allowing rapid growth of the software solely through online support.

However, if an open-source software does not gain much attention in the online community, it will not evolve and update.

  • Free Learning Management System

Free learning management systems are a good place to start and get an idea of eLearning solutions. However, these offer limited courses and features, but serve those with budget constraints sufficiently well. If your team is on a budget yet requires the features of an LMS, then a Freemium is a good place to start. You can manage it on your own without the need for technical staff for assistance.

What are the Different Types of LMS?

From enabling learning of employees to customer training, a Learning Management System is a powerful software solution that both small scale and large enterprises benefit from, as it enhances optimization of learning and improves the performance of members in multiple ways.

Multiple types of Learning Management systems, or LMS, are now being offered for managing mobile and remote learning. An LMS promotes learning in a personalized and convenient manner, and although some features are the same in most LMS solutions, the core features can vary.

Therefore, if you’re on the hunt for an LMS for your organization, you must first fully understand your organizational goals. Only then browse for learning solutions and study their features and mode of delivery of training materials to the learners. Besides this, you must consider the budget estimate and pick an LMS that provides the most features you require for a quote you can easily afford. 

A well-known type of learning software solution is the free learning management system which is known as ‘open source software because their source code is available for use and adaptation, to everyone, free of cost. Due to the open availability of the source code, users can make improvements to the software and reshare it with the online community allowing rapid growth of the software solely through online support.

Another type of LMS is the commercial learning management system. These are paid, robust solutions with good support and documentation. as well. Compared to free software, a commercial LMS is generally bug-free and more stable.

The third type of LMS is the deployed or on-premises software solution which is set up on servers within your premises and can only be accessed on-premises. This type of LMS requires an in-house team of dedicated professionals for its upkeep, therefore it costs more, in addition to its higher, initial set-up fee and periodic maintenance costs. However, it may be more cost-effective in the long run.

A cloud-hosted software is easier to use and maintain as it is installed on the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere. It does not require a dedicated team of experts for its maintenance. Therefore, initially, it costs lesser and offers convenient usage. However, if you plan to use it long-term then it may cost you more than an in-house deployed solution.  

Finding the right LMS fit for your organization requires an in-depth analysis and a long-term perspective so that you sign up for a solution that works out for you for a good time. Look for a feature-rich LMS, available for an affordable sum, offering a good user experience, and able to meet your training goals.

types of lms

What are the Types of LMS?

A Learning Management System is a powerful software solution that both small scale and large enterprises benefit from by setting it up to cater to a variety of needs.

From enabling learning of employees to customer training, an LMS enhances optimization of outcomes in multifarious ways. Organizations even monetize their eLearning courses and generate considerable revenue.

Figures obtained from a study of the growing eLearning industry revealed that 41.7% of Fortune 500 companies globally make use of some kind of an LMS for employee training.

This growing popularity of LMSs is due to their ability to provide businesses a means to train their workforce, partners, and clients. This can be achieved both in real-time through webinars and use of collaboration tools or asynchronously by using self-paced course content such as pdfs, instructional videos, and assessments to track learning progress.

Moreover, an LMS is cost-effective, it enhances employee training effectiveness and improves cross-departmental communication, among other reasons of its great acceptance and fame. Depending on accessibility, LMSs are of two major types:

  • Installed Learning Management System

This is the traditional and old-school way of installing a software onto the premises, on the server of an organization requiring specific IT infrastructure and a huge set-up fee, in addition to in-house maintenance needs and costs. Having an on-premises installed Learning Management System is quite costly as it requires maintaining an in-house IT staff and paying annual maintenance costs.

  • Web-Based Learning Management System

Web-based learning management systems were introduced with the advancement of technologies and they enable seamless distribution of information. These work through web browsers and become instantly available across multiple devices, leading to their high popularity. The LMS vendors manage and update their software continuously and at a much lower quote than that for installed LMS software.

What sets the two apart?

An installed LMS is installed on an on-premises server thus it can only be accessed where it is installed making it rather inconvenient for learners with no option for flexible learning.

Moreover, this form of an LMS costs high set up fees and periodic maintenance costs in addition to infrastructure costs and the costs of keeping an in-house IT staff. It is harder to configure and takes longer to make changes to features. Lastly, the payment models don’t have any flexibility. 

In contrast, the Web-based LMS can be conveniently accessed from anywhere as long as you have internet access, therefore it offers more flexibility. It does not require any servers or physical presence, instead it is installed on the cloud infrastructure, therefore it is considerably economical with no need for a dedicated IT team for its services and maintenance.

What is the Difference Between CMS and LMS?

Starting off with the most basic difference between the two acronyms, LMS stands for Learning Management System while CMS stands for Content Management System.

An LMS is specifically involved and focused towards building, managing and tracking the learning process. It is specifically designed to create, manage, and deliver online learning keeping unique needs of its members in special focus. It delivers online learning materials to learners in both educational and corporate setups, enabling administrators to monitor learner engagement and their progress, identifying trends and areas for improvement.

Typically, learning management systems allow teachers and trainers or administrators to create and upload online training courses and assign these to online learners. Later, the teachers or trainers can analyze learner participation and progress and award certification upon successful course completion.

A Content Management System, on the contrary, deals with all sorts of online content such as text files, audio, images, and video clips, making it a generic content platform. It serves as a framework for storing content before displaying on a website. This enables users who lack a technical background and knowledge otherwise, to maintain content online.

CMSs are used in various sectors and a learning CMS is a blend of the two platforms meaning it is a content management system that enables designing, managing, and delivering learning content online.