Learning Management System

10 July 2023

Schools and colleges must keep up with the global educational trends that are subject to the ever-evolving socio-political, cultural and scientific phenomena. Furthermore, they must continuously upgrade their instructional methodologies.

However, it can become challenging for teachers to determine student's progress and deliver effective classroom lessons simultaneously. That is where advanced tech solutions like the learning management system (LMS) prove to be immensely beneficial for teachers and institutes.

But what is an LMS, and what factors must you consider before choosing the device? Let us find out:

What is an LMS Software?

A learning management system is a software-based or SaaS platform that institutes use to automate most administrative activities, including the delivery of educational courses. Furthermore, organisations can use the tool to develop training programs and learning and developmental programs.

Teachers can use the system to deliver high-quality online classroom sessions and incorporate it during in-person or real-time classes as well. More importantly, they can use it to implement various learning strategies, helping individual students to overcome their shortcomings.

Besides, the Indian LMS market was valued at USD 490 million in 2021, and experts expect it to reach USD 2,931 million by 2030. Hence, the figure clearly suggests the ever-increasing demand for the tool largely due to its multipurpose advantages.

Also, a learning management system (LMS) has built-in features that help to collect essential student data. And teachers can use the data to make decisions related to lesson planning and preparing exam questionnaires.

The learning management system is divided into two broad categories :

  • SaaS (Software as a Service) - SaaS LMS software is a cloud-hosted system, enabling users to store and access information from anywhere, anytime. It is the best option for those who do not have IT staff, in which case your vendor provides you with the necessary services.
  • Locally Hosted LMS - Locally hosted or self-hosted LMS software operates through physical servers whose components must be updated and upgraded by the institute. Besides, you need to hire IT staff to download, install, and implement the software or hardware in the devices.

Moreover, various industry-specific LMS are available, which are more niche and cater to organisational demands and requirements.

How to Choose an LMS Software?

The LMS market is very competitive owing to the increasing demand for education technology; however, with the availability of multiple tools, it can become difficult to choose the best one. Therefore, ensure to check the essential features during the browsing and purchasing period.

How Does an LMS Software Function

1. Course Management

Admins and institute members usually spend a considerable amount of time in course planning and development. Also, the review and editing processes take extra time and effort; that is where the LMS(learning management system) can automate the entire task seamlessly.

A crucial function of an LMS is course and catalogue management, wherein you can create and categorise courses and programs. Furthermore, you can store the course content in a centralised location, enabling teachers easy access to edit or add content.

In addition, admins can bulk enrol users, upload and manage course material and configure advanced course settings. Also, it allows you to filter courses, channels and learning plans without causing any technical glitches during official working hours.

2. Personalised Learning

In a class of thirty to forty students, each has different learning styles and understanding capabilities. The difference is quite evident when some of them are prompt in responding to teachers’ questions while others fail.

On the other hand, teachers can’t stop the lesson and help one or two students every time during an ongoing session. However, ignoring underperforming students is not ideal either; no wonder teachers face difficulty in managing differentiation in the classroom.

That is why flexible learning plans are the need of the hour, which teachers can implement through personalised learning. Furthermore, NEP 2020 highlighted the importance of including such innovative strategies, enabling learners to figure out their strengths and weaknesses.

Plus, the policy points out that personalised learning is an excellent student-centric teaching and learning mechanism which helps to cater to varied learning needs. And the LMS software is instrumental in employing the technique and helps in the following ways:

  • The tool helps you learn students’ preferences and learning habits.
  • Establishes self-paced learning
  • Helps develop motivation and reliability

3. Content Integration and Interoperability

Can I upload any learning material and develop varied modules in the system? This is a common question you may ask your vendor, who will provide the necessary information.

However, you must ensure that the Learning Management System (LMS) supports the learning content material according to SCORM. SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) is an international standard for e-courses; it indicates a list of technical requirements for a course to function on any platform.

In fact, assessing the interoperability of the software is vital as it will help you determine if other varied learning tools and mechanisms can be integrated with the system.

4. Reporting

How much progress has the student made since the term's start? How many students have participated in different classroom activities? You can find the answers to these questions through the data provided by the software.

Modern LMS has built-in mechanisms to help teachers track and measure student performance. It generates detailed reports reflecting their weekly and monthly improvements. Also, you can get insights through customisable reports and dashboards.

So, ensure that the software comes with configurable dashboards, helping learners, teachers, and administrators evaluate the learning activities with a single click of a mouse.

5. Mobile Learning

Is the LMS mobile-friendly? This is one of the first questions you must ask the vendor because mobile learning is more than a passing trend in today’s tech-enabled education. Firstly, students who don’t have a computing device can access online learning through their smartphones.

Secondly, it is the best way to learn on the go; whether a working professional or a high school student, they can access learning content from remote areas anytime.

6. Intuitive User Interface

A software’s usability and effectiveness lie in its user interface; regardless of how advanced or modern a tool might be, it fails to serve its purpose if it is not easy to use. Therefore, you must make sure that the LMS has an intuitive user interface with easy-to-understand features.

Consequently, it will help teachers, admin, and other stakeholders use it after initial training, enabling them to conveniently store, access and manage content, file or data.

In Conclusion,

Multiple learning mechanisms, increased student engagement, fulfilment of learning outcomes, and continuous improvement, are some praiseworthy by-products of using LMS. However, choosing the right tool is an uphill task; therefore, checking the must-have features like content management and reporting analytics is essential.

Prashant Borkar

Prashant Borkar,
Academic Consultant