E-learning Solutions: The Role of a LMS Platform (or Learning Management System)
28 October, 2008
LMS is an e-learning software tool that enables users to manage online training programmes remotely. There are two types of LMS platforms: LMS and LCMS. Both are essential to the deployment and management of e-learning programmes. LMS platforms are installed on Internet or Intranet networks and are used for either distant or presential online training.
What is the difference between a LMS and LCMS platform?
A LMS platform, or Learning Management System, offers numerous features. The tool is installed on a server and provides students with a website from which they can access the e-learning programmes set up by their teachers. In turn, LMS platforms offer teachers the opportunity to monitor the results of their students and manage courses of study online.
A LCMS platform, or Learning Content Management System, offers users not only the features mentioned above, but also the possibility of creating and managing content for e-learning programmes. Right now, most LCMS must be installed on the programme creator’s workstation as well as on the server. In spite of growing bandwidths, full web production remains problematical.
Technical configuration; ergonomics; website user rights and access management.
Programme and cursus management:
The platform enables the teachers to distribute their programmes online, assign different courses to their students and to track performance via the retrieval of scores.
Virtual classroom management:
Virtual classrooms permit teachers to organize learners into different groups according to their level and to schedule and lead classes online. The tool is offered as an option on LMS e-learning platforms.
Communication tools management:
Forum: Organisation of online discussions between learners and teachers
Library: Online resources provided by teachers, which can then be accessed by learners
Collaborative space: The posting and revision of resources by teachers and learners
E-mail: Sending/receiving of electronic mail
Agenda: Organisation of the e-learning programme schedules
The AICC and SCORM Standards
LMS platforms operate under AICC and SCORM standards, which enable e-learning systems to store learners’ actions. As a result, they offer teachers very rich data about their students: time spent per e-learning unit, number of visits, date of the last visit, reports on their progress. The standards most frequently used are SCORM 1.2, AICC 3.5 and SCORM 2004 (in descending order).