The field of online education is developing at a rapid pace. According to Forbes, the industry will grow to $325 billion! And as online learning software becomes more widespread, many more software options exist for organizing classes. The two most common types of software are LMS (Learning Management Systems) and LCMS (Learning Content Management Systems). Their names and structure are generally similar, but there are also a few critical differences. Let's consider them in more detail.
What Is an LMS?
The LMS (Learning Management System) is software for organizing, conducting, and managing courses, training sessions, and webinars in an online environment.
This program replaces outdated curricula with advanced training methodologies, clear assessment criteria, and suggestions for improving student learning.
The primary function of the LMS is to manage the online learning process and monitor students' progress and development.
Interesting fact! Thanks to a well-designed learning management system, the teacher can monitor the control points in the development of each student in the course or training series.
At the same time, the developers focused on creating separate functionality for three types of users: administrators, teachers, and students.
What Else Makes an LMS Stand Out?
Professional management systems allow you to store data and student accounts and create various forms of communication with students (e.g., email newsletters and live broadcasts).
Because of the breadth of functionality, LMSs can often be adapted to online learning systems. For example, corporate development programs can get additional features: personal student accounts, online tests, and online seminars. It allows you to track employees' progress in mastering new knowledge and ensure that the company's money makes a visible difference.
What Is an LCMS?
LCMS (Learning Content Management System) is software for creating, storing, and playing personalized text, audio, and video lessons. Teachers and designers can use this option to create more effective and fascinating content.
The main functions of LCMS are to manage instructional materials, automate the testing process, and create a step-by-step learning structure for each student.
For example, there could be two steps:
- Testing knowledge after completing homework.
- Opening a new level after receiving a certain number of points.
The system then automates the learning path for each student. Those students who needed to learn the material better got additional assignments. And those who score high automatically get access to new lessons.
What Else Makes an LCMS Stand Out?
Another feature of learning content management systems is the ability to learn during the job. In this way, students can absorb new knowledge using a kind of electronic encyclopedia.
They also allow you to combine LCMS and LMS capabilities to simplify access to the learning system and improve communication with different groups. For example, eLearning platforms offer built-in chat rooms, localization of the interface and content into other languages, and other additional features.
While LMSs are tools for delivering online training and courses, the additional features of LCMSs can take this software beyond classic learning management systems. As a result, teachers and students have access to a more comprehensive platform.
Similarities and Differences Between LMS and LCMS
Now let's look at the similarities and differences between both types of online learning software.
The main similarity between LMS and LCMS lies in their nature since they are platforms for managing learning in professional environments and organizing online schools. They modernize training programs and make the process of educating people better.
It is also possible to automate each course or series of pieces of training thanks to special tools. For example, an instructor can prepare content once and execute it automatically for each group of students.
In addition to the regular training of students on new topics or updating knowledge on already known phenomena, online learning programs facilitate continuous learning. LMS and LCMS allow content to be tailored to individual student progress, which is integral to quality student preparation.
Despite the different purposes of these types of software, the ultimate goal of LMS and LCMS is to deliver new knowledge to students. Both e-course and workshop software is used in schools and training centers as a comprehensive solution for students' general education and corporate training.
While talking about the similarities between learning management software and learning content management software, we should also remember their differences. Just look at each program's main functions and purpose to see them.
As we said earlier, LMS is used for organizing and managing learning content, as well as for checking knowledge and monitoring students' progress. The LCMS is more for creating and posting text, audio, and video content for lessons.
With this in mind, we understand that an LMS has broader features than an LCMS. That's why some online learning software developers suggest recording content directly in learning management systems and adding pre-created files in LCMS and other programs.
Therefore, the main difference between the two types of software is the purpose of the application. A learning content management system allows you to create materials for classes, while a learning management system allows you to use them. Therefore, the target audience for each program is also different. For example, LCMS is used by teachers and course administrators, while students use LMS.
How Do These Systems Integrate?
The organization of e-seminars, courses, and workshops involves implementing both an LMS and an LCMS. Integrating both modules is of practical importance: the Learning Management System is responsible for using training materials, and the Learning Content Management System is responsible for creating and storing courses.
Thus, both software options are intertwined with each other. To understand which tool the course creator needs, it is necessary to decide on the learning objectives and assess the current technical infrastructure.
With a clear and proven training structure in place, it is sufficient to implement an LCMS and manage the online school with its help. For example, a learning content management system allows you to organize and update existing training modules.
If these are the first courses that do not have separate classes, it is better to use a combination of LMS and LCMS. It will help expand the system's functionality for teachers and simplify the learning process for students.
When choosing between systems or platform integration options, you should consider the following aspects: technical capabilities, timing, and cost.
LMS and LCMS are two fundamentally different types of online learning software. Both allow you to conduct and fully control the organization of courses, seminars, and training sessions, but each tool has a different role. At the same time, using these types of software allows you to take your work on your educational products to a new level.
We hope that you found our article helpful. If you still have questions about the different types of software for online learning, leave them in the comments. We will consider the most exciting suggestions in our following materials!