LMS Vs. eLearning Platform: The Key Variations
LMS and eLearning Platforms: The Basics
An LMS is a software application that enables users to create, design, and deliver their own course content through a website or mobile app. eLearning platforms, on the other hand, are web-based applications that allow users to design online courses and then make them available / shared with learners. An eLearning platform is similar to an LMS in that it also offers the option of creating the content yourself. Both tools are essentially used to help educators and learners organize, view, and manage the learning process.
Examples of LMS and eLearning platforms
Blackboard is one of the most widely used LMS tools for education. It’s been around since 1997 and it has a number of features to help you create, deliver, and manage course content. Blackboard Learn allows you to grade assignments, upload files, and give students instant feedback.
A good example of an eLearning platform is Adobe Captivate, which allows you to create online courses from scratch without any programming knowledge. The tool covers all five phases of learning management including designing online courses, delivering them to learners, tracking performance metrics, facilitating learner collaboration, and reporting for administrators / managers.
The main differences between LMS and eLearning platforms
Although the basic functionality is similar, there are significant differences between LMS and eLearning platforms. Here are some of the key ways these two tools differ:
1. Functionality and flexibility
LMSs tend to be more extensive in their functionality, providing support for file sharing, collaboration, data storage, messaging, etc. On the other hand, eLearning platforms are more focused on hosting online courses. These tools provide basic support for adding content, saving content, and so on.
While LMS are either hosted or on-premises, eLearning platforms are generally hosted. This means that eLearning platforms offer more flexible access controls and a higher level of scalability. ELearning platforms can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, while LMS is usually accessed on the company’s network.
3. Time to market
LMS take a long time to set up and integrate with other applications, while eLearning platforms can be integrated with an existing website or app in a short time. This is because LMS have more complex set-up procedures than eLearning platforms, so customers need to hire technical experts to integrate them with other systems.
LMS have an extensive range of functions and support for a large number of integrations. This makes them very powerful, but it comes at a high cost. On the other hand, eLearning platforms are less function-intensive and offer more flexibility and scalability overall than LMS. This makes eLearning platforms relatively cheaper than LMS, despite the extensive functionality of the latter.
Which one should you choose?
eLearning platforms are often chosen over LMS because they are easy to use and have an attractive drag-and-drop interface. They also allow users to mix and match different types of content, templates, graphics, audio, video and quizzes. LMS, on the other hand, have many built-in features that eLearning platforms lack. For example, an LMS can help you track learners’ progress and assign certificates to them. They can also be used for assessment and performance management.
Can an eLearning platform be used without an LMS?
An eLearning platform can be used without an LMS. However, it is important to know that their functionality is limited without a learning management system. For example, you won’t be tracking learners’ progress if you don’t have an LMS with you. This is one of the main reasons companies tend to choose both platforms together. However, if you are just looking for a learning platform, eLearning platforms are more than enough.