As the education industry grows, training providers and corporate training departments are showing a greater interest in Learning Management Systems. LMS?s, as they are more commonly known, have proved to be a time saving and effective means of storing and retrieving learner and course data.

A quick search on Google will show you that there is a vast array of products on the market. So “what are the Options’ that Virtual-IT offers?

Well that’s like the proverbial piece of string, it really comes down to your needs and probably more important, your budget. Within the various types of education data management systems out there, in my opinion, the two main contenders would be Learning Management Systems and Learning Content Management Systems.

In brief a Learning Management System is a package that is designed to make tasks such as capturing learner and client details, building courses, scheduling training events and assessing those events easier and should also have comprehensive reporting. LMS?s can be used within a corporate or training provider environment as well as with facilitator led or e-learning courses.

On the other hand an LCMS looks at designing training materials and goes onto to allow the maintenance, recycling and delivery of that material.

In South Africa our legislation makes it is essential that SETA accredited training providers have policies and procedures for capturing and maintaining learner records as part of their QMS.

Whilst the use of spreadsheets, such as MS Excel, can record data, they are not as efficient nor as effective as a relational database (Wikipedia: A relational database matches data by using common characteristics found within the data set.

The resulting groups of data are organized and are much easier for many people to understand). i.e. Learner Information only has to be entered once in a relational database.

A Learning Management System (LMS) is software that maintains learner and course records by managing the delivery and tracking of learners, learning interventions and learner assessments.

In comparison, a Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) manages training content and allows various subject specialists the means to generate and recycle that content.

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