What is the Difference between an LMS and a LCMS?

LMS, LCMS, Learning Management System, Learning Content Management System, eLearning, Corporate training

There are a number of similarities between the Learning Management System (LMS) and the Learning Content Management System (LCMS). However, here are a few key differences that organizations should keep in mind when selecting an online training system.

LMS: Platform to Manage People

The LMS is a platform for managing the experience of your trainees when they interact with e-learning content. In an LMS the content has already been created which is compatible with these systems. Beyond that, most LMS packages have several similarities in common:

– Ability to register participants, track their activity, and gather trainee progress.

– Single-Sign On capabilities, so can be integrated with existing Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS), to track the pool of those eligible for participation, and for reporting back outcomes.

– Performance Management support tools.

 LCMS: The Platform for Managing Content Creation

An LCMS is a more complex platform used for developing content for e-learning programs. Many of the LCMS packages also contain tools used in an LMS, and most already have an LMS in place. Majorly a LCMS provides the ability for developers to create new material. Most of the content-management systems have several aspects in common:

– Create, develop, and manage content for online courses, and less concentration on managing the learner experience.

– A multi-user environment allowing various developers to interact and exchange tools.

– A repository of learning materials, usually used and archived components; therefore, also searchable and adaptable to any online course.

Which One Do You Need?

Here are a few simple generalizations that can help your organization make a choice when selecting between an LMS and an LCMS.

– If you are in need to create content, then go with an LCMS.

– An LMS focuses on managing how individuals participate in e-learning programs; an LCMS is focuses on how the content for e-learning is created.

– If you employ your own trainers and coaches then consider an LCMS. This will allow these individuals to convert their existing knowledge into training materials that make sense for them. While organizations that want to purchase content such as “off the shelf” course, should choose an LMS.

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