WikiEdProfessional eLearning Guidebook/Online-learning management systems/Online learning management systems

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Online learning management systems

Online learning management systems are a suite of software tools that enable the management and facilitation of a range of learning and teaching activities and services. In large-scale operations, online-learning management systems (or LMSs as they are commonly known) can save costs and time. In conventional educational settings, online-learning management systems can help to improve the speed and effectiveness of the educational processes, communication among learners, and also staff and students. Use of LMSs in nontraditional educational settings (such as in distance education contexts) allows organizations to maximize their value by enabling flexible access to its resources and services. A few of the widely known LMSs are: Desire2LearnTM, BlackboardTM, WebCTTM, FirstClassTM, MoodleTM, and Lotus Learning SpaceTM (

Most online learning management systems also incorporate a learning content management system (LCMS), which is a set of software tools that enables the, storage, use and reuse of the subject matter content.

Contemporary organizations recognize that the use of online-learning management systems have the potential to significantly improve their image and value, as well as access to their services. Recent studies conducted by industry analyst Brandon Hall suggest that there has been a steady rise in the use of LMS for education and training over last few years (

Most LMSs will have the following features: course content delivery capabilities; management of online class transactions; tracking and reporting of learner progress; assessment of learning outcomes; reporting of achievement and completion of learning tasks; and student records management. It is likely that the next generation of LMSs will have additional features such as better collaborative learning tools and better integration with other complementary systems, and with portable and wireless (mobile-learning) devices. It is also suggested that the next generation of LMSs is going to be increasingly browser-based and less reliant on umpteen downloads or plug-ins on the user’s desktop. They will have to be easier-to-use, more robust, scalable and more easily customizable. With the growing interest in the sharing of study materials, they are also likely to comply more with industry standards and with complementary systems.

For reviews and comparisons of many LMSs, visit