Different types of Learning Management Systems

By Staff Reporter - 23 Nov '21 14:57PM
  • Different types of Learning Management Systems
  • (Photo : Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay )

Learning never stops because knowledge is limitless. And the corporate world knows it better than most. Employee training, HR training, and customer training, etc are only small representations of the many training and development courses organizations try to incorporate in the workplace. This helps bring more Productivity to the business and also helps everyone involved improve.

It, therefore, comes as no surprise as well that there is a range of LMS software that is available in the market. Every business is unique, requires different additions, and expects a different set of features to be delivered when considering a Learning Management System. Now, one could simply go about comparing each one of them by trying different permutations and combinations again and again like Teachable vs Thinkific, or more. But, to do it right, the best way is to approach it with a little knowledge of the different types of LMS, their hosting forms, and the different source codes that each LMS offers, and then compare what works best for your business.

Here are some types of learning management systems to consider before choosing one for your business:

1. Installed LMS software vs Web-based LMS

An installed LMS software used to be the traditional way where the LMS was installed onto the servers of the businesses themselves manually. It needed to be maintained by the company's own IT and the whole setup was a very costly process. While a web-based LMS on the other hand works completely on the internet. These can be available to anyone on all their devices and make learning seamless, which is why they are very popular.

The key difference two between the two LMS is that the installed LMS can only be accessed right through the location of where it was installed. Web-based learning does not offer this geographical boundary. Anyone can access the LMS through the internet and edit flexibly.


2. Hosted LMS vs Saas/Cloud LMS


Under web-based softwares, there are other options to host the server or opt for a Saas LMS. Now, they're both mainly hosted on cloud but their main difference that makes comparison apparent is the infrastructure. Choosing to host the software means that now the organization gains complete control over the server. But that also means that now the organization is responsible for every upgrade, update, or security of the server. And, choosing an online saas LMS takes away all these responsibilities and bestows them on the vendors. The only thing then, that the organization has to focus on is creating great courses. In this sense, we see that Saas LMS comes out as a very economical option as various LMS clients share the same infrastructure along with unique data, features, and specializations for each.

3. Open source vs Closed source


An open-source LMS means an LMS that they are mostly free to use. And even on additional features and add-ons, they cost only a nominal fee. Opting for an open-source LMS allows an organization to control its content and personalize creating options. But, a closed LMS is coded. Only the vendors can change, edit and control the options on the software. An open source LMS indeed offers many advantages and it may seem like a closed source is a shorthand, but when one is choosing a learning management system for their organization the main concern should be to pick the one that can provide maximum value as an educator. 


Some other things to look for in an LMS when picking one for your business would be the way it offers the creation of content, can it integrate with other applications, talent management systems, and more. Just knowing whether Thinkific is open-source or not is not the only criteria one should consider when choosing an LMS. But that would be a completely new article all along.

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