A Learning Management System is simply software that is used for e-learning practices. It can be used by schools and other educational institutions for offering various learning and training programs.
LMS software enables the learning process to be conducted in the online mode. Their importance has increased in recent times, especially after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per World Economic Forum, the pandemic caused around 1.2 billion students across 186 countries out of their classrooms. In such a scenario, schools and universities across the world switched to online learning methods by adopting technology.
Learning management systems have proved to be very effective with activities like virtual tutoring, video conferencing and other online learning services like classroom tests. The sudden increase in these practices has caused schools and colleges to adopt and use LMS software for providing education to their students and learners.
LMS in India
Learning Management Systems are changing the landscape of the education sector worldwide. In India especially, they have been pioneering the cause of education by connecting students and learners from the different corners of the country.
Learning management systems play an important role in automating and managing the various functions of teaching. These applications have proved to be lifesavers for students and teachers at times when the learning processes have been disrupted.
LMS has helped the students to continue their education easily. Furthermore, they have helped schools and colleges in finding solutions to the challenges that the education sector is facing.
In India, they have been of major importance due to the following reasons:
- LMS software and apps are very easy to use and can be accessed by anyone with an active internet connection.
- LMS can perform all the learning tasks such as attending online classes, marking attendance, giving online tests, accessing textbooks & syllabus, and all others.
- LMS are important for saving time and money. They provide the students and teachers with the flexibility of learning by overcoming the constraints of travelling and making expenditures of offline classrooms.
- LMS helps in smoothing the learning process by making it a more interactive exercise. Audio-visual medium helps in boosting the learning processes by making content more engaging. The use of data also helps in automating various processes like marking attendance. This empowers the educators to focus on their key objectives.
How does LMS work?
For LMS to work for your institute, you need to get a dedicated LMS software, or mobile app developed. To get your LMS developed, you need the following:
- A server in which you can host your services and perform your core functions
This will allow for the management, creation and delivery of the coursework and organise the day to day activity of any school. You can hence create a repository of the lectures, classes, and e-learning material. In this manner, the learning journey of the student can be made better.
- A user interface that can be accessed by students, learners, administration and other stakeholders
This allows the teachers, students and all the other stakeholders to access the LMS application. An interactive and well performing user interface can help in providing a seamless experience of using LMS on desktops and mobile devices.
There are various third party SaaS-based platforms that are popularly used by various institutes.
The disadvantage of using these platforms is that they cannot be a reliable source of education in the long run. While these platforms allow the users to connect and engage, they do not provide the learners with much flexibility to customise their services as per their needs.
As a result, the effectiveness of the learning process is compromised in the process. Furthermore, these platforms can be very expensive, especially for small scale educational institutes. Another crucial factor is data security which can be compromised in the cases of third-party LMS applications.
By developing the custom learning management system, the institutes will have to only make a one-time investment. After this, they can use the services of their custom-built platform as per their demands and requirements. This also helps in bringing a sense of professionalism to the learning process.
Types of LMS
There are various types of LMS solutions that you can choose for getting a learning management system built:
Web-based LMS application
These are the types of applications that can be accessed with the help of a website. The maintenance of such a type of LMS application can be made by the internal IT team of your institute. These are very affordable to make and require a low cost of maintenance.
Installed LMS application
Unlike the web-based LMS application, these applications are required to be installed on the device of the user for them to access. The biggest advantage of this is that it gives you the flexibility of continuous improvement in your software.
Cloud-based LMS service
These are the types of LMS services which do not require your institutes to handle the responsibility of hosting the LMS service. This responsibility is then being taken by the LMS vendor who gets your application hosted on the cloud.
These are the types of LMS services in which you have greater control and management of the data. The maintenance of this type of LMS service can also be done by your institute.
Open-source LMS service
These are the types of LMS services that are either free of cost or are available at a very nominal fee. However, the disadvantage of this type of LMS service is that your ability to update and include add-on features is less.
Closed source LMS service
These are the type of LMS service that requires the closed source proprietary code for the development of an application. The customisation of these codes can be then made as per the need of the user. These can be beneficial in dealing with a large number of students and teachers.