LMS: what is Learning Management System, and most used types

LMS is an online learning management system through computer software that offers different possibilities to manage your distance education or...
14 February 2023

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LMS: what is Learning Management System, and most used types

LMS is an online learning management system through computer software that offers different possibilities to manage your distance education or e-learning programs comprehensively. 

LMSs are also tools that help to promote personalized, continuous training strategies in an agile and flexible way. 

Whether you are looking to offer online training or need to enhance and update your face-to-face courses, this article will help you understand the term because we will discuss what an LMS is and what types are most commonly used.

What is LMS? Learning Management system definition

An LMS (Learning Management System) is a software application that allows you to organize, create and design an online training strategy and provide online learning material to your learners. 

They can be open-source or licensed platforms offering a paid service. 


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LMSs are ideal for e-learning, 100% distance education, or blended learning, an educational method that combines online and face-to-face learning. 

This software aims at remote training professionals and trainers interested in gradually introducing digitization in their content. 

Its operative includes 2 different interfaces: 

  1. Administrator panel, from which you can fully manage training in a personalized way thanks to different functionalities and settings, as well as create tests, evaluations, reports, and analytics to track the participants’ progress. 
  2. Student area: an environment accessible at all times and from any device – computer, smartphone, or tablet – where you have the training material in a private area.  

One of the great benefits of these programs lies in the possibility of adapting learning to the pace and characteristics of each student, thus enhancing the assimilation of content. 

On the other hand, LMSs encourage continuous learning because they are flexible learning management systems that adapt to students’ schedules.

LMS: what is Learning Management System

Benefits of Learning Management Systems for e-learning

LMSs can specialize in different dimensions of e-learning by offering training in a particular competency or subject, a specific learning methodology, or the opportunity to specialize in a particular task.

The relationship between LMS and e-learning finds its maximum representation in the LCMS (Learning Content Management System) that can be integrated into the LMS.

These allow the creation of an audiovisual content strategy in different formats that can be used by the teacher at any time, in addition to offering a content auditing system.

The online training possibilities offered by LMSs are as diverse as they are versatile and make it possible to: 

  • Improve the skills of employees within a company throughout their career path. 
  • Serve as a support system to enhance academic effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Implement an onboarding strategy for new employees that favors their integration into the company’s culture and almost immediate operability. 
  • Provide information on new products, functionalities, or services to customers. 
  • Training for franchises
  • Offer online training to individuals, who can also be offered ebooks or electronic books, infographics, webinars, etc.  
  • Create virtual classrooms and campuses

A distinctive feature of these educational platforms is that they facilitate interaction between students and teachers and between peers through synchronous and asynchronous communication tools such as instant messaging services, forums, wikis, chats, etc. 

All these resources allow the promotion of individual work and collaborative work, improving the student’s experience.

Most used types of learning management system

Most used types of learning management system

As far as LMSs are concerned, there is previous discrimination between those that are locally installed (in an environment that you own) and those that are hosted in the cloud, on an Internet server belonging to a third party, and whose space you can rent in exchange for a service.  

Between these two types of Learning Management Systems, the most used are the ones hosted in the cloud since they offer access to the program from any device and at any time. 

This way, you can access a complete online learning management platform through a simple internet connection. 

In addition, you can opt for open-source LMS or platforms that operate under a paid license.

Open-source LMS

This type of software has a free public domain license. However, this does not mean that all of them are free, although the paid ones are cheaper than the commercial ones under license. 

The benefit is that they usually allow you to adapt the software to your needs if you have the knowledge to do so. In particular, they offer multiple functionalities developed by people familiar with e-learning environments, and the most widespread ones are supported by active communities involved in education.

SaaS-licensed LMS

Commercial LMSs that work under license are paid, and in exchange, they offer you different resources and settings to get the most out of the platform. These programs are understood as software that provides a service (hence the acronym SaaS, which stands for Software as a Service). 

Thus, depending on the LMS, you can pay the price per number of students, type, or amount of content generated or for the duration of the modules, among other services.

You will also have access to support during installation, customization, and use. 

At Smowltech, we have proctoring products that integrate perfectly with most LMSs and ensure your participation in respectful and secure environments for your online training. This is a great help in increasing your learners’ confidence and consequently increasing your success rate. 
Request a free demo with us to see how easy it is to monitor your training and assessments remotely.


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