If someone were to ask you to list the two primary functions of a learning management system, would you be able to fulfill their request? If not, don’t feel bad. There are few people who could list the key functions of a learning management system on the spot. More specifically, there are few people who know what a learning management system is and is designed to do.
The good news is that anyone can learn what a learning management system is and what the main functions of a learning management system are in just a few minutes.
What is a Learning Management System?
Learning management systems are hot commodities in the corporate world. Most mid- to large-size companies use a learning management system (LMS) for reasons we’ll discuss in a moment.
If you’re not quite sure what an LMS is, you are not alone. In short, “an LMS is a computer program that helps employers to train learners or employees. It provides the tools employers need to write training content. It also makes it possible to distribute it, and to track learners’ progress. This is all done online. It is as simple as that,” stated our article What is an LMS?
A learning management system is useful to administrators, company leaders, and employers because it allows them to, as we wrote in the article mentioned earlier, “generate, distribute, and track electronic training content.”
This leads us to the first and most important LMS function: facilitating employee training.
The Top 2 Functions of a Learning Management System
A learning management system has a number of functions and serves a variety of purposes in a corporate setting. However, an LMS has only a couple of primary functions. They include…
- Facilitating training
- Reducing costs of training
An LMS Facilitates Training
If there’s anything an LMS is designed to do, it is to facilitate employee training. In other words, a learning management system generates, distributes, and tracks employee training.
Companies invest hundreds to thousands of dollars yearly into a single employee’s training. Therefore it makes sense these organizations would rely on learning management systems, which are prone to engage learners, to generate, distribute, and track employee training. After all, no company leader wants to invest money into training solutions with a weak ROI. And, sadly, traditional training can be less-than-engaging, and not nearly as effective as eLearning platforms.
Stacey Pezold, contributor to Forbes1, said that eLearning boosts retention rates by 25 to 60 percent, whereas traditional learning only increases retention rates by 8 to 10 percent. She also stated,
“According to a study by Brandon Hall Group, it typically takes employees 40 to 60 percent less time to study a particular material via e-learning than in a traditional classroom setting. This is due to employees being able to access training online whenever they need it, without interrupting their workflow.”
What these statistics tell us is that eLearning, also known as online learning, or learning delivered via LMS, is effective. LMS-based employee training is engaging and interesting, increasing knowledge retention and decreasing the amount of time employees spend on training. This not only benefits an employee’s skillset; it also benefits a company’s budget.
An LMS Reduces the Costs of Training
Of all the functions of a learning management system, facilitating training is the most crucial. However, reducing training-related costs is an LMS function that budget-conscious corporate leaders love.
Some individuals have no idea that an LMS can reduce costs associated with training. They know is that LMSs aren’t cheap, but they are completely unaware that learning management systems, which can be pricey, can also decrease a company’s bottom line over time. The article, "How to Dramatically Reduce Corporate Training Cost,"2 stated,
“A report issued by Clive Shepherd cited that Dow Chemical reduced its training costs to just $11 per learner when it switched to online training. This is a staggering cut in costs, considering that its previous traditional classroom training expenditures were $95 per learner.”
The article also said that “Cisco cut its overall training costs by about 40% to 60% when it transitioned to eLearning training” and “IBM saved big when it made the move to online corporate training. IBM actually cut its costs by roughly $200 million, which was approximately one-third of its previous training budget.”
Online learning has the ability to reduce training costs dramatically. Why? Because, it eliminates the need for companies to rent physical learning spaces/classrooms, hire live instructors, and pay for paper-based products needed for training. Also, online learning can sometimes eradicate the need for business travel, which can cost up to nearly $1000 per employee, per year in the U.S.
Of All the Functions of a Learning Management System, Facilitating Corporate Training and Reducing Training Costs are Paramount
There are many functions of a learning management system. But, a learning management system’s primary functions are training employees/users and reducing a company’s costs of training.
Does your company use an LMS to train employees? Why or why not?