Why Learning Management Systems Are the Root of All eLearning

When we search for the definition of elearning on the Internet, the most common textual definition that comes across is “learning conducted via electronic media”. And yet, elearning has principles and methods of its own – when it comes to selecting, structuring, or adjusting content in accordance with specific types of learners.

It’s no secret that digital schooling relies heavily on the educational architecture we call a learning management system (LMS).

Let’s dig in to find out further why LMSs are the past, present and future of all elearning.

Benefits of eLearning for the Digital Age

Though mostly referred to as online learning, thus being repeatedly linked to the latest advancements in technology, elearning is actually more than a century old. It’s been around since 1874 when the United States introduced the first distance education system to the Illinois Wesleyan University. Not long after, in 1924, the first teaching machine was invented by Sidney Pressey, making elearning and LMSs inseparable ever since.

Nowadays, elearning is a crucial part of nearly all aspects of formal and informal education, ranging from kindergartens and preschools to colleges and employee onboarding. Thanks to the unlimited connectivity of the digital age, it allows both learners and educators to find, store, and share any kind of valuable information. When compared to those of traditional teaching environments, the advantages of eLearning are many – Scalability, personalization and flexibility are arguably the greatest benefits it offers.

Understanding the contribution of LMSs

We’ve seen that learning management systems date back to early 1900s, when they were, as they are today, the educational technology used for administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of courses and training programs. Although essentially the same as their extinct prototypes, modern LMS are mainly cloud-based and accessible anytime, anywhere.

But, what makes them the key element of all elearning processes is the fact that LMS comply with every last educational requirement of the digital age. Not only do they make learning content available to all, but they do so in the comprehensive way that promises full personalization and flexibility to the new age students (e.g., college students, adults, scholars or corporate trainees).

Personalized Learning

Personalized learning might just be the greatest benefit of an LMS– though an experienced learner doesn’t necessarily need it in order to make their way through a multitude of information residing within the online sphere, such a learning process would be too long-winded to be successful.

That’s why technology won’t fully replace educators anytime soon. Equipped with a comprehensive knowledge base that the Internet is, and empowered with an LMS as a knowledge management tool, they now have everything they need in order to make the learning process relevant and suitable to the needs of an individual student.

Besides, LMS support all traditional teaching methods, while simultaneously offering possibilities for their further personalization. Whatever type of a learner a specific student might be – visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic – an LMS has a way of keeping them motivated and engaged.

Flexible & Mobile Learning

Immediacy is yet another benefit of elearning, even though real-time communication isn’t crucial for all types of learning processes, nor is it exactly a novelty in comparison to the traditional classroom. The bigger advantage of LMSs is that they allow both synchronous and asynchronous learning, thus being suitable for self-teaching and instructor-led learning alike.

When fused, these two types make a blended learning method, one of the most effective approaches in both offline and online education. Moreover, the possibility to use them separately or combine them when needed is what brings flexibility to the elearning process – depending on their own preferences, students can choose their own pace, and study whenever and wherever they feel most comfortable and productive.

Comprehensive Learning

Just like LMSs make elearning all-inclusive in terms of different types of learners, they also allow educators to provide a learning environment that is comprehensive enough to envelop various teaching aids and learning materials. This includes numerous kinds of digital content, from power point presentations (PPTs), images and videos, to interactive documents, animations, and simulations.

There are many requirements that educational content has to meet, but relevance and coherence might are the most important among them. The ability to engage learners is just as crucial, and LMSs are very effective when it comes to motivational techniques. Thanks to learning management systems, interactive content and game-based learning are just some of many advantages that elearning offers in comparison to the traditional learning environment.

Continual & Collaborative Learning

While offline learning focuses mostly on evergreen educational content, elearning allows an unlimited scope of available knowledge. It’s up to LMS course makers to make a selection but what’s important is that elearning can never be restricted to textbooks. Besides being personalized and adapted to the needs of specific students, the content of courses and learning materials is thus always relevant and up to date.

The possibilities for improvement and continual learning are just as great as those for basic schooling or training. The educator can easily update old courses or add new, advanced modules, not to mention the potential LMSs have for collaborative learning, consultations and lectures from world-class experts, regardless of how physically distant they are. The ability to support mobile and game-based learning, virtual lectures and webinars are exactly why LMSs are now treated as the root of all effective eLearning.

High Learning Retention

Finally, learning management systems give online learning the structure it needs for achieving its educational goals. The ultimate objective of this practice is no different from what the traditional learning environment has been trying to accomplish for centuries – a significant increase in learning retention rates that would imply a greater number of students capable of applying learned knowledge.

By enhancing the modern learning environment with comprehensive knowledge bases, mobile education, personalized learning and interactive content, LMS certainly improve our chances of increasing the effectiveness of the overall learning process. All of these are unquestionable advantages that eLearning has over traditional teaching methods, and neither of them would be possible without an LMS.

Conclusion

Whatever elearning demands, an LMS is there to deliver. Without it, the online world would be a giant textbook full of unorganized knowledge – there would be little order to our studying efforts, and even less methodology to help us receive, understand, and retain information. Learning would still be possible, of course, but not in an effective, systematic manner that LMS provide.

Author Bio: Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & elearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs.

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