The eLearning industry is rapidly gaining prominence and for good reasons. In the last few years, this industry has witnessed some huge technological leaps with platforms that can now offer an online learning experience that is fun, flexible and highly interactive.
So what exactly are these platforms? An online learning platform can be understood as software that provides instructors, learners, and all other parties involved in the learning process with reliable tools to assist and improve the delivery and management of online education.
Currently, there are numerous suppliers in the market that provide a wide variety of eLearning software. Some of these enable users to host and sell online courses while others merely provide a user interface through which users may engage with your material. There are certain tools that allow you to create and manage your course content separately as well.
However, with the latest technological advancements, you can now also access software that has all these features integrated into one system. In short, ‘eLearning Software’ is an umbrella term that covers numerous subcategories of specialised learning software.
In this article, we have discussed these subcategories in detail. So, keep reading on if you are interested to know the different types of eLearning software:
Learning Management System
This is the most common term related to the eLearning industry. Whether you are a newbie or an expert in this field, a learning management system is a term that you must have come across numerous times.
According to Wikipedia, a learning management system (LMS) is an eLearning software application used to manage, document, track, report, automate, and deliver educational courses and training programmes. In simpler terms, a learning management system is a web-based platform that allows you to build and administer eLearning courses or training programmes that learners can access from anywhere, anytime.
While primarily an LMS is an administration and content delivery software, the advanced versions currently available can perform an array of functionalities including content creation and distribution for commercial purposes. Some of the leading Learning management systems in the market are Totara LMS, WorkRamp, TalentLMS, etc.
eLearning Authoring Tools
An eLearning authoring tool is software that allows you to create eLearning content. It can be available either as a standalone tool or in a package with other online learning platforms. This software is solely dedicated to content creation. This means that it cannot be used to deliver or sell online course material.
Users can only generate and organise information into a specified course structure. This structure, however, can later be exported to a variety of multimedia formats. This tool also allows users to include interactive components like quizzes, films, and drag-and-drop tasks in the courses.
Apart from PCs and laptops, some advanced versions of this software enable creators to develop course content using mobile, smartphones and other similar devices as well.
Course Management Systems
A Course Management System (CMS) is a software programme that allows you to keep track of all of the data related to your online courses in one place. This means that using a CMS, you can store all your course-related information in one centralised system, instead of managing it on different documents and systems.
This makes it simple to keep track of the courses and make changes whenever needed as there is only one version of the data. It also ensures that your entire team has access to the same version of the data which further eliminates the risk of confusion and error.
Learning Record Systems
The learning record system or LRS is a part of the reporting and analytics software subcategory.
It collects data from all the platforms, systems, and applications involved in the learning process and stores it in one place. It also allows users to gather data from existing business channels to evaluate, and then create reports on the basis of the business performance metrics.
It is crucial for educational institutions as well as organisations to include eLearning platforms into their learning and development programmes. However, to do this effectively, one should first understand the meaning and usage of each software. We hope that this article helps you in achieving this understanding and build a robust eLearning infrastructure.