Wondering what is the learning management system (LMS) and why is it crucial to pick the best one for your online coaching business?
If yes, you are on the right page.
In this post, I’m going to share:
- What is the learning management system (LMS)
- How to choose the best LMS for your business
- Different types of LMS
- Pros & cons of LMS
- Benefits of using learning management system
- Learning management system features
- How much an LMS cost
- Best LMS for WordPress
So, let’s get started!
What is the Learning Management System (LMS)
An LMS usually is the backbone of your online coaching business. LMS is a piece of software. You can host and track all the online learning processes using LMS. By using this digital learning platform, you can plan, implement, and assess a specific learning process.
Currently, the number of LMS users is estimated at 73.8 million. Nearly 87% of active users have web-based LMS programs.
You can see the key features of LMS in its own abbreviation:
L – Learning: You can create an online course and training materials for learning purposes using the LMS platform.
M – Management: You can manage courses and learners, and even improve your own efficiency using LMS. Above all, it’s a well-organized system where you manage the training process.
S – System: LMS is a complete package. You can easily create and manage your learning system and its features such as grading, processing statistics, and preparing reports. It provides learners access to the content and helps you evaluate the results.
Choosing the best LMS for your business
When shopping for the best LMS for your business, don’t forget that – choosing the right LMS is the first and crucial step that leads to the success of your online coaching business.
According to Brandon Hall Group’s research LMS Trends 2015, data shows that 38% of the companies surveyed are considering a system change. So, choose wisely!
Important factors which you need to consider before choosing the best LMS are:
- Identify your needs
- Define your audience accurately
- Make a list of your LMS requirements for your business
- Explore the market and vendors
- Review all support services offered by the LMS providers
- Evaluate how LMS will be integrated with your existing software
- Check its adaptability and integration options
- Check security and administrative monitoring
- Review all support services offered by the LMS providers
- Ask for a live demonstration or a trial period
Do you know, that by the end of 2020, 98% of small businesses are planning to use LMS to fulfill their learning requirements?
Before getting started, let’s just have a quick look at key types of LMS users:
Two key types of LMS users are:
- Learners: LMS provides the ability for learners to use their interactive features and learn online. According to a study, 90% of students prefer learning online to traditional learning methods. Being a learner, you are able to see your course catalog and complete assigned courses. Also, you can review any evaluations and measure their own progress.
- Instructor: LMS platform provides a way for instructors to create and deliver content. Also, to monitor student participation, and assess student performance in an easy manner. Nowadays, around 94% of online learners prefer to study at their own pace.
Learning management systems allows an organization to safely organize and store all data in one location. Also, it helps instructors and admins to more easily update and maintain learning materials.
Domino’s Pizza Inc., branded as Domino’s, is an American multinational pizza restaurant chain. Domino’s operates more than 14,000 pizza restaurants in more than 85 countries. It delivers more than 1.5 million pizzas each day. The company was looking for an appropriate (LMS) to meet its daily requirement. personalized content and training material for its employees. Choosing the best LMS was a great challenge for them because Domino’s had several key requirements that needed to be addressed.
Domino’s actually needs a scalable learning platform for its large group of users. A singular platform that was accessible anytime, anywhere, would be ideal for the training needs of the organization. According to the requirements, they selected the best LMS – bespoke LMS. They created a flexible learning portal. This portal allows Domino’s to create their own content has led to significant cost savings and was easy to navigate. The platforms record and tracks those who have completed the training required of them. And make this information easily accessible for management planning.
Now, let’s have a look at the types of LMS:
Types of LMS
There are many types of learning management systems that you can choose from according to your business requirements.
- Enterprise LMS: This LMS type will help your corporation to maximize the benefits of a modern training program. Moreover, Enterprise LMS is highly scalable. It will grow as new courses will be added. Also, it has a huge list of built-in features to fulfill all your needs.
- Individual LMS: This type is useful for small businesses. Also, it limits what an individual course may need by having few or maybe all required features. Above all, individual LMS is best for small organizations and for individuals to produce various learning materials.
- Cloud-based LMS: Cloud-based LMS offers enhanced data security and improved accessibility. It doesn’t require you to install specific hardware or software in order to access and use it. It is much more scalable as compared to an installed version.
- SaaS LMS: Software as a service (SaaS) is a web-based LMS and cloud-based subscription model. All data is hosted on the internet/server and users can access the platform from a web browser. Moreover, all the information would be hosted in the cloud.
- Free LMS: Anyone with basic knowledge can deploy their own software and create a course. Free LMS has limited features, courses, and users but it still gives you a good overview. However, don’t forget, that its updates will require your attention and time and it doesn’t have the level of support that some users are accustomed to.
- Hosted LMS: This LMS type is highly customizable. It has custom-controlled security so you can set the level of security you want.
- Licensed product LMS: It can offer the ultimate in customization, customer support, and reliability for users. Above all, you can install it on a cloud server or on-premise. Also, it is most flexible and built to each customer’s specifications which may take some time.
- On-premise LMS: It is built as a stand-alone product. It can be limiting, on a big scale. Also, the on-premise installation maintains the user and corporate data on a highly secure basis.
Keeping your business requirement in mind, review, and choose the LMS type that best suits your individual requirements.
JetBlue Airways, branded as JetBlue, is a major American low-cost airline, and the 7th largest airline in the US. JetBlue offers flights to 90+ destinations with countless free facilities. Further, they created an educational assistance program called JetBlue Scholars to empower their crew members to earn a college degree. Also, it is the first educational assistance program of its kind and it needed a “first of its kind” LMS technology solution to match.
The requirement of JetBlue Scholars was, that after enrollment, the students needed to be self-directed in their educational pursuits. Also, the administrators needed the resources necessary to ensure their success. So they created MyDegree LMS platform. Further, MyDegree features include custom degree paths, degree enrollment, and self-study courses. It also, includes quizzes, assessments, and exams from a variety of providers and many more. The most significant benefits achieved are 60% reduction in the cost of educational assistance. 33% increase in administrative and coaching efficiency. 85% report that they feel more engaged in their job, and many more. MyDegree also has been awarded a gold Brandon Hall Technology Excellence Award. Which is the best advance in Unique Learning Technology for Learning & Development!
Pros and Cons of LMS
Easy to manage learning process
It is a learning curve at the start
Your data is nicely organized at one place
You need some technical skills
You can access is from anywhere
It is difficult to choose best LMS
Unlimited access to eLearning materials
May face issues of maintaining system security
Easy to track progress and performance
Administration can be difficult and confusing
You can integrate social learning experiances
According to the latest survey, 64% want to include open resources for their digital learning programs. 35% want user-generated content to be included in learning programs by the end of 2022.
Benefits of Learning Management System
Regardless of the number of users, LMS always plays an important role as an integral part of the eLearning design and its development process.
A good, effective, and well-developed cloud-based learning management system includes countless benefits, like:
- Organized content: You can store and organize an enormous amount of content in one central place instead of spreading the content over different hard drives and devices.
- Easy to access: All the content which you have saved over LMS is secured and easily accessible, 24 hours a day – seven days a week.
- Reduces the cost: The costs of using the learning management system are fairly limited. Like: all updates for an LMS are usually automatic and it saves managers time, money, and power.
- Efficient management: You have complete overall control in LMS whether it’s an administration department or has to manage course content. You can define different roles for users like tutors, students, supervisors, etc, and can easily manage your online business.
- Easy to customize: Using LMS, you can easily update existing content or add new content in a short time. It helps you to keep your content updated and fresh.
- Consistent and scalable: All content is saved at a single location. It makes it easy to scale and re-purpose your content with ease.
- Integrates with social platforms: You can easily include social media links like Facebook pages, LinkedIn groups, Twitter pages, and other online forums on your website which might be helpful for learners.
- Reduced dependency: Learners have flexible access to the training program and interactive sessions. It may enable them to reduce their dependency on a single mode of learning and can easily access the information whenever they need it.
Learning Management System Features
No doubt, LMS systems are extremely useful. They help you to deliver training materials and many more. But don’t forget they can be overcomplicated sometimes.
It is hard to decide which available LMS features will help and which will be a distraction and create a complication.
Below is the list of best and must-have learning management system features that every LMS platform should have:
- Customizable and multi-lingual
- Flexible reporting and analytics
- Communication management
- Data storage and tracking (both online and offline learning trackers)
- Mobile learning
- Assessment creation and management
- Assessment and smart scheduling tools
- Ecommerce/payment integrations
- Automated alerts and notifications
According to the latest survey, 82% say that reporting analytics is an important platform feature in LMS programs. To improve their digital approach to business learning. 64% of learners find it important to have training materials accessible via mobile.
Furthermore, advanced technologies like AI and machine learning help to enhance the learning process by analyzing performance data, test responses, etc. To determine trends and created automated actions/insights for learners and stakeholders.
The British Safety Council, a registered charity founded, is one of the world’s leading health and safety organizations and its role is to help users to achieve the very highest health. Also, safety standards are required by law, to protect the bottom line and staff. Further, British Safety Council (Britsafe) has a charitable organization with over 7K corporate members which delivers a number of ambitious eLearning projects. So, they need a new site with a simple content management system like a portal to information and with an online store.
This British Safety Council (Britsafe) requirement actually involves complex development work. They want to assure the highest possible accessibility, availability, usability, and performance for diverse audiences. So, they created an LMS platform. Its main features are eCommerce integration, Council’s eLearning material, and training course search. Also, they need a secured login to a hub for knowledge sharing and social networking. As a result, using this LMS platform, now they can deliver health and safety training to over 100,000 workers in a range of languages.
Learning Management System Cost
According to the latest search by Capterra, people spend 59% more than they expect in their Learning Management System. It’s really important to pick the best choice for your training system according to your requirements.
No doubt, the difference in the market is so vast between users so, the pricing models for LMS solutions are flexible accordingly. You have to choose the pricing model for your training system wisely. That actually meets the requirements of your user and your system as well.
There are many types of pricing plans.
Following are the most common and frequently used pricing models:
Pay-per-learner pricing model
- How this plan will work: You’ll be charged for the total number of users in the system.
- When you should go for it: This pricing model is best for small to mid-sized businesses. and if the number of learners is stable.
- Avg. price range: $5 or less per learner, per month. For TalentLMS, the package starts from $39/month and for JoomlaLMS the package starts from $37/month.
Pay-per-active-user pricing model
- How this plan will work: You’ll be charged for the total number of active users in the system.
- When you should go for it: This pricing model is best for your system if you conduct one-time training and spread training sessions into different batches of learners.
- Avg. price range: $10 or less per active learner, per month. For Litmos, the package starts from $900/month and for LearnUpon the package starts from $399/month.
License fee pricing model
- How this plan will work: It can be purchased to install LMS software on-premise and for a periodic license. It usually depends on the included features.
- When you should go for it: This pricing model is best for mid-sized or large businesses. Go with this plan, if you are sure about the features you need.
- Avg. price range: Generally range from $500 to $20,000. Like for Easy LMS, the package starts from $199/month and for LearnDash the package starts from $159/month
Pay-as-you-go pricing model
- How this plan will work: You’ll be charged for the features you have used.
- When you should go for it: This pricing model is best for small-sized or startup businesses. Go with this plan if you are not sure whether the demand for learning is stable or not.
- Avg. price range: $2 per learner per course.
Open-source pricing model
- How this plan will work: You will have to pay individually for everything. Like your training setup, its customization, and maintenance.
- When you should go for it: This pricing model is best for small-sized or startup businesses. Go with this plan, if you don’t want to be dependent on vendors and need high user capacity, and also want to include advanced features.
- Avg. price range: depends upon the platform you choose.
Emerald Group Publishing is one of the world’s leading digital-first publishers. It is a scholarly publisher of nearly 300 journals, more than 2,500 books, and over 450 teaching cases. Emerald has an extraordinary reach with 12 offices worldwide and more than 4,000 customers in over 120 countries. The goal was to replace Emerald’s existing LMS as few users engaged with it. Also, it was difficult to edit and use.
So, according to the requirements, Emerald choose an open-source pricing model and build a new LMS. Further, after installing the new system, the feedback from the staff has been extremely positive. This includes its easy-to-use interface and full branding. Also, SCORM compliant feature, which allows for easy editing, and many more. As a result, they created 16 full e-learning modules online and reduced the editing process, and have the capacity for 1,000 registered users.
Best LMS for WordPress
If you wanna establish your own online coaching business and already have a WordPress site then all you need is the best WordPress learning management system.
And, if you haven’t built your website yet, check out our how to build website post.
The best LMS will always help you to create, manage, and sell online courses without any hassle. Moreover, an effective and well-implemented learning management system has countless benefits.
LearnDash is my favorite LMS which helps you to make your dreams a reality.
LearnDash is a powerful WordPress LMS plugin. It is the easy-to-use with countless features. Above all, you can easily create courses with lessons, topics, tests, and categories using LearnDash.
Moreover, you can extend the features of LearnDash by integrating it with add-ons like bbPress, MemberPress, and many more. Further, you can integrate your WordPress website with many third-party tools and plugins which makes it even more powerful to use.
Features of LearnDash
Here are a few fantastic LearnDash features that make it stand out from the rest of the LMS.
- Course builder: LearnDash provides an easy, intuitive way to build out your courses. So, by using this easy drag-and-drop interface, you can really enjoy and edit the flow of your course in no time.
- Focus mode: The focus mode of LearnDash helps you to eliminate distractions. And also streamline your user’s learning experience. Moreover, you can increase learner retention and completion rates by adding this.
- Reusable course content: LearnDash allows you to reuse your existing course content. Above all, no need to copy lessons or quizzes again and again. And you can easily reuse any of your course content like lessons or quizzes for any courses you make.
- Quiz builder: You can create quizzes with any type of questions and can also tweak more settings according to your requirements. Also, you can add a quiz against a specific lesson or course.
- Other features: You can include a grade book, course points, certificate & badges on your website. It is multi-site enabled. Which includes automatic email triggers for students. And, the ability to create and sell course bundles, and many more.
Pros and Cons of LearnDash
Drag-and-drop course builder
No free trial
Can be time-consuming during updates
Include engagement triggers for automation
It is a learning curve at the start
Built-in video progession support
Require ongoing maintenance
Lots of official and third-party add-ons for more functionality
Membership module is not included
The Fit Father Project is the leading health website for men over 40. Men, who want to lose weight, build muscle, and stay healthy for their families. Moreover, it has currently over 10,000+ members. His founder dedicated his entire life to helping busy fathers lose weight. And to build muscle to stay healthy for their families. Further, Fit Father Project wants to structure the content in a simple way. That was easy to understand and apply so to achieve their goal, they selected the best LMS – LearnDash.
For Fit Father Project LearnDash are responsible for helping 10,000+ people lose a combined total of 75,000 pounds of fat! So they have used tools which include – LearnDash as their Learning Management System, Memberium membership, and BuddyPress for social profiles and activities. Also, BadgeOS for badges and points, LearnDash Notes for learner notes office as a premium WordPress theme, Keap (Infusionsoft) for its marketing automation. As a result, Fit Father Project is successfully running a Flagship program with 2 Course up-sells. And 10000+ active learners.
I hope you have a good idea of what is a learning management system and how to choose the best one for your online coaching needs after reading this post.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have about the learning management system in the comments below.
Fareena Afzal says
Thanks for sharing such an amazing article, really helped me to select the LMS type for my coaching website
Amjad Kamboh says
A very good topic chosen. Great! post made, very easy to understand for one who needs this. It’s great to know about the benefits of the Learning Management System.
A very good and a hot topic to write about. As in this pandemic every schools, colleges and universities are shifting towards LMS. So, everybody that want to shift their business towards LMS must have an in-depth knowledge about it before choosing the right LMS. I hope, this article will help them a lot in choosing the right one. 👍