A learning management system (commonly abbreviated as LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting of training programs, classroom and online events, e-learning programs, and training content. As described in (Ellis 2009) a robust LMS should be able to do the following:
- centralize and automate administration
- use self-service and self-guided services
- assemble and deliver learning content rapidly
- consolidate training initiatives on a scalable web-based platform
- support portability and standards
- personalize content and enable knowledge reuse.
LMSs range from systems for managing training and educational records, to software for distributing courses over the Internet with features for online collaboration. Corporate training use LMSs to automate record-keeping and employee registration. Student self-service (e.g., self-registration on instructor-led training), training workflow (e.g., user notification, manager approval, wait-list management), the provision of on-line learning (e.g., Computer-Based Training, read & understand), on-line assessment, management of continuous professional education (CPE), collaborative learning (e.g., application sharing, discussion threads), and training resource management (e.g., instructors, facilities, equipment), are dimensions to Learning Management Systems.
Some LMSs are Web-based to facilitate access to learning content and administration. LMSs are used by regulated industries (e.g. financial services and biopharma) for compliance training. It is also used by educational institutions to enhance and support classroom teaching and offering courses to a larger population of learners across the globe.
Some LMS providers include “performance management systems”, which encompass employee appraisals, competency management, skills-gap analysis, succession planning, and multi-rater assessments (i.e., 360 degree reviews). Modern techniques now employ Competency-based learning to discover learning gaps and guide training material selection.
For the commercial market, some Learning and Performance Management Systems include recruitment and reward functionality.