In today’s era, where technology has penetrated every aspect of human life, even the mode of delivery of education or skill training has changed drastically. Especially in the current times of COVID-19 pandemic, when even after several months, offices are not yet operating at full capacity, companies are looking at the use of Learning Management Systems to aid their Training and Development (T&D) activities. The same has been true for various schools and colleges, who have taken to platforms such as Zoom to conduct their classes. In the future, we could witness the increasing use of Virtual Learning Environments by educational institutions, which could allow students to access learning materials and lectures from remote locations as well. In this blog, we look at what is similar as well as the difference between LMSs and VLEs.
Typically, an LMS is a software system that facilitates easy management and documentation of skill training and delivery of educational courses. They are used by companies to meet various compliance requirements. LMS platforms also have features that allow for better progress tracking and the creation of customized learning paths for the intended trainees. An LMS is typically suited for individual trainees, especially when it comes to facilitating remote learning.
As against LMSs which have more of a behavioral approach towards training, VLEs allow for a much more constructivist approach towards training, particularly with a focus on education. This makes VLEs more suited for learning in a group where there is bound to be significant inter-personal interaction and collaboration between learners among themselves as well as between learners and the trainer. They also come with several testing tools and offer a higher level of flexibility and adaptability. More importantly, VLEs typically also have a library feature where common resources and could be accessed by users to whom restricted access to specific resources has been granted.
People often ask about the difference between the two and what should they prefer for their training and development requirements. The answer depends on a lot of your training requirements while not discounting the whole COVID-19 situation.
If you are considering LMS, here are some key features to look for considering the new-normal.
LMS of the modern world has evolved significantly. LMS’s come with many rich features and can be characterized by the virtue of deployment, license type, and support system.
In today’s working environment, learners would appreciate some fun and engagement in their training. Your LMS should support gamification and other engaging elements such as a reward system, leader board, humorous content to boost learner’s motivation. The more they enjoy the learning, the better their eagerness and attention will be.
Your LMS should offer a robust platform where participants can exchange learning materials, ask questions, cooperate with peer learners, start a conversation, and much more. This isn't just useful in the learning cycle but also helps in team building, which becomes very important especially in a remote working environment.
Your LMS should be capable of studying and analyzing the learning journey of participants and identify shortcomings. The working environment is not the same for everybody in a remote/WFH setup. It is very important to observe, assess, and motivate learners in e-trainings. Your LMS should be equipped to accomplish this objective.
In enterprise learning, every minute spent on learning by employees is a significant investment. It is crucial to ensure your LMS is simple and efficient. The aim is to gain as much knowledge as possible in the shortest period. The LMS should be easy to use and navigate, yet organized and centralized for reporting purposes.
Tutors should be able to check their student’s progress on a real-time basis and guide them. Your VLE should be able to support personalized assessment, consolidated reporting, and seamless feedback for a complete learning experience.
Employees sometimes find it difficult to manage training along with multiple work responsibilities and personal commitments. If you are considering a VLE, you need to make sure that it facilitates learning at the comfort of your employees.
The interactivity of your learning dashboard plays an important role in motivating eagerness to learn. You need to make sure that the learning experience is interactive at all times. Not all VLE’s come with these features. Audiovisuals, adorable graphics, use of characters, emojis, humorous text, etc. can be used to make the learning interactive and fun.
Of late, the line between an LMS and a VLE is rapidly blurring, and perhaps, the only point of distinction that continues to hold is the purpose behind why an LMS or a VLE has been developed.
For example, the GyrusAIM LMS that we offer goes beyond just facilitating training, it has in-built features for maintaining a database of training content, learning path gamification, and two-way communication for both trainers and trainees as well as tools to create different types of engaging content and advanced analytics features to monitor the progress and performance of individual trainee on different types of tests that they could be asked to take after completing each module. Such features have enabled several organizations, both corporate and educational, to enhance the learning experience of their employees or students respectively.