Which system to choose – a training management system (TMS) or learning management system (LMS), will depend a lot on your business requirements.
If you want to offer eLearning to your employees, an LMS will suffice; however, to manage your entire training program, including eLearning, a TMS is more likely to meet your requirements. This being said, it is first important to understand what is an LMS and a TMS.
What is LMS (Learning Management System)?
LMS or a learning management system allows you to offer, track, assess and report your eLearning content, both offline and online, within office and remotely. You can either outsource your content or create your own personalized content to meet your organizational goals.
Once it is uploaded, it can be accessed for use by your learners or any authorized personnel.
What is TMS (Training Management System)?
A training management system or TMS is also a software designed to offer eLearning courses and perform other back-to-back office tasks associated with training such as administration, running of courses, online booking for courses, sending out surveys, reporting on vital data etc.
The exact range of services provided by a TMS varies from one software to another but one thing remains common, and that is they mostly include all features to ensure smooth running of the training from run-up to actual delivery to after-course services.
Benefits of a Learning Management Systems
A learning management system is easy to use. All learners are provided log-in credentials after which they can work their way through the course anytime and anywhere they want and learn at their own pace. Here are some benefits of an LMS.
- Easy-to-track features: An LMS allows you to not only deliver an eLearning course but also track its success, or failure, as the case may be. Besides, you can also track the number of learners undertaking the course, how far they have progressed in the learning journey, if they have successfully taken the assessment and whether they have received their completion certificate. Some LMS provides a set amount of access time. With tracking features, you can also know exactly how much time each learner has spent on the eLearning
- Easy to update content: As technology advances, it leaves its impact everywhere and content is no exception. You will need to update your content in accordance with current standards. You may also need to fix errors or add or remove a certain portion of the learning An LMS simplifies the process of editing content. After you have made the changes, simply upload the content and the LMS will automatically provide the latest module to your learners, ensuring that they are viewing the updated files.
- Cost-effective learning: With an LMS, you can cut down on expensive instructor-led learning conducted in classroom settings. It is not that an LMS replaces an instructor completely. In fact, it allows you to offer blended learning, that is, learning that levrages the best of both the worlds – offline and online. For instructor-led sessions, learners can log into the LMS at a pre-defined time and access the virtual classroom complete with trainer, whiteboards and audio/video chat options for discussions and interactions. Besides, you can teach as many learners as you want, either in office or remotely, and not be limited to the space constraints of a physical training room.
Benefits of a Training Management System (TMS)
Some training management systems also include an LMS, which means that with a TMS you also gain the benefits of an LMS. So, in case your business requires both the systems, choose a training management system that includes an LMS.
- One system, multiple benefits: By having a TMS with a built-in LMS, you can keep all your training and learning requirements in one central repository. Besides, a training management system also includes features for customer relationship management (CRM) and reporting systems, so you don’t need to invest in separate tools. Also, since you have all data in one system, it becomes easier to collate and derive insights for better decision-making. The other benefit is that one system is less expensive than multiple systems and is also easy to maintain.
- Offers both ILT and eLearning: With a training management system, you can administer and manage both instructor-led training as well as eLearning. So a TMS is a good option if you are offering blended learning. The added benefit is that you don’t have to track or monitor the resources and reports of both types of training separately, you can find it in a single tool.
- Simplified selling of content: Apart from managing and administrating your courses, a training management system also allows you to sell your courses online. You can display your courses on your website and then send emails through the TMS to your target groups with a link to the courses. Besides, you can receive online payments and sell your online courses in a quick, secure and easy manner.
- Save administration time:A training management system can perform a host of functions apart from administrating, monitoring and tracking eLearning and training sessions. With a TMS, you can also streamline communications, manage customer relations, send, collate and analyse survey results, manage employee records and your sales and keep all data in one central location for ease of access. So you don’t have to worry about duplicate data or search through multiple systems to find the right information at the right time. Besides, you can build complex schedules, assign trainers and resources, and track cost per session.
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LMS Vs TMS – which one to choose?
From the above discussion, it is clear that both an LMS and a TMS have their own benefits and so the one you choose will largely depend upon your business requirements. There is of course one major difference between them – while an LMS allows you to create, update, deliver and monitor eLearning courses, a training management system is more focused on the administrative aspects of training.
The back-end functionalities of a Training Management System are more centered on streamlining organizational processes so the people who will use a TMS are not just course administrators and learners but also other key stakeholders such as HR professionals, training managers, corporate university directors, etc.
So LMS or TMS – you will need to access your needs such as:
- Are you following a blended learning approach with both eLearning and ILT, and if yes, what is the share of ILT vis-à-vis eLearning?
- Are you looking at just content management and course delivery or also at logistics, administrative processes and cost tracking?
- What are the core features that you are looking for to support your learning and training? Which features are peripheral and which are central, and what sort of support are you looking for these features?
- And finally, what is your budget?