Learning Management System Definition

Cite this article as:"Learning Management System Definition," in The Business Professor, updated March 22, 2019, last accessed October 24, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/learning-management-system-definition/.


Learning Management System Definition

Learning Management System refers to software that facilitates online learning through planning, implementing and evaluation of learning, education and training processes. LMS is an application for web-based learning.

A Little More on Learning Management Software

An LMS system makes it easy for online instructors to create and deliver learning content, to engage students, evaluate students and monitor participation. With such an application, online students are able to access features such as video conferencing and online discussions. There are specifications, christened Shareable Content Object Reference Model, set by the Advanced Distance Learning and sponsored by the US Department of Defense.

Learning Management System is an application that enables administration, record keeping, evaluation, reporting and instruction in learning. LMS is a product of e-Learning; it started in higher institutions of study in the 1990s but has since spread to the corporate sector.

LMS makes it easy for online tutors to manage online learning content including videos, documents and courses. There are a number of features included in the higher education and corporate LMS system including rubrics, instructor facilitated learning and discussions forums. In corporate systems, a syllabus is not incorporated but they may show a course outline for the topics to be covered. LMSs are web-based.

An LMS system presents a number of advantages including ease of access, reusability, long lasting, interoperability, ease of maintenance, adaptability and more. Other advantages experienced include:

  •         Supports different file formats including audio, text, and video.
  •         They are accessible anytime from anywhere.
  •         Evaluation is structured to meet the level of students
  •         Learning materials can be reused.

There are a number of shortcomings associated with LMSs. These include:

  •         Implementation requires a good technological infrastructure. Some schools may not have the needed infrastructure.
  •         Teachers should be able to adapt from the face to face model of teaching to online teaching.
  •         Online teaching increases the workload for teachers.

References for Learning Management System

Academic Research on Learning Management Software and Systems

  • Social software: E-learning beyond learning management systems, Dalsgaard, C. (2006). European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 9(2). This article observes that it is necessary for e-learning to be used not only as an instruction tool but a platform where students are engaged and shown how to actively use the web to solve problems and self-govern their studies. It argues that e-learning does not support social constructivist unless it is changed from the instruction system to a better system. It also argues that students should be provided with their own tools to enhance self-governance.
  • A critical examination of the effects of learning management systems on university teaching and learning, Coates, H., James, R., & Baldwin, G. (2005). Tertiary education and management, 11, 19-36. The author observes that e-Learning is affecting the conventional university learning. He observes that there is little research on how adoption of LMS has affected the traditional classroom learning. It studies cases in Australia to present a critical approach on how these systems are impacting learning in universities. It specifically analyzes the effects of the system on learner engagement.
  • Saving time or innovating practice: Investigating perceptions and uses of Learning Management Systems, Lonn, S., & Teasley, S. D. (2009). Computers & Education, 53(3), 686-694. LMS are web-based and they enhance sharing of learning content between teachers and students. This paper explores the perceived advantages and shortcomings of LMS by looking at American Midwestern University. The study shows that most lecturers and students value the tools that enhance communication more than those that enhance interaction. However, it also shows that students and teachers value the learning and teaching tools in these systems.
  • Personal Learning Environments: Challenging the dominant design of educational systems, Wilson, S., Liber, O., Johnson, M., Beauvoir, P., Sharples, P., & Milligan, C. (2007). Journal of E-learning and Knowledge Society, 3(2), 27-38. This paper studies the current systems used in education and how they are not good for lifelong learning and for personalization. It offers a different model that enhances symmetric connections with formal and informal learning. It also offers a design that can help identify implementation and experimentation strategies.
  • Instructional design based on reusable learning objects: Applying lessons of object-oriented software engineering to learning systems design, Douglas, I. (2001). In Frontiers in Education Conference, 2001. 31st Annual (Vol. 3, pp. F4E-1). IEEE. The author in this paper looks at the usability of LMS in different learning environments. It looks at the design of the various features of the system and how these have had an impact on learning.
  • Software systems support for knowledge management, Lindvall, M., Rus, I., & Suman Sinha, S. (2003). Journal of knowledge management, 7(5), 137-150. This paper analyzes the use of software systems in the management of knowledge. It observes that most companies bank on human capital. Knowledge management involves different aspects including organizational, socio-cultural and technological but this paper concentrates more on the technological aspect of knowledge management. The paper analyzes different software used in knowledge management and tools common in these tools. It categorizes the tools into different classes based on capabilities and functionality.
  • Preservice teachers’ acceptance of learning management software: An application of the UTAUT2 model.,Raman, A., & Don, Y. (2013). International Education Studies, 6(7), 157-164. The author observes that LMS, also called Moodle, is available to instructors for free. The system offers auto-marked quizzes, exams, navigation tools and files that teachers and students can download. It lets the lecturers grade students, track progress, and use online calendars among other activities. This paper looks into the factors influencing preservice teacher’s acceptance of the Moodle service.
  • Barriers to effective use of knowledge management systems in software engineering, Desouza, K. C. (2003). Communications of the ACM, 46(1), 99-101. This paper observes that for organizations to foster knowledge, they need recognize that IT is the only way to go about it. This paper analyzes the factors that interfere with effective implementation of knowledge management systems.
  • The future of e-learning: a shift to knowledge networking and social software, Chatti, M. A., Jarke, M., & Frosch-Wilke, D. (2007). International journal of knowledge and learning, 3(4-5), 404-420. This paper looks the stages that e-learning has gone through and where it is headed. It examines shifts in knowledge networking and how software has influenced e-learning. It also looks at the direction the industry is headed.
  • Blended learning systems, Graham, C. R. (2006). The handbook of blended learning, 3-21. Online systems have gone through so many changes in the past few years. It looks and at how the systems have added features to incorporate different forms of learning and to fit both institutional and corporate e-learning.
  • Open source software: Two learning management systems, Depow, J. (2003). The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 4(2). Open source software makes it possible for different developers to improve LMS software. This paper examines two LMSs to show how the system has developed over the years to offer better tools.

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