Learning management system

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses or training programs.[1] Learning management system is a concept emerging directly from e-Learning, even though there were other tools, informatics or not which have encouraged distance education Distance Education Learning Environments Survey. The first introduction of LMS is in the late 1990s.[2]

Learning management systems help the instructor deliver material to the students, administer tests and other assignments, track student progress, and manage record-keeping. LMSs are focused on online learning delivery but support a range of uses, acting as a platform for fully online courses, as well as several hybrid forms, such as blended learning and flipped classrooms. LMSs can be complemented by other learning technologies such as a training management system to manage instructor-led training or a Learning Record Store to store and track learning data.



An LMS delivers and manages instructional content, and typically handles student registration, online course administration, and tracking, and assessment of student work.[3] Some LMSs help identify progress towards learning or training goals.[4] Most LMSs are web-based, to facilitate access. LMSs are often used by regulated industries (e.g. financial services and biopharma) for compliance training. 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). Some systems support competency-based learning.

Though there are a wide variety of terms for digital aids or platforms for education, such as "course management systems", "virtual or managed learning platforms or systems", or "computer-based learning environment", the term "learning management system" has become the ubiquitous term for products that help administer or deliver part or all of a course.


There are several historical phases of distance education that precede LMS:

A. Correspondence teaching

The first known document of correspondence teaching dates back to 1723, through the advertisement in the Boston Gazzete of Caleb Phillips, professor of shorthand, offering teaching materials and tutorials.[5] The first testimony of a bi-directional communication organized correspondence course comes from England, in 1840, when Isaac Pitman initiated a short hand course, where in he sent a passage of the Bible to students and these would sent it back in full transcription. The success of the course resulted in the foundation of the phonographic correspondence society in 1843. The pioneering milestone in distance language teaching starts in 1856 by Charles Toussaint and Gustav Langenscheidt, who started up the first European institution of distance learning. This is the first known instance of the use of materials for independent language study.[6] Correspondence institutions in the United States and across Europe were encouraged and fostered by the development in 1680 of the penny post service, which allowed the delivery of letters and parcels for a penny.[7]

B. Multimedia teaching: The emergence and development of the distance learning idea

The concept of eLearning began developing in the early 20th century, marked by the appearance of audio-video communication systems used for remote teaching. In 1909, E.M. Forster published his story 'The Machine Stops' and explained the benefits of using audio communication to deliver lectures to remote audiences.[8]

Here the term "multimedia" refers to the use of several means (media) to reach the students and provide instruction. Printed materials are joined by audiotapes, videotapes, radio and TV, broadcasts, telephone, etc.[9] The earliest networked learning system was the Plato Learning Management system (PLM) developed in the 1970s by Control Data Corporation. In 1920, Sidney L. Pressey developed the first teaching machine which offered multiple types of practical exercises and question formats. Nine years later, University of Alberta's Professor M.E. Zerte transformed this machine into a problem cylinder able to compare problems and solutions.[10]

C. Telematic teaching

In the 1980s the modern telecommunications start to be used in education, with computers more present in the daily use of higher education institutions. Computer aided teaching aim to integrate technical and educational means and instruments to student learning. The trend then shifted to video communication, as a result of which Houston University decided to hold telecast classes to their students for approximately 13-15 hours a week. The classes took place in 1953, while in 1956, Robin McKinnon Wood and Gordon Pask released the very first adaptive teaching system for corporate environments SAKI.[11] The idea of automating teaching operations also inspired the University of Illinois experts to develop their Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations (PLATO) which enabled users to exchange content regardless of their location.[11] In the period between 1970 and 1980, educational venues were rapidly considering the idea of computerizing courses, including the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute from California that introduced the first accredited online-taught degree.

D. Teaching through the internet: The appearance of the first LMS system

The history of the application of computers to education is filled with broadly descriptive terms such as computer-managed instruction (CMI), and integrated learning systems (ILS), computer-based instruction (CBI), computer-assisted instruction (CAI), and computer-assisted learning (CAL). These terms describe drill-and-practice programs, more sophisticated tutorials, and more individualized instruction, respectively.[12] The term is currently used to describe a number of different educational computer applications.[13] FirstClass by SoftArc, used by the United Kingdom's Open University in the 1990s and 2000s to deliver online learning across Europe, was one of the earliest internet-based LMSs.[14][15][16]

The first fully featured Learning Management System (LMS) was called EKKO, developed and released by Norway's NKI Distance Education Network in 1991.[17] Three years later, New Brunswick's NB Learning Network presented a similar system designed for DOS-based teaching, and devoted exclusively to business learners.

In 2000, the University of Zurich revolutionized the concept of digitized learning by introducing the first open-source LMS called OLAT.[18] A year later, the LMS development industry welcomed Microsoft and its first SCORM-certified learning suite SharePoint.

Technical aspects

Most LMSs are web-based. There are a variety of integration strategies for embedding content into LMSs, including AICC, SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model)[19] and LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability). LMSs were originally designed to be locally hosted on-premise, where the organization purchases a license to a version of the software, and installs it on their own servers and network. Many LMSs are also offered as SaaS (software as a service), with hosting provided by the vendors.[20]

Through LMS, teachers may create and integrate course materials, articulate learning goals, align content and assessments, track studying progress, and create customized test for students. LMS allows the communication of learning objectives, and organize learning timelines. LMS leverage is that it delivers learning content and tools straight to learners, and it can also reach marginalized groups through special settings. Such systems have built in customizable features including assessment and tracking. Thus, learners can see in real time their progress and instructors can monitor and communicate the effectiveness of learning.[21] Such systems have built in customizable features including assessment and tracking. Thus, learners can see in real time their progress and instructors can monitor and communicate the effectiveness of learning.[22] One of the most important features of LMS is trying to create a streamline communication between learners and instructors. Such systems, besides facilitating online learning, tracking learning progress, providing digital learning tools, manage communication, and maybe selling content, may be used to provide different communication features.[23]


Managing courses, users, roles, instructors

LMS may be used to create professional structured course content. The teacher can add, text, images, tables, links and text formatting, interactive tests, slideshows etc. Moreover, it can offer the opportunity of different levels of users, like teachers, students, visitors and editors (hierarchies). It helps to control which content student can access, track studying progress and engage student with contact tools. Teachers can manage, student interface, course and module, self-enrolment, user reporting and import students to their online classes.[24]

Online assessment and tracking students' attendance

LMS can enable teachers to create customized tests for students, accessible and submitted online. Platforms allows different multiple question types like, one/multi-line answer, multiple choice answer, drag-and- drop order, essay, true or false/yes or no, fill in the gaps, agreement scale, offline tasks. Through Attendance Manager, teachers view attendance and record whether each student attended, arrived late, or missed classes and events.[21]

User feedback

Students' exchange of feedback both with teachers and their peers is possible through LMS. Teachers may create discussion groups to allow students feedback and increase the interaction in course. Students' feedback is an instrument which help teachers to improve their work, identify what to add or remove from their courses, where students feel more comfortable, what makes them be more included.[2]

Learning management industry

In the U.S. higher education market as of fall 2016, the top three LMSs by number of installations were Blackboard (33%), Moodle (19%) and Canvas (17%).[25] The same three systems lead in terms of number of students enrolled, but in a different order: Blackboard (45%), Canvas (24%), Moodle (17%).

In the corporate market in 2015, the six largest LMS providers constitute approximately 50% of the market, with SuccessFactors Learning, Saba Software, Voniz Inc and SumTotal Systems being the four largest providers. Vendors focused on mid-sized companies (200+ employees) include Absorb Software, Litmos, Halogen Software, LatitudeLearning, ADP, Docebo, and Workday.[26] Another service related to LMS comes from the standardized test preparation vendors, where companies such as Princeton Review or BenchPrep offer online test prep courses.

In 2017, MarketResearch released a report, “Global Learning Management Market Trends, Applications, Analysis, Growth, and Forecast: 2017 to 2026,” which identified "key players" in the global learning management market, including Blackboard Inc., Cornerstone OnDemand, D2L Corporation, IBM, McGraw-Hill Education, Netdimensions Ltd., Pearson plc, SABA Software, Inc., SAP SE, and Xerox.[27] The following year, Research and Markets released the report "Learning Management System (LMS) Market to 2025 Global Analysis and Forecasts" which listed the major corporations in the industry to be Cornerstone OnDemand, DoceboLMS, IBM, Netdimensions Ltd., SAP SE, Blackboard Inc., SABA Software, Inc., McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson plc, and D2L Corporation.[28]

Many users of LMSs use an authoring tool to create content, which is then hosted on an LMS. In many cases LMSs include a primitive authoring tool for basic content manipulation. There are several standards for creating and integrating complex content into an LMS, including AICC, SCORM, xAPI and Learning Tools Interoperability.

Evaluation of LMSs is a complex task and significant research supports different forms of evaluation, including iterative processes where students' experiences and approaches to learning are evaluated.[29]

Advantages and disadvantages


There are six major advantages of LMS: interoperability, accessibility, reusability, durability, maintenance ability and adaptability, which in themselves constitute the concept of LMS.[21]

Some other advantages include:

  • An LMS supports content in various formats, text, video, audio etc.
  • You can access materials anytime, from everywhere, teachers can modify the content, and students can see the updated material
  • The evaluation of students is easier and fair, based on student attendance and online quizzes
  • Students and teachers can re-use the material every time they need[30]


Although there are many advantages of LMS, authors have identified some disadvantages of using this system.

  • Implementing LMS requires a well-built technology infrastructure. Teachers have to be willing to adapt their curricula from face to face lecture to online lectures[24] 
  • Sometimes schools don't have the appropriate infrastructure to develop LMS, so it might be difficult to them to operate in this environment and adopt their curricula[31]
  • Some current research suggests that online teaching leads to an increase in teacher workload[32]

See also


  1. Ellis, Ryann K. (2009), Field Guide to Learning Management, ASTD Learning Circuits
  2. 1 2 Davis, B., Carmean, C., & Wagner, E. (2009). "The Evolution of the LMS : From Management to Learning". The ELearning Guild Research. 24.
  3. Gilhooly, Kym (16 July 2001). "Making e-learning effective". Computerworld. 35 (29): 52–53.
  4. Szabo, Micheal; Flesher, K. (2002). "CMI Theory and Practice: Historical Roots of Learning Management Systems". Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2002 (White Paper). Montreal, Canada: In M. Driscoll & T. Reeves (Eds.): 929–936. ISBN 1-880094-46-0.
  5. "A Brief History of Online Education". bear.warrington.ufl.edu.
  6. "History of Distance Learning". www.godistancelearning.com.
  7. "Penny Post - postal service".
  8. E.M. Forster, "THE MACHINE STOPS", archive.ncsa.illinois.edu.
  9. Solomon Arulraj DAVID, " A Critical Understanding of Learning Management System", academia.edu.
  10. 1 2 Solomon Arulraj DAVID, " Teaching Machines", teachingmachin.es.
  11. Parr, Judy M.; Fung, Irene (3 October 2006). "A Review of the Literature on Computer-Assisted Learning, particularly Integrated Learning Systems, and Outcomes with Respect to Literacy and Numeracy". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Archived from the original on 9 March 2007. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  12. Watson, William R. (2007). "An Argument for Clarity: What are Learning Management Systems, What are They Not, and What Should They Become?" (PDF). TechTrends. 51 (2): 28–34. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  13. "History and Trends of Learning Management System (Infographic)". Oxagile. 12 April 2016.
  14. Ashok Sharma. "The History of Distance Learning and the LMS". ELH Online Learning Made Simple.
  15. "History of learning management systems". ProProfs.
  16. "The NKI Internet College: A review of 15 years delivery of 10,000 online courses", irrodl.org,.
  17. "OLAT – Online Learning And Training", id.uzh.ch,.
  18. Learning management system, stratbeans consulting
  19. Lin, Sandi (16 November 2015). "SaaS Learning Management System: Is your LMS Truly SaaS? - eLearning Industry". eLearning Industry. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  20. 1 2 3 Long, Phillip D. (2004). Encyclopedia of Distributed Learning. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc. pp. 291–293. doi:10.4135/9781412950596.n99.
  21. Wang, Qiyun; Woo, Huay Lit; Quek, Choon Lang; Yang, Yuqin; Liu, Mei (2011-06-09). "Using the Facebook group as a learning management system: An exploratory study". British Journal of Educational Technology. 43 (3): 428–438. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2011.01195.x. ISSN 0007-1013.
  22. Chaiprasurt, Chantorn; Esichaikul, Vatcharaporn (2013-07-05). "Enhancing motivation in online courses with mobile communication tool support: A comparative study". The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning. 14 (3): 377–401. ISSN 1492-3831.
  23. 1 2 Schoonenboom, Judith (February 2014). "Using an adapted, task-level technology acceptance model to explain why instructors in higher education intend to use some learning management system tools more than others". Computers & Education. 71: 247–256. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2013.09.016. ISSN 0360-1315.
  24. 4th Annual LMS Data Update, 2016.
  25. Bersin, Josh. "Talent Management Software Market Surges Ahead". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  26. "Global Learning Management System (LMS) Market Trends, Applications, Analysis, Growth, And Forecast: 2017 To 2026". MarketResearch.biz.
  27. "Global Learning Management System (LMS) Market to 2025: Major Players are Cornerstone Ondemand, Docebo, IBM, Netdimensions, SAP SE, Blackboard, SABA Software, Mcgraw-Hill Education, Pearson and D2L - Research and Markets". Business Wire. January 10, 2018.
  28. Ellis, R.; Calvo, R.A. (2007), "Minimum indicators to quality assure blended learning supported by learning management systems" (PDF), Journal of Educational Technology and Society
  29. Montrieux, Hannelore; Vanderlinde, Ruben; Schellens, Tammy; Marez, Lieven De (2015-12-07). "Teaching and Learning with Mobile Technology: A Qualitative Explorative Study about the Introduction of Tablet Devices in Secondary Education". PLOS ONE. 10 (12): e0144008. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144008. PMC 4671718. PMID 26641454.
  30. "PsycNET". psycnet.apa.org. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  31. "Teacher workload: using ICT to release time to teach - Google Search". www.google.com. Retrieved 2018-04-26.


Further information

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.