Learning Management System VS Online Course Platform

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Thinking of taking your marketable training program to the next stage? How do you know if a Learning Management System or an Online Course Platform is the better direction for your business? Let’s take a look at the subtle, yet important, differences between the two options and help narrow it down.

The Provider

Professional Advisors are also Learning Providers. They need to have a platform where their training programs are accessible to the end-user. Depending on the type of business the Professional Advisor is running, and the type of learners they want to attract, this determines the final decision. Perhaps the public speaker wants to have all their teachings in one place to market to the masses; or a business coach wants their lessons in an accessible subscription platform for their weekly curriculum? Whatever the case, the Provider will need the right platform for the right price.

Learning Management System

Larger organizations and companies such as non-profits, associations, government bodies and training institutions typically require a Learning Management System (LMS). On an LMS, you have the capability to not only offer access to the training program, but also to record the actions and successes of the learner’s activity through reporting. A few examples of this are:

  • Tests and results
  • Watching pre-recorded videos
  • Downloading a reading file
  • Completing a quiz
  • Gaining Certifications, etc.

These detailed records and reports can be stored within the LMS and become part of the entire learning experience. For example, if Jessica takes a quiz and passes, she will now gain access to a new learning experience. James on the other hand, did not pass the quiz and is redirected to where the mistake was made to try again. The learning records tells the manager of an employee (or learner) where they failed or succeeded, whether they need to re-certify, or even recommend next level training. Having these features in a large organization automates continued learning. This equals better time management and efficiency within the corporate structure.

Online Training Program

Professional advisor’s such as a coach, speaker, consultant or author who wants to develop a learning program based on their intellectual property, and wants to make their teachings simple and automated, an LMS may not be the right choice. The type of execution they are looking to achieve may not require a system where tracking and reporting is necessary. Keeping track of who is doing what won’t be as important. But, what is important is accessibility in a user-friendly and affordable platform. This is where an online course platform would be a better option.

There are many online course platforms available with simple features where they are easy to create and maintain with an attractive design. Additionally, they are also very intuitive and make it easy for the learner to go through the program step-by-step.

How do you know which LMS is right for you?

Here are a handful of things to consider when you’re in the decision making process:

  1. How many clients/learners are you aiming to service with this program?
  2. What level of tracking and reporting is needed for you or your clients?
  3. Will you need a white label option for clients ore departments?
  4. Will you want to sell your programs directly on the platform?
  5. What pricing module are you looking for?

An online platform usually comes in a subscription format where the professional advisor will pay an annual or monthly fee whereas, the LMS is typically a flat fee with annual maintenance fees.

During your decision making process, you will need to assess if an LMS or an online course platform is the right choice based on your budget (short and long-term), your business plan, your clients and/or end-users and your desired execution. With the guidance of this blog, our latest White Paper and access to a Subject Matter Expert, your process and execution will be fail-proof!

Choosing the Right LMS White Paper

Are you looking for more information?

Check out our White Paper: Choosing the Right LMS.