Learning Management vs. Course Management: What’s The Difference?

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More and more professional and educational institutions are turning to eLearning environments in order to enhance their training programs. The digital learning field is a vibrant and rapidly growing professional sector devoted to promoting course engagement. Today’s eLearning systems allow for a larger number of students to be reached with consistent course materials and measurable progress, and they reduce the need for physical resources like physical classrooms and strict timelines. With their appealing versatility, these innovative training programs can be combined with different teaching and training methods to enhance a course.

The most popular eLearning platforms are often referred to as either course management systems or learning management systems. However, is there a difference between the two? Which one should you choose for your organization? After a quick comparison, you should have a good idea of which one works the best for your purposes.

What is Course Management?

Course management is essentially a type of learning management, which tends to cause some confusion. Fortunately, the difference between the two is not complicated. A course management system is a stripped down version of a learning management system and contains the bare essentials required for administering online courses.

Typical features of a CMS are as follows:

  • A platform for uploading learning content for students to access. Usually, this platform accepts widely used formats like Word and PowerPoint, which reduces the need for technical experience. Teachers can also upload quizzes and tests on this platform, and score their students.
  • Communication utilities for teachers and students are usually provided. This often comes in the form of discussion boards and messaging systems.
  • The platform also allows students to submit assignments and presentations.

What is Learning Management?

A learning management system contains all of the functionality that a CMS has, but provides much more. A well-designed learning management system provides robust tools for monitoring the progress of students and adds many more options for course materials. These types of platforms tend to be much more flexible and offer more tools for managing online courses.

Here are some benefits that an LMS typically features:

  • Compatibility with multimedia such as videos and flash.
  • Tools for tracking student progress and participation rates.
  • Stronger tools for communication and discussion, including options for social media integration.
  • Scheduling tools, and capabilities for certification and accreditation programs.
  • Additionally, all of the features of CMS mentioned above.

Making the Choice

If you have very narrow requirements for your online courses and only need a bare-bones system to administer your online courses, a Course Management System will probably suffice for your needs. In all other cases, you can’t do much better than invest in a learning management system tailored to your business’ or organization’s needs.

The robust and flexible functionality of an LMS allows you to design and effectively teach online courses that will comprehensively enrich your team or students’ knowledge while fostering their critical thinking abilities. Teachers will appreciate all of the tools at their disposal to make course administration easier and less labor intensive. This type of eLearning platform will also provide a much richer experience for students, which results in greater course engagement and satisfaction.