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Learning Management Systems Provide the Structure for E-learning!

Learning Management Systems (LMS) - also referred to as Training Management Systems (TMS)*- form the infrastructure of an e-learning system.** They serve as a dynamic platform that supports the tracking of users (learners), assessing performance, deployment of content, providing administrative functions such as access to user records, as well as providing an environment for synchronous and asynchronous learning environments.

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At the Citadel School of Business I teach a course: Building a Success Business Using the Internet. I just gave the course online as a part of a school pilot evaluation of online learning at the Citadel. I used Blackboard as the LMS.

I also teach an non-credit this course from my learning portal at I just added a online project management tool which serves well as an effective LMS for the course. Click here to watch a video how I use it to support my course.


Let me further explain by using a traditional facilitated training program example. My own facilitated management training sessions were conducted for a half day, once a month. Participants had to complete 10 of 12 sessions to receive a certificate. Oftentimes attendees required documentation to support using session attendance to meet annual professional certification requirements. Finally, heads of organizations wanted feedback on how attendees were progressing and -- most importantly -- the results being achieved as a result of the training.

I administered the program and kept the records needed to meet to above requirements. In effect, I acted as the Learning Management System for my training program.

Let's complicate my example a bit. Using the same materials, suppose I am conducting separate in-house training programs to 5 different companies. Each company uses only a subset of the materials I used above -- the sessions presented each month to each of the companies is not the same. I still serve as the Learning Management System -- but my administrative chores and reporting requirements are now more complex.

To understand the role that Learning Management Systems play, enter now the world of e-learning and apply it to the same set of leadership and management core competencies addressed in my facilitated series described above. Each participant has an assigned mentor and a tailored program based on initial assessment testing. Add that the e-learning sessions are individually taken (asynchronous learning), but reviewed in synchronous sessions led by the mentor. All the reporting and documenting requirements outlined for the traditional program remain. And, add that company must track and report progress of each individual enrolled in the sessions -- sorting by mentor, and organizational group within the company.

Now add multiple courses, each with different certification and documentation requirements and you can begin to understand how important Leaning Management Systems are to an overall company learning program.

Learning Management Systems can be viewed as a specialized support function in the training industry. I'll cover some of the latest functions by drawing from the information provided by two of the Learning Management Systems vendors listed in a University of Illinois, Urbana summary.

  • The Aspen (by Click2Learn) LMS is a global, scalable, 100% Web-based application that enables an organization to manage all aspects of learning. The Aspen LMS delivers robust capabilities in the areas of performance management, competency management, regulatory compliance, student registration and tracking, records management, facilities and curricula management and reporting. The Aspen LMS provides unparalleled levels of support for any blend of delivery environments including self-paced, live interactive and instructor-led courses.

The Aspen LMS enables you to:

· Map business goals to departmental and individual objectives

· Assess organizational and employee needs against objectives

· Develop and implement plans to bridge assessed gaps

· Deliver and manage a blended learning program

· Increase efficiency with personalized, adaptive delivery

· Facilitate collaborative knowledge capture and transfer

· Measure employee, departmental and organizational progress


The THINQ LMS makes learning across your entire organization easier. By deploying a web-based system to initiate, manage and track all learning related activities, you can definitely start shaping a learning culture that's in tune with your business objectives—now and in the future; in one language or multiple languages across your organization. Your LMS can even be accessible to your learners with disabilities, in compliance with Section 508.

Based on over 14 years of experience, THINQ understands what organizations are looking for in an LMS. Click below to see how THINQ impacts your people and your technology infrastructure:

One of the most important components of the LMS is the self-service interface that your learners interact with on a daily basis. The THINQ LMS offers a highly configurable learner interface that can be modified— without customization—to include new fields, layouts and branding. To date, THINQ is the first LMS provider to offer upgradeable branding, saving you time and money as you upgrade and maintain your solution.

Using the THINQ LMS streamlines training administration to save time, money and workload. THINQ offers a highly configurable training administration component to give administrators the ability to capture and manage the data they need to run their organizations.

The THINQ LMS is a multi-tier web-based application that offers the highest level of configurability available. Based on a 14-year track record, THINQ's proven, scalable technology offers many unique advantages.

Click here the latest Learning Management Systems overview

Let me complete this explanation of Learning Management Systems by describing our demonstration program which incorporates a Learning Management System that supports the functions described.

Administrators, mentors and learners all sign in at the same location. Learners have access to all assessment modules, assigned courses and past entries and can modify their password.

Administrators and mentors can add/remove learners, review pre-learning assessments and recommended course assignments, access the records and course assignments of all assigned learners, make course announcements and monitor individual learner progress and review completed post learning tests. In addition, the can review a report of the use of modules in their group and the roster of all assigned learners. In addition to access to all Learning Management System information, super administrators can create groups and assign mentors to the groups.

As you can see, Learning Management Systems provide the structure of e-learning. Without them, e-learning would be most difficult to implement and efficiently manage in any organization.


Richard Dowell
President, Best Managers on the Net

We are a business consulting, leadership and management training and development company dedicated to helping good managers and their companies prosper by reaching for the top.  

*LMS is more frequently used in the education community, TMS in the business world

**The emerging trend is toward blended learning. Both class delivered and on-line course delivery are increasingly using blends of online and e-learning means of creating a rich learning environment.

***with thanks to John McDermott


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