If your business takes learning and development seriously, then there’s a good chance you utilize, or are considering the utilization of eLearning.
But when it comes to LMS vs CMS, which is best for your business based on your eLearning needs?
In this post, we’ll answer the key questions surrounding LMSs and CMSs, including the benefits of each, the major differences between them, and which is best for you based on your requirements.
Both LMS and CMS relate to the organization and publishing of content, but with certain key differences:
A learning management system is a piece of software used by a business or educational body to organize, manage, track, distribute, and in some cases produce, eLearning materials.
With an LMS, administrators can oversee the learning process for all employees within your business. This includes providing training materials and tracking progress to ensure training has been completed or identifying when employees may need additional support.
There are a number of benefits of using an LMS as part of your business’ training and development strategy, which include:
For more information, check out our blog post on the benefits of a learning management system.
By using an LMS, eLearning can be easily managed and accessed both from an administrative and a student point of view.
Because you can track how employees engage with the materials, you can ensure mandatory training, such as fire safety or first aid modules, has been completed thoroughly. This allows you to provide additional support to employees who may need it.
An LMS allows you to create bespoke training for individuals, meaning they can be assigned specific training that will help them along their chosen career path. Because LMSs and eLearning use a variety of teaching methods, including quizzes and assessments, this can help employees retain information and put what they’ve learned into practice.
This helps build a culture of learning within your organization, which helps with employee growth and retention.
Now that you know what an LMS is and how it’s used, what is a CMS and how does it differ?
A CMS, or content management system, is a piece of software that allows you to create, store, manage and publish content online.
A CMS can be used in a variety of ways and isn’t just limited to the publication and distribution of eLearning content. For example, many different types of websites - from blogs through to eCommerce, use CMSs to manage their content.
A CMS will generally have two components: a CMA (content management application) that allows users to create content, and a CDA (content delivery application) that supports the management of the content once it’s been produced.
The benefits of using a CMS include:
A content management system is useful if you intend on creating and publishing a large amount of bespoke content as part of your eLearning strategy. This may be useful if you need to produce long-form content such as guides or detailed user notes.
This training should also not require employees to take any kind of quiz or assessment, and due to certain limitations with a CMS, the business won’t be required to monitor how employees engage with the training, unlike with an LMS.
The main similarity between LMS and CMS systems is that both are used to create and manage content. To do this, LMSs and CMSs allow users to have different levels of accessibility and permissions.
However, that is where the similarities end. There are several key differences between an LMS and CMS which means one may be more suited to your business than the other.
While both are used to create and manage content, the differences between LMS and CMS systems mean you’re more likely to prefer the features of one, depending on what your business requires.
The major difference between the two is that an LMS is specifically designed to be used as an eLearning platform. Meanwhile, because a CMS has a wide range of features related to the creation of content they do overlap.
As a result, an LMS is more capable of utilizing a variety of learning tools and methods, including quizzes, webinars, forums, and even gamification. These all contribute to a more engaging learning experience.
An LMS also enables administrators to produce more accurate and detailed reports, enabling you to analyze the effectiveness of training and the ROI.
While an LMS and a CMS can be used by your business, you won’t necessarily want to use both to deliver your eLearning. If eLearning is a big part of your learning and development strategy, you will find that an LMS provides more of the features you will need.
A CMS is a great tool for organizing and publishing content. This makes it an ideal tool for businesses that produce a large volume of content that needs to be accessed by multiple people throughout the business.
However, due to certain limitations and having not been specifically designed as an eLearning platform, it may not provide you with all the functionality you need. If accessibility, engagement, and reporting are required, then an LMS is likely the better option for your business.
The effectiveness of your business’ eLearning strategy can depend on whether you choose the right system for your needs.
Check out our blog posts on the pros and cons of an LMS, and whether you are ready for an LMS at your organization for more insight. You can also see our blog on LMS vs LXP for more insights on the right learning system for you.