What is a Learning Management System?

A learning management system allows you to widely share your classes, offering an all-in-one learning solution for businesses of all sizes.

Written By

Blog author image

Kelli Pease

Published On

09.02.2020

The current global health crisis has shone a spotlight on the crucial role that online learning courses and platforms play around the world, for people from all walks of life. As lockdowns and stay at home orders make it impossible for people to keep up with their daily routines for anything but performing basic and essential errands, more and more people are going online for everything from taking a yoga or meditation class, to learning a new skill.


Health and wellness companies, professionals, coaches, and educators have an unprecedented opportunity to bring their services and expertise to eager and captive audiences around the world. Whether you’re looking to launch a new course, grow your existing audience base, or upgrade your program credentials with professional certification, now is the time to make the leap.


All Online Courses and Workshops are Not Created Equal


Technology has made it possible for just about anyone to film a class on their phone and post it on YouTube, but quality and safety will vary significantly. Investing in high-quality production and a professional, organized online platform will be key to enticing consumers to pay for your courses.


A learning management system or other course creation software offers course creators the tools and technology to market and sell on a professional platform.


How a Learning Management Systems (LMS) Works


A learning management system (LMS) consists of software that allows educators and organizations to deliver educational and training content to its users, and also administer certifications. An LMS is a one stop shop for successfully launching, managing, tracking, and certifying online classes and education programs.


The most successful and engaging courses consist of a mix of high-quality content including video, audio files, slide presentations, tests and quizzes, and written content like e-books and articles. Content distribution and the ability to track engagement and completion of the programs is one aspect. An LMS also makes it possible to sell tiered access to your courses and content ranging from weekly, monthly, or yearly subscriptions and memberships.


The LMS is the engine that drives successful and profitable online learning programs. Thanks to technology, the software is available to companies and educators with modest budgets to larger and traditional learning institutions.


What to Look for in a Learning Management System


Your LMS isn’t just a delivery system for content. It’s also a full-scale sales and marketing engine that allows you to scale up your courses and offerings over time. Here are some of the main features of comprehensive learning management software:


A Robust Content Delivery System


Delivering course content is one of the biggest challenges many online educators and course creators face. Unlike a standard website, online courses are interactive and have a number of moving parts beyond hosting, especially for highly interactive and multidimensional content.


An LMS takes all of the guesswork, stress, and technical considerations out of the equation by offering a central platform where you can create, store, sell, and deliver your content in a secure and branded environment.


The difference between a bare-bones content delivery system and one that’s full-featured is noticeable for both educators and students. When content isn’t delivered to students in a manner that’s easily accessible for them, no one is going to be happy.


Assignment, Quizzes, and Exams for Certification


Depending on the type of course offering, most learning environments need a way to track and quantify student progress, for the educators as well as the students. This is especially important when you’re offering certification programs, which can offer your courses a level of prestige as well as personal fulfillment for your students.


Learning management systems provide tools to create custom assignments, progress reports, testing, and reporting so that you can quantify how well your students are doing, and adjust your learning materials as needed.


Collaboration


The ability to collaborate with other learners and educators is crucial — especially in the health, fitness, and wellness niche. The collaboration tools in an LMS allow course creators to craft communities of dedicated learners to enhance the experience for the students and also allow for brand recognition and growth in the process.


The concept of working and learning online together has become especially important, so having a platform that allows students to learn and grow with ample available communication tools is paramount. Someone may go to a live workshop to work on their personal fitness and knowledge base, but the connection to other learners and instructors is also part of the appeal. Tailored collaboration tools make it possible to replicate a community spirit online.


Progress Tracking


Static content like blog posts, articles, books, and even standard videos differ from educational content in that they are usually designed to share general information or entertainment. Once they’re out in the world, the metrics used to qualify whether the content is successful or not is typically limited to analytics data like traffic and general engagement.


With an online course, the engagement doesn’t end when someone purchases the product in most cases. Course creators need tools to measure how their students are retaining the content and progressing through the course, which is something a Google analytics or basic sales report can’t really capture.


Course creators also need feedback. While some are happy with just delivering content to their clients, the best creators will want to perfect their content. Knowing how many of your clients are making it through your courses is key to that — otherwise you simply won’t be able to see what’s working and what isn’t.


Customization and Branding


Even the best and most exclusive content, products, and services come down to the packaging. This is especially true for online health and wellness courses and programs competing with all of the content that’s already available on the internet as well as the new information coming online every day. Branding, marketing, and e-commerce tools are one of the best features of a good learning management system.


Likewise, consistent branding is important for the overall experience. If your LMS doesn’t allow you to customize it to fit your branding, it can be jarring for customers that have to leave your site and head to the LMS. Without a smooth transition, the process won’t look professional — and might deter some clients from purchasing courses.


The Benefits of Using Learning Management Software to Sell Your Courses


Managing all of the aspects that go into creating, launching, and selling an online course without the right tools can be challenging and frustrating. It can also cost you money. With so much content to choose from, online learners and consumers are constantly bombarded with more content and information than they know what to do with.


Even if millions of people are looking for or need the information provided in your course, they may never find it because they don’t know where to look, or the packaging doesn’t convey the quality and value of your programs.


Here are some of the many benefits that online educators and course creators find from leveraging the tools available through a learning management system:


Create a centralized hub for your courses and educational content


Whether you’re offering a single course or workshop or have an entire library of educational content, you’ll need a dedicated “storefront” to manage every aspect of creating, promoting, selling, and running your courses,


Provide tiered levels of access to your courses and content


Offer monthly or weekly passes, bonus content, yearly subscriptions, make the course materials available all at once, or drip the content according to schedule or calendar. An LMS allows you to control the levels of access and availability for all of your courses to give your students a range of choices depending on their needs and circumstances.


Save money on course and web development costs in the short and long term


Producing and selling high quality, multidimensional health and wellness courses and learning programs can be time consuming and prohibitively expensive if you try to do it on your own. An LMS streamlines the experience to make it more efficient and cost effective.


Allow students to learn and progress at their own pace


One of the benefits of taking a course online is that it offers students flexibility to work at their own pace and according to their own schedule. People will be more likely to invest in a program they know they’ll actually use and benefit from.


Revise, update, delete, and add course materials and content as needed


Another benefit of online learning is that it allows for highly customized content that can be expanded or changed as trends and information becomes outdated or improved. An LMS allows you to make changes and updates on the fly, and to offer a constant source of fresh content and information.


Integrate courses with social media for greater reach


Social media integration is an easy and cost-effective way to build community and buzz for your courses as students share their experiences with their own networks.


Other benefits of investing in an LMS include:
  • Convenience
  • Customization
  • Create a modern, multimedia learning environment
  • Streamlined monetization, marketing, and e-commerce tools

The good thing about a learning management system is that they can offer a simple, pared down set of tools for smaller or new course developers that are still growing their brand. On the other end of the spectrum, they can be customized and built out to offer enterprise level solutions as well.


With the right LMS, there really are no limits to what you can do with your educational content and programs.


The Inspire360 Difference


Our tools are unique in that we focus exclusively on the healthcare, wellness, and fitness space with over 35 years of combined experience.


Each of our clients is treated as a true partner and we work hand and hand with them to create an ongoing partnership that ensures they are successful.


Inspire360's all-in-one platform specializes in hosting online courses, certifications, workshops, and memberships and works with the best and brightest health, wellness and fitness companies, including TRX, EXOS, Schwinn, Yoga Journal, Dr. Jessica Peatross, Onnit, TriggerPoint, Mike Boyle, IDEA Health & Fitness Association, Spinning, and 200 others in the space to deliver and distribute their education online.


To get started, contact us to learn more about our features and services, or a demo today.