These two terms are so similar that in many instances they are employed to talk about the same thing when in reality they are different systems.
LMS stands for ‘Learning Management System’ and LCMS stands for ‘Learning Content Management System’.
Both systems provide training for employees; but it is important that you understand the differences between both before making the decision to invest in one of them:
This is basically a system that manages learning, and it is normally web-based and referenced as e-learning. With a LMS you can plan, organize, and follow learning from a central platform, and from it you are able to supervise and send training to employees as it is required.
Let’s say an employee needs training on presentation skills and another one has to learn about workplace violence. Through LMS you can send a presentation skills course to the first one and a workplace violence course to the latter.
In both cases, as the employees move forward with the courses, you are able to see their improvement and test results. At the same time, employees can take the training from their desks and go as fast or slow as they need to.
A good LMS will offer a wide variety of courses, allowing you to train your staff on many subjects and according to each employee’s needs.
This system is centered on supervising content instead of individuals. It focuses on creating content, which is provided by specific instructors and internal content developers.
In this case, you are able to take content that already exists, sections or targets, and mix and match them to create new courses, allowing you to reuse content that already existed instead of creating a completely new course.
So, which one works best for your company?
It all depends on what you need.
If your company has its own trainers or coaches, it could be very valuable to give them the chance to create and supervise content through LCMS.
If you don’t want or need to create and supervise content, but rather prefer to employ courses already created by a third party, you should go for the LMS option.
However, bear in mind that the LMS can’t reuse the content you already have and build another course; it can’t create courses. This is precisely what the LCMS can do. It can build, deliver and manage courses, but also manage all of its individual pieces. These chunks of information, also known as “learning objects”, may be reused and organized to form a different, new and improved course.
So, once again, the decision is yours. But now you have what you need to make an informed decision.