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What Is the Difference Between an eLearning Platform and an LMS?

When you’re creating eLearning content, terms like ‘eLearning’ and ‘Learning Management Systems’ (LMS) can be confusing. You know they’re both platforms for eLearning, but which one do you need? Maybe both? E-learning is a powerful way to help employees learn new skills and understand company culture. To make it work, you use an eLearning platform. There are different kinds: some are for selling courses online, while others handle large-scale corporate training. This article explains the Difference Between an eLearning Platform and an LMS. Understanding this difference is key.

What is eLearning?

eLearning means learning online through computers or the internet. It’s like attending classes or watching lessons on your computer or phone instead of in a classroom. It’s super helpful because it saves time and money for organizations wanting to teach people new things. Think about it like watching educational videos on YouTube or taking courses on websites like Khan Academy or edX – that’s eLearning! It’s not just for school stuff; companies use it to teach their employees too. But it’s not just about putting things online; there’s a special system called an LMS that helps organize and track these online lessons. An LMS is like the manager that helps deliver the online lessons, keep track of who’s completed them, and creates a supportive learning environment

What Is An eLearning Platform?

An eLearning platform acts like a website filled with various online learning resources, making learning possible through the internet. There are different ways to learn on these platforms:

Learning at your own pace: You can access courses whenever you want online.

Learning with guidance: Live online classes or in-person sessions with a teacher.

These eLearning platforms come with various features: creating courses, uploading videos and content online, selling courses, and storing user data. They serve as the starting point for online learning. However, when things become more intricate, such as teaching many people or requiring detailed progress tracking, a specialized eLearning platform called a Learning Management System (LMS) steps in. An LMS acts like a powerful assistant, efficiently managing and tracking online lessons on a larger scale.

As for one of the top eLearning platforms available, LearnWorlds stands out. LearnWorlds is highly regarded for its user-friendly interface, interactive learning features, and versatile tools for creating, marketing, and selling online courses. It provides customizable course creation, multimedia support, and fosters a supportive community for both creators and learners, making it an excellent choice for individuals and businesses looking to delve into the eLearning world.

What is an LMS?

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a specialized software platform designed to deliver and manage online learning materials. It provides a range of tools essential for training management, enhancing learner engagement, and fostering a cohesive learning community. Within an LMS, administrators can assign specific content to distinct learner groups and monitor user progress through the learning materials. One of its pivotal features is the provision of interactive tools that enable learners to engage not only with the content but also with fellow learners, simulating the dynamics of real-world learning environments. It’s important to note that while all learning managed by an LMS is categorized as eLearning, not all eLearning occurs within an LMS. 

An LMS empowers users with advanced functionality for creating, organizing, and overseeing course materials, offering a more robust approach to online education. For instance, popular LMS plugins like LearnDash on WordPress allow users to create and distribute their course content via their hosting platform, showcasing the versatility and customization an LMS can provide. In contrast, eLearning platforms, while sharing similarities with LMSs, focus more on web-based applications facilitating the creation and sharing of online courses with learners. Both LMSs and eLearning platforms play pivotal roles in assisting educators and learners by organizing, accessing, and managing the learning process effectively.

Skool is recognized as a highly effective Learning Management System (LMS) offering a comprehensive range of tools and features tailored for educators and learners. It provides a user-friendly interface, making it easy for teachers to create and manage online courses efficiently. With Skool, instructors can easily upload course content, track student progress, and engage learners through interactive elements. Its robust features empower educators to personalize learning experiences, assign tasks, and facilitate discussions among students. Skool’s adaptability and scalability make it a valuable tool for educational institutions, enabling seamless management of multiple courses and learners. While there are various LMS platforms available, Skool stands out for its intuitive design and versatility, catering to the diverse needs of educators seeking an accessible and adaptable online learning environment.

Key Difference between eLearning Platform and an LMS

eLearning platforms and Learning Management Systems (LMS) are two distinct tools in the world of online education. While they both facilitate online learning, they differ significantly in their functionalities and capabilities. Understanding the key differences between these tools is crucial in choosing the right platform suited to specific educational needs and goals. Below, we’ll explore and outline the fundamental distinctions between eLearning platforms and LMS, aiding in making an informed decision for educational initiatives.

Purpose and Features

eLearning Platforms: eLearning platforms, like Teachable or Kajabi, focus on enabling creators or small businesses to sell courses online. They offer basic content creation and hosting capabilities but lack in-depth reporting features for tracking learner progress.

LMS: Learning Management Systems like Skool are specialized tools designed not only for creating and selling courses but also for managing complex training programs. They excel in tracking learner progress, offering detailed reporting metrics, and facilitating interactions among learners.

Functionality and Integration:

eLearning Platforms: Suitable for creators aiming to offer self-paced courses, lacking features for managing multiple audiences or comprehensive reporting.

LMS: Offers functionalities like portals/groups to onboard and train multiple organizations simultaneously, allowing in-depth reporting on learner progress, certifications, and extensive integrations with various business tools like CRMs and HR software.

Pricing and Scalability

eLearning Platforms: Generally less expensive and suitable for simpler course creation, lacking scalability for managing complex training.

LMS: More expensive due to advanced features and integrations, better suited for managing extensive and complex training programs, and offering scalability as the organization grows.

Customization and Support

eLearning Platforms: Limited customization options and support compared to LMS.

LMS: Offers more options for software customization and dedicated support, ensuring adaptability and growth as the company scales.

Functionality and Flexibility

LMSs: Comprehensive functionalities with file sharing, collaboration tools, and messaging capabilities.

eLearning Platforms: Primarily focused on hosting course content, offering basic support for content addition and storage.

Accessibility and Time to Market

LMSs: Hosted or on-premises require longer setup time and integration efforts.

eLearning Platforms: Generally hosted, more flexible in access, and quicker to integrate into existing systems.

Pricing

LMSs: More expensive due to advanced features and integrations.

eLearning Platforms: Relatively cheaper, offering less extensive features compared to LMSs.

Do You Need An LMS? Or A Budget eLearning Platform?

If you’re wondering whether to pick an LMS or a budget eLearning platform, it all depends on what you need. An LMS, which is a more advanced kind of eLearning tool, is great for businesses needing custom training, managing multiple groups of learners, or tracking progress in detail. Maybe your current eLearning platform feels too small or doesn’t do what you want – that’s when you might want an LMS. On the other hand, eLearning platforms, which are easier to use, let you mix videos, quizzes, and other stuff to make learning fun. However, they might not track progress as well as an LMS does or give certificates to learners. So, if you’re after simpler self-paced learning or varied content, an eLearning platform might suit you better than an LMS.

I personally prefer using LearnWorlds as it offers exceptional features and suits my needs perfectly

Examples Of Best LMS And eLearning Platforms

Several platforms stand out as top choices in the realm of online learning. For Learning Management Systems (LMS), LearnDash, Moodle, and TalentLMS are recognized for their robust features, scalability, and user-friendly interfaces. LearnDash, a WordPress LMS plugin, offers extensive customization and integration capabilities. Moodle, an open-source LMS, provides a wide range of tools and customization options. TalentLMS stands out for its simplicity and suitability for various business sizes. In the world of eLearning platforms, LearnWorlds, Teachable, and Kajabi are among the favorites. LearnWorlds excels with its interactive tools and community-building features. Teachable, a user-friendly platform, aids creators in monetizing their knowledge. Kajabi is noted for its comprehensive suite of marketing and sales tools, ideal for creating and selling courses online.

PlatformDescriptionCategory
LearnWorldsE-learning platform enabling the creation and sale of online courses with tools for course creation, interaction, and content delivery.E-Learning Platform
TeachableE-learning platform facilitating the creation and sale of online courses, providing customizable course creation tools and marketing features.E-Learning Platform
PodiaPlatform for selling online courses, memberships, and digital downloads, offering tools for course creation, webinars, and digital sales.E-Learning Platform
ThinkificE-learning platform offering customizable course creation tools, multimedia support, and sales and marketing features.E-Learning Platform
LearnDashWordPress-based LMS plugin allowing the creation and sale of online courses, offering features like quizzes, certificates, and membership integration.LMS
KajabiAll-in-one platform for creating online courses, membership sites, and marketing products, aiming to streamline online business operations.E-Learning Platform
SkoolLearning management platform designed for schools and educational institutions.LMS
TalentLMSCloud-based learning management system (LMS) for training employees, partners, customers, and students.LMS
MoodleOpen-source learning platform offering extensive customization and tools for educators to create online courses and manage learning environments.LMS
KartraAll-in-one marketing platform with sales funnel, email marketing, membership sites, and webinar hosting tools.Other
KeapCRM software for managing contacts, automating marketing campaigns, and organizing sales processes.Other
VendastaWhite-label marketing solutions platform offering tools for reputation management, social media, local SEO, and digital advertising.Other
PipedriveCRM software focusing on sales pipeline management, lead tracking, and deal visualization.Other
GetResponseEmail marketing platform with features for creating and sending emails, building landing pages, and marketing automation.Other
GrooveAll-in-one sales and customer support platform, including CRM, live chat, ticketing, knowledge base, and automation features.Other
MightyNetworksCommunity platform enabling creation and management of branded social networks and communities, supporting courses and memberships.Other
Systeme.ioAll-in-one marketing platform with tools for sales funnels, email marketing, affiliate management, and membership sites.Other
BuilderallOnline business platform offering website and funnel builders, email marketing, design tools, and automation features.Other
GoHighLevelMarketing automation platform integrating CRM, website builder, funnel creation, email and SMS marketing, catering to agencies and businesses.Other

Can An eLearning Platform Be Used Without An LMS?

While an eLearning platform can be utilized independently, its capabilities are constrained without the presence of a Learning Management System (LMS). Without an LMS, essential functionalities such as tracking learner progress become unavailable. This limitation prompts many organizations to opt for both platforms in tandem, capitalizing on the broader capabilities offered by an LMS. However, for those solely seeking a learning platform without advanced tracking or management needs, an eLearning platform alone can adequately serve their purposes

Conclusion

Understanding the difference between eLearning platforms and Learning Management Systems (LMS) is essential for online education choices. An eLearning platform offers lots of learning resources for flexible and interactive learning, while an LMS helps manage and track bigger learning programs. Among eLearning platforms, LearnWorlds stands out for its great features and ease of use, making it an excellent choice for online courses. When deciding between an eLearning platform and an LMS, LearnWorlds shines as a top pick, catering to various learning needs.

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