What is it?
A complex website that allows you to track learner access to your eLearning content, set time limits, run quiz pass/fail reports, and automatically award completion certificates.
Why is it important?
While eLearning content can be created easily with off-the-shelf-tools, you will need a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver your content and to help you gauge its effectiveness.
Why does a technical communicator need to know this?
Technical communicators often develop eLearning content. This includes content written specifically for training and content re-purposed for training. In either case, you may need to interact with Learning Management Systems (LMS).
A Learning Management System manages the entire workflow for delivering training. It controls access, delivers your content to learners, controls the order in which material is presented, manages testing, tracks progress, and prepares status reports. In short, an LMS is to eLearning content what a Component Content Management System is to technical content, plus it acts as a publishing engine and wiki, too.
There are many choices of LMSs that will handle delivery and management of eLearning content. Solutions range in price from free (Moodle is arguably the most well-known open-source LMS) to millions of dollars. Most of today’s LMSs, from the least to the most expensive, support eLearning content created by modern eLearning tools.