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How to create a Learning Management System?

How to create a Learning Management System?

By: Taru M. Taru M.
10 Sep, 2022

In the past couple of years, a new dimension has been added to how learning is perceived by learners, and that has happened because of Learning Management System. Learning Management System has existed for a long time but has become popular because of the pandemic. The development of the Learning Management System has become one of the most commonly used tools of eLearning.

A Learning Management system or LMS system is software or a web-based learning system that can be used as a medium of learning for all kinds of learners—be it working professionals, stay-at-home adults, or children.

It has made it possible to gather all the learning material from different universities, institutions, and field professionals in one place—so that it is readily available for the learners. Thus making education more accessible.

Our web development company receives a lot of queries on ‘How to develop an LMS?’. That is why we are writing this blog to help people understand what approach to take when building complex software like LMS.

Learning Management Systems are highly customizable, which means that they can be developed and modified as per the needs, requirements, and preferences of the targeted learners. Based on this, the Learning Management System software can be divided into 10 broad categories or types. What are these?

Let’s find out

Types of Learning Management System Software

1. Open Source LMS

To develop this type of Learning Management System software, the codes are freely available on the internet. Anyone with technical knowledge can make changes to these and develop their very own LMS—making the entire development process simple and quick.

2. Commercial LMS or Enterprise LMS

This type of Learning Management System development is considered to be the best option for large enterprises and can be customized as per the needs of the company or the enterprise, which might have over 500 employees.
Therefore, these types of Learning Management Systems are capable of supporting multiple users at once.
A commercial LMS development software may possess a wide variety of features such as gamification, powerful analytic tools, discussion boards, etc.

3. Installed LMS

An installed Learning Management System software is one of the most secured LMS development options available. This is because it has to be directly installed on your servers. This gives you the authority to customize each and every aspect of the software as per your needs.

However, once installed, it then becomes the responsibility of you and your development team to maintain and upgrade the software. This makes the Installed LMS development software an expensive development process option as well.

4. Saas LMS

Software as a Service (Saas) or Web-Based Learning Management System software is the most economical type of LMS development. It is easily accessible through any browser and comes with low installation fees.

Mostly, SaaS LMS type of Learning Management Software Systems comes with a monthly fee—which is affordable. Maintenance and upgrades can be taken care of by vendors.

5. Integrated LMS

Integrated Learning Management Software systems, as the name suggests, are integration friendly. That means that they can be connected (or used in integration) with other supporting applications.

These applications could be video conferencing apps such as Zoom or Google Meet, or any other software. This type of Learning Management system development saves a great amount of time, money, and other resources. Hence, making the development process economical.

6. Non-integrated LMS

Contrary to Integrated LMS development, Non-Integrated Learning Management System development does not allow any third-party integrations. This software usually comes with its own set of software tools and learning solutions.

7. Mobile LMS

This form of Learning Management System development is slowly gaining traction in the online learning and development realms.

Organizations, trainers, or educators can use this form of LMS development process to build mobile learning courses. This type of Learning Management System software is extremely convenient for the learner, as they are able to access learning any time and anywhere.

8. Closed Source

This type of Learning Management system development, as the name suggests, does not allow the developing team to access readily available codes. The project manager or the development team needs to purchase the license to use the codes.

One of the upsides of this LMS development system is that all the technical complexities, upgrades, etc., will be handled by the LMS vendor.

9. Custom Built LMS

With Custom Built Learning Management System development, the development team has the greatest amount of flexibility to achieve their unique online learning goals. These come in a complete package with custom tools and the possibility of third-party integrations.

10. Authoring Tools LMS

Learning Management Software systems built with authoring tools allow users to develop digital courses without technical knowledge. One can create online learning courses from scratch and have the flexibility to host and manage platforms from one single software.

Steps to build a Learning Management System Software

Steps to build a Learning Management System Software

1. Researching and Planning

As soon as you decide that you have to develop your own Learning Management System software and realize that there is a need for one (for your organization), you have to know and define the purpose it will fulfill.

From an organizational point of view, the goals can range from customer training to general-purpose training. You will also have articulate the following problems the LMS software would solve for you:

  • specify the budget
  • analyze the market
  • competitor research
  • scope of work

Most importantly, research the audience you aim to provide the e-learning service to.

Based on these articulations, you will have to conduct thorough research, and only then will you have an idea about the timeline, budget, and the type of Learning Management System best suit your needs.

2. Defining the core features

Once you are clear about your goals, timeline, audience, and budget—you can now decide on the core and essential features of your own Learning Management System. Some features of LMS are highly subjective because they purely depend on the needs of your target users, although there are some basic sets of features that a Learning Management System software should have:

  • User Permissions- For security and customization of users’ access information for system functions.
  • User Management- To ensure a smooth learning process, assign assignments, make learner groups, etc.
  • Data Reports- To enable the learners to track and evaluate their progress.
  • Knowledge assessment- This should include various tools that allow the learners to take tests, quizzes, etc.
  • Push-Notification- This feature would allow LMS to give reminders regarding new materials, results, etc.
  • Learning Materials- LMS should also provide learners with enriching and easy-to-access study materials.
  • Course Management- This feature allows learners to manage their courses easily.
  • Personalize UX- The kind of content and suggestions learners get should correspond with their preferences.
  • Offline Facilities- Learners should also be allowed to download the study materials and course lectures at their convenience.
  • Scheduling- For LMS platforms that allow learners to have live sessions with the expert—scheduling features as per the comfort level of both parties would prove extremely beneficial.
  • Gamification- Allowing learners to learn via fun games helps in learner retention and enhances their engagement.
  • Integration- A good LMS development software should be able to integrate itself with other third-party applications.

3. Choose your tech stack

This is the most critical step; no matter how good your idea and research are, if you do not choose the proper technology, your Learning Management System software will fail terribly.

While developing LMS, the following technological aspects are significant:

4. Designing UX and Wireframes

After all the research and planning, the designer can start preparing a blueprint of the Learning Management System. This includes mock-ups, interfaces, and wireframe designing using a human-centered approach—ensuring each aspect enhances the user experience and meets their requirements.

5. Building Prototypes and Testing

Once you have a blueprint ready, the designers and developers can start building a prototype or a Minimum Viable Product. Before employing all the resources in building a final product, it is always advisable to build an MVP and test the digital product by identifying a given set of stakeholders.

This enables the developers and designers to keep iterating and testing using agile methodologies in smaller cycles—so that the final product is best suited to the target users’ needs.

6. Development of the Learning Management System

After all the prototyping and testing are done, developers can finally start writing codes and develop a complete version of the Learning Management System as per the identified specifications.

The developers must also conduct automated tests such as Lambda or BrowserStack, which will allow them to test the LMS platform across thousands of actual devices. This will help the Learning Management System development team to test the efficacy of the software.

7. Rollout

Once all the development and testing are done, the Learning Management System is ready to be rolled out to the targeted users. The product owners can make the software available as per their targeted users’ accessibility. For example, if the LMS is developed to meet organizational needs, then the management can simply send it across the communication medium to the company (or department).

Examples of a Learning Management System software

Examples of a Learning Management System software

1. Canvas

Canas Learning Management System software is suitable for learners from all facets. It is extremely easy to use and is compatible with integrations with most of the applications and software available.
It is a cloud-based LMS platform and allows users to conduct audio and video calls and provide feedback with annotation to aid their learning process.

2. Blackboard

It is one of the most popular and is considered one of the best Learning Management software out there. It has easy-to-use tools which help the users to have a streamlined workflow—organized and efficient.

This form of Learning Management system development renders a smooth experience for educators as well as learners. It has an automated collection and evaluation system of learners’ coursework, which also allows educators to give real-time feedback.

3. Open edX

It is an open-source Learning Management System and comes under the MOOC category. It was co-founded by Havard and MIT in 2012 to provide online education to students. But soon, it gained popularity and became a popular LMS development medium for enterprises and government organizations as well.

4. GoSkills

It is a cloud-based Learning Management System software that allows organizations to build an enterprise-level e-learning platform. It has all the essential features of an ideal LMS—gamification, social interaction, etc.

5. TalentLMS

This Learning Management System software is best for building training programs for small organizations. It has a user-friendly and intuitive interface, which enables the tech team and the developers to quickly create new courses within a couple of clicks.

It also has the provision of localizing languages as per the users’ needs and also enables the use of different media types such as videos, audio, documents, etc.

Gamification of the learning process is one of the most interesting features of TalentLMS and also offers seamless integration with many third-party apps.

6. Moodle

Moodle is one of the oldest and most popular Learning Management System software worldwide. It is an open-source LMS development software and has 65% of the market share in Europe.

It renders a more social and collaborative approach to learning, allowing the learners to interact with one another and their instructors.

Even though Moodle is an open-source LMS development software, the organization has to have a strong software programming and development team to build an LMS similar to Moodle.

The advent of the learning management system has indeed redefined the way education and training are perceived by learners, educators, and organizations today. It has managed to bring this new format of distance learning to the palm of the hand. Thus, making education even more accessible.

Taru M. Author
Taru M.

For over 18 years, Taru M. is a successful technology entrepreneur by profession and a tech enthusiast by spirit. She takes pride in offering expertise in her domain to business people's success across the globe. As a business woman and technology expert, she manages to keep her balance along with her family responsibilities. She did her masters in computers, and her work delivery shows the expertise of her education. Connect with her via Linkedin profile to know more about her exciting personality

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