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What type of platform? Deciding between an LMS, an LCMS and a Learning Portal?

By Ian Escario on septembre, 26 2017


LMSs have been popular for years, but you also have the LCMS (which gives you the ability to create your own 'content' inside the LMS). Now you'll also start seeing Learning Portals as the organic 'upgrade' choice for effectiveness and efficiency.  

Confused yet?  Well it is no surprise as they all sound very similar to each other.  Let's have a closer look shall we?




LMS:  At their most basic level, an LMS (Learning Management System) is an e-learning platform designed to deliver, track and certify online courses as part of an organisation's strategic training solution.  


LCMS:  In a different way, an LCMS adds something extra - the ability to author and manage content inside the LS.  


Sound good so far?  These platforms serve administrators and content designers very well because they provide them with a place to create, deliver and track their courses.

But what about the learners?  From statistics shown on completion rates, it doesn't look quite so good for them; it would seem as though they feel like they are marooned on an island of formal learning with little social engagement.  It is therefore no wonder that many starters don't even make it to the finish line.


The global research organization, the Brandon Hall Group, found that nearly half of companies surveyed in 2016 are considering replacing their LMS, but why? It is because an overwhelming 87% of all surveyed indicated they wanted an improved user experience for their learners.


Learning Portals


The shift to Learning Portals is popular, simply because they are more effective and efficient.  A Learning Portal is an online hub containing all activities related to training, collaboration and learning.  It's a full ecosystem within which learners and trainers have everything they need to thrive.  

So why is this shift happening to Learning Portals?  Let's take a closer look:


It encourages learners to be independent and content creators to work together.

It provides a multi-portal solution (multiple-LMSs) inside your main Learning Portal) that creates customised learning environments and training, engaging learners within different categories inside your organisation.  

It enables your learners to curate content that's relevant to them by providing a gateway to a catalogue of learning courses.

It allows corporate organisations to sell and scale their business by incorporating ecommerce to sell content (online and offline training).  

It allows learners to communicate and connect with other learners and their trainers and even create their own content.

It allows for blended learning and works across all devices.

A Learning Portal allows you to design a platform aimed solely at your needs. So, rather than a one-size-fits-all island of formal learning, the learner has access to a virtual learning journey with a mix of different forms of training.  


Once you decide the best type of platform for your needs, how do you determine your specific platform requirements?  


We will cover that in our next blog post so stay tuned!


Brandon Hall Group, 2016 Learning Technology Study:  Summary of Top Findings


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