While cloud computing is as old as the advent of the internet, companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google really brought the terminology to consumers. Ever since then, cloud computing has become the new norm. As a result, incorporating cloud computing into Learning Management Systems (LMSs) has been an important revolution for online training.
The development of cloud-based LMS platform allowed trainers or companies to train their employees with little IT skills. Also, it allows trainers to access eLearning courses from remote distances. These platforms offered cloud storage while allowing trainers to access their services for a fee depending on the number of students and their technology needs. Before checking out the various benefits these cloud-based LMSs provide, let’s go through the different types of LMSs available to users.
Types of LMS
While there are up to nine different types of Learning Management Systems, we’ll be going through six of these types. They include:
1. Enterprise LMS
Enterprise Learning Management Systems that cater to large companies with up to 500 employees. This type of LMS has numerous features to career to the company’s needs even as they grow.
2. Individual LMS
This category caters to small organizations or an independent course creator who doesn’t have a large audience yet. They offer subscription plans and are also scalable to meet more extensive needs.
3. Free LMS
This is pretty much self-explanatory. Most LMSs have free versions of their apps that offer a fraction of their full functionality. However, most of them are easy to install, and most users can easily deploy them without an IT professional.
4. Commercial LMS
This category classified LMSs sold for a price. They’re easy to set up, and you get prompt IT support. However, they require frequent updates, addressing bugs, and incorporating new features into the software.
5. Cloud-based LMS
This category describes LMSs that allow users to access educational content from anywhere in the world using any device with an Internet connection. It usually incorporates features most other LMSs would have. It’s only different feature is its cloud-based perk.
6. On-premise LMS
An on-premise LMS is a licensed product built and set up to suit a company’s specifications and hosted on their chosen server. If this type of LMS is used in a large company, it might require more than a server to make it function properly. In addition, it could be costly to set up.
Note: One LMS product could belong to more than one of these types of LMS, depending on its features.
Benefits of Cloud-Based LMS
Cloud-based LMSs are particularly favored for their:
When running a company or an online learning course, being able to save every possible penny while still delivering value is paramount. With traditional LMSs which needed a particular software or hardware installation, all trainers got was a one-size-fits-all solution. However, with cloud-based LMSs, trainers can now purchase subscriptions depending on their specific needs.
For example, people with a small number of students can purchase lower-priced subscriptions. On the other hand, those with an enormous amount of employees/trainees or with some special requirements can also find subscriptions to fit their needs. Of course, you can always increase your subscription with an increasing number of trainees.
The cost-effectiveness also favors trainees. For example, in a physical training class, they’ll have to spend additional fees on logistics. However, with cloud-based LMSs, these costs are absent.
2. Increased Accessibility
With traditional LMSs, you had to have the app or software to access or edit a course. This was really constricting, and you might not be able to lug your PC along everywhere you go. However, with cloud-based LMSs, you can access your courses anywhere you go. So whether you’re in the office, at home, or on vacation to the Bahamas, all you need is your login credentials, and you’re back to learning.
Also, this increased accessibility favored trainers as well. Making revisions using traditional LMSs was almost impossible. In these cases, trainees would have to download the updated version of the course all over again. Sometimes, the trainers had to go through the whole course creation process again just to effect some corrections. However, with cloud-based LMSs, trainers can easily effect changes to their courses. The changes made would be reflected in the trainees portal once uploaded.
3. Large Storage Space
Another restrictive feature of traditional LMSs is their requirement for large storage spaces to create courses. For example, if you want to create an extremely comprehensive course with videos and several media, you’ll need large amounts of physical space on your PC. Now, if you had to create multiple courses in this same manner, the amount of storage you’ll need will be humongous. This will increase the costs as you’ll have to cater to this need by purchasing external storage options.
However, once you subscribe to a cloud-based LMS, you get access to large amounts of storage, making creating these courses easier. So now, one software is solving your course creation and storage problem. Also, if you find the space insufficient, you can purchase extra units.
4. Increased Security
With everything online, there tends to be a possibility of hack attacks. Cloud-based LMSs are no different as they tend to contain sensitive information. They include the personal information of trainers and intellectual property hosted on the platform. Some trainees might also have their credit card information on these platforms. The manufacturers of these services keep these possibilities in mind.
They make sure to keep their users’ data off-site and conduct regular backups to prevent loss of data. In addition, they use a range of safety measures such as a secure socket layer (SSL), data encryption, and password protection. However, it is also important to note that users also have to protect their information.
5. Mobile Responsive Design
eLearning on mobile devices has become the norm. Not everyone can access a PC or even want to use a PC. With traditional LMSs, viewing courses is usually a mess as many of these LMSs are made for PC only. However, with cloud-based LMSs, you can access online courses from any device, be it a mobile device, tablet, or PC.
The ease that comes with using these devices can help trainees watch, read, and understand these courses better.
Cloud-based LMSs are very advantageous to the eLearning space due to their cost-effectiveness and the ease of accessing them anywhere in the world (as long as you have an Internet connection). If you’re a trainer or a trainee looking to create or purchase courses, using a cloud-based LMS will only make your work easier.