What are the different types of learning management systems?
Now we know what an LMS is, why you should use an LMS and how to evaluate an LMS. Let's look at learning management systems from a different perspective. What are the types of learning management systems?
In this article we're going to talk about the different LMS systems.
Webbased LMS vs Installed LMS software
The biggest difference in LMS solutions is between the webbased LMS software and the installed LMS software. You had to install early LMS vendor created software on your own server. It had to be maintained by your own IT. It came with big setup fees and maintenance agreements. Which cost you a lot of money. Modern LMS vendors develop webbased online Learning Mangement Systems. Pricing for webbased software is a fraction of the big clunky installed software. On top of that, the LMS vendors maintain the software and keep developing and improving their online LMS software. No big setup fees are needed and the monthly costs are much lower than installed software.
Saas / Cloud LMS vs Hosted LMS
In the webbased software you have two different views. You can choose for a saas LMS or you can host the software yourself. If you're going to host the software yourself, you're in full control of the server specs. But you're also responsible for the uptime and security of your server. You have to upgrade any updates that come available. If you choose an online saas LMS all those responsibilities are for the LMS vendor. You can concentrate on creating online courses.
Free vs Commercial
If you have technical talent in your team and you are on a tight budget, have a look at the free learning management systems which are available. There are some solutions which you can install and maintain yourself. If you don't want to install and setup software yourself, you have to choose a commercial LMS.
Open Source vs Closed Source
In both webbased and installed software you have closed source and open source learning management systems. Online Saas / Cloud LMS software is never open source. If you are a big fan of open source projects you don't have to look in to those. Open source gives you freedom, but also responsibilities. If you're a more hassle free girl or guy just go with an online saas LMS.
As for integrations, you have systems with integrations and systems without integrations. To let data flow free you have to look into an LMS which offers 3rd party integrations.