When the President says we don’t need an LMS and to use the CMS instead

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Not too long ago, I was working with a client who told me that the President of their company didn’t see the value in an LMS (Learning Management System) and would rather use the CMS they were creating instead.

You can’t blame him; he didn’t know what he didn’t know.

First, let’s cover what each of these things are:

  • This is where all your courses are held.
  • The client or your employees have their own login details and can access only the items that they have chose, purchased, or are given.
  • It generates reports, saves progress, can include interactivity between users, and more.
  • This is where content is held.
  • The client or your employees have their own login details and can access only the items that they have chose, purchased, or are given.
  • It can include documents (white papers, case studies, articles), videos, podcasts, blogs and more.

It’s easy to see why he thought the courses could be added to the CMS as videos. He just didn’t understand WHY the LMS was important.

In order to help him see how beneficial the LMS would be to them, I put together a presentation to showcase why Moodle (the LMS they were using) was pretty great and the benefits it had over the CMS option!

If you have ever been asked something similar or are curious yourself, here are the top 3 reasons I covered:

1: Progress.

When-the-president-says-we-dont-need-an-lms-progressLet’s say a user is watching a video from a course but is suddenly called to a meeting so they have to stop after completing 75% of it.

What happens when they return?

In a CMS, they have to start over or hope they can remember first WHICH video it was and HOW FAR along they were in that video.

Why? Because, a CMS does not save progress.

In a LMS, their progress is saved, so they don’t have to worry about which course or where they were within that course.

Why? Because the LMS is built for this.

2: Interactivity

When-the-president-says-we-dont-need-an-lms-interactiveIn today’s world of short attention-spans, it’s crucial that you’re online courses aren’t just video and audio. You need to allow the user to interact (this why Gamification is so great) with the program.

This can be via quizzes, or drag and drop options, or hidden content that is only revealed once the user clicks it and more.

In a CMS, while, this is not easily possible. Can it be done, sure, but it’s NOT a standard, so it has to be built in or you have to add a plugin of some sort to make it happen.

In a LMS, this is very standard behaviour as, again, it was built for this. Most LMS systems come with interactivity, quizzing ability, bonuses, progress tracking, badging, points, etc!

All of which adds to the engagement level by the user.

3: Reporting

When-the-president-says-we-dont-need-an-lms-reportsKnowing if or where or when a user completes a course is really valuable information.

What if you had your sales team taking a course, wouldn’t you want to know IF they were actually doing it and when they completed it? What if you could actually track a rise in sales in relation to where they are in the course? Very cool!

In a CMS, you can’t do this out of the box. It’s not built for this. Sure, again, you can force it to do something it wasn’t meant to do, but waste time and money when you can just use an LMS?

In a LMS, you can pull different types of reports (depending on the LMS), but they come standard – any LMS that doesn’t have reporting capability is NOT an LMS you should ever invest in.

So, did I get buy-in from the President?

After I showed him the advantages and explained what a great LMS that was set-up properly (one of the biggest keys here, is having someone who knows HOW to build it and set it up logically, otherwise it’s just another mess) he felt better about it.

“You’ve convinced me. I want all courses in the LMS.” Those were his actual words.

Mission accomplished!

If you want to know more about the differences between an LMS and a CMS or are having trouble getting buy in at your own company or with a client, let us know.

We’re happy to help.



Amanda Ross is the President of SparkologyLab (SL) and the creator of Brand In A Snap (a division of SL). She loves designing stuff in the digital space, trying different curry recipes, and squishing her puppy, Buffy (the people slayer). The topics she shares about are design how-to's, marketing, and digital tips. You can learn more about her on LinkedIN: www.linkedin.com/in/heyamandar

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