Advantages of an integrated LMS and authoring tool
Posted on May 18, 2016
Using an LMS and online course authoring tool brings efficiencies to your business or organisation, however they are at their most efficient when they are integrated. Your development and management of courses is made easier when they are integrated, and the user experience is improved.
The main benefits of integrating LMS and authoring tools are below, but it is important first to understand properly the very different role that each system plays.
What Is The Difference Between An LMS And An Authoring Tool?
An authoring tool is straightforward to understand. It is the tool that you use to create the course - write the content, structure the modules, and add images, audio and video. Authoring tools include technical and design features so your course contains the information you need. It also makes sure that information is presented in the best possible way.
LMS stands for Learning Management System. It is a system that is more concerned with the administration of your courses as opposed to their creation. This means it manages documentation, reporting, and the delivery of the course.
As you can see, both elements are crucial - you can't have one without the other. The best approach though, is when they are integrated.
Benefits Of Integration
• Saves time – an integrated system reduces the learning curve for people in your organisation responsible for creating and managing courses. It also saves time overall as the systems are designed to work together. For example, once a course is complete in an authoring tool that is integrated with an LMS, it can usually be distributed to end users at the click of a button.
• Reduces costs – using a single, integrated solution means you don’t need multiple applications to create and deliver your courses. This saves money in application purchase/subscription costs, as well as maintenance and management.
• Eliminates compatibility issues – an authoring tool integrated with an LMS will produce course content that is compatible with the devices of end users. When there is disconnect between the authoring tool and the LMS, however, this cannot be guaranteed. As a result you might face compatibility problems where some users can’t access some (or all) of your content.
• Creates a better user experience – the user experience is also improved with an integrated solution as users get updates to courses faster, feedback on their progress is better, and they are less likely to encounter problems with content or compatibility issues. This benefits you too as when your users have a good experience when learning, they are more likely to engage with the course, and will get more out of it.
Which Option Should You Choose
You can probably achieve the same end result by using an authoring tool that is separate from your LMS. However, it will take a lot more work, and it will cost you more money. This defeats one of the main objectives of mobile learning and eLearning – to make the distribution of courses more efficient, and improve the experience of learners by helping them retain information for longer, learn faster, and engage more.
Using an integrated solution is undoubtedly the best choice.