Learning Management System

Learning Management System (or LMS) is a broad term used to describe software or Web-based tools designed to manage user learning interventions and provide access to online learning services for students, teacher, and administrator.

A LMS is used to plan, implement, and assess a specific learning process. Typically, a learning management system provides an instructor with a way to create and deliver content, monitor student participation, and assess student performance. A learning management system may also provide students with the ability to use interactive features such as threaded discussions, video conferencing, and discussion forums.

Most LMSs are Web-based to facilitate access to learning content and administration. They are also used by regulated industries (e.g. financial services and biopharma) for compliance training. Student self-service (e.g., self-registration on instructor-led training), training workflow (e.g., user notification, manager approval, wait-list management), the provision of on-line learning (e.g., computer-based training, read & understand), on-line assessment, management of continuous professional education (CPE), collaborative learning (e.g., application sharing, discussion threads), and training resource management (e.g., instructors, facilities, equipment), are all important dimensions of Learning Management Systems.

The key to understanding the difference between LMS and other computer education terms is to understand the systemic nature of LMS. LMS is the framework that handles all aspects of the learning process. An LMS is the infrastructure that delivers and manages instructional content, identifies and assesses individual and organizational learning or training goals, tracks the progress towards meeting those goals, and collects and presents data for supervising the learning process of organization as a whole. An LMS delivers content but also handles registering for courses, course administration, skills gap analysis, tracking, and reporting.

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Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s taxonomy is a classification of learning objectives within education proposed in 1956 by a committee of educators chaired by Benjamin Bloom.

Bloom believed that education should focus on mastery of subjects and the promotion of higher forms of thinking, rather than a utilitarian approach to simply transferring facts. Bloom demonstrated decades ago that most teaching tended to be focused on transfer and information recall –the lowest level of training- rather than true meaningful personal development, and this remains a central challenge for educators and trainers in modern times.

The taxonomy divides educational objectives into three “domains”: Cognitive, affective and psychomotor. The meanings are simple to understand:

  1. Cognitive domain: Intellectual capability (i.e. knowledge or “think”)
  2. Affective domain: feelings, emotions and behavior (i.e. Attitude or feel)
  3. Psychomotor doami: manual and physical skills (i.e. skills or do)

In each of the three domains Bloom’s Taxonomy is based on the premise that the categories are ordered in degree of difficulty. An important premise of Bloom’s Taxonomy is that each category (or ‘level’) must be mastered before progressing to the next.

ImageBloom’s taxonomy is a good reference model for all involved in teaching training, learning, coaching in the design, delivery and evaluation of these development methods. The taxonomy provides a simple, quick and easy checklist to start to plan any type of personal development. However, some critiques of Bloom’s taxonomy admit the existence of these categories, but question the existence of a sequential, hierarchical link.