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What is a Learning Management System and Why Do I Need One?

What's the difference between a CMS and an LMS? Does your class need one, or both? Find out in our handy guide.

May 12, 2022

The educational atmosphere has pivoted tremendously in the last few years with the rise in online courses, distance learning, and hybrid classrooms. As educational technology transforms learning experiences, administrators, professors, and students all benefit. A quality Learning Management System makes a course more streamlined for professors and more accessible for students. 

What is a Learning Management System?

A Learning Management System (LMS) is either web-based technology or a software application that educators can use to plan, create, deliver, manage and assess e-learning. Schools use LMSs to help manage EdTech and online learning, as an LMS is essentially the "house" for the learning content. There are two primary components to an LMS. The server performs the basic functionality while educators and students operate the user interface. 

How Do Learning Management Systems Work?

A learning management system is essentially a large vault for storing and tracking information. If it is web-based, users will need a secure login and password to access the system and available resources. If the LMS is self-hosted, a company or school will install the software on their hard drive. 

There are different types of LMS options available: 

Cloud-Based LMS: hosted in the cloud and are typically software as a service (SaaS). The LMS vendor will generally maintain your system and perform updates. Online users can easily access the LMS from anywhere with their login credentials. 

Mobile Application LMS: accessible through mobile devices and support mobile learning from anywhere at any time 

Self-Hosted LMS: downloaded by the user; may provide additional control, but must be maintained by the user, and updates are usually at a premium 

Desktop Application: installed on a desktop but may potentially be accessed on multiple devices 

What Are Learning Management Systems Used For?

Learning Management Systems have a wide variety of uses. Businesses may use them for knowledge management, employee training and onboarding, or employee development and retention for continued learning. Some learning management systems are explicitly designed to train customers, such as using extensive software technology. 

In the educational sphere, LMSs are used by K-12 schools, colleges, and universities for various purposes. They make it possible for distance learning, hybrid classrooms, blended learning models, and online courses to be successful.

Why Use a Learning Management System?

In short, an LMS is used to make the delivery of course content easier. As a professor, if you use a learning management system, you can create a more customized course and deliver content in various ways. You will also be better able to monitor student participation and performance. From the student's perspective, an LMS gives them a more personalized learning experience. Whether required or only encouraged, students can participate in video conferencing and discussion forums and use other interactive features to engage with course material and peers. 

Key Features of a Learning Management System

There are many different elements that an LMS needs to be successful for all users. Some key features to look for include: 

  • User Interface (UI): An LMS needs to be fairly intuitive to navigate, or it will result in frustration and ineffectiveness.
  • Responsive Design: An LMS should be capable of supporting desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. With students' busy lives, they may need to access content on the go, and the LMS should automatically default whichever version is best suited for the user's current device.
  • Course Management: Administrators should be able to easily manage their course catalogs to deliver customized, targeted content. 
  • Social Learning: An LMS used in educational settings needs one or more social tools that allow students to interact and collaborate. 
  • Automation: When a learning management system automates repetitive tasks and mundane tasks, it enables administrators and educators to focus on actual education. 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI helps a learning management system create a personalized experience for the user by adapting, 
  • Reports and Analytics: Instructors must have the ability to monitor and assess student engagement and progress 
  • Support Services:  If an LMS vendor offers support services, such as discussion boards or a toll-free number, it makes it easier for users to troubleshoot 

How an LMS is Made More Powerful with Classavo

When it comes to the classroom, Classavo offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Professors have the opportunity to create courses that are tailored to their teaching style and their student's needs.


Classavo allows instructors to integrate open education resources, customize textbooks and resources, or add interactive elements like videos and photos. For professors in fast-changing fields, the ability to efficiently update course content is crucial. You will easily be able to create assignments, quizzes, and exams. You can create custom assignments each time or upload previous questions. Classavo supports multiple-choice, short answers, and more. 


Clasavo's analytics are data-driven. You will be able to assess student engagement, which is critical for adjusting and improving your teaching approach and interactive course elements. You can quickly see how your students are performing throughout the semester. At the end of the semester, you will find that Classavo integrates with most schools' LMSs, meaning you can seamlessly import and export grades at the end of the term. The live polling option allows students to offer feedback, making you more attuned to their needs. While you can see who participates in your pools, specific feedback remains anonymous, making students more likely to participate. 


The right tools will reduce your administration tasks and simplify your job. Instructors will find that they can easily track attendance with unique codes and geolocation tools. The security measures for exams prevent cheating, and you can monitor students' exams with timers and proctoring. Classavo is easily accessible from computers, tablets, and smartphones, which means you can work from anywhere, even if you're on the go. 

A Complete LMS Simplifies the Learning Experience for Professors and Students

The right learning management system can improve your teaching experience, reduce administrative work, and improve student engagement and retention. Classavo is free for professors, and you can get started with a demo today. So contact us to get started and see how you can quickly transform your teaching experience.

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