Learning management systems (LMS) and Student information systems (SIS) are often used as interchangeable terms, which can make choosing the right software a convoluted process.
Although many people assume these programs are one in the same, they actually serve many different functions. By understanding the unique capabilities of each system, you will be at an advantage by being able to make the most effective decision for your business.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
A learning management system (LMS) functions as an online classroom. It allows lecturers and teachers to put up notes, learning materials and announcements, while letting students upload assessments and view their grades.
This system is ideal for educational or training programs that incorporate online systems of learning. Some of the main benefits of LMS include:
- Improving compliance by providing full transparency for auditors
- Reducing cost of training staff, administration and student services
- Centralising learning content to one location
- Easily tracking training and learner performance
- Quickly expanding teaching resources
Learning Management Systems are often confused with Course Management Systems (CMS). Although they both encompass the same features of managing and distributing learning resources, the design of CMS makes it less flexible and customisable.
Another area of misunderstanding is between LMS and Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS). Although the LCMS involves content management, it specifically focuses on publishing and authoring. The content created on the LCMS is typically delivered through the LMS.
Student Information Systems (SIS) / Student Management System (SMS)
While the LMS handles the delivery and process of learning, a student management system (SIS) enhances the day-to-day functions of your organisation.
Student Information Systems are also referred to as Student Management Systems (SMS) and School Administration Software (SAT).
In the past, most RTOs used spreadsheets and databases to manage their administrative needs. After the AQTF standards in 2010 outlined that RTO’s must have a system capable of providing AVET-MISS compliant data, many organisations implemented SIS for their streamlined and automated processes.
Some advantages of SIS include:
- Managing course schedules, fees, enrolment systems and student enquiries
- Automated attendance records
- Issuing of notifications and certificates
- Storage of assessment scores and transcriptions
So, How Do You Make the Right Choice?
Now that you have an understanding of each management system, being to browse different products and service providers.
Make sure you carefully consider the needs and gaps of your RTO, as well as what will give you the most potential for future growth.