A learning management system (LMS) is a great way for organizations to deliver training and educational materials to employees, students, and other users via a web-based platform.
By creating your own LMS, you can save lots of time and money on training and education by automating these processes. But, how do you go about building a learning management system from scratch?
This article will go over all the basics you need to know about LMS design and development to get you started down this rewarding path.
What Is a Learning Management System and What Are the Benefits?
Learning management systems are web-based applications or software programs used to store and deliver shared knowledge materials. They are often used by higher education institutions and enterprise corporations to manage the delivery of important resources, documents, and training to new students or employees.
For example, businesses can use an LMS to optimize employee onboarding and ongoing training. This is especially beneficial when a company needs to train large numbers of employees to do similar tasks, such as for customer service or sales roles.
Another common use case for learning management systems is for eLearning programs. An LMS allows educators to store, update, and deliver important educational materials, including course content, quizzes, tests, and other assignments.
In short, learning management systems allow organizations to streamline, automate, and track educational and training processes, which leads to the more efficient student or employee development and success. A strong LMS frees up more time for the members of an organization to focus on working on and improving other areas, rather than on managing common knowledge delivery tasks.
How To Create Your Own LMS From Scratch
The first step toward creating your first learning management system is to decide on its use case. Start by asking yourself what problem (or problems) you want the LMS to solve, and from here it will be easy to come up with a specific use case for the platform.
For instance, do you want to use it to onboard new campaign managers at your marketing company by providing them with general company info and training courses specific to their new job? Or, do you want the LMS to allow professors at your college to more effectively teach online courses by providing coursework to students and tracking the results of assignments and tests?
There are many possible use cases for an LMS, so make sure you have a clear one in mind for yours to guide its development.
Once you know the use case for your new LMS, start planning out exactly what functions you want it to do and what features you want it to have. Features and functions can (and should) get updated as you develop your LMS, but you should have a good general idea of everything you want it to do before you actually start building it.
For example, you should decide what devices you want it to be accessible from, what the interface will look like, what types of reporting and analytics you want to be built into it, what integrations you want it to have, and other key features and functions.
To help you plan your LMS, you should also come up with a list of specific repetitive tasks and processes that you want to automate in the platform. For instance, if you’re developing an LMS for a college or university, you might want to automate something like new student enrollment in courses. Or, if you’re building an LMS for a corporate business, you might want to automate something like a quarterly peer-review process.
Once you’ve planned out the features and use cases for your very own LMS, it’s time to start developing it. There are a few different ways to go about doing this.
One option is to hire an individual developer or a team of developers to code everything from the ground up. However, this is typically going to be the most expensive and time-consuming option.
If you want to get your learning management system up and running faster and with a more limited budget, a better option is to use pre-made components to cut down on the raw coding work needed from developers.
For example, you can incorporate a rich text editor, such as TinyMCE or any of the possible TinyMCE alternatives, into your LMS. A built-in rich text editor allows users, such as educators and subject matter experts, to add to, edit, and upgrade your LMS’s content — without relying on an IT team to code new content into the platform or requiring anyone to edit raw HTML.
As your business grows and changes, you’ll also want to update your LMS accordingly. Having built-in no-code or low-code components, like a rich text editor, allows you to do so without going through the whole process of submitting change requests to a development team and waiting for them to incorporate your requests into the existing code. That’s why it’s ideal to build these components into your LMS right from the start — it can save you tons of time and money down the road!