Well into the world of Web 2.0, most of us can claim an experience along the way that took us through a Learning Management System (LMS), a software application used to administer, track and maintain e-learning education and training programs. You typically register with the site, then sign up for online courses usually managed over the web without the intervention of live instructors. More and more colleges, universities and large corporations are using LMS websites to manage student and workforce class registration and payment, multi-media content presentation, test-taking, records-keeping and to monitor participation and performance. In fact, our data shows that the LMS industry has grown to over $1 billion, with 84% of LMS users representing businesses serving five to 100 employees. Over the past 10 years, Einstein's Eyes has developed many LMS-enabled websites, including CollegeAuditionCoach.com, VictoryStepOnline.com and DoctorsInTraining.com, as examples. Our DoctorsInTraining client began using LMS five years ago, serving around 400 students principally in Texas. Today, the website processes more than 10,000 students online, logging in from all over the world. LMS websites differ from e-commerce and corporate websites in a number of ways, and therefore require specialized development considerations to ensure that they operate effectively. Typically, an LMS website will contain an enrollment system of some sort, incorporating payment capabilities (where payment is required), a calendar tool and some way to manage the ever-changing course listing (and associated pricing guide). Instructors must be able to access the site separately, to create, deliver and store content, as well as oversee their students' progress. Here, video is often a major concern, in addition to maintaining a searchable library of downloadable content, including audio files, PDFs, slide shows, test and survey forms, FAQs and other changing or blended content. Interactive capabilities might include live webinars, online chats, bulletin boards, private messaging and social networking, to name a few. And, as students complete their coursework, their progress must be securely monitored, making online testing, grading, scoring and transcripts essential to the mix. If students with disabilities are a part of the audience, further specialized considerations arise. Not to mention such questions as, who will maintain the site internally? What authorization hierarchy needs to be in place? And how will you measure ROI? To be sure, many fine LMS platforms are already on the market. However, every application is unique to the organization and student population targeted. If you are planning to launch an LMS website, you would do well to enlist the services of a seasoned LMS consulting group, such as Einstein's Eyes, to assist. We can help you map your learning path and customize a system to meet your needs, ensuring minimal time to delivery and maximum user satisfaction. For more information about LMS websites, please email sales@einsteinseyes.com or call 972-997-8200.

Lucy Vo

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