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Understanding the Difference between LMS and LCMS

It’s true that, in this digital age, you can have access to any kind of information you want. But along with this abundance of information comes another problem, which is the fact that there’s way too much information to be administered. There’s also the part about the credibility and accuracy of the information you get. All of these reasons make getting an LMS or LCMS platform all the more convenient for many businesses. But choosing the right platform can be a bit confusing. LMS and LCMS can be marketed in a way that makes them sound like the same kind of software, but they are actually pretty different.

As a result of this misconception, many companies and entities end up getting the wrong software that doesn’t suit their needs. If you’re on an LMS platform, for instance, you’ll understand the struggle of reaching the right audience and getting new customers. In such a complex industry as that of e-learning, you can learn more from this website about using the right marketing tools to acquire your target customers amid all the confusion. You’ll be surprised to hear that niche-specific PPC campaigns will work much more effectively for your goals rather than wide-reaching PPC campaigns or even traditional content creation strategies.

That being said, it’s important to understand the difference between both systems in case you’re thinking of investing in one for your business. Here are the main things you need to know about LMS and LCMS.


To differentiate between the two systems briefly, LMS is mainly used by those receiving an education while LCMS by those creating the curriculums.

LMS is short for Learning Management System. It’s a system that can be used to deliver learning experiences customized to the final end-user: the student. This student can be someone taking a course as a part of their college education or an employee who needs to complete a certain number of hours to get a mandatory certificate. Whatever the goals of the user, the system makes it possible to deliver the information in effective ways, track progress, submit assignments, receive gradings, and achieve certificates upon the completion of the course. Some systems can be integrated on a bigger scale to include workshops, discussions, and other offline activities.

On the other hand, LCMS is short for Learning Content Management System. It’s a system used mainly by the professionals who create the content of the courses. An LCMS focuses on the digital aspect of content management by giving the users the tools they need to create and curate the content of their curriculums, which aren’t found in LMS. However, an LCMS can also deliver content, albeit to a more detailed and complex level than LMS. While both systems are SCORM-compatible, the levels of analytics and tracking in an LCMS is higher than that of an LMS as well.

When to Use LMS Vs. LCMS

However, after all that is said and done, choosing the right software can still prove to be quite tricky. What if you need a tool that enables you to both create and deliver content? How do you know which one to choose? To help you with your choice, here are some main pointers to keep in mind:

  • An LMS can be more beneficial in the following cases:
    • Most of the education you need to deliver is traditional or carried offline.
    • You deliver content in multiple ways, each of which needs to be tracked.
    • You’re able to create your content separately from the platform. You may either have a different content creation tool or you might outsource your content creation to other agencies.
    • You don’t require detailed analytics of the students’ performance; a SCORM tracker is quite sufficient for your needs.
    • You want to provide a user profile through which students can keep track of their progress and performance.
  • An LCMS can be a better choice in the following scenarios:
    • Most of your education is digital.
    • You want an in-house team to create and curate the content efficiently and practically.
    • You’d rather invest in one platform to create and deliver content.
    • You want to get detailed analytics and use a more efficient tracker to measure the users’ performance and progress.
    • A normal log-in option is sufficient.

Choosing the right software can be tricky if you don’t know which one works best for your needs. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your end-users and what you want to provide them with. LMS is better for learners, while LCMS provides a better experience for content creators. However, you can still use an integrated system of both LMS and LCMS if you want to get the combined benefits of both systems.

About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.

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