What are the different types of online learning platforms?

If you want to learn more about the different online learning platforms, you are in the right place!

Laetitia Mullier
June 17, 2022
blog

With the digitalization of education resources, we are able to learn from everywhere. Thanks to the online learning platforms! All students can progress in one or more disciplines at their own pace.

Nevertheless, there are many types of platforms to discover. Let us show you all the different ones.

Different types of Online Learning Platforms

Here, we have listed all the different types of online learning platforms. You may be familiar with some of them. But even if you don’t know any of them, it is okay, because we will explain everything to you.

  • Learning Management Systems
  • Learning Destination Sites
  • Content Management Systems

1 – Learning Management Systems (LMS)

learning management systems (lms) online courses

An LMS software allows you to create, for example, educational content for an online audience, and help you organize and manage your online courses. It is a great software that is not too difficult to use if you want a solution to train a certain audience. There are companies and also educational entities such as high schools or universities that use the learning management system. Companies sometimes use it to welcome and train their employees (or possibly clients, depending on the company’s field of expertise). While educational entities obviously use it to teach and enable students to learn and practice.

At your disposal, there will be an administrator interface to manage your educational content. There are also features to manage your site with peace of mind. The second interface is of course the user interface. This will allow your students and anyone else who wants to take your course to be able to access your content.

For example, Moodle is the most used LMS system.


Now, you should know that there are two types of LMS options.

Indeed, with the first type (the SaaS/cloud mode), you can host your LMS on a web server. It is probably the easiest way to have your online learning platform since it will be your supplier who will have to manage all the functionalities. For example, it is the one who will manage the storage, the various updates, or any other type of problem.

With the second type (locally-hosted), everything will be saved on your local server. You will then be responsible for everything and therefore have the freedom to do whatever you want with your LMS: manage storage, features, development, etc. However, this will give you a great workload. You will also have to master some very specific tasks. Therefore, take into consideration that there is a higher cost. Also, in addition to preparing your content, you will need to provide management for the LMS.

2 – Learning Destination Sites

learning destination site (lds) online courses

A Learning Destination Site (LDS) is a classic site, just like any other e-learning platform. It is possible to find various people offering educational content.

As a teacher for an e-learning platform, you simply have to put your courses online. You don’t have to manage too many things, unlike an LMS software.

Then, as a user, it allows you to take the courses at your own pace. You can stop and resume whenever you want. As you can see, this type of platform is mainly adapted for people who work independently. For example, Coursera and Skillshare are Learning Destination Sites.

3 – Content Management Systems

Content management systems (CMS) learning

A Content Management System allows you to manage content, create, modify and share digital content. It’s a good software if you don’t really have technical knowledge in web development. Nevertheless, CMS software won’t take care automatically of your site design. So, if you have seen a CMS template design that you like, you’ll have to create a similar one.

CMS software gives you the liberty to share what you want, but it takes time and determination to manage. Even if, initially, they are not designed for online courses, it is completely possible to manage learning materials if you are motivated and willing to work.

Furthermore, a CMS is adapted if you want to monopolize the learning content on a single site. Depending on what you want to share, this could be an advantage or a disadvantage. Users will only be able to find your educational content (unless you partner with one or more other course creators).

For example, WordPress is the most famous CMS.

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