Digital Distribution Platforms Vs Learning Management Systems
February 27th, 2017
A Learning Management System (LMS) and a digital publishing and distribution platform are two ed tech tools publishers often use to execute their learning content strategy. These systems often work together to ensure further reach and cross-platform delivery. However, few people know the difference between a dedicated Digital Publishing Platform and a Learning Management System.
Learning Management Systems – an integrated learning solution
A Learning Management System is a more complex and functional software application than a generic content management system or digital publishing platform. An LMS is a training control system providing a platform and ecosystem for many e-learning courses. A typical LMS also performs a wide range of tasks, such as tracking completion levels of students, score recordings, analytics reports for administrators, and authoring content.
A competent learning management system allows a teacher to generate reports and assessments, send & receive assignments, provide feedback to students, and send reminders.
Most LMSs are now available on the cloud and offer an on-premise installation at educational institutions.
Digital Publishing Platform– centralizing your workflows
A Content Management System (CMS) or Digital Publishing Platform is usually more static than an LMS. A publishing platform is simply an application that allows a user(s) to manage the content centrally. The editorial team at the content publishing company, who have the required permissions, can edit, add, view, or remove the content as they see fit.
The core use of a CMS system is to integrate all the possible versions of the content, making it easier to include changes in it. This stems from those instances when multiple users have tried to make changes to various document versions only to forget about one version that remained unchanged. In addition, a good publishing platform provides a powerful tagging mechanism so that content can be tagged for various educational standards and improve searchability.
A typical CMS or digital publishing platform has workflow enabled in it that would allow different stakeholders to review and approve the content before it is published either digitally or in print. In addition, an excellent digital publishing platform these days also allows packaging the content in different formats, i.e., ePub 3, Scorm, etc.
Digital Distribution Platform – Anytime, Anywhere Learning
Most publishers today have no control over their content. Typically they hand over SCORM or ePub files to different channel partners. Once the content is handed over, there is no control over how many users access it and how they use it. Even providing updates to content can be painful because there is no single source of consumption. A digital distribution platform allows the distribution of content created by the publishing platform to different user bases. In addition, a distribution platform’s design guarantees content security by encrypting the content and should have a robust license management system.
A good distribution platform is device agnostic and allows content consumption on any device ( iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, etc.). Platforms like MagicBoxTM are also fully offline, so users are not always required to be connected to the internet.
One added benefit is that in a distribution platform, you can also host multiple content types, including journals, books, reference work, webinars, and other scholarly content, which instructors and students can use. Some distribution platforms also have an integrated eCommerce module that allows a publisher to sell content directly to end users.
How do they differ?
A CMS allows viewing and editing, while an LMS encourages participation and learning. A distribution platform enables the storage and sharing of content. Each system has its own functions and benefits. To see how these different tools can harmonize to give you the best results, ask for a demo of MagicBox