The learning technology market can feel like a bit of a minefield when managing training as a business. Particularly, if you’re looking for a training course management software for both your private and public instructor-led or virtual instructor-led training courses (ILT / vILT) and eLearning courses. With so many types of training software available, it can be tricky to identify the nuanced differences between them. And more so, which will best meet your private and public training course management needs.
Two of the major training software systems are the Training Management System (TMS) and the Learning Management System (LMS). The names might look similar, but they have very different roles to play in the wider learning strategy – and in fact, many organizations choose to use both to support their entire learning program.
The TMS and LMS: Which technology is best for each of your training business needs?
A Training Management System, such as Training Orchestra, is a training Course Management System used to organize, schedule, sell, track and manage ILT (Instructor-Led Training) and vILT (Virtual Instructor-Led Training). It optimizes and streamlines back-office training processes for easier, more efficient training sessions.
A Learning Management System helps manage eLearning and other learning resources. An LMS usually hosts eLearning courses and programs, videos, PDFs and more. Learners can use an LMS for “self-service” training to complement live training offered at specific times. Docebo is an example of a Learning Management System with strong expertise in organizations that are managing training as a business.
The difference between a TMS and an LMS is the target audience. Training schedulers, facilitators, managers and executive leadership use a TMS for training course management such as training scheduling, handling back-office operations and logistics, tracking costs and pulling key decision-making data to better manage training as a business. On the other hand, an LMS is aimed primarily at learners, who use the system to access training and resources. Learners are unlikely to realize that a TMS exists, as it is the domain of the training team, and keeps operations running smoothly behind the scenes.
If you are managing training as a business, you are most likely delivering both private (closed) and public (open) courses. And, whether they are delivered via live in-person, live online or asynchronous eLearning courses, choosing the right technology for each product will help optimize your training course management. Let’s take a closer look at each.
How to achieve better ILT/vILT private training course management
If you’re looking to manage ILT/vILT private training courses, you will need a TMS that is purpose-built to help you manage the specificities of private courses including:
- The entire sales process, including the initial B2B requesting process
- Resource management
- Instructor collaboration
- … and more
Learning Management Systems were not designed to support these private instructor-led training business processes, so they will not be suitable for this purpose.
Private training courses are ordered through a B2B sales process, are designed for a specific audience and are not open to the general public. For instance, a large retail organization may request a private training course to help sales associates improve their customer service skills. This private training session will be led by a dedicated instructor who understands their exact needs, and leads a session tailored to their requirements.
A common user of a TMS for private training course management is training companies. A TMS is often used as training company software because it can easily handle multiple clients’ training schedules from a single system. For instance, a training company can use a TMS such as Training Orchestra to schedule private training courses for 10, 100 or even 1,000 separate clients at once, with user-friendly, error-free scheduling to streamline a very complex series of training events for training administrators.
A TMS is perfect for scheduling private training courses. A member of the learning team can set up a private course, to which only a specific list of participants will be invited. They will then find a venue (either in-person or using an online meeting platform) at a suitable time, and find a suitable instructor to lead the session. With a system like Training Orchestra, they can also assign any relevant resources or presentation materials to the session, giving trainers an easy overview of everything they need for their session.
How to achieve better ILT/vILT public training course management
For organizations who need to manage ILT/vILT public training courses, a TMS or an LMS may be suitable.
Public training courses are generally managed through a B2C process and open to the public, meaning that anyone can enroll. IT certification courses and first aid training are common examples of a public training courses, where content will apply to a wide audience and the course will follow a standardized format.
With a TMS, administrators can schedule a public training course which is open to everyone. They can set up a venue (physical or online) and assign an instructor and resources to the session. They may not have a clear idea upfront of the number of participants who will sign up, so they may choose to add a session facilitator or additional resources at a later date. They can also use the TMS for their training course management to keep a close eye on the training budget, ROI and enrollment numbers and get detailed reporting on key profitability metrics.
With an LMS, users of the system can be invited to ILT/vILT public training sessions. For instance, an administrator can add a link to a signup page within a specific program on the LMS, allowing anyone taking the program to enroll in the course. This cannot easily be targeted to specific users, meaning these courses should be suitable for everyone who might view the page. Commonly, an LMS will host links to vILT sessions in the form of webinars, which can be accessed by a wide (potentially international) audience with a variety of training needs and interests.
Managing public eLearning
An LMS is the best tool for managing public eLearning. A TMS is a specialist tool that focuses on training course management for live ILT and vILT courses, with the LMS taking care of the eLearning component of a training program.
Public eLearning takes place asynchronously online. There are no live components, and so no need to schedule anything. Instead, learners use the LMS for “self-service” eLearning, where they will find all of their mandatory and optional eLearning courses and relevant resources. Examples include software training or public health campaigns.
Many organizations also opt for “private” eLearning courses aimed at their specific audience or community. For example, a large banking organization may have an LMS with private eLearning to teach their employees about their products and services or industry-specific regulations, which would not be relevant to the general public.
Selling training courses with a Training Course Management Software
A training course management system (aka a Training Management System) makes it easy to develop and sell ILT and vILT courses online. For training companies, this is an invaluable way to streamline the process for selling courses, which increases efficiency for administrators and trainers. Instead of spending time manually processing training course orders and queries, learners are empowered to place orders themselves, freeing up time for administrators to focus their attention elsewhere.
Training Orchestra’s B2B Client Collaboration Portal allows organizations to create their own private and public ILT/vILT courses in a simple, intuitive platform. The portal makes it simple for an organization’s customers to browse, select and order training courses, and it’s just as easy for the organization itself to track and manage customer orders.
Trainers can also interact directly with buyers within the portal, which connects seamlessly with the rest of the TMS for optimized scheduling, training management and course sales, making running a training business easier than ever before. Happy customers, happy trainers – everyone wins!
Want to see if a TMS is right for your organization? Get your free demo of Training Orchestra today!
About Training Orchestra
For over 20 years, Training Orchestra has been helping 600+ organizations worldwide to automate and optimize their ILT and vILT training operations, addressing the complexities often found in: session scheduling, resource management, instructor collaboration, cost tracking and reporting. As a complement to your LMS, LXP and learning technologies, Training Orchestra’s Training Resource Management System can replace all XLS spreadsheets and manual tasks, so you can better manage training as a business.