What is a Training Management System

Efficiency and speed in the administration and logistics aspects of courses. This is one of the benefits of digitalisation. We’ve already talked about Learning Management Systems and we’ll certainly be coming back to them, given how important they are. These systems are for creating and delivering e-learning courses, and are not optimised for classroom management.

Other systems with different features have been developed for this, known as Training Management Systems (TMS). We’ll be talking more about them in an upcoming webinar with our partner Training Orchestra. So for now, let’s just take a quick look at what they are.

In very basic terms, an LMS is used to deliver content, whereas a TMS is for the back office, i.e. administration and logistics. It helps organisations optimise the processes involved in delivering training in physical and virtual classrooms, offering a more efficient way to manage, track and sell courses run by a trainer.

A TMS provides support for activities such as calendaring, assigning trainers and resources to each room, and tracking costs analytically.

TMS and LMS are complementary systems. Therefore, organisations that have physical classrooms and digital tools may decide to invest in both types of software.

A Learning Management System is designed with course users in mind: it is used to organise content, it delivers the course and tracks progress.

Features of a TMS

A Training Management System, on the other hand, is designed around the needs of training administrators, such as training managers, training companies, heads of corporate academies, HR people, etc. A TMS typically handles back-office processes, including:

  • Organisation of logistics and resources.
  • Calendaring of courses: virtual classrooms, in-person sessions, etc.
  • Automated administration and centralisation of data.
  • Confirmation of registrationreminder emails.
  • Reports and business intelligence.
  • Monitoring costs and profitability, managing and optimising budgets.
  • Management of orders and invoices for the entire sales cycle, for training companies and extended enterprise.

We’ll have an opportunity to learn more about the features of a TMS and how it differs from an LMS during the webinar scheduled for 29 September 2021. We’ll be publishing all the details shortly. Stay tuned!

Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning: how it works, and why

I don’t have time. I’ve always got a lot of work to do”. That’s one of the most common objections people – at all levels in a company – make when invited to take part in a training course. Apart from thinking they don’t have enough time, another factor preventing them benefiting from training activities is a lack of mental space, i.e. a lack of attention and focus and insufficient motivation.

This is often compounded by boredom, for instance because they have already encountered some, or even most, of the content on previous courses or directly on the job. 

While we might all agree in theory that increasing knowledge and skills is an essential aspect of professional life – especially in this knowledge economy – in practice, the daily pressures of problems to solve and goals to achieve almost always have a bigger pull.

It’s not so much what training provides as it is about how to ensure that it is put into practice.

Behind the “how” are (at least) two key factors: how adults learn and how best to use digital technology.

It may come as no surprise that these are also the focuses of APPrendere. 

The unique characteristics of digital technology now make it possible to capitalise on what we already know about the way people learn. Adaptive learning software (like these) delivers the content that best suits an individual’s knowledge, without boring them with things they already know or frustrating them with information that is too advanced for them.

But there’s more. Adaptive learning programmes are organised to reinforce what someone has already learned using specific mechanisms such as interleaving and the spacing effect, i.e. alternating content at optimal intervals to enhance memorisation and internalisation.

But what do we do about the fact that “there’s not enough time”? Enter microlearning. The content is packaged into short, targeted “bitesize units” that take 2 or 3 minutes to digest. The person can choose the best time to look at them, and 3 minutes is usually feasible within the daily flow of tasks. To the point that it becomes an enjoyable habit to look forward to

This methodology focuses the benefits provided by new technologies on the most common critical issues: time, motivation, assimilation of content, measurement of completion and effectiveness of training.

Adaptive learning combined with the mechanisms of microlearning is perhaps the most innovative and interesting frontier currently seen in digital training. It’s one of the main resources APPrendere relies on to transform how learning is provided within organisations.