I'm doing a Web 2.0 workshop and I want to make sure I have my facts correct. I've done quite a bit of research and have not really received a clear explanation. Does anyone know the difference between a "Course Management System" and a "Learning Management System"?

Tags: 2.0, Course, Learning, Management, System, Web

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Ryan,

This was an excellent question. It took a lot of thought because they are so similar that I had to stop and rethink their functionalities. I'm going to throw another one in the mix, "Content Management System" since we think of them as websites, like Joomla. Anyway, what came to mind was that LMS had more flexibility. I am not going to try to unravel them now, but take a look at these links and you will find some very interesting discussions on CMS, LMS, Moodle, and Joomla. At times, these terms are probably used synonymously because there may be some blending of technologies. http://tinyurl.com/yjzhc2v Here are the discussions, “Using Moodle as a CMS as well as an LMS.” http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=130199 http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=65417
Thanks for the response Pam.

The two Moodle discussions added clarity to my original thoughts and I'm glad you mentioned the Content Management System as well. The explanation at http://tinyurl.com/yjzhc2v added even greater clarity. Like many, I had been using the terms interchangeably, but realized that there must be a difference after research.
Maybe you just want to make your life easy and try EPEE Software for Teachers. Meets Dept. of Ed. requirements. Places everything you need at your fingertips. Import /export, tracking, sharing, archive, etc. etc. Under thirty bucks.
From my point of expertise Course and Learning Management Systems are synonymous expressions, together with a third one mainly used in Europe, Virtual Learning Environments. They serve as institutional learning platforms and include- examples such as Blackboard, WebCT and Moodle.

(Web) Content Management Systems are tools used to create largish Web-sites, examples are Joomla, Drupal or Alfresco.
These may or may not be used for learning, but are quite good for Web2.0 integration.
There is a subtle distinction. A CMS refers to the platform/tools to assemble and format "content." This implies standardizing to an interoperable architecture, such as SCORM. An LMS, on the other hand, is the system that manages learner activities and provides documentation for regulatory or professional certification requirements. So, the CMS and LMS are both parts of a system of formal "learning." I use quotations because the manner in which many of these systems are used emphasize the management of the learner over the experience of learning.
Thanks Geoff.

Your explanation adds clarity as well. The differentiation between management and experience of the learner and learning seem to be key.

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