A Learning Content Management System, or LCMS, is an environment where developers can create, store, reuse, manage, and deliver learning content from a central object repository, usually a database. LCMSs generally work with content that is based on a learning object model. These systems usually have good search capabilities, allowing developers to quickly find the text or media needed to build training content. Learning content management systems often strive to achieve a separation of content which is often tagged in XML from presentation. This allows many LCMSs to publish to a wide range of formats, platforms, or devices such as print, Web, and even wireless information devices (WID) such as Palm and Windows CE hand-helds, all from the same source material.

A Learning Management System, or LMS, is software that automates the administration of training events. All LMSs manage the log-in and registration of users, manage course catalogs, record data from learners, and provide reports to management. There used to be a distinction between learning management systems and more powerful "integrated" learning management systems. That distinction has now disappeared. The term learning management system is now used to describe a wide range of applications that track student training and may or may not include functions such as:

  • Authoring
  • Classroom management
  • Competency management
  • Knowledge management
  • Certification or compliance training
  • Personalization
  • Mentoring
  • Chat
  • Discussion boards Learning Object
    Learning objects (LO), also called reusable learning objects, are not really a set technology, but rather a philosophy for how content is created and deployed. Learning objects refer to self-contained chunks of training content that can be assembled with other learning objects to create courses and curricula, much the same way a child's Lego blocks are assembled to create all types of structures. Learning objects are designed to be used in multiple training contexts, aim to increase the flexibility of training, and make updating courses much easier to manage. Update a part of a learning object, and the change should appear in any course using that learning object. The size of a learning object differs based on the instructional designer, from as small as a single page of content to as large as is required to contain an objective, presentation material, a practice section, and an assessment.