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LCMS, or LMS - What's the Difference?

LCMS, or LMS - What's the Difference?

Most of us might be confused about the difference between a learning management system (LMS) and a learning content management system (LCMS). At first glance, these two solutions do look and sound very similar, but they actually provide very different functions at different stages of the learning process. If you’re looking for a solution, there are some key considerations that should be kept in mind when it comes to determining requirements, research vendors, and finding the best LMS or LCMS.


An LCMS is an interface which is used to collaborate, create, and assemble the learning content from a central location. LCMS users, with an appropriate level of access, can edit and/or add content. It also allows the content to be available in whichever form you might want it; a PDF, print course, mobile app or website. These systems are very useful when it comes to managing versions of documents and pooling all the content related aspects.

LCMS are particularly used to link various components of the content. They provide the learner all the support required to create his own tailored learning path corresponding to their learning needs. This makes the LCMS more personalized, adaptive and helps learning become a reality.


A learning management system (LMS) is also an interface, but more robust than an LCMS. Rather than managing the content, an LMS is oriented to control and manage the training system. An LMS is a platform to host all types of eLearning courses, and track and monitor the learning of the users.  Furthermore, it allows administrators or trainers to prepare reports, make assignments, and send reminders through a single platform.

An LMS is a delivery platform that allows the learners to read and interact with learning materials, courses and quizzes. It allows you to analyse what the learners are looking for, and helps you to create new learning material.  


The primary difference between an LMS and LCMS is the target audience. An LMS is designed keeping the learner in mind; on the other hand a LCMS is designed primarily for content developers. Both these applications are significant in their own functionality. LCMS is an application where the learner can simply view documents, whereas an LMS allows the learners to interact with the learning data. 

LMS is actually more like LCMS because it provides course authoring tools and some content management. LMS also offers all the functionality you need to deliver eLearning effortlessly and manage learner’s records automatically. LCMS mostly integrates content management products enabling the learners to reuse existing content and produce new learning content using the tools they already know, like Microsoft Office. Both LMS and LCMS applications can be cloud hosted so that you can focus more on the training and learning and not worry about the infrastructure.

While these systems have several similarities, they ultimately have different functions. You should know these systems to know which of its tools meet your demands and provide you the ability to manage and deliver content in a way best suited to you. 



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