Learning in the Digital Age: A Guide to the LMS Spectrum

January 5, 2024

Organizations have used online learning platforms or e-learning content software for several years to train and educate their staff and employees.

However, when users started demanding more than just basic content delivery—such as course collaboration, assessment, and learning progress tracking—the obvious choice became learning management systems (LMS).

Currently, G2 recognizes four major types of LMS platforms that offer the flexibility and accessibility of e-learning to multiple industries.

These platforms include:

Understanding the differences between these learning management systems is essential, as many solutions in these categories offer similar functionality and capabilities.

Academic LMS: the digital transformation of education and training

Learning management systems, sometimes called academic learning management systems or education learning management systems, are digital platforms that facilitate and organize educational content, particularly for institutions offering fully online or hybrid-modeled courses. 

Instructors can use an educational LMS to manage grade books and rubrics, facilitate student discussion boards, and provide key features for reporting and tracking student progress and assignments.

When looking beyond educational institutions, where buyers seek to educate in a business, that’s where the use of corporate LMS comes in.

Corporate LMS: optimizing workplace learning 

Most organizations use corporate LMS to handle training and certification needs. 

Without a need for the more complex grading capabilities of academic learning management systems, corporate LMS focuses more on skill-based learning and how those skills relate to specific job functions. At the executive level, they often have dashboards that show trends in company learning over time and even identify skill and competency gaps.

Although corporate e-learning is constantly evolving, the corporate LMS remains a staple of most L&D departments. In fact, the Corporate Learning Management Systems category ranked 76th out of over 2,000 G2 categories in terms of traffic in the last 24 months, according to information from December 2023.

Depending on the complexity of the training needs, organizations may also use training management software, skills management software, or a system that operates as all three. 

Organizations may turn to learning experience platforms that use AI recommendations to tailor suggestions to a worker’s position or interests for more personalized options.

Elevating medical expertise with healthcare LMS

Similar to the function of a corporate LMS, healthcare learning management systems focus on skill-based learning for medical professionals.

Healthcare LMS platforms enable medical organizations and institutions to provide continued education, training, and accreditation to their employees cost-effectively and efficiently. 

These products differ from a corporate LMS by placing a heavier focus on training for compliance purposes, such as changing healthcare guidelines, evolving medical technology, and communicating updated medical standards and procedures. 

The healthcare industry is full of complex regulatory and ethical standards, so specialized LMS platforms prepare healthcare professionals to provide proper care and adhere to the various clinical, financial, and administrative standards that underpin their work. 

Some healthcare LMS platforms may be designed specifically for medical students still completing their education, with modules that offer interactive surgical simulations, terminology testing, and hypothetical scenarios to evaluate clinical decision making. 

Others may specialize in a subset of healthcare, such as caregiver training and certification within elderly care and home health contexts. 

Healthcare LMS platforms should still offer the same level of flexibility and customization to support any organization’s training and compliance needs, allowing them to build courses that pertain to different areas of healthcare operations.

Reduce compliance risk with ethics and compliance LMS

Ethics and compliance learning software helps organizations reduce their risk of regulatory violations by training employees on the laws and regulations that apply to their work.

This prevents costly fines and penalties, as well as damage to the organization's reputation, which is critical for attracting and retaining customers, partners, and investors. 

It can also lead to a more positive and productive work environment and reduce employees' risk of mistakes.

Top industries using learning management systems (LMS)

By now, it’s clear all LMS tools have various use cases, with all platforms offering consistent skill-based learning and applied knowledge, whether for accreditation or HIPAA compliance. 

G2 sees them most prevalent in the following industries: 

  • IT services
  • Computer software
  • Higher education
  • Education management
  • Healthcare

These industries, in particular, have seen a recent focus on technological advances related to automation and efficiency. Therefore, it is only fitting that they seek learning solutions that simplify the needs of educating staff members and consolidate the use of multiple platforms. 

For example, a healthcare facility may use a corporate LMS to train administrators and staff on hospital policy while requiring an e-learning tool compliant with the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM).

This is where the industry overlaps, and consolidation becomes most important—fully expressing the significance of learning systems and cementing their place in software usage.

What does the future have in store for learning management systems?

We may see a wave of LMS solutions providers looking to expand beyond their intended audience. 

As many learning management systems opt to become open-source solutions and increase AI integration compatibility, there's a hidden push to revamp the product to attract multiple users. More than 30 products on G2 exist in all four LMS categories, and more are eager to join. 

Yet, on the other hand, one can also predict that providers will remain true to product market requirements. 

In the vertical realm, revamping an education LMS or healthcare LMS without losing the key functionality that differentiates a learning management system from any other learning portal may be difficult. Therefore, the future may not be entirely linear for the many learning management systems available. 

However, in this digital age, we can expect these solutions to remain robust and adapt to the needs of learners.

Discover the key differences between learning portals and learning management systems to determine which solution best fits your organization's unique training needs and goals.

This article is co-authored by:


Edited by Shanti S Nair

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Learning in the Digital Age: A Guide to the LMS Spectrum Discover the many applications of learning management systems throughout various industries to optimize your learning experience. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/G2CR_B088_Learning_Management_Systems_V1b.png
JaKayla D. Lathon JaKayla is a Market Research Analyst at G2 specializing in real estate, education, and hospitality. Prior to joining G2, she worked in research and financial analysis in the private sector of Chicago, IL. JaKayla's result-driven nature helps her to combine G2's user data with the understanding of products and services in the market. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, gastronomy, and advocating for rescue dogs. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/g2-leadership-JaKayla_Lathon_V1.png https://www.linkedin.com/in/jakaylalathon