The learning portal architecture is a tool designed to help learning leaders understand the technological components involved in a learning portal and how they interact to create a customized experience for each type of user.
The learning portal architecture enables learning leaders to better understand how technology impacts and improves learning. A learning portal is as an integrated platform for administration, collaboration, analytics and e-commerce. The platform provides users with access to relevant content in a variety of forms and the ability to publish content. In addition, it allows users to track and analyze learners’ use of the system, as well as pay for or subscribe to content.
The diagram above illustrates a learning portal and its basic components, beginning with each category of user: administrators, employees, and customers and channel partners. User groups are managed through a layer of filters: a combination of each user’s preferences aligned with the content and usability requirements set by the portal administrator. Filters determine the experience for each learner.
The model then divides the learning portal into three functional areas: learning and content management, web technologies and content management, and e-commerce and analytics. Learning and content management includes the various functions associated with scheduling, assessments and testing, e-learning, cataloging, and individual profiles. These functions are generally considered the traditional learning management system functionality. Web technologies include content publishing, such as articles, blogs, wikis, communities, polls and surveys, webinars, and podcasts. Some learning portals include the integration of authoring and delivery technologies within the web technologies functionality. E-commerce and analytics include tools for functions such as financial transactions, tracking, security and reporting.
Many consider the combination of these tools the definition of a learning management system (LMS). “LMS” is often used as a generic term for virtually all types of administration systems for learning, but in reality, the LMS is only one component of the learning portal.
The learning portal architecture helps learning leaders understand which components they should use create a relevant and effective user experience. It also demonstrates how the user interface is generated, depending on the type of user and the filters selected. Through the learning portal architecture, learning leaders can easily identify their user groups and which type of functionality meets the needs of their users. Administrators can also set filters within the learning portal that determine what the learners see and which content they can access.
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