What Are the Differences Between Learning Management Systems and Student Information Systems?

A Learning Management System (LMS) and a Student Information System (SIS) – also known as a Student Management System (SMS) – are two critical systems for registered training organisations (RTOs) and other training or educational institutions with compliance requirements. As the names imply, they are two distinct systems that serve different purposes, though with some common features shared by both, and it isn’t uncommon for people to assume that they are the same. Understanding the differences between a Learning Management System and a Student Information System will help you in establishing which system is the right fit for your organisation, ensuring you are AVETMISS compliant, and also meet all the requirements for CRICOS, VET, AQF, VSL, or any other standards bodies your organisation falls under.

Student Information System (SIS)

A SIS – or Student Management System (SMS) – is an all-in-one system for managing all the common administration and regulatory tasks of a training organisation. All RTOs are expected to have a system in place for managing AVETMISS compliance requirements, and a SIS simplifies this, and is a lot more effective than a decentralised system involving paper records, spreadsheets, and a simple database. All information is captured and stored on a central system that is updated in real-time, with the advantage that some tasks can even be automated. Milk Bottle’s Student Management System includes functions that make it possible to:

  • Add enquiries from prospective students to a CRM system, allowing you to nurture them from prospect through to enrolled student. This can also be used to build up a record of common enquiries that can – in turn – shape your marketing and the courses you offer.
  • Enrol and process new students electronically, capturing all the essential information needed, and filtering that through to various other systems in real-time. All administrators, managers, and trainers immediately have all necessary student information.
  • Manage attendance records, assessments, examinations, and progress for each student, and since this is all updated in real-time, everyone has access to the latest data.
  • Create a student portal that allows each student to easily access their personal information and academic record, and even submit training fees online.

A SIS or SMS doesn’t replace the need for other systems related to the management of a training organisation, but a good SIS or SMS will support third-party integrations, making it possible for data captured in the Student Information System to populate and update other systems your organisation uses.


Learning Management System (LMS)

The internet has made it possible for training organisations to now offer some – or all – of their courses online, with either all modules available for web-based training or using a combination of web and venue-based training. An LMS includes features found in an SIS or SMS, but with additional features necessary for online or blended (online and venue based) training. This also makes it the ideal system for companies that offer in-house training for employees. Features found in Milk Bottle’s Learning Management System include:

  • Student enrolment, registration, and administration, similar to what is offered by an SMS.
  • The ability to create, manage, and distribute new courseware, and to properly schedule individual units and modules to avoid conflicts.
  • Management of all training records, including scheduling, assessments, attendance and engagement tracking. The built-in assessment library allows you to build a comprehensive record and catalogue of all course assessments, making it easier to reuse or update.
  • Management of skills and competencies, which is particularly important for any courses that require certain competencies to have been achieved before accepting registrations.
  • Proper record keeping and reporting for AVETMISS and other compliance requirements.
  • The ability for learners to electronically communicate with each other, individually or in groups, and for administrators and trainers to communicate with learners. The student experience with online training depends largely on the ability to communicate with ease to make up for the lack of face-to-face interaction.

As with an SIS, a good LMS will support third-party integrations, ensuring that all relevant systems share common data and are always updated in real-time.

Whether you know exactly what system you need, or are still unsure which one would benefit your organisation the most, contact us and we will schedule a meeting to discuss both systems in much more detail, and even set up a demonstration of the Milk Bottle Learning Management System and Student Management System. This gives us an opportunity to discover your needs, while also allowing you to explore the functionality of our products in-depth and getting a better sense of how our solutions can help optimise your RTO.

Want to improve and grow your RTO?
Speak to the MILK BOTTLE team today.