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Learning Management (LMS vs. SIS)

January 14, 2019

While scouring the internet for a suitable system for your school, you may come across these 2 terms: Learning Management System (LMS) and Student Information System (SIS). The latter can sometimes also be referred to as a Student Management System (SMS). What are the differences? And what do you get with QuickSchools?

LMS and SIS actually occupy difference spaces in the market. But due to the nature of systems, and the tendency for schools to want to stick to ONE system/platform, the features of these 2 systems often overlap. We wrote about this a while back, in the article below. But we thought it’d be worth revisiting this topic, for schools that are considering either an LMS or an SIS:

https://blog.quickschools.com/2015/03/01/integration-to-learning-management-systems-lms/

So here is a rough comparison between the two types of systems:

Student Information System (SIS)

Learning Management System (LMS)

  • Focus is on record keeping (student info, attendance, grades, discipline, etc…)
  • Focus is on delivery of content to students (like homework assignments, tests, quizzes, etc…)
  • Primarily used by school administrators, but can extend to students, teachers and parents.
  • Primarily used by teachers and students, but can extend to parents and school administrators.

As mentioned above, even when a platform focuses on ONE key area/market, features often overlap. For example, it’s not uncommon to find an LMS that also tracks grades and attendance, and then produces report cards. You may also find an SIS that allows teachers to post homework assignments to students. But due to the focus of each system, report cards produced by an LMS is typically not as flexible as those produced by an SIS. And likewise, the ability to share content with students in an SIS is typically not as robust as with an LMS.

If you are looking for a single system that has both SIS and LMS features, here are some LMS features that QuickSchools currently supports:

The following LMS features are currently not yet supported in QuickSchools, so if these features are important you should consider a full-fledged LMS:

  • Online Tests/Quizzes
  • Online Submission of Homework Assignments

If you are considering an LMS, one feature that LMS’s typically don’t do well with are Transcripts (we hear this a lot from our customers). So if you’re looking to produce Transcripts with grades, an SIS is likely the way to go.

Finally, if you need the best of both worlds, you could opt to use BOTH an LMS and an SIS, after which you can try to integrate both systems. Most systems (including QuickSchools) offer an Open API, to allow schools to transfer/share data between systems. And in QuickSchools, we also readily support integration to several Learning Management Systems (LMS) on the market, like Schoology, Canvas and Haiku. Feel free to check those out.

If you need more information about QuickSchools, or our integration capabilities, please feel free to chat in.

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