Do you suffer from acronym overload? I know I do! I have a
cheat sheet of all the industry acronyms so that I can quickly look up the letters
that someone blurts out. I call it my alphabet soup dictionary.
The life safety industry is not unlike other industries in
its love for acronyms; the fields of technology, medicine, and engineering are
all well recognized for their long lists of acronyms. Education and training
has its alphabet soup as well, and one of the most powerful is the acronym LMS:
Learning Management System. Get ready, because you are going to hear a lot from
ESA about our LMS in the coming months.
So what exactly is an LMS, and why should you care? Properly
defined, a Learning Management System is a software application for the
administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of e-education
courses or e-training programs. In the last couple of years, these applications
have evolved to be even more powerful than the formal description. Many of them
are cloud-based or internet-hosted, and they track and support live learning
events as well as e-learning. Five years ago, the main users of an LMS were
administrators and instructors. But today, students rely on the LMS as much as
the training staff.
At ESA’s National Training School (NTS) we have big plans
for the LMS we recently acquired. Our goal is to have the LMS – or as we are
calling it, the ESA Learning Portal – become an easily accessible and easy-to-use
tool for our customers to access their past training records and to track their
progress in completing ESA/NTS certifications.
We aren’t stopping there, however. The learning portal will
also allow students who register for one of our many live training courses to
access supplemental course information in advance or after the class. Remember
those difficult electricity math calculations you learned in Level I? Tutorials
will be available on the learning portal for students to access whenever they
My favorite resource on the portal is the Security Industry
Dictionary, because it contains a comprehensive list of industry acronyms and definitions
of common industry terms. We include this dictionary in most of our course
manuals, but having it on the portal site will allow learners to access it when
and where they need it – even from their smartphone.
Another key service we are going to provide through the
learning portal is computer-based testing, which will allow students to take
one of our human-proctored exams on their tablet or laptop and immediately receive
their pass/fail status.
Our mission at ESA/NTS over the next year is to use the LMS
to provide better, faster and more efficient services and tools for our core
customer, the learners. We are extremely excited about the transition we are
undergoing and we know you will be excited as well.
Please watch your inbox for announcements
regarding the roll-out of this new tool.
In the meantime, you can start to memorize the
latest industry acronyms: WORP, MSSP, VMS, and any other new entries in the
alphabet soup dictionary.