Learning Management System Architecture

The Atlantis Learning Management System (ALMS)  has four major components:

  • User Interface (UI)
    • The way a learner connects with the Learning Community.
    • The UI gets and gives information from the Learning.
    • A great UI is Easy to use.
    • Device/media specific – Mobile, tablet, video
  • Digital Library (DL)
    • The place and structure of where the content is stored.
    • Follows Digital Library Standards with extensions and add-ons.
    • Context Sensitive Search Engines
  • Learning Application (LA)
    • Compiles information and produces output. (Hopefully it produces “actionable” output. But, actionable is a relative term.)
    • Tells the User Interface what to get or give
    • Tells the Digital Library what to store and how.
  • Network
    • Manages the physical and virtual connections between the Application, User Interface, & Digital Libraries.


There are two terms I hear often: Content Management Systems and Learning Management Systems.

I’ve been thinking about it and I think Learning Management System is a better term than Content Management System because why would I want to manage my content if not to learn from it?  Why would I spend the time to manage content if my goal is not to learn from all that content.

I think the implication is that a content management system makes no decisions about the content.  You could have a content management system that is not directly related to an educational institution for activity.  I think get that.  But, inherent in any CMS is a set of algorithms and processes that attempt to order the content is the most actionable way.  So, I get it.

Foundational when you lay out the three major components of each they are the same.  The only difference is in the last component – the specifics of the application.  The UI & DL are essentially the same.