LMS stands for Learning Management System. This is a means for a course giver to manage the learning of their students. An LMS allows the course provider access to information about the learning its students are doing, such as the progress being made and how many people are accessing the tools at a time. It also allows the provider to add content to their courses and generally look after the way the courses run.
A good LMS will be flexible for the provider to add their own information and course content and will provide the useful performance information that the provider needs to see in order to adapt or alter the courses to better suit its participants.
The students themselves will often not see any part of the LMS, instead they will often be faced with learning through a Virtual Learning Environment or VLE, which is the ‘front of house’ of the online course. It offers a place for the student to see their own progress and see which topics or modules they have taken or are yet to take.