In connection with e-learning, we encounter three basic product types.
Content represents the most basic structural element, without which there can be neither e-learning nor even education as such. Any sort of electronic document can be understood as falling under the concept of e-learning content. For increasing the effectiveness of instruction, though, the content is often presented in the form of an electronic course, which is a digital program (or presentation) making use of various instructional strategies and supporting the standards
of e-learning allowing for its integration into the management system for the provision of participant feedback (lecturer, student, manager…).
Content submitted on CD, installed on a company network, placed on the Internet or corporate intranet can be studied without the students needing any additional systems. Yet content provided to students in this manner will, with a high degree of probability, meet with little success. What is lacking here is one key element of instruction, in other words the communication and cooperation of participants. For this reason, there are products generally termed learning management systems (LMS), which provide this communication and feedback with cooperation. In addition, LMS also addresses such tasks as content distribution, automation, management and evaluation of the learning process, reporting, competence management, financial oversight, etc.
Content is created in development systems, which may be divided into development tools and LCMS. Just as content may be any document, any program creating these documents can be a development system. In e-learning, these are usually specialised programs directly oriented to the creation of electronic courses, supporting the application of instructional strategies, feedback interactive elements and e-learning standards for integration into LMS. Specialised systems intended not only for the technical creation of courses but equally for the team process of creating, sharing and distributing content are termed LCMS (Learning Content Management Systems).