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Learning Management System

Learning Management System Guide

Welcome to "The Ultimate Learning Management System Guide" by Proliant. Dive into a comprehensive resource covering everything you need to know about LMS.

Introduction to LMS

Have you ever wondered what all the fuss is about with Learning Management Systems (LMS)? They're basically your go-to hub for everything learning-related. Whether you're a teacher juggling course materials or a student hunting down resources, an LMS has you covered. These virtual Swiss Army knives for education aren't just convenient – they're changing the way we learn and teach. From traditional classrooms to online courses, LMSs offer flexibility, interactivity, and endless opportunities for collaboration. So get ready to dive into the world of LMS and discover why they're the superheroes of modern education and training.

Definition and Purpose
An LMS is a software application or platform designed to facilitate the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of educational courses or training programs. Its primary purpose is to streamline the process of learning by providing a centralized digital space where educators can create, manage, and deliver content, while learners can access resources, participate in activities, and track their progress. Essentially, an LMS acts as a virtual classroom or training center, offering a range of tools and features to enhance the learning experience for both instructors and students.

Importance of LMS in Education and Training
The adoption of Learning Management Systems has become increasingly crucial in modern education and training environments. LMS platforms offer unparalleled flexibility and accessibility, allowing learners to engage with educational materials at their own pace and convenience. Moreover, LMSs support various learning styles and preferences, accommodating diverse audiences ranging from traditional classroom settings to remote or online learners. With features like multimedia integration, interactive assessments, and real-time feedback mechanisms, LMSs promote active learning and collaboration, fostering a dynamic educational experience that transcends geographical boundaries. Furthermore, LMSs enable educators to track learner progress, identify areas for improvement, and tailor instruction accordingly, thereby enhancing overall learning outcomes and student success.

Evolution and Growth of LMS
The evolution of Learning Management Systems traces back to the early days of computer-based training systems in the 1960s. Since then, LMS technology has undergone significant advancements, driven by innovations in e-learning, digital media, and information technology. Early LMSs primarily focused on course management and administration, but over time, they have evolved into sophisticated platforms offering a wide array of features such as content authoring, social learning, mobile compatibility, and integration with other educational technologies. The growth of LMSs has been propelled by the increasing demand for flexible, scalable, and personalized learning solutions across various sectors, including K-12 education, higher education, corporate training, and professional development. Looking ahead, the future of LMSs promises continued innovation and adaptation to meet the evolving needs of learners and educators in an ever-changing digital landscape.

Types of Learning Management Systems

Ready to explore the different flavors of Learning Management Systems? You've got your cloud-based vs. self-hosted options, open source vs. proprietary, mobile learning platforms for on-the-go education, and integrated vs. standalone systems. Each offers its own perks, whether it's flexibility, customization, mobility, or seamless integration. Let's break it down and find the perfect fit for your needs!

Cloud-Based vs. Self-Hosted LMS
When it comes to Learning Management Systems, one of the primary distinctions lies between cloud-based and self-hosted solutions. Cloud-based LMS operates on remote servers accessible via the internet, offering flexibility and accessibility from anywhere, anytime. On the flip side, self-hosted LMS requires hosting on an organization's own servers, granting greater control over data and customization but demanding more technical expertise for maintenance and upgrades. Organizations often weigh factors such as data security, scalability, and upfront costs when choosing between these two options.

Open Source vs. Proprietary LMS
Another important consideration in selecting an LMS is whether to opt for an open-source or proprietary solution. Open-source LMS platforms provide access to the source code, allowing for customization and collaboration within the developer community. This fosters innovation and flexibility, as organizations can tailor the system to their specific needs. In contrast, proprietary LMS solutions are developed and maintained by a single vendor, offering comprehensive support, advanced features, and often a more polished user experience. The choice between open source and proprietary LMS often boils down to factors like budget, desired features, and long-term support considerations.

Mobile Learning Platforms
With the increasing prevalence of smartphones and tablets, mobile learning platforms have emerged as a crucial component of modern education and training. These platforms are designed to deliver educational content and activities optimized for mobile devices, enabling learners to access resources on the go. Mobile learning platforms typically feature responsive design, offline access capabilities, and mobile-specific features such as push notifications and gamification elements. By embracing mobile learning, organizations can enhance learner engagement, accessibility, and flexibility, catering to the diverse needs of today's digital learners.

Integrated vs. Standalone LMS
When evaluating LMS options, organizations must also consider whether they require an integrated or standalone solution. Integrated LMS platforms seamlessly integrate with other educational technologies or systems, such as student information systems or content repositories. This integration streamlines administrative processes, enhances data interoperability, and provides a unified user experience across multiple platforms. In contrast, standalone LMS operates independently, offering a comprehensive suite of features without the need for additional integrations. While standalone LMS may provide simplicity and ease of use, integrated solutions offer greater efficiency and scalability for organizations with complex learning ecosystems.

The Advantages of LMS

Embracing a LMS opens doors to a plethora of benefits, whether it's for internal or external training purposes. Let's explore how leveraging an LMS can transform your training initiatives and drive success. From tracking internal training KPIs to enhancing external  training outcomes, an LMS offers a comprehensive solution to meet the diverse needs of organizations and stakeholders. Let's delve into the advantages of utilizing an LMS for both internal and external training programs. 

KPIs for Internal Training
Implementing a LMS for internal training brings a multitude of advantages to organizations. One significant benefit is the ability to track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) specific to internal training programs. With an LMS, organizations can effortlessly monitor metrics such as employee participation rates, course completion rates, and assessment scores. These KPIs provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of training initiatives, allowing organizations to identify areas for improvement, measure employee skill development, and ensure compliance with internal training requirements. By leveraging LMS-driven KPIs for internal training, organizations can enhance employee performance, increase productivity, and drive business success.

KPIs for External Training
External training, whether it's for customers, partners, or vendors, also reaps numerous benefits from the implementation of an LMS. One of the key advantages is the ability to measure Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) tailored to external training programs. Through an LMS, organizations can track metrics such as customer satisfaction ratings, certification completion rates, and partner engagement levels. These KPIs provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of external training initiatives, helping organizations gauge the impact of their investments, identify areas for improvement, and strengthen relationships with external stakeholders. By harnessing LMS-driven KPIs for external training, organizations can enhance customer loyalty, drive partner success, and achieve strategic business objectives.

Key Features and Functionality of LMS

Looking to get the most out of your Learning Management System (LMS)? Let's dive into the key features and functionalities that make these platforms the backbone of modern education and training. From user management to customization options, an effective LMS is equipped with a range of tools designed to streamline administration, enhance learning experiences, and drive better outcomes for both educators and learners. Let's explore each of these features in detail to unlock the full potential of your LMS. 

User Management
User management is at the core of any Learning Management System (LMS), allowing administrators to efficiently organize and control user access to courses and materials. With robust user management features, administrators can easily enroll students, assign roles and permissions, and manage user profiles, ensuring a seamless learning experience for everyone involved.

Content Management
Content management is a key component of an effective LMS, empowering instructors to create, organize, and deliver course materials in various formats such as documents, presentations, videos, and interactive multimedia. With intuitive content management tools, educators can upload, organize, and update learning resources, making them easily accessible to learners anytime, anywhere.

Assessment and Grading Tools
Assessment and grading tools are essential for evaluating learner progress and measuring learning outcomes within an LMS. These tools enable instructors to create quizzes, assignments, and exams, as well as grade submissions and provide feedback to students. Additionally, features like automated grading, rubrics, and gradebook integration streamline the assessment process, saving time and improving efficiency.

Communication and Collaboration Tools
Effective communication and collaboration are vital for fostering engagement and interaction within an LMS. Communication tools such as discussion forums, messaging systems, and announcements allow instructors and students to communicate in real-time, facilitating collaboration, peer-to-peer interaction, and knowledge sharing.

Reporting and Analytics
Reporting and analytics functionality provides valuable insights into learner performance, course effectiveness, and overall LMS usage. Administrators can generate reports on metrics such as course completion rates, assessment scores, and user activity, allowing them to identify trends, track progress, and make data-driven decisions to improve learning outcomes.

Customization and Personalization
Customization and personalization features empower instructors to tailor the learning experience to meet the unique needs and preferences of individual learners. From customizable course templates and branding options to personalized learning paths and adaptive content delivery, LMS customization and personalization capabilities enhance learner engagement, motivation, and retention.

Choosing the Right LMS for Your Needs

Exploring the realm of Learning Management Systems might seem overwhelming at first, given the multitude of options and features to sift through. Yet, with a methodical approach and thorough evaluation of your organization's needs, you can confidently choose an LMS that aligns with your requirements and propels your objectives forward. Here's a rundown of the crucial factors to bear in mind when selecting the ideal LMS for your needs.

Needs Assessment
Before diving into the vast sea of Learning Management Systems, it's essential to conduct a thorough needs assessment. Consider factors such as the size of your organization, the specific learning objectives you aim to achieve, the technical capabilities of your team, and the learning preferences of your audience. By understanding your unique requirements and challenges, you can narrow down your options and choose an LMS that aligns perfectly with your needs.

Budget Considerations
Budget considerations play a significant role in selecting the right LMS for your organization. Determine your budget constraints upfront and carefully evaluate the cost of each LMS option, taking into account factors such as licensing fees, implementation costs, ongoing maintenance expenses, and any additional features or customizations you may require. Remember to weigh the cost against the value and benefits offered by each LMS to make an informed decision that aligns with your budgetary constraints.

Scalability and Integration Requirements
As your organization grows and evolves, so too should your Learning Management System. When choosing an LMS, consider its scalability and integration capabilities to ensure it can accommodate your future needs and seamlessly integrate with other systems or technologies. Look for an LMS that offers flexible scalability options, robust integration capabilities, and support for emerging technologies to future-proof your investment and adapt to changing requirements over time.

User Experience and Interface
The user experience and interface of an LMS significantly impact adoption and engagement among learners and administrators alike. Evaluate the user interface of each LMS option to ensure it is intuitive, user-friendly, and visually appealing. Consider factors such as ease of navigation, accessibility features, mobile responsiveness, and customization options to provide a seamless and enjoyable learning experience for all users.

Support and Training Options
Selecting an LMS is not just about the software itself but also the support and training options provided by the vendor. Look for an LMS vendor that offers comprehensive support services, including technical support, troubleshooting assistance, and regular updates or maintenance. Additionally, inquire about training options such as onboarding sessions, user documentation, and online tutorials to empower your team and maximize the value of your LMS investment.

Implementing and Deploying an LMS

Embarking on the path to implement and deploy a Learning Management System presents an exhilarating opportunity to revolutionize your organization's approach to training and education. However, it demands meticulous planning, precise execution, and strategic decision-making to guarantee a triumphant outcome. In this guide, we'll guide you through the indispensable steps of LMS implementation and deployment, spanning from initial planning and preparation to rigorous testing and quality assurance. By adhering to these steps and embracing best practices, you can streamline the deployment journey, boost user adoption, and attain your organizational learning objectives with aplomb.

Planning and Preparation
The key to a successful implementation of a Learning Management System lies in thorough planning and preparation. Start by defining clear objectives and goals for your LMS implementation, considering factors such as the needs of your organization, the target audience, and the desired outcomes. Conduct a comprehensive needs assessment to identify specific requirements and challenges, and develop a detailed project plan outlining timelines, milestones, and responsibilities. Engage stakeholders from across the organization to gain buy-in and ensure alignment with strategic objectives. By investing time and effort in the planning and preparation phase, you can set the stage for a smooth and successful LMS deployment.

Installation and Configuration
Once the planning phase is complete, it's time to proceed with the installation and configuration of your chosen LMS. Depending on the LMS solution you've selected, this may involve installing software on your organization's servers or deploying a cloud-based solution. Work closely with your IT team or LMS vendor to ensure a seamless installation process and configure the system according to your organization's requirements. Customize settings, permissions, and branding elements to reflect your organization's identity and ensure a tailored user experience. By carefully managing the installation and configuration process, you can lay a solid foundation for a functional and efficient LMS environment.

Content Migration and Creation
With the technical aspects of your LMS deployment underway, turn your attention to content migration and creation. Assess existing training materials and educational resources to determine what content needs to be migrated to the LMS and what new content needs to be created. Develop a content migration plan to organize and transfer existing materials into the LMS, ensuring compatibility and consistency. Simultaneously, create new content such as courses, modules, quizzes, and multimedia resources to enrich the learning experience. Collaborate with subject matter experts, instructional designers, and content creators to develop high-quality, engaging content that meets the needs of your audience. By prioritizing content migration and creation, you can ensure that your LMS is populated with relevant and valuable resources from the outset.

User Training and Onboarding
As your LMS takes shape, it's crucial to provide comprehensive training and onboarding for users to maximize adoption and engagement. Develop a user training plan that covers essential LMS functionalities, features, and best practices. Offer a combination of online tutorials, instructor-led sessions, and self-paced resources to accommodate diverse learning styles and preferences. Tailor training materials to different user roles and skill levels, providing targeted support for administrators, instructors, and learners. Prioritize user feedback and support throughout the onboarding process, addressing any questions or concerns promptly and proactively. By investing in user training and onboarding, you can empower users to leverage the full capabilities of the LMS and drive success in their learning endeavors.


Testing and Quality Assurance
Before officially launching your LMS, it's essential to conduct thorough testing and quality assurance to ensure a smooth and error-free deployment. Develop a comprehensive testing plan that covers all aspects of the LMS, including functionality, usability, performance, and compatibility. Engage stakeholders and end-users to participate in testing activities, soliciting feedback and identifying any issues or bugs that need to be addressed. Perform rigorous testing across different devices, browsers, and network environments to ensure optimal performance and accessibility. Implement fixes and optimizations based on testing results, conducting multiple rounds of testing as needed until the LMS meets quality standards. By prioritizing testing and quality assurance, you can minimize the risk of disruptions and ensure a successful deployment of your LMS.

Integrations with LMS and Other Systems

In today's interconnected digital landscape, a smooth integration between Learning Management Systems (LMS) and other organizational systems is imperative for optimizing efficiency, productivity, and user satisfaction. Integrations provide a best-of-breed experience for customers, ensuring seamless functionality and data flow across multiple platforms. Payroll integration is a crucial aspect of this seamless integration process. Proliant offers seamless integration services that integrate our comprehensive Human Resources Information System (HRIS), Learning Management System, and Applicant Tracking System (ATS) with your existing infrastructure. Creating an integration ecosystem provides:

  • Greater Consistency
  • Ensured Accuracy
  • Increased Automation
  • Fewer Duplicated Processes

Find out what payroll integration is and why you need it, but in the meantime, let’s explore some key integration points to maximize the benefits of your LMS with integrated services.




LMS and HR Systems/HRIS
Integrating a LMS with Human Resources systems or Human Resources Information Systems offers significant benefits for organizations. By connecting the LMS with HR systems, such as payroll, employee databases, and performance management platforms, organizations can streamline administrative processes and enhance data accuracy. This integration allows for seamless synchronization of user data, such as employee profiles, roles, and training requirements, enabling automated user provisioning, reporting, and compliance tracking. Additionally, integrating LMS with HR systems facilitates the alignment of learning initiatives with organizational goals and workforce development strategies, empowering HR teams to better manage talent development and succession planning. For more information about HRIS, find out which HR software solution fits your business best.


LMS and Applicant Tracking System/Recruiting Software
Integrating a Learning Management System with Applicant Tracking Systems or recruiting software provides organizations with a holistic approach to talent management and development. By connecting the LMS with ATS platforms, organizations can seamlessly transition new hires from the recruitment process to onboarding and training initiatives. This integration streamlines the employee onboarding process, ensuring that new employees have access to relevant training materials and resources from day one. From orientation materials to compliance training, employees can begin their journey with the organization fully equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed. Additionally, integrating LMS with recruiting software enables organizations to track candidate progress, assess skills and competencies, and identify training needs throughout the recruitment lifecycle. By leveraging this integration, organizations can improve employee retention, accelerate time-to-productivity, and optimize talent acquisition efforts. For more insights on the journey through employee onboarding with Proliant, visit here.


LMS and Single Sign-On (SSO)
Integrating a Learning Management System (LMS) with Single Sign-On (SSO) solutions offers convenience, security, and efficiency for users across the organization. With SSO integration, users can access the LMS and other systems or applications using a single set of login credentials, eliminating the need for multiple usernames and passwords. This seamless authentication process enhances user experience, reduces login friction, and improves productivity. Moreover, SSO integration enhances security by centralizing user authentication and access control, reducing the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches. By integrating LMS with SSO solutions, organizations can simplify user management, enhance security, and streamline access to learning resources, driving greater adoption and engagement among learners.

Best Practices for Using an LMS Effectively

To unleash the full potential of a Learning Management System, it's imperative to adopt a strategic approach encompassing course design, engagement, assessment, and communication. From content creation to communication strategies and continuous improvement, these insights empower both novice and seasoned administrators to optimize their LMS impact. Join us as we delve into harnessing your LMS's capabilities to drive learning outcomes and cultivate a culture of ongoing enhancement.

Engaging Content Creation
To address the demand for upskilling with a Learning Management System, one of the keys to maximizing effectiveness lies in creating engaging and interactive content. Incorporate multimedia elements such as videos, animations, and interactive quizzes to capture learners' attention and enhance retention. Utilize storytelling techniques, real-world examples, and case studies to make the content relevant and relatable to learners' experiences. Additionally, leverage gamification elements such as badges, leaderboards, and rewards to motivate learners and encourage active participation. By focusing on engaging content creation, you can cultivate a dynamic learning environment that stimulates curiosity, fosters exploration, and promotes continuous upskilling.

Proliant - Upskilling Checklist - CTA

Interactive Learning Activities
Incorporating interactive learning activities into your LMS courses can significantly enhance learner engagement and comprehension. Encourage active participation through discussions, group projects, and collaborative activities that promote peer-to-peer interaction and knowledge sharing. Incorporate simulations, virtual labs, and role-playing exercises to provide hands-on learning experiences and reinforce key concepts. Additionally, offer opportunities for self-assessment and reflection through quizzes, self-paced activities, and reflective journals. By integrating interactive learning activities into your LMS courses, you can create an immersive learning experience that encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and skill development.

Regular Assessment and Feedback
Regular assessment and feedback are essential components of effective learning management. Incorporate formative assessments throughout your LMS courses to gauge learners' understanding and progress. Provide timely and constructive feedback to help learners identify areas for improvement and reinforce learning objectives. Utilize a variety of assessment methods, such as quizzes, assignments, and peer reviews, to assess different types of knowledge and skills. Additionally, leverage analytics and reporting features within the LMS to track learner performance and identify trends over time. By incorporating regular assessment and feedback mechanisms, you can support continuous learning and improvement while ensuring that learners stay on track to meet their goals.

Communication Strategies
Effective communication is key to fostering engagement, collaboration, and support within an LMS environment. Establish clear communication channels and expectations for instructors, learners, and administrators to facilitate open dialogue and information sharing. Utilize announcement features, discussion forums, and messaging tools to communicate important updates, deadlines, and course-related information. Encourage instructors to provide regular feedback and support to learners through personalized messages, virtual office hours, and online forums. Additionally, foster a sense of community and belonging by facilitating peer-to-peer interaction and collaboration through group projects, team activities, and social learning opportunities. By implementing effective communication strategies, you can create a supportive and collaborative learning environment that enhances engagement and satisfaction among learners.

Continuous Improvement
Continuous improvement is a fundamental principle of effective learning management. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your LMS courses, content, and instructional strategies through learner feedback, performance data, and assessments. Identify areas for improvement and implement targeted interventions to address learner needs and preferences. Stay informed about emerging trends and best practices in online learning and instructional design, and incorporate innovative approaches and technologies into your LMS courses. Foster a culture of experimentation, innovation, and continuous learning among instructors and administrators to drive ongoing improvement and innovation. By prioritizing continuous improvement, you can ensure that your LMS remains relevant, effective, and responsive to the evolving needs of learners and organizations.

Challenges and Solutions in LMS Implementation

Implementing a Learning Management System holds promise for transformative benefits but also poses significant challenges that require attention for success. In this guide, we'll delve into common challenges and practical solutions encountered during LMS implementation, including technical issues, user resistance, content management, data security, and staying updated with technological advancements. By comprehending and adeptly navigating these obstacles, organizations can unlock the complete potential of their LMS, driving favorable outcomes for learners and stakeholders alike. Let's explore the pivotal challenges and solutions in LMS implementation.

Technical Issues and Troubleshooting
One of the primary challenges in LMS implementation is encountering technical issues and troubleshooting them effectively. From software compatibility issues to server configuration problems, technical glitches can disrupt the learning process and frustrate users. To address this challenge, organizations should invest in robust technical support and enlist the expertise of IT professionals to promptly diagnose and resolve issues. Additionally, thorough testing and quality assurance prior to deployment can help identify potential technical challenges early on, allowing for proactive solutions and smoother implementation.

User Resistance and Adoption Challenges
User resistance and adoption challenges often arise during the implementation of a new LMS, particularly if users are accustomed to traditional training methods or resistant to change. To overcome this challenge, organizations should prioritize communication and change management strategies to build buy-in and support among users. Provide clear and compelling reasons for adopting the new LMS, emphasize the benefits and advantages it offers, and offer comprehensive training and support to help users navigate the transition. Additionally, solicit feedback and address concerns from users throughout the implementation process to ensure their needs and preferences are taken into account.

Content Management and Maintenance
Managing and maintaining content within a Learning Management System can pose significant challenges, particularly as the volume of content grows and evolves over time. Organizations may struggle with content organization, version control, and updating outdated materials. To address these challenges, establish clear content management processes and guidelines, including naming conventions, versioning protocols, and content review cycles. Implement content management tools and features within the LMS to streamline content creation, organization, and maintenance. Additionally, assign dedicated roles and responsibilities to content administrators and subject matter experts to ensure content quality and relevance are upheld.

Data Security and Privacy Concerns
Data security and privacy concerns are paramount in any LMS implementation, particularly when sensitive learner information is involved. Organizations must prioritize data protection measures to safeguard against unauthorized access, data breaches, and compliance violations. Implement robust security protocols, encryption technologies, and access controls to protect sensitive data stored within the LMS. Additionally, ensure compliance with relevant privacy regulations such as GDPR or HIPAA and provide transparent information to users about data handling practices. Regular security audits and risk assessments can help identify vulnerabilities and mitigate potential threats to data security and privacy.

Keeping up with Technological Advancements
As technology evolves at a rapid pace, organizations face the challenge of keeping up with technological advancements and ensuring their LMS remains current and relevant. To address this challenge, stay informed about emerging trends and innovations in e-learning, instructional design, and educational technology. Engage with industry forums, attend conferences, and collaborate with technology partners to stay ahead of the curve. Additionally, prioritize regular updates and upgrades to the LMS platform to incorporate new features, functionalities, and integrations that enhance the learning experience and support organizational goals. By embracing technological advancements proactively, organizations can future-proof their LMS implementation and maintain a competitive edge in the digital learning landscape.



Recap of Key Points
In this guide, we've delved into the multifaceted aspects of Learning Management Systems and their crucial role in contemporary education and training. From grasping core features and functionalities to addressing challenges and embracing future trends, we've covered various topics to offer a comprehensive overview of LMS implementation and usage.

Final Thoughts on the Role of LMS in Education and Training
In today's fast-paced and ever-evolving digital landscape, Learning Management Systems have become indispensable tools for organizations seeking to deliver effective and efficient learning experiences. By centralizing resources, fostering collaboration, and enabling personalized learning pathways, LMS platforms empower learners to acquire new skills, deepen their knowledge, and achieve their educational and professional goals. As we look to the future, the role of LMS in education and training will only continue to expand, driving innovation, accessibility, and inclusivity in learning initiatives worldwide.

How Do I Get Started?
Embarking on the journey to implement and utilize a Learning Management System may seem daunting, but with the right guidance and resources, it can be a rewarding and transformative endeavor. Begin by conducting a needs assessment to identify your organization's specific requirements and objectives. Research different LMS platforms to find one that aligns with your needs and budget, and consider factors such as scalability, integrations, and support services. Once you've selected an LMS, develop a comprehensive implementation plan, and prioritize user training and support to ensure a smooth transition. Finally, continuously monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your LMS implementation, soliciting feedback from users and stakeholders to drive ongoing improvement and innovation. With careful planning, strategic decision-making, and a commitment to continuous learning, you can harness the full potential of your LMS to drive positive outcomes for your organization and its learners.

Find out how Proliant positively impacts behaviors, increases engagement and productivity, and improves retention. Request a meeting today and let's get started.