There are key points to remember when it comes to LMS seats and course seats – if the content is off the shelf. Off the shelf means that the courses have been purchased from a 3rd party vendor – and are already pre-built. For example, MS Word or Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish.

LMS Seats and Courses seats

1. If you are using an open source LMS – for example Moodle – then you have unlimited seats for your LMS. You would have unlimited seats for any courses you build yourself.

2. If you are using a LMS that you purchased (leased) from a vendor, then you purchased x number of seats. Those x number of seats are for any courses you build yourself.

Hypothetically, let’s say you have 500 seats for your LMS (you have a 3rd party LMS). You can use those 500 seats for any course your build and upload into the system or you build within the system.

You decide to purchase off the shelf courses from a vendor to put into your LMS. You have two options.

1. You purchase the number of seats for your off the shelf courses that equates to the total number of seats in your LMS – so 500 seats for the off the shelf courses. Which, depending on the vendor can be extremely expensive.

2. You purchase a lower amount of seats for the off the shelf courses, based on projections on how many people are going to use the courses, OR based on your curriculum/learning path OR whatever. So, you purchase 50 seats for the courses.

This means, that 50 end users (one user name, one password) can access the off the shelf courses you purchased from that vendor. What it does not mean is that you can have your 500 users access the off the shelf courses, unless you purchase 500 seats.
– This option is more widely used, then option #1.

IF you have an open source like Moodle, you still have the same options as listed above.