E-learning Management Software

eLearning Management Software (LMS) enables organizations to create an accessible learning portal that employees can use to access training and information. Use it for internal, external or blended learning programs as well as compliance training such as OSHA or HIPAA compliance training.

In this guide, we review the aspects of E learning Management Software, lms systems for business, What is the most commonly used LMS, and What is the easiest LMS to use?

E learning Management Software

In today’s digital age, eLearning is an important part of the learning process. An online portal is a great way to provide employees with access to training and information that can help them improve their skill sets and grow their careers. ELearning Management Software (LMS) allows you to create a learning management system and manage all aspects of your organization’s eLearning program. It can be used for internal, external or blended learning programs as well as compliance training such as OSHA or HIPAA compliance training. Here’s what you need to know when choosing an LMS:

All-in-one LMS

This is probably the most common form of an LMS. It’s a set of tools that you can use to manage all aspects of your learning needs, including employee training and development, customer training and development, sales training and development.

The beauty of this approach is that it allows you to centralize all your LMS functions into one system. You can create courses and content in one place—and then distribute it across multiple groups or departments.

Customization for online portals

Customization for online portals

Customization can be utilized for different purposes. For example, you can customize your online portal to provide a better user experience. When you customize your online portal, there are several things that you must consider:

  • What type of customization do you need?
  • What is the purpose of the customization?
  • How will it affect other features and functions on your site?
  • Will it improve the quality of service provided by your company or organization?

Open source software

Open source software is free and available to everyone, which makes it an attractive option. It’s also developed by a community of developers who are dedicated to making the software better over time. The open source model means you have access to the source code, so you can make changes and customize the application as needed. A number of open source elearning management platforms are available at no cost, including Moodle (which we’ll look at later), Sakai, and Blackboard Learn.

Open Source E-Learning Management Systems: 3 Tips For Selecting One

The biggest benefit of open source systems is that they’re customizable—you can easily change them to meet your needs. If you want certain features or tools added or removed from your platform, there are often ways for users like yourself to volunteer their time toward improving the system with new updates or patches. Some people might be wary about using a system that isn’t completely secure from hackers and cybercriminals—but because these programs are constantly being improved upon by generous volunteers around the world who want nothing more than for their project grow bigger than themselves (and therefore help others in turn), there’s less risk involved than one might think when choosing something like Moodle instead of paying thousands every year just so someone else could take care of all those details on behalf of everyone else involved.”

Mobile apps

Mobile apps are an essential component of a modern workplace. Not only can they be used to deliver content and training, but they can also be used to engage employees and track their progress. Mobile apps have even been known to create a social learning environment in which workers can connect with each other outside of the office.

Landing page management

Landing pages are a great way to increase conversion rates. They can be used for lead generation, email marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. Your landing page should have the following features:

  • A headline that explains the value of your product or service
  • A form with simple questions that people will find easy to answer
  • An image that shows what they will get when they sign up

Gamification and microlearning

One of the most important features in eLearning software is gamification and microlearning. Gamification can be used to make learning more engaging, while microlearning can be used to make it more efficient.

Both can be used together or separately.

Learning analytics and reporting

Learning Analytics is the process of collecting and analyzing data about learners’ interactions with your courses. When you use an LMS, it will collect some data on learner actions automatically and give you an option to track additional information. This can help you understand how people are using your courses: what they’re struggling with, what content they’re interested in, which parts of the course are most popular (or least popular), etc.

You can use this data to improve your training program by identifying areas that need more attention or support, removing any confusing elements from your course design, creating new materials based on what learners like best about existing ones—the possibilities are endless!

Progress tracking & assessments

Tracking student progress is an essential part of any elearning management system. It allows you to see how students are performing, and gives them the opportunity to share their work with you.

Assessments are another important part of tracking student progress because they allow you to gauge your students’ understanding of a topic by giving them a quiz, test or similar assessment tool. This will help ensure that they understand what they’ve learned in each course and can apply it when necessary.

Content library & calendar

The content library is where you can keep all of your project’s materials, including videos and images.

To add a new video or image to the content library:

  • Click Content in the top navigation bar.
  • Click Add Content on the right-hand side of the screen. This will open up a modal with two options: Video or Image (and Images). Select which type you’d like to add from these two choices, then select Upload from either one of them and choose an existing file from your computer’s hard drive if prompted to do so. Alternatively, if this is for something brand new that hasn’t been uploaded yet—like an event description document—then choose New File from within this modal window instead of uploading anything else!

Choose an LMS that will meet your needs now and in the future.

An LMS should be easy to use. First, it has to be intuitive and simple enough that you can train your employees on how to use it without having a degree in computer science. That’s why we recommend you look for an LMS with a user-friendly interface, an intuitive workflow builder, and real-time reporting capabilities.

Second, choose an LMS that has good customer support. If you run into problems or have questions about the software—and chances are high that you will at some point—it’s important to know who will respond quickly and effectively when needed most. This could mean live chat support around the clock or phone/email access during business hours (or both).

Third, keep track of how many customers opt for upgrades when they’re offered them by the vendor itself (and make sure they’re not trying to sell something else entirely!). If many users take advantage of this opportunity every time it comes up then this could indicate something positive about their overall satisfaction level.”

lms systems for business

The term “Learning Management System” (LMS) makes an appearance quite frequently in eLearning articles, tip sheets, and beginner’s guides. As such, it’s important to get a good grasp on what a Learning Management System entails and the benefits it brings. Is a Learning Management System really worth the resources? Or will a more traditional approach suffice? What are the advantages of investing in an LMS, and which features should you look for? Are there different hosting and pricing plans you should keep in mind? This article will address all these questions and give you the real insider scoop on Learning Management Systems so that you can decide whether a new LMS is right for your online training program or not.

What Is A Learning Management System?

The role of a Learning Management System varies depending on the organization’s objectives, online training strategy, and desired outcomes. However, the most common use for LMS software is to deploy and track online training initiatives. Typically, assets are uploaded to the Learning Management System, which makes them easily accessible for remote learners. In some cases, the LMS can even have built-in eLearning authoring tools that allow you to develop online training materials without additional third-party software.

Think of a Learning Management System as a vast repository where you can store and track information. Anyone with a login and password can access these online training resources whenever and wherever. For self-hosted Learning Management Systems, users must also have the learning management software installed on their hard drive or access to the company’s server. Whatever the installation option, the thing to bear in mind is that LMS users fall into two categories: First, online learners who use the Learning Management System to participate in online training courses; second, your eLearning team who relies on the LMS platform to disburse information and update the online training content.

What Are The Benefits Of Using LMS Platforms?

1. Organize And Safely Store Big Data

Learning Management Systems allow you to gather all Big Data in one location. This also makes it easier to maintain and update your learning materials. In addition, most LMSs offer advanced encryption so that you don’t have to worry about data falling into the wrong hands.

2. Monitor Learner Progress And Performance

Virtually all LMS platforms offer built-in reporting and analytics. Thus, you’re able to track various aspects of your online training program. If the Learning Management System lacks sufficient reporting capabilities, you can typically purchase add-ons or plug-ins to boost its functionality. You can track everything from learner engagement to eLearning assessment results. This means that you can identify patterns and trends, especially since plenty of LMSs provide data visualizations, such as graphs and charts.

3. Improve Resource Allocation

There are a number of ways that LMS software can help you allocate online training resources more effectively. First and foremost, you can identify aspects of your online training program that aren’t meeting expectations. Low learner engagement is usually an indicator that you should reevaluate an online training module or activity. Secondly, Learning Management Systems help your eLearning team update online training assets more rapidly. Then there’s the matter of deploying online training resources on a global scale. Thus, you have the power to keep corporate learners up to date using a single tool.

4. Personalize The Online Training Experience

You can assign different learning paths or online training resources for individual corporate learners with the help of an LMS. Therefore, everyone gets the individualized online training they require based on their learning goals, job duties, etc. There’s even the option to unlock the navigation so that corporate learners can choose their own online training activities and coursework. All this translates into more effective online training experiences and increased learner satisfaction. Not to mention, improved memory retention and engagement.

5. Improve eLearning Accessibility

Modern learners expect online training resources on demand. After all, we live in the digital age where information is always at our fingertips, thanks to smartphones and wearable tech. Learning Management Systems allow you to deploy and track online training courses without geographical limitations. So long as they can log into the system, corporate learners have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and hone skills.

Which Businesses Can Leverage LMS Systems?

Learning Management Systems are beneficial for educational institutions and corporations alike. Extended enterprise online training is yet another application for LMS platforms. For example, companies are able to deploy online training resources to external sales channels, franchisees, and even customers.

It’s vital to identify your organizational and training objectives before you start the LMS selection process, as LMS vendors typically cater to different consumer groups. Some specialize in eCommerce, while others are known for their sales online training features. For instance, the power to integrate CRM software.

Here are the customer types that can take advantage of LMS systems:

Large Enterprises

Larger organizations can use an extended enterprise LMS to track hundreds or thousands of employees. Not to mention, deploy global online training initiatives. In some cases, they even offer extended enterprise features so that you can keep franchisees and sales channels in the loop.

Small And Medium Businesses (SMBs)

Small and medium businesses can benefit from an LMS for SMBs as they can utilize fewer human resources. These tools also scale along with your business to adapt to your ever-changing training needs.

Freelancers

eLearning freelancers who work with multiple clients and must deliver a diverse range of deliverables can leverage these tools. An LMS for freelancers can offer built-in collaboration tools, which allow you to fly solo or work with a remote eLearning team. Besides, you might find affordable price plans for this type of system.

Learning Management System Deployment Options

Cloud-Based (SaaS)

LMS software hosted on the cloud. The LMS vendor and their administrators will see to the maintenance of the system and carry out any tech upgrades or updates. Online learners and collaborators login to the Learning Management System with a user name and password. There’s no need to install any software, which makes it a great option for businesses that want to get started as soon as possible. The best online learning platforms also offer various tools and options that can help you. The downside is that some cloud-based Learning Management Systems cannot be customized. For example, there are fewer opportunities to incorporate branding or personalize the dashboard.

Self-Hosted

LMSs that require software downloads. The LMS vendor can either offer direct downloads from their site or you must request physical software discs. However, the former is more common these days. Self-hosted LMS platforms allow for greater creative control and customization. The disadvantages are that you usually have to pay for updates and the system may require IT know-how.

Desktop Application

The LMS app is installed on the desktop. Some desktop apps are even accessible on multiple devices, making it easy for your entire eLearning team to collaborate.

Mobile Application

Learning Management Systems that are accessible whenever, wherever via mobile devices. You can upload online training content so that online learners can track online training initiatives on the go.

Licensing Options For Learning Management Systems

Open Source

Open-source Learning Management Systems are generally free and based online. You’re able to modify the source code in order to suit your needs. In addition, multiple open-source options have active online communities, which means that you will be able to get tips and troubleshooting assistance if you do encounter a problem. The drawback is that you typically need some degree of programming experience.

Free License

There are a number of free LMS options, usually open-source systems. However, the money that you save on licensing or monthly fees may be spent on IT staff, especially if you don’t have any programming experience. In addition, you may have to deal with a steep learning curve to get the most from a Learning Management System.

Paid License

Paid Licence Learning Management Systems require a monthly or yearly fee. Some even allow you to purchase the software outright. They typically offer more advanced support options and user-friendly features.

Pricing Models For Learning Management Systems

Licensing

Instead of paying per user, this LMS pricing plan involves a licensing fee. Typically, an annual fee that you must renew on a yearly basis, or an outright upfront fee that grants unlimited lifetime access. However, as technology advances, you’ll probably still have to purchase replacement software in the near future.

Subscription

An LMS subscription fee usually grants you access to all LMS features or relies on a pay-per-user model. This pricing model involves a fee for each user, or active user. In some cases, the LMS vendor offers different price brackets. For example, the fee covers up to 25 active learners. This is a great solution for smaller organizations who try to minimize online training software costs, but still want to be able to scale the Learning Management System as their company expands.

Freemium

This software option is free for basic LMS features but a fee is charged for more advanced functionalities, such as add-ons or upgrades. Because of this, it is hard to include them when doing an LMS price comparison.

Perpetual License

If the software offers a perpetual license, you will only need to pay for it when you buy it. This saves you the cost of fees and subscriptions.

LMS Specification Support Types

SCORM 2004

This set of standards helps eLearning authoring tools and eLearning content communicate with the Learning Management System. SCORM 2004 enables tools to format eLearning content in such a way that is shareable across the board.

Tin Can API

Also known as Experience API, Tin Can spec support is often viewed as the follow-up to SCORM. It allows for external learning activities and tracking, and allows eLearning pros to develop and deploy native mobile apps.

AICC

Aviation Industry CBT Committee support allows the LMS and eLearning content to communicate via HAC protocols. In essence, the system relies on an HTML form to transmit the information, then the LMS relays the information back via text.

IMS LTI

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) was introduced by the IMS Global Learning Consortium. It specializes in apps that are hosted remotely, as well as web-based eLearning content.

Top Features To Look For In Learning Management Systems

1. Reports And Analytics

You must be able to monitor your online training initiatives to determine if they are on target or require minor adjustments. The same rule also applies to individual learner performance. Are corporate learners engaging with online training content? Is it giving them all the information they require to achieve their learning objectives? These are questions that can be answered with a robust reporting system built into your new LMS. Learning Management Systems also offer analytics that allow you to monitor online training on individual and group level. For example, determine whether a certain percentage of your audience has completed the online training course requirements or not, or how long they take to complete each online training activity on average. Most will even deliver the analytics right to your inbox via automated email reports.

2. Responsive Design

Some of the top Learning Management Systems have a responsive design. Multiplatform-friendly online training resources give everyone the chance to benefit from your online training course. Even those who prefer to use their smartphones or tablets to access the learning materials. Thus, your LMS should be responsive, enabling you to create a master layout that features distinct breakpoints. The Learning Management System automatically displays the most suitable version based on the user’s device. For example, shrinks images down to size so that they don’t occupy the entire smartphone screen. Ideally, you should be able to preview each version and apply the necessary modifications before launch. It’s also wise to look for a tool that allows corporate learners to download the learning material and view them offline. Especially when internet accessibility isn’t an option.

3. Intuitive User Interface

Feature-rich systems aren’t of much use if your eLearning team is unable to use the user interface and navigate the LMS platform. The same goes for your corporate learners. Does the tool make it easy for them to access the coursework, or does it present its own set of challenges? The LMS you choose should have an intuitive user interface that aligns with your eLearning team’s skillsets and abilities. For this reason, it’s essential to get their input before deciding on a platform. In addition, you should take advantage of LMS free trials and demos to ensure it’s user-friendly.

4. Support Services

LMS vendors offer different support services. As such, you should determine the level of assistance you require based on your eLearning team’s experience level and the complexity of the tool. For example, novice eLearning teams might require more extensive support in order to utilize the system effectively. Many LMS vendors also host online discussions that allow you to connect with other users, in addition to online training tutorials, guides, and tip sheets. You may be able to pay for additional support services if you require more advanced options, such as a toll-free number that gives you direct access to a trained tech.

5. eLearning Assessment Tools

You should assess your corporate learners periodically to identify gaps and intervene when necessary. Therefore, the LMS must be able to support a broad range of eLearning assessment methods. Many even offer built-in eLearning assessment tools, such as eLearning templates. Lastly, there must be LMS reports dedicated to eLearning assessment tracking.

6. Gamification Features

Some employees require extra incentives to actively engage in your online training course. Game mechanics give them the motivation they require in the form of badges, points, and leaderboards. The key is finding an LMS that has built-in gamification features so that you can easily incorporate these rewards.

7. Compliance And Certification Support

This is an essential feature for businesses that provide company policy and compliance online training, as well as those that require more advanced certification features, including the tracking of individual skill and performance gaps. You can also refer to the LMS records in the event of an audit, which helps prevent violations and fines.

8. Social Learning Support

Social learning gives corporate learners the chance to interact with peers and share their experiences. Many Learning Management Systems now feature integrated social media tools. For example, tracking online discussion participation, or incorporating a news feed into your eLearning course design.

9. Localization

Multilingual support is crucial for businesses that plan to deliver worldwide online training resources. Every member of your team should have the same opportunity to develop their professional skills. Some LMSs even feature geolocation features that automatically display the appropriate version of the online training course.

These are just the basic LMS components and considerations. Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all LMS. Every organization has unique training needs and budgetary constraints. Thus, you should do your homework to find the LMS that meets your requirements and benefits both your corporate learners and bottom line.

Are you interested in learning more about LMS pricing plans? Read the article “The Insider’s Guide To Learning Management Systems’ Pricing Models” to explore the most common Learning Management System pricing models to consider, from perpetual licensing to pay-per-use. This way you can determine which option is best for your budget and training needs.

Also, don’t forget to check out our free LMS directory, which allows you to filter your search results based on deployment, customer type, licensing, and pricing models.

Utilizing The Best LMS Tools For Specific Use Case Scenarios

Implementing an LMS to enhance your training needs is vital for any organization. The same goes for educational institutions that need to start eLearning training or like to use it to complement classroom learning.

In the time we live in, every aspect of our communication has been taken over by technology. As the years advance, your L&D department will realize that you require a training solution. Such a solution not only will help organize your programs but will also assist in keeping your learners’ engagement high. Keeping track and reporting each stakeholder’s development is equally crucial.

An LMS can help accomplish your training needs, so the best thing you can do is to make the best LMS purchase to fit or even exceed your expectations. If you are working for a large enterprise or an SMB, one thing is certain: an LMS can be a great tool to boost your business growth.

Employee Training

Employee training done right is a burden for plenty of L&D managers and HR managers. As a manager, you should have clear objectives and take into consideration several factors that will help define if you require an LMS or not. What’s more, a corporation might invest a strong cash flow in training new hires or in developing existing workforce skills, but if your LMS solution is not ideal for your needs, the result might not be that satisfying. Don’t worry about that, though. I’m going to analyze this thoroughly in the following lines. Delivering employee training and development by using an LMS will make your training process fast and easy.

Employee training and development can bring immense advantages to your corporation. By enabling your employees to take on new responsibilities and tasks, you can keep employee engagement high. If your LMS has gamification features, things can become even more exciting. By maintaining your employees engaged, you increase their willingness to learn more and expand their skills. In the long run, this will lead to higher retention rates. It will also help talented staff get promotions as you cultivate leaders and experts within your teams.

An LMS can help your employees learn new skills and gain problem-solving abilities. An LMS can also boost the creativity and innovation of your workforce. It can help you create immersive learning experiences that will leave your learners in awe. A great way to accomplish this is by designing eLearning courses based on AR/VR or even creating AI training.

Compliance Training And Onboarding

Compliance training is essential in the fast-paced, modern workspace. Most corporations expect their employees to be able to adapt to their work environment rapidly. What happens though when someone is a new hire or when things change within your procedures, services, or products? Information technology might play a vital role in these changes, especially now that we have the chance to use limitless information.

By using an LMS, you can help your staff feel more empowered. Taking up courses on compliance training can also increase their confidence, especially in regard to onboarding and safety training. When an employee gets responsibility for new tasks, you allow them to deliver better results.

How Implementing Compliance Training Can Add To Your Business Growth

Onboarding and compliance training will undoubtedly help your staff learn from past mistakes. Developing critical thinking skills is a great way to improve things. Your team will be able to resolve issues that occur with flexibility. When employees and training managers both have a knowledge-sharing mentality, you’ll notice an improvement in your organization’s internal procedures.

Your training program will offer insight into each employee’s role within your organization. Such a strategy will also create an environment that has a constant learning and evolving base. All these add up to creating a safer working status by minimizing the risk of having employees who stay behind in regard to business growth and transformation.

When opting for an LMS to implement compliance training, you’ll require robust reporting and assessment features.

Sales Training And Employee Skills Development

Most companies need to boost their revenue. Upping your sales game by using an LMS for sales training is the key to this. If you are looking to train your sales reps for success, there is no better way.

If you’re starting your sales training efforts or if you are trying to improve your current sales training techniques, an LMS is a great tool. Such an LMS solution can help design and implement courses that will bring results. By choosing the right LMS tool for sales training, you can set up a sales training program pretty quickly. Make sure that you have a goal-oriented mindset from the very beginning.

Developing your employees’ skills is key to boosting their career goals as well as your revenue. Define if you like to focus more on your employees’ skills training or their leadership development.

What is the most commonly used LMS

What a crazy couple of years! It seems like we’ve moved forward a decade in terms of online capabilities, but it’s only been a year or so. While people all over have been impacted, one area that seems to be in the throes of existential transformation is education.

After all, traditional academic education, whether K-12 or higher ed, has been mostly about person-to-person in-classroom teaching. In fact, when I was studying for my Masters of Education, when I told the teachers’ college that I taught only online, they found it hard to believe. Of course, that was a few years back, but prior to COVID-19, most teachers expected to look their students in the eye.

Now, however, schools are picking their way carefully through an ever-changing world. Schools, districts, and parents are all making their own decisions — and that decision for many is to take education online and do so at a previously unheard of rapid pace. Other schools are opening back up. And many schools are trying to embrace a more flexible hybrid approach that lets them change up their programs at the drop of a CDC directive.

The same is true for many businesses. While many workers have worked remotely, the need for enterprise-wide remote work has not only moved face-to-face training online, it has increased the need for training because it’s less practical now to visit the next cubicle to get some help and instruction.

In the context of our new normal, we present our guide of 12 of the best learning management systems, each of which provides a different take on managing learning. We’ll show you LMS solutions tailored to K-12 and higher education, LMS solutions aimed at the enterprise and SMBs, and even one that helps you sell your own courses (AbsorbLMS) and another that optimizes the ability to provide custom certifications (TalentLMS).

So, without further ado, let’s dive into our top learning management system providers. And good luck navigating our post-normal world!

Blackboard

The reigning king of college learning management systems

If you’ve spent any time in University, you’ve probably run into Blackboard at some point or another. Although open-source alternatives Moodle and Canvas are giving Blackboard a run for the money, Blackboard is still holding its own. For those familiar with the Angel learning management system, you might be interested to learn Blackboard acquired Angel back in 2009. Then, in late 2021, EdTech vendor Anthology acquired Blackboard.

Blackboard is incredibly feature-rich, so if you have a specific way you want to operate your learning environment, the odds are you can do so in Blackboard. It’s also got specific business-oriented implementations, allowing corporate training to be managed using roughly the same interface as university training.

Blackboard’s UI has historically been cumbersome and frustrating, but the company has put a new effort into streamlining the user interface, making it more accessible in year’s past.

Canvas

The open-source LMS leader

Canvas, originally named Instructure, was first introduced at a number of Utah colleges and universities, to replace Blackboard. While Canvas itself is open source, its parent company retains the Instructure name and provides a variety of learning management and employee development offerings.

In my experience, Canvas is really good at giving educators tools for creating educational content for students. I spent a lot less time fighting with Canvas than I did with Blackboard when creating resources for my university students. In-app communication between students and teachers is solid as well, along with a well-thought-out grade book and overall grading management system.

While Canvas is open source, most institutions license it from Instructure to avail themselves of all of Instructure’s support resources.

Moodle

Open source LMS for those willing to maintain everything

Moodle, like Canvas, is open source. Unlike Canvas, Moodle doesn’t have a managed services model. If you want to use Moodle, download it, install it, set it up, manage it, customize it, and manage whatever inevitable problems arise in the process.

Moodle (an acronym for modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment) is very powerful and flexible, as you might expect from a community-maintained product with very broad market penetration. It’s also a bit fussy, and its mobile features aren’t really keeping up with what modern students expect. It works on phones, but meh.

There is a cloud-based solution, MoodleCloud, launched in 2015. If you’re interested in Moodle and don’t mind paying a monthly fee so someone else maintains the installation, MoodleCloud might be for you.

Google Classroom

Google’s solution for learning management

I kind of wish Google had acquired Moodle because “Google Moodle” would be so much fun to say. But no. Instead, Google has Google Classroom, which is a fine learning management system but not nearly as fun to say. That said, Google Classroom’s standout feature is melding strong educational management capabilities with excellent communications tools allowing educators to communicate not only with students but their parents as well.

Google Classroom is relatively easy for educators to set up, and it provides a solid organization capability for curriculum and material. Unfortunately, some students have complained that the customization features aren’t available to them.

Of course, the big win is that Google Classroom is so tightly integrated with other Google apps, ranging from Google Calendar to Gmail, as well as Google Docs and Google Drive. If you’re embedded in the Google ecosystem, Google Classroom is an ideal extension.

SAP Litmos LMS

Corporate training with the pedigree of SAP

So, here’s the thing: Learning audiences vary. There are, of course, schools, colleges, universities, and the like. There are also corporate training needs, where small groups or entire organizations need training. Then there are customers. Folks purchasing your company’s products might also require training, and sometimes that’s not something they can just pick up on YouTube.

What makes Litmos stand out is that it scales. We’re not talking just one classroom to 20 We’re talking scaling to millions of students. It deploys quickly, can be tuned for both abilities and roles, provides any-device access to personalized courses and content, and integrates with all of SAP’s vaunted business management technology. If you’re looking for the Cadillac of corporate learning, SAP Litmos LMS is your new best friend.

Adobe Captivate Prime

Learning management with all the power of Adobe

OK, so this is going to make your head hurt a little. Adobe provides both Adobe Captivate and Adobe Captivate Prime. They are two entirely different products. Adobe Captivate is an authoring tool that allows you to create online and mobile-based courses. Adobe Captivate Prime is not the premium version of Captivate. Instead, Adobe Captivate Prime is a learning management system that can use Captivate courses but is able to work with any course offerings.

That brings us to Adobe Captivate Prime. Prime (not to be confused with Amazon Prime — does your head hurt yet?) is aimed at corporate and organizational learning management. One of the more helpful features in Captivate Prime is a smart enroller capability that helps teachers easily assign roles and activities. Captivate Prime also has an excellent module and course organizational tools to help keep track of educational content.

One of the more interesting aspects of Captivate Prime is AI-based social learning, which transforms a traditional online activity into one that provides more value to students. The AI-based social learning starts with what is essentially a discussion forum for a particular class but optimizes it by using AI to do content curation and prioritization. 

Schoology

A learning management system that excels at K-12

While Schoology certainly can be used in higher education and corporate environments, it excels at providing resources for K-12 teachers. Founded in 2009 with multiple rounds of investment from both VCs and angel investors, Schoology reports that it is installed in more than 60,000 schools (that’s individual schools, not school systems, just to be clear).

Of particular note is the partnership between Schoology and Capti, a platform designed to help struggling readers improve comprehension and fluency. Schoology also nicely integrates with Office 365 that allows teachers to create templates that students can interact with using traditional Office tools, encouraging not only knowledge creation on a specific educational domain but also skills development in apps students are likely to need later in life.

Docebo

A former GPL open source LMS that’s now a paid cloud service

Docebo (pronounced do-cheybo) is hard to categorize. When it was introduced back in 2005, it was an open-source learning management system released under the GPL. If you go to Docebo’s home page now, there is no mention of open source at all. Docebo’s open source release is also not on Github. So it’s probably best to treat Docebo as a SaaS app and nothing more.

As a learning management system, Docebo is well-liked in the corporate world. It incorporates badges, awards, and rankings as involvement devices that give the learning experience a bit of gamification flair. Docebo does have a clear and powerful API, and I did find a number of Docebo-related projects on Github.

Some of Docebo’s most popular features are the ability to design custom dashboards on an instructor-by-instructor level, the use of widgets to help managers see their teams’ progress and skill gaps, as well as a tool that allows learners to share their experiences and learnings with other students.

Edmodo

A cloud-based LMS with a capable free tier

Edmodo pitches itself as CARES Act eligible. The CARES act is one of the resources the US government has put in place to help deal with the economic changes brought on by the novel coronavirus. Edmodo claims that Edmodo Enterprise aligns with CARES Act funding affordances, and has a dedicated team designed to help you get government help.

Edmodo excels at group messaging and information exchange. Users and instructors can set up their own groups and exchange messages within a secure environment. Edmodo provides easy-to-use tools for organizing group work and managing homework. The product’s online exam capability is also solid and provides real-time scoring.

Edmodo does fall down a bit on the mobile client. It’s clearly a work in progress. That said, it does work everywhere and can be used everywhere. A strong planner feature is provided for students, so they can keep track of their work. While the free tier is quite capable, the paid Enterprise tier adds video and whiteboarding, organization-wide groups, school and district pages, admin tools, analytics, bulk onboarding, and prioritized support.

Brightspace

Full-featured cloud-based LMS with a deep commitment to accessibility

What makes Brightspace (originally named Desire2Learn) stand out is its deep commitment to accessibility. One of the most innovative features is an accessibility checker built right into the HTML content editor. The accessibility checker works very much like a spelling checker (and, in fact, the icon to launch it is right next to the spell check icon). Once you click the accessibility checker, it scans the document for images without alt tags and checks for screen contrast problems where people with diminished vision might not be able to clearly see page content.

The company offers an Accessibility Interest Group as a forum on their Brightspace Community boards along with a mailing list for sharing accessibility-related information. They are also a member of the National Federation of the Blind’s Strategic Nonvisual Access Partnership (SNAP) program.

What is the easiest LMS to use?

The role of a Learning Management System varies depending on the organization’s objectives, online training strategy, and desired outcomes. However, the most common use for LMS software is to deploy and track online training initiatives. Typically, assets are uploaded to the Learning Management System, which makes them easily accessible for remote learners. In some cases, the LMS can even have built-in eLearning authoring tools that allow you to develop online training materials without additional third-party software.

Think of a Learning Management System as a vast repository where you can store and track information. Anyone with a login and password can access these online training resources whenever and wherever. For self-hosted Learning Management Systems, users must also have the learning management software installed on their hard drive or access to the company’s server. Whatever the installation option, the thing to bear in mind is that LMS users fall into two categories: First, online learners who use the Learning Management System to participate in online training courses; second, your eLearning team who relies on the LMS platform to disburse information and update the online training content.

What Are The Benefits Of Using LMS Platforms?

1. Organize And Safely Store Big Data

Learning Management Systems allow you to gather all Big Data in one location. This also makes it easier to maintain and update your learning materials. In addition, most LMSs offer advanced encryption so that you don’t have to worry about data falling into the wrong hands.

2. Monitor Learner Progress And Performance

Virtually all LMS platforms offer built-in reporting and analytics. Thus, you’re able to track various aspects of your online training program. If the Learning Management System lacks sufficient reporting capabilities, you can typically purchase add-ons or plug-ins to boost its functionality. You can track everything from learner engagement to eLearning assessment results. This means that you can identify patterns and trends, especially since plenty of LMSs provide data visualizations, such as graphs and charts.

3. Improve Resource Allocation

There are a number of ways that LMS software can help you allocate online training resources more effectively. First and foremost, you can identify aspects of your online training program that aren’t meeting expectations. Low learner engagement is usually an indicator that you should reevaluate an online training module or activity. Secondly, Learning Management Systems help your eLearning team update online training assets more rapidly. Then there’s the matter of deploying online training resources on a global scale. Thus, you have the power to keep corporate learners up to date using a single tool.

4. Personalize The Online Training Experience

You can assign different learning paths or online training resources for individual corporate learners with the help of an LMS. Therefore, everyone gets the individualized online training they require based on their learning goals, job duties, etc. There’s even the option to unlock the navigation so that corporate learners can choose their own online training activities and coursework. All this translates into more effective online training experiences and increased learner satisfaction. Not to mention, improved memory retention and engagement.

5. Improve eLearning Accessibility

Modern learners expect online training resources on demand. After all, we live in the digital age where information is always at our fingertips, thanks to smartphones and wearable tech. Learning Management Systems allow you to deploy and track online training courses without geographical limitations. So long as they can log into the system, corporate learners have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and hone skills.

Which Businesses Can Leverage LMS Systems?

Learning Management Systems are beneficial for educational institutions and corporations alike. Extended enterprise online training is yet another application for LMS platforms. For example, companies are able to deploy online training resources to external sales channels, franchisees, and even customers.

It’s vital to identify your organizational and training objectives before you start the LMS selection process, as LMS vendors typically cater to different consumer groups. Some specialize in eCommerce, while others are known for their sales online training features. For instance, the power to integrate CRM software.

Here are the customer types that can take advantage of LMS systems:

Large Enterprises

Larger organizations can use an extended enterprise LMS to track hundreds or thousands of employees. Not to mention, deploy global online training initiatives. In some cases, they even offer extended enterprise features so that you can keep franchisees and sales channels in the loop.

Small And Medium Businesses (SMBs)

Small and medium businesses can benefit from an LMS for SMBs as they can utilize fewer human resources. These tools also scale along with your business to adapt to your ever-changing training needs.

Freelancers

eLearning freelancers who work with multiple clients and must deliver a diverse range of deliverables can leverage these tools. An LMS for freelancers can offer built-in collaboration tools, which allow you to fly solo or work with a remote eLearning team. Besides, you might find affordable price plans for this type of system.

Learning Management System Deployment Options

Cloud-Based (SaaS)

LMS software hosted on the cloud. The LMS vendor and their administrators will see to the maintenance of the system and carry out any tech upgrades or updates. Online learners and collaborators login to the Learning Management System with a user name and password. There’s no need to install any software, which makes it a great option for businesses that want to get started as soon as possible. The best online learning platforms also offer various tools and options that can help you. The downside is that some cloud-based Learning Management Systems cannot be customized. For example, there are fewer opportunities to incorporate branding or personalize the dashboard.

Self-Hosted

LMSs that require software downloads. The LMS vendor can either offer direct downloads from their site or you must request physical software discs. However, the former is more common these days. Self-hosted LMS platforms allow for greater creative control and customization. The disadvantages are that you usually have to pay for updates and the system may require IT know-how.

Desktop Application

The LMS app is installed on the desktop. Some desktop apps are even accessible on multiple devices, making it easy for your entire eLearning team to collaborate.

Mobile Application

Learning Management Systems that are accessible whenever, wherever via mobile devices. You can upload online training content so that online learners can track online training initiatives on the go.

Licensing Options For Learning Management Systems

Open Source

Open-source Learning Management Systems are generally free and based online. You’re able to modify the source code in order to suit your needs. In addition, multiple open-source options have active online communities, which means that you will be able to get tips and troubleshooting assistance if you do encounter a problem. The drawback is that you typically need some degree of programming experience.

Free License

There are a number of free LMS options, usually open-source systems. However, the money that you save on licensing or monthly fees may be spent on IT staff, especially if you don’t have any programming experience. In addition, you may have to deal with a steep learning curve to get the most from a Learning Management System.

Paid License

Paid Licence Learning Management Systems require a monthly or yearly fee. Some even allow you to purchase the software outright. They typically offer more advanced support options and user-friendly features.

Pricing Models For Learning Management Systems

Licensing

Instead of paying per user, this LMS pricing plan involves a licensing fee. Typically, an annual fee that you must renew on a yearly basis, or an outright upfront fee that grants unlimited lifetime access. However, as technology advances, you’ll probably still have to purchase replacement software in the near future.

Subscription

An LMS subscription fee usually grants you access to all LMS features or relies on a pay-per-user model. This pricing model involves a fee for each user, or active user. In some cases, the LMS vendor offers different price brackets. For example, the fee covers up to 25 active learners. This is a great solution for smaller organizations who try to minimize online training software costs, but still want to be able to scale the Learning Management System as their company expands.

Freemium

This software option is free for basic LMS features but a fee is charged for more advanced functionalities, such as add-ons or upgrades. Because of this, it is hard to include them when doing an LMS price comparison.

Perpetual License

If the software offers a perpetual license, you will only need to pay for it when you buy it. This saves you the cost of fees and subscriptions.

LMS Specification Support Types

SCORM 2004

This set of standards helps eLearning authoring tools and eLearning content communicate with the Learning Management System. SCORM 2004 enables tools to format eLearning content in such a way that is shareable across the board.

Tin Can API

Also known as Experience API, Tin Can spec support is often viewed as the follow-up to SCORM. It allows for external learning activities and tracking, and allows eLearning pros to develop and deploy native mobile apps.

AICC

Aviation Industry CBT Committee support allows the LMS and eLearning content to communicate via HAC protocols. In essence, the system relies on an HTML form to transmit the information, then the LMS relays the information back via text.

IMS LTI

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) was introduced by the IMS Global Learning Consortium. It specializes in apps that are hosted remotely, as well as web-based eLearning content.

Top Features To Look For In Learning Management Systems

1. Reports And Analytics

You must be able to monitor your online training initiatives to determine if they are on target or require minor adjustments. The same rule also applies to individual learner performance. Are corporate learners engaging with online training content? Is it giving them all the information they require to achieve their learning objectives? These are questions that can be answered with a robust reporting system built into your new LMS. Learning Management Systems also offer analytics that allow you to monitor online training on individual and group level. For example, determine whether a certain percentage of your audience has completed the online training course requirements or not, or how long they take to complete each online training activity on average. Most will even deliver the analytics right to your inbox via automated email reports.

2. Responsive Design

Some of the top Learning Management Systems have a responsive design. Multiplatform-friendly online training resources give everyone the chance to benefit from your online training course. Even those who prefer to use their smartphones or tablets to access the learning materials. Thus, your LMS should be responsive, enabling you to create a master layout that features distinct breakpoints. The Learning Management System automatically displays the most suitable version based on the user’s device. For example, shrinks images down to size so that they don’t occupy the entire smartphone screen. Ideally, you should be able to preview each version and apply the necessary modifications before launch. It’s also wise to look for a tool that allows corporate learners to download the learning material and view them offline. Especially when internet accessibility isn’t an option.

3. Intuitive User Interface

Feature-rich systems aren’t of much use if your eLearning team is unable to use the user interface and navigate the LMS platform. The same goes for your corporate learners. Does the tool make it easy for them to access the coursework, or does it present its own set of challenges? The LMS you choose should have an intuitive user interface that aligns with your eLearning team’s skillsets and abilities. For this reason, it’s essential to get their input before deciding on a platform. In addition, you should take advantage of LMS free trials and demos to ensure it’s user-friendly.

4. Support Services

LMS vendors offer different support services. As such, you should determine the level of assistance you require based on your eLearning team’s experience level and the complexity of the tool. For example, novice eLearning teams might require more extensive support in order to utilize the system effectively. Many LMS vendors also host online discussions that allow you to connect with other users, in addition to online training tutorials, guides, and tip sheets. You may be able to pay for additional support services if you require more advanced options, such as a toll-free number that gives you direct access to a trained tech.

5. eLearning Assessment Tools

You should assess your corporate learners periodically to identify gaps and intervene when necessary. Therefore, the LMS must be able to support a broad range of eLearning assessment methods. Many even offer built-in eLearning assessment tools, such as eLearning templates. Lastly, there must be LMS reports dedicated to eLearning assessment tracking.

6. Gamification Features

Some employees require extra incentives to actively engage in your online training course. Game mechanics give them the motivation they require in the form of badges, points, and leaderboards. The key is finding an LMS that has built-in gamification features so that you can easily incorporate these rewards.

7. Compliance And Certification Support

This is an essential feature for businesses that provide company policy and compliance online training, as well as those that require more advanced certification features, including the tracking of individual skill and performance gaps. You can also refer to the LMS records in the event of an audit, which helps prevent violations and fines.

8. Social Learning Support

Social learning gives corporate learners the chance to interact with peers and share their experiences. Many Learning Management Systems now feature integrated social media tools. For example, tracking online discussion participation, or incorporating a news feed into your eLearning course design.

9. Localization

Multilingual support is crucial for businesses that plan to deliver worldwide online training resources. Every member of your team should have the same opportunity to develop their professional skills. Some LMSs even feature geolocation features that automatically display the appropriate version of the online training course.

These are just the basic LMS components and considerations. Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all LMS. Every organization has unique training needs and budgetary constraints. Thus, you should do your homework to find the LMS that meets your requirements and benefits both your corporate learners and bottom line.

Are you interested in learning more about LMS pricing plans? Read the article “The Insider’s Guide To Learning Management Systems’ Pricing Models” to explore the most common Learning Management System pricing models to consider, from perpetual licensing to pay-per-use. This way you can determine which option is best for your budget and training needs.

Also, don’t forget to check out our free LMS directory, which allows you to filter your search results based on deployment, customer type, licensing, and pricing models.

Utilizing The Best LMS Tools For Specific Use Case Scenarios

Implementing an LMS to enhance your training needs is vital for any organization. The same goes for educational institutions that need to start eLearning training or like to use it to complement classroom learning.

In the time we live in, every aspect of our communication has been taken over by technology. As the years advance, your L&D department will realize that you require a training solution. Such a solution not only will help organize your programs but will also assist in keeping your learners’ engagement high. Keeping track and reporting each stakeholder’s development is equally crucial.

An LMS can help accomplish your training needs, so the best thing you can do is to make the best LMS purchase to fit or even exceed your expectations. If you are working for a large enterprise or an SMB, one thing is certain: an LMS can be a great tool to boost your business growth.

Employee Training

Employee training done right is a burden for plenty of L&D managers and HR managers. As a manager, you should have clear objectives and take into consideration several factors that will help define if you require an LMS or not. What’s more, a corporation might invest a strong cash flow in training new hires or in developing existing workforce skills, but if your LMS solution is not ideal for your needs, the result might not be that satisfying. Don’t worry about that, though. I’m going to analyze this thoroughly in the following lines. Delivering employee training and development by using an LMS will make your training process fast and easy.

Employee training and development can bring immense advantages to your corporation. By enabling your employees to take on new responsibilities and tasks, you can keep employee engagement high. If your LMS has gamification features, things can become even more exciting. By maintaining your employees engaged, you increase their willingness to learn more and expand their skills. In the long run, this will lead to higher retention rates. It will also help talented staff get promotions as you cultivate leaders and experts within your teams.

An LMS can help your employees learn new skills and gain problem-solving abilities. An LMS can also boost the creativity and innovation of your workforce. It can help you create immersive learning experiences that will leave your learners in awe. A great way to accomplish this is by designing eLearning courses based on AR/VR or even creating AI training.

Compliance Training And Onboarding

Compliance training is essential in the fast-paced, modern workspace. Most corporations expect their employees to be able to adapt to their work environment rapidly. What happens though when someone is a new hire or when things change within your procedures, services, or products? Information technology might play a vital role in these changes, especially now that we have the chance to use limitless information.

By using an LMS, you can help your staff feel more empowered. Taking up courses on compliance training can also increase their confidence, especially in regard to onboarding and safety training. When an employee gets responsibility for new tasks, you allow them to deliver better results.

How Implementing Compliance Training Can Add To Your Business Growth

Onboarding and compliance training will undoubtedly help your staff learn from past mistakes. Developing critical thinking skills is a great way to improve things. Your team will be able to resolve issues that occur with flexibility. When employees and training managers both have a knowledge-sharing mentality, you’ll notice an improvement in your organization’s internal procedures.

Your training program will offer insight into each employee’s role within your organization. Such a strategy will also create an environment that has a constant learning and evolving base. All these add up to creating a safer working status by minimizing the risk of having employees who stay behind in regard to business growth and transformation.

When opting for an LMS to implement compliance training, you’ll require robust reporting and assessment features.

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