What is Learning Management System?
Learning management software enables businesses to complete the delivery of online education courses, from the materials necessary to train employees and workshop courses to college curricula or hybrid college versions. Before everything else, the programs can collect a wide range of training metrics for students to help you come up with the best learning environment for any person. Apply the software to conduct skills gap analysis with pre-testing, or measure separate learning curve for the course and regulate the learning pace. Similarly, it is easier to grade student engagement by adjusting your post-course tests and metrics. Learning management software also automates the unmanageable task of collecting records and registering, while you could even find a solution that contains collaboration features used to develop course materials. If you need to read more about learning management software, continue checking the best apps in the category, and consider our top app TalentLMS when making a decision.
Most Popular Learning Management System
Best Learning Management System
How to Choose Learning Management Software
Learning Management System (LMS) is the broad term used for managing online courses to train, educate, or orient a group of learners. Technically, LMS does not involve creation of content. The software only focuses on providing training materials, it allows you to manage your students’ progress and keep an eye on their performance. However, a lot of vendors include collaborative functionalities in their LMS services making it possible for teachers and coaches in various locations collaborate on expanding the course itself. It’s one of the important distinctions to look for when subscribing to an LMS plan. Here are a few more aspects to help you choose the best learning management software solution.
Get to know each product with free trial
It’s definitely a good idea to research the best Learning Management software by trying out at least a couple of free trial plans from well-known vendors. It can save you time and money as you will have the opportunity to get hands on experience with crucial features you will most likely find the significant issues. The best thing to do is to try services that currently have the highest results in our SmartScore and Custmer Satisfaction Rating in the customer support software category: Talent LMS reviews, Docebo, and MyOwnConference
Training and learning are critical for every business, be it a small, medium, or large one. Now that technology has taken over corporate training, the shift is becoming global and it doesn’t exclude any company:
- Small Businesses. Most LMSs are designed to meet small businesses’ requirements for flexibility, namely to ensure employees 24/7 access to training and materials without spending a fortune to do it. Most generally, small businesses require SaaS solutions because they are more affordable, easier to implement, and less requiring to maintain.
- Medium Businesses. In the case of medium businesses, LMSs are recommended even if they have a healthy budget and a streamlined workforce to train. What these programs can do for them is to save their time, and to let them focus on more productive aspects of their work line. Besides, being ranks in the mid-sized category usually indicates that the business is growing, and that’s where facilitating the hiring process is most necessary.
- Large Businesses. Finally, LMSs are very welcome on enterprise level too, because they lower large companies’ bottom lines. What this means is that large companies have a lot of employees to train, and a highly controlled budget to divide, and they can benefit from every solution that cuts their long-term costs.
- TalentLMS: One of the best LMS software tools for delivering information and enhancing participation with a myriad of advanced capabilities such as web-conferencing, statistics, e-commerce, etc.
- Schoology: A revolutionary tool for learning and social networking that streamlines sharing and content management. It also offers a systematic approach to content creation.
- Docebo: One of the leading SaaS solutions (cloud solutions are also available) that attends global customers and operates in 30 languages. It is also mobile-optimized and easy to integrate.
- Canvas LMS: A customizable solution that streamlines the relationship between learners and teachers, famous by a variety of unique and creative learning gadgets.
- Edmodo: Another reputable social learning system empowered with group learning and online classrooms, evaluation statistics, and gamification.
Types of Learning Management Systems
Depending on deployment, there are three different types of Learning Management Systems:
- On-Premise Learning Management Systems. Most of the time, learning management systems are sold to customers on premise, meaning that they are enterprise products hosted on the company’s own server. They are traditionally more expensive, but their price can be justified by the fact that they offer more customization and individualization than any other type, and they tackle scalability issues. Most of them can be integrated with other locally hosted products.
- SaaS Learning Management Systems. SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service systems are those hosted on the vendor’s server for you to access from any location. They are known for being very flexible, and that’s because the vendor is in charge of upgrading them and providing IT support, while they user doesn’t need to care about scalability. Scaling them up and down is easy even without experience, and they are considerably less expensive than the on-premise ones.
- Cloud-Hosted Learning Management Systems. Cloud-hosted LMSs are probably the most popular option among companies looking for streamlined and cost-effective training. They are hosted on the Internet and accessed by logging on the vendors’ site, which is exactly where all communication and training is taking place. Due the fact that there are no implementation and maintenance costs, they rank as the least expensive solutions for online training.
Key Features of Learning Management Systems
LMS solutions vary as oranges to lemons, but they do belong to the same family and share common features and purposes. A good LMS solution should help you do the following basic processes:
- Create Self-Registration – if you’re targeting a large pool of learners an automated self-registration feature is a must. Otherwise, registering a small class can be done manually.
- Create a Portal for Course Materials – If you’re into LMS for a long time, having a single location of past and current course materials makes it easier to retrieve data, reuse materials, or organize courses
- Create a Knowledge Base or Self-Service Portal – learners and educators will need assistance to use the LMS, but you won’t have the time to answer all questions. A self-service section should address FAQs or collate best practices and case studies.
- Assemble Course Materials by Categories – you should be able to arrange the courses by topics, subjects, authors, or curriculum order to help learners and educators sort through the materials
- Create Groups or Teams – this feature lets you conduct group classes, which is useful for group orientations or team workshops
- Customize Course Delivery – the ability to customize the delivery of materials based on the student’s learning curve can increase completion and competency rates
- Create a Course Funnel – lets you offer programs where learners can level up or down across curricula or courses
- Create Quizzes and Tests – lets you assess students’ performance or competency before, during, or after the course program
- Export/Import – you should be able to migrate, among others, course materials, reports, and registries to popular document files like PDF, TXT, JPEG, CVS, and DOC in case you need to use other business systems
In addition, the features below make an LMS solution more robust, but they usually cost more, so skip them if the budget is tight:
- Custom Branding – lets you dress up the user interface with your corporate logo and colors
- Robust Calendar – lets you create events, invite participants, perform self-registration, and track attendance in one module
- Robust Analytics – allows you to get real-time view on training or generate team-based reports on top of basic reporting
- Mobile Platform – allows learners to access your courses via their smartphone or tablet
- Video Library – lets you create video courses
- Shopping Cart – lets you sell your courses off the LMS infrastructure
- API – lets you integrate the LMS to your other business solutions, such as, finance, CRM, helpdesk, and e-commerce
- Surveys – to get feedback and insights from learners and educators.
Benefits of Learning Management Systems
Learning Management Systems are invaluable tools for individual and corporate training which streamline the relationship between teachers and learners, and store all useful information in centralized databases from where it can be easily accessed. That means that they turn learning into a centralized process because all training, performance, and development happen at the very same location. Delivery of materials is easy due to their social networking properties, and modules are flexible enough to be personalized to meet every need and style.
What is really precious about LMSs is that they offer accurate and simple evaluation mechanisms, and keep records which can determine the overall success of the team and lead to smarter decisions. The cost and time loss of traditional learning are eliminated, because attendance is made easy, and materials are accessible anywhere, at any time.
Additionally, upgrades can be made fairly easy, especially when the system is hosted in cloud and doesn’t require individual version control. Requirements are automatically met, and users are instantly informed upon them. Overall, LMSs are made to simplify learning, and they are rich with tools and gadgets that helps both learners to understand content, and teachers to administrate the process.
These are exciting features you might come across in newer or more established LMS solutions. Many of these trends will likely be the standard in future LMS solutions, so pay a close attention to them.
- Content Creation – advanced LMS solutions now incorporate authoring tools to create courses inside the system. Furthermore, these courses can be linked to the LMS e-commerce platform so you have a seamless process of developing, selling and delivering content. Look for SCORM-certified authoring platform. SCORM stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model, a set of standards that lets course developers share materials across LMS solutions. In short, creating course in SCORM-certified environment allows you to reuse content in other SCORM-certified software.
- Performance Management System – robust LMS solutions include this module, which allows educators and course administrators to appraise students’ performance or identify skills gap to fine tune individual curriculum. Some LMS also offer a 360-degree review, where both students and educators exchange feedback about each other.
- Recruitment and Reward – some LMS solutions provide this feature to help you market the courses to a wider territory by giving incentives to re-sellers or referrals
- Talent Management Integration – as LMS solutions become more robust, functions like employee appraisal and training are integrated; hence, expect tighter integration between LMS and talent management solutions n the future.
Here are a few aspects to consider to avoid escalating a minor issue today into a major problem tomorrow:
- Export/Import is Limited – at the least you should be able to export to PDF or TXT, but preferably, you should be allowed to export to CVS or XLS for database, JPEG/PNG for images, and MP3 or SWF for videos. As you build up on course materials, you’ll need more flexibility to migrate files to and from the LMS system. Furthermore, an important client in the future may request for a specific file format and you’ll be glad you can.
- No SCORM Certification – SCORM lets you use/reuse course content in other SCORM-certified LMS solutions. Anticipate that you may need a feature in another LMS solution that is not present in your current LMS. Having a SCORM-certified content gives you flexibility and convenience.
- Hidden Fees – read beyond the published rate and check the terms even how cumbersome. Make sure the pricing term is clear (is it per user or per course? annual or monthly); otherwise, ask the vendor. The vendor’s response will also give you a hint on the kind of support to expect once you’ve subscribed to the LMS.
LMS is a fast-growing industry, so expect newer features sooner than later. The key is to keep tab of the latest trends, issues, vendors, and applications (we’ll help you), or to put it squarely, keep learning about LMS.
All Learning Management System Reviews
Each review in our Learning Management System category is prepared with a couple of goals in mind. In order to guarantee top quality and make each review as reliable as possible we always get data related to a product from a broad selection of sources. We do not limit our research to official vendor site, but also delve into reviews from other users and experts and support that with our own unique encounter with the service. We make it a crucial factor to analyze how a given software functions in typical problem circumstances and we work to show its strong and weak points. It is also essential to study such aspects as mobile device support and quality as well as response time of customer support offered by each vendor. All this knowledge combined with our SmartScore and User Satisfaction results creates a solid analysis of the app that so many of our visitors find beneficial.
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FinancesOnline utilizes our unique SmartScore™ method to gather information about all the software in the Learning Management System category so that we can help you choose the best possible solution. It pays attention to the following factors: essential functionalities, collaboration capabilities, customization, integrations with other services, user friendliness, customer support, security, support for mobile devices, media rating. At the moment, TalentLMS is the leader in this category and we gave it the highest score in our tests. Following detailed testing it received the best results among its competitors and our experts strongly suggest that you consider it as one of the choices for your business.
A look at the entire user satisfaction with the product in the Learning Management System category based on our unique algorythm that analyzes customer reviews, comments and opinions across a broad set of social media sites to help you make an educated purchase choice.
Each vendor in the Learning Management System category will offer a different groupset of pricing plans for its product and every plan will include a different group of elements. Below we list the overal pricing for the cheapest package provided for each product. Keep in mind that advanced features may cost extra.
An overview of what kind of devices and operating systems are supported by all B2B solutions in the Learning Management System category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.
Learn what languages and countries are served by the best B2B solutions in the Learning Management System category, including spftware aimed at international markets and created for multi-cultural groups of employees.
Examine what pricing plans are supported by the vendors in the Learning Management System category to see which one matches your business preferences and budget best. Keep in mind that some software can support free or freemium accounts for you to test first.
An analysis of which kinds of companies a selected B2B software in the Learning Management System category provides for, from small businesses and non-profits to large enterprises.
A summary of what styles of service deployement are offered by each B2B vendor in the Learning Management System category. Even though most of modern SaaS services are cloud-hosted there are services may offer an on-site deployment model as well.