If you run a school, university, or training company, you'll want to adopt an LMS (Learning Management System) to help you manage your educational material and keep tabs on all the students who access it.
A learning management system is also an excellent way to expand the reach of your institution by allowing students to access and study course content from anywhere in the world.
But before we discuss anything else, let's take a brief look at what an LMS actually is.
A learning management system – also known as e-learning software or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) – is a software application designed to help companies deliver educational material through a website, app, or both. A well equipped LMS also has features for tracking student progress, managing multiple courses, storing student information, and so forth.
The LMS space is packed with software solutions, but only a select few truly deliver when it comes to quality. To help you avoid the lesser systems out there, here are my top learning management system recommendations.
Moodle is perhaps the biggest name in the LMS space, and for good reason.
It's a free and open source e-learning software platform that can be configured to manage many types of learning environments for education, training, and staff development. Features include highly customizable design, personalized dashboards, calendars, file managment, user roles, bulk course creation, and more. Plus, Moodle has hundreds of native plugins to help bolster the platform's functionality.
NEO is a simple, powerful, cloud-hosted LMS that has been designed for individual teachers, schools, and universities. It is a freemium product, with a rich set of features in its free plan and additional “power” features in its low-cost premium plans. It boasts mobile apps, portals, built-in gamification, learning paths, lots of integration, and a stunning user interface.
They also offer a platform called Matrix LMS – which is for businesses and private institutions. Matrix LMS dishes out the same features, but it's priced a little differently.
LearnUpon is a renowned cloud-based Learning Management System, meaning that you can sign up and begin offering courses within a matter of hours.
Their SaaS (Software as a Service) learning management solution is secure and scalable, and comes with award-winning 24/7 customer support. Features include a wide range of course importation options, Salesforce integration, exams, certifications, built-in student reports, eCommerce functionality, and much more.
With a visually superb interface, Absorb LMS has seduced big brands like Sony, Nikon, and Getty Images. The cloud-based platform is ideal for large companies looking to train their staff, but it's also suitable for course selling and educational institutes.
Its features include instructor-led training, the ability to embed web content like YouTube into courses, eCommerce, reports, bulk purchasing, and contests. Also, Absorb LMS Integrates with SCORM, GoToMeeting, Cisco, Adobe Connect, and more.
TalentLMS is a free LMS, but it also brand itself as being able to handle enterprise-grade environments.
With features like single-sign on, course building, website customization, learning paths, eCommerce, and gamification. TalentLMS is geared towards brand looking to train staff first and foremost, but it has the features to help companies sell courses to the public, too.
Brought to you by eLearning247, NimbleLMS is a cloud-hosted platform with a solid range of features. The pricing is somewhat unique, as you can either pay-as-you-go, or pay for an annual license with far less restrictions.
NimbleLMS has features such as automatic course backups, progress tracking, eCommerce, bulk CSV importing, certificates and lots more.
OU Campus is a learning management system developed by OmniUpdate. It can be accessed via the cloud or deployed on-site, and is marketed towards higher education institutions.
The OU Campus team boast that their platform is backed by top-rated customer support that is customized for the higher education market. Plus, modules and user-friendly editing makes it easy to create course content.
OLM is an enterprise-grade learning management system (LMS) that lets organizations manage, deliver, and track training participation in online or classroom-based staff training environments.
Learners can find the content they need, and carry out their learning activities in the most appropriate delivery mode (in a classroom, virtual classroom, or via e-learning). Instructors can manage their own schedules, classes, and rosters, while executives can measure the effectiveness of learning activities and ensure alignment with organizational objectives.
If your company is relatively small, this solution isn't for you. But if your brand requires a hard-hitting LMS from one of the world's most prolific software vendors, then I suggest digging deeper into how OLM can help.
iSpring Learn LMS is an on-premise LMS solution featuring an easy-to-use Power Point-integrated authoring tool. Plus, it has relatively stellar CMS functions that help administrators to produce and manage website content.
Key features include progress tracking, single-sign on, eCommerce, certificates, portals, and a native mobile app. The pricing is pretty heavy, so I wouldn't recommend it as a solution for newbies.
EduBrite helps organizations produce and manage their educational content with enterprise-grade efficiency.
With EduBrite, you can make use of eCommerce functionality, micro-sites, mobile apps, courses, tests, surveys, and all the other fundamentals that a good LMS invariably has. Plus, it can integrate with loads of third party platforms like Salesforce, GoToMeeting, and Lynda.
Canvas is cloud-based, scalable, and geared towards educational institutes.
It serves up hundreds of add-ons, automated tasks, a mobile apps, integrated media, a fast marking system, and much more. They deal almost exclusively with universities, so if you aren't part of such an institution, I'd look elsewhere.
Joomla is one of the most popular content management systems in the world, and their LMS arm isn't too shabby either.
It delivers features such as online course building, quizzes, surveys, progress tracking, reports, and monetization. It's not the prettiest or most feature-rich platform on the list, but if your website runs on Joomla, then using JoomlaLMS is a no brainer.
If you're looking to offer your students video-based educational material, you'll want to hear about UScreen.
It's a video hosting platform that can cater for Subscription businesses, online training course providers, course selling, staff training, and pretty much anything else that involves hosting and delivering videos to people. It's technically not an LMS is and of itself, but it has features like quizzes, course tracks, certificates, and more.
Docebo offers a cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) Learning Management System.
They have over ten years of experience in the LMS industry, serving up solutions for midsized organizations all the way up to enterprise. Docebo sets itself apart by offering third party integrations (via API), 24/7 support, eCommerce features, gamification, and a range of extensions.
LearnCore is a learning management system built to provide a user-friendly experience for both administrators and learners. It is primarily used for companies looking to train their staff.
LearnCore has a charming user interface, personalization features, collaborative tools for administrators, light gamification elements, and a range of integration options.
Litmos is an award-winning LMS that packs a punch for small, medium, and enterprise-grade companies.
You can use it as an online course builder and an eCommerce solution, plus, it has features like instructor-led training, messages, notifications, gamification, surveys, quizzes, reports, and pretty much everything else an LMS needs. It's a serious player in the LMS space, and their free trial is well worth checking out.
elcomCMS is a super functional content management system that can also handle your staff training projects. For example, car manufacturers Volkswagen and Kia already make use of elcomCMS to manage all of their dealership training programs
The platform features a simple visual user interface for mapping training programs, reports for employee progress, user profiles, to-do lists, visual qualification pathways, and more. Also, elcomCMS bridges the gap between its solutions by enabling organizations to offer their training courses through their elcomCMS intranets or portals.
Switching softwares is difficult at the best of time, but switching LMS? I wouldn't wish that on anybody, particularly because migrating content and courses between one LMS to another is no easy task. In fact, it's almost impossible unless you start from scratch.
So, do yourself a favour and stay within the confines of the list above – because each of them are worth sticking around for.
Have you used a learning management system before? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below!