Absorb LMS vs. D2L Brightspace

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Absorb LMS
Score 8.9 out of 10
Enterprise companies (1,001+ employees)
Absorb LMS aims to empower organizations to train employees with the skills needed to stay modern and relevant in today's fast-paced world. The LMS software focuses on aligning learning needs with business demands.N/A
D2L Brightspace
Score 5.0 out of 10
N/A
Brightspace is an academic and corporate learning management platform. It provides core e-learning features, as well as mobile accessibility and granular personalization and analytics insights.N/A
Pricing
Absorb LMSD2L Brightspace
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Absorb LMSD2L Brightspace
Free Trial
YesYes
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
YesYes
Entry-level Setup FeeRequiredNo setup fee
Additional DetailsMust contact vendor for pricing information. 30-day free trial is available.
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Absorb LMSD2L Brightspace
Considered Both Products
Absorb LMS
Chose Absorb LMS
We were very disappointed with D2L and Workday's ability to customize what or how content is shown to users. The platforms can be robust but the onboarding time for new administrators is much longer than Absorb. Workday's current offering (2023) for external learners is …
Chose Absorb LMS
Absorb LMS has all the functionality that is now expected from a premier LMS. But it also has superb customer support. At a fair price point
Chose Absorb LMS
Absorb [LMS] had [many] of the same features. Many of the vendors had a lower base price with additional pricing for the add-ons. From a cost perspective, the majority of software providers' costs were higher with all of the required addons. For the features required Absorb …
D2L Brightspace

No answer on this topic

Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
Absorb LMSD2L Brightspace
Learning Management
Comparison of Learning Management features of Product A and Product B
Absorb LMS
8.5
65 Ratings
4% above category average
D2L Brightspace
5.9
10 Ratings
33% below category average
Course authoring9.152 Ratings2.010 Ratings
Course catalog or library9.259 Ratings10.06 Ratings
Player/Portal9.258 Ratings9.87 Ratings
Learning content8.046 Ratings9.69 Ratings
Mobile friendly7.945 Ratings1.19 Ratings
Progress tracking & certifications9.260 Ratings9.49 Ratings
Assignments8.452 Ratings2.010 Ratings
Compliance management9.249 Ratings8.01 Ratings
Learning administration9.663 Ratings2.09 Ratings
Learning reporting & analytics9.160 Ratings2.010 Ratings
Social learning7.128 Ratings8.49 Ratings
Gamification6.327 Ratings00 Ratings
Single Sign On (SSO) Enabled Learning8.443 Ratings00 Ratings
Best Alternatives
Absorb LMSD2L Brightspace
Small Businesses
Tovuti LMS
Tovuti LMS
Score 9.5 out of 10
Tovuti LMS
Tovuti LMS
Score 9.5 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Bridge Learning Platform
Bridge Learning Platform
Score 10.0 out of 10
Jenzabar ONE
Jenzabar ONE
Score 9.5 out of 10
Enterprises
Bridge Learning Platform
Bridge Learning Platform
Score 10.0 out of 10
Schoology Learning
Schoology Learning
Score 9.3 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Absorb LMSD2L Brightspace
Likelihood to Recommend
9.2
(67 ratings)
1.3
(45 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
8.9
(5 ratings)
9.0
(25 ratings)
Usability
9.1
(1 ratings)
6.4
(11 ratings)
Availability
9.1
(1 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Performance
9.1
(1 ratings)
9.0
(2 ratings)
Support Rating
8.6
(53 ratings)
10.0
(6 ratings)
Online Training
8.2
(1 ratings)
4.0
(2 ratings)
Implementation Rating
8.2
(1 ratings)
1.6
(3 ratings)
Contract Terms and Pricing Model
8.2
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
8.2
(1 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
8.2
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
8.2
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
Absorb LMSD2L Brightspace
Likelihood to Recommend
Absorb Software Inc.
Absorb LMS is appropriate for any continuing education organization or company that wants a reliable platform to host enduring educational content. It has been a great experience in terms of building and designing courses, monitoring learner progress, and as another touch point for learners to access other resources our organization offers.
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D2L
If you're an educational institution (K-12, Higher Ed, etc.), this is an amazing tool, and it will provide you all the functionality to support anything you may want and need it to do. If you are looking at Brightspace as a tool for corporate training, I'm not sure exactly how good or bad it will be for you. My guess would be that it likely depends on your organization's size. Along that line, what I can speak to is how we use it for our customized training and in-house professional development/training, and it works fantastically for that. While we primarily use it for normal higher ed coursework, we regularly do training and professional development for all of our employees and I manage those along with our HR department. Because we use it for many other things as well, all of our employees are familiar with the product, which makes our trainings go that much smoother and makes my job that much easier.
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Pros
Absorb Software Inc.
  • Usability - Both the User and Admin Experience is so simple and intuitive. The admin tools are clearly defined and laid out, yet the functionality makes it still powerful.
  • Integration - We used the Scheduled Data Imports and Exports to connect with our HRIS tool. After the initial configuration, it has worked reliably and gives me all the custom data I need to make assignments and reporting a breeze.
  • Design - I know it's covered a little bit in the Usability above, but the site just looks fantastic. There are a lot of options to customize and fit your branding requirements and all of the thumbnails/posters/billboards/etc give a very visual and appealing look to the LMS. Much better than I've seen in other products.
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D2L
  • Allowing users to embed content links from YouTube or Google Drive enables learners to experience a richer lesson.
  • Providing a powerful editor that allows developers to also include content from Adobe Stock as well as textbook publishers and cloud storage companies gives more power and creative ability to instructors.
  • Providing scaling for mobile and traditional computer systems ensures students will not have issues on the go.
  • The customization of home pages and groups enable courses to be used for small training sessions with breakout groups, large courses with separate sections, and even just more engaging courses that present themed icons and logos.
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Cons
Absorb Software Inc.
  • Uploading documents is perceived as hard for employees, especially with video uploads.
  • Sometimes the program lacks and then an employee has to start all over.
  • Spacing courses is possible but not with a certain amount of time, which would be useful if the next course could open after a week/month instead of when the employee finishes the previous course.
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D2L
  • One can feel a bit rushed on the Brightspace platform during the log-out period. Security requirements may require this, but it makes end-users more conscious about getting through content than taking notes.
  • From my experience, there is not a direct connection between the platform and Outlook.
  • Some content on the platform can feel redundant.
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Likelihood to Renew
Absorb Software Inc.
We have no plans to move away from Absorb at this time. It has all of the functionality we are looking for in a learning management system and we have a lot of info stored in our LMS system for trainings including all of our current and past employee transcripts. It is also getting easier to manager with being able to connect the LMS to ADP to update employee reporting/department/location/etc. We don't have a need or reason to move away from Absorb at this time.
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D2L
I would never give any system a perfect score. In the technology environment today we need to be constantly looking at ways to improve the user experience and LMS companies like Desire2Learn need to know that we have options today with other systems and they need to stay current with features and listen to their customers.
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Usability
Absorb Software Inc.
It's a great place to house our trainings and keep things interesting for our associates.
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D2L
Overall, the learning environment works as expected. However, there are plenty of bugs. For example, for a few versions, trying to print out a PDF from the Content screen in several browsers would produce a blank page. We inform D2L support about these issues, most of which are known issues. However, they are very slow to respond. D2L seems to spend more time selling than actually coding and testing their product. Most of the issues are not major -- however, there have been a few that are unbelievable. In fact, this past week we had a sudden issue where the "Submit" button in quizzes would not appear if users had a certain browser/operating system combination. This is a major problem, if students cannot submit their exams! D2L is slow to respond to these kinds of situations, which do occur more often than I would like.
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Reliability and Availability
Absorb Software Inc.
No answers on this topic
D2L
Both students and instructor enjoy the 24-hoiur access. After, all isn't that the point of online learning. As an instructor located in an Eastern time zone state it is great to connect with students located in a Pacific time zone state. I have gotten comments about the early hours I am in the course room grading assignments . . . 4:00 a.m. PST; 7:00 a.m. EST So, it's sleep time for my students and "first cup of coffee" time for me.
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Performance
Absorb Software Inc.
No answers on this topic
D2L
Easy to navigate; little to no delay from one section of the course room to another; actually fun to use after overcoming the learning curve.
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Support Rating
Absorb Software Inc.
I know the support team is hard at work! We are currently dealing with a confusing issue where our buttons don't connect to the pages we assign them, and they have been looking into this for a number of weeks. I hope they will unravel the issue soon so we can role out our modules!
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D2L
I have had excellent support from Desire2Learn. Any ticket that I submit is acknowledged immediately and the correction is usually almost as quick. We use this for thousands of classes and it is pretty well liked by both faculty and students. We have been using it for almost 4 years now and most of our instructors have become pretty proficient with it.
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In-Person Training
Absorb Software Inc.
No answers on this topic
D2L
Did not participate in the in-person training due to distance; training was completed online
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Online Training
Absorb Software Inc.
I meet and do training with my absorb support every week. and I have all my questions answered! it's great
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D2L
The training provided online did not, necessarily, fit the version of the system that I was using. Screens were somewhat different and not all options were readily available. This could have been due to customization on the part of my institution however, I rather believe it was due to version changes and training materials not yet being updated.
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Implementation Rating
Absorb Software Inc.
No answers on this topic
D2L
The D2L implementation team listened to our concerns and built a system based upon our needs. We wanted to keep them after the initial implementation.
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Alternatives Considered
Absorb Software Inc.
Our organization previously used LMS365, which did not support eCommerce and had difficulties supporting external users. (My understanding is the issues with external users may have been directly related to our Microsoft implementation and not directly LMS365's fault, but it was nonetheless a deal breaker for us.) Docebo was the runner up in our LMS selection process and I spent significant time chatting with the team at Docebo. It seemed like a strong competitor to Aborb. Ultimately, Absorb was both slightly more cost-efficient for our scenario.
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D2L
I have used Blackboard Learn 8 and 9. I am currently learning about Canvas. Blackboard is overall much clunkier and lacks the intuitive feel in some parts of D2L. Its grade book is much harder to control and manipulate than D2L's. Its navigation menu can be more radically modified from the default than D2L's, but this doesn't seem that useful to me. Discussions in Blackboard can be more easily reorganized than in D2L, but no grading of discussions is possible. Blackboard Assignments is a good innovation which allows markup directly in the students' submissions, but it displays student work in a confusing manner that doesn't allow for any customization, and its markup options need further tweaking. Furthermore, no rubrics can be used in Blackboard in any way to grade any kind of work (that I am aware of). Overall, I would choose D2L over Blackboard.
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Scalability
Absorb Software Inc.
No answers on this topic
D2L
During my first semester working with Desire2Learn the integrated learning management system was more down than up. This meant reconfiguring assignment due dates, frustration for both the instructor, students, and help desk staff. After an upgrade, Desire2Learn has been reliable.
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Return on Investment
Absorb Software Inc.
  • Course enrollments and completions have increased by 500% since implementation
  • Employee visits to our learning centre have increased by 300% since implementation
  • Cost saving from a time perspective as we can automate a lot of the admin work we used to do.
  • Pre Absorb we had about 3 or 4 e-learnings that were available. We now have over 100 that are accessible to all employees
  • Ability to seamlessly integrate with Workday and Udemy allowing all learning to be in one place, people data to be imported from WD, and very comprehensive reporting
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D2L
  • I cannot speak to whether this system is less expensive than the more fully featured Blackboard, but employees are far less efficient, frustrated, and require frequent calls to the help center to set up fairly simple course templates.
  • I have been asked to consider teaching courses which will be completely online at my current institution. I have done such online courses several times at other universities, but I have decided Desire2Learn is too frustrating and cumbersome to do so. I am now exploring using Google Drive to teach a course online. Otherwise, I will not teach online until required or I find an alternate system.
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ScreenShots

Absorb LMS Screenshots

Screenshot of a company's unique identity with a training interface that is custom-designed for the brand.Screenshot of a company's image and values with a training interface that is tailored to the brand's specific needs.Screenshot of the course creation workflow, that offer a diverse set of formats, including instructional videos, quizzes, and assessments.Screenshot of Absorb's course details page, accessible from the course catalog dashboard, used to give learners an understanding of the course material.Screenshot of learners' progress insights, used to make data-driven decisions with the reporting capabilities of Absorb LMS.Screenshot of course creation with Create AI Beta.

D2L Brightspace Screenshots

Screenshot of Screenshot of Screenshot of Screenshot of Screenshot of Screenshot of