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Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Best Learning Management Systems (LMS)

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Learning Management System (LMS) Overview

What is a Learning Management System?

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a platform that helps instructors manage and organize educational materials online and conduct online courses. Learning management systems help streamline the learning process by providing a central location for accessing material online and developing content. LMS software is used by K-12 schools, higher education institutions, school districts, etc.


This software benefits administrators, teachers, and students. Students and teachers can access and upload course material such as calendars, syllabi, assignments, and grades. LMS platforms also allow instructors and administrators to track student progress on an individual basis and at the aggregate level. This software also helps minimize the use of paper materials.

Corporate LMS and Learning Content Management Systems

Vendors typically offer either education-focused or corporate-focused LMS. However, some companies offer platforms that can be used for both purposes. Corporate learning management systems are commonly used internally for employee training and externally for customer training. Corporate LMS that are used for online employee training may also be called training management systems, or eTraining/ eLearning portals.


Both corporations and educators may use learning content management systems (LCMS) to organize and create content for learning or training purposes. LCMS software focuses on digital learning as the primary educational medium and allows the instructor to create new content. Alternatively, LMS platforms do not focus exclusively on digital learning, they also manage in-person and off-line learning.


LMS vs. eLearning Software

While there is some overlap between LMS platforms and eLearning software, there are a few key differences between the two.


ELearning content software offers the user access to a curated digital library that can include videos, ebooks, and online courses/lessons. The primary function of eLearning software is to provide the user with a large content library for self-guided learning or integration with an LMS platform.


LMS platforms, on the other hand, may not offer content libraries at all. Instead, they focus more on managing the learning process and storing and tracking individual/ aggregate progress. Most vendors offer eLearning software that can be integrated with an LMS platform.

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

The term ‘virtual learning environment’ (VLE) is often used synonymously with LMS. These two terms essentially refer to the same products, but emphasize different aspects of the software.


VLEs typically have a larger focus on the collaborative aspect of learning. Products that are marketed as a VLE may have stronger discussion, forum, or student collaboration features. On the other hand, LMS has traditionally referred to products with strong performance tracking and analysis capabilities.


Another difference between the two terms is that VLEs are exclusively used in the academic setting. Alternatively, LMS can be used for educational and corporate training purposes. This category comprises mostly academic LMS, and corporate-focused LMS can be found in the Corporate LMS category.


LMS Features & Capabilities

Most LMS platforms offer a basic set of features:
  • Content creation: Allows instructors to author content and use web tools to embed files from the web or their own files into lesson materials.

  • Content management: Allows instructors to share materials between courses and upload materials from the web or their own files.

  • Assessment creation: Ability to create new questions/ assessments - including support for various question types, randomization of MCQs, the ability to import third-party question banks etc..

  • Assessment management: This can include automatic updating of questions and automatic and manual marking.

  • Learning object repository (LOR): An online library for sharing, storing, searching, and managing learning objects (e.g. content, specific lessons etc..)

  • Grading and feedback tools: This can include the ability to annotate student submissions and create student reports.

  • Course management: This can include course catalogs, course registration management, calendars, gradebooks, and virtual classrooms.

  • Student and instructor portals: Individual portals for students/instructors to access course materials.

  • Collaboration tools: Ability to comment and share on the LMS interface through channels such as live chat, blog articles, and discussion boards/threads.

  • Progress data and analytics: Ability to track student progress against standards such as Common Core or NGSS, identify gaps in individual learning, and set customized learning objectives.

  • SCORM/ AICC/ Tin Can Compliant: Ability for an eLearning software and LMS to interact over a standard protocol.


Some vendors offer more advanced capabilities or features aimed more at corporate buyers rather than education institutions:


  • Social media support: Ability to integrate social learning tools and keep track of student engagement.

  • Mobile app: Allows students and instructors to connect to the LMS interface using a mobile application.

  • Blended learning support: Ability to record, share, and assess off-line learning events such as seminars, workshops, demonstrations etc…

  • Gamification tools: Using game-mechanics in order to boost user engagement - including things like badges, trophies, leaderboards, or points.

  • E-commerce support: Ability to sell educational materials and/or online courses, track purchases, and monitor the performance of marketing initiatives.

Factors to Consider when Selecting an LMS

Since the LMS will be widely used by students, instructors, administrators, and sometimes parents there are a few key things to consider when making a purchase:


  • Mobile app access and quality

  • Institution size / scalability

  • Ease of use

  • Flexibility, scalability and performance of an LMS

Pricing Information

There is a wide range of free or open source LMS software, for example Moodle, Canvas, and Google Classroom. However, these products can be costly to implement and customize, charge extra for non-basic features, and typically do not include support staff.


Commercial offerings such as Blackboard and McGraw-Hill's Connect are an alternative option. These LMS platforms have higher upfront costs (compared to the free versions), but also typically include a dedicated support staff and professional services.

More Resources

Learning Management Products

Listings (26-50 of 82)

4 Ratings

Cengage is a digital learning company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The company provides a range of digital learning content and technology for K-12, higher education, and corporate use cases, including an LMS, pre-made eLearning course content, interactive course builders, LMS integrat...

4 Ratings

The DigitalChalk LMS gives users the tools and control to launch engaging, interactive, online courses. Users can create courses featuring animated PowerPoint, SCORM content, HD videos, audio, quizzes, exams and more.

1 Ratings

EverFi, Inc. provides e-learning software for online education in K-12, higher education, and adult education fields. EverFi solutions include gamification features to engage students, as well as real-time analytics on student progress and behavior for teachers and administrators. The company was...

1 Ratings

Toronto-based Top Hat offers their learning management system comprising a Top Hat Classroom supporting flipped classroom and gamified lessons, Top Hat Textbook for delivering course content, Top Hat Assignment for customizable quizzes and graded tasks or homework, and Top Hat Test for delivering...

1 Ratings

GradPoint is a K-12 learning management system (LMS) from Pearson, supporting student engagement and communication, student encouragement and self-assessment, and other tools to support student learning and progress.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

CYPHER LEARNING is a company that specializes in providing learning platforms for individuals, schools, businesses, and organizations around the world. CYPHER LEARNING has three products: NEO an LMS for schools and universities, MATRIX an LMS for businesses, and INDIE an LMS for individuals. CYPH...

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Classe365 is an innovative new cloud educational management platform that unifies Student Information System and Learning Management System functions providing education institutions, students, parents and faculty a unified approach to managing their academic experience that is simple, beautiful ...

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Paradiso LMS is a fully customizable cloud based learning management system that helps corporations and educational facilities train their staff and students. Paradiso LMS also provides more than 50 out-of-the-box integrations with numerous enterprise applications including Salesforce, PeopleSoft...

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

The popular Informetica learning content management system is being used world-wide by corporate and government clients in industries such as: Pharmaceutical, Telecommunication, Health Care, Emergency Preparedness, Engineering, Health & Safety - to name only a few. The power of Informetica ...

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Latitude Learning LLC is the developer and host of the world class learning management system (LMS), LatitudeLearning.com. Initially built for global Fortune 50 companies, LatitudeLearning.com is a scalable, robust and highly functional cloud-based LMS available for companies of all sizes to effe...

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

What is your next step with learning? Meridian Knowledge Solutions helps you create measurable value with your learning strategy. Meridian provides technology platforms that empower enterprises, governments, and member-based organizations to develop their people by delivering learning, assessing ...

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

EthosCE is an education-focused learning management software solution offered by DLC Solutions.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

K-LMS is a corporate-focused learning management software solution offered by Kesdee Inc.