Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Top Rated Learning Management Products

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Learning Management Systems (LMS) TrustMap

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Learning Management Systems (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.


LMS 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 and supports remote learning.

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, but 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.


LMS and Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)

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

Virtual classrooms 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. Many LMS vendors have strengthened the virtual classroom aspects of their platforms as virtual-only learning has become either more financially attractive or socially necessary.


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.

Learning Management System Comparison

When comparing learning management systems, consider these factors:

  1. Mobile accessibility: As mobile devices become the primary method of accessing the internet, they are also an increasingly core method of accessing learning resources and academic information. Be sure to evaluate how optimizes various LMS systems are for mobile-first students, particularly in areas like video content, forums, and grade reporting.

  2. Scalability: Your LMS platform should support your institution’s expansion, not hinder it. Factors that can influence scalability include whether it is cloud-based or on-premise, the pricing model, and the scope of available features like gamification and native content creation.

  3. Ease of use and customization: The majority of your LMS users will be teachers and students, so the platform should be as intuitive and easy to use as possible to accommodate a wide range of user capabilities. User reviews will be the best non-trial gauge of how easy an LMS is to learn and regularly use.

  4. Content creation vs. content management: While most learning management systems have both, LMS platforms will vary in their focus on user-created content and content management capabilities. Before selecting an LMS, determine whether your institution is more focused allowing instructors to design content, courses, and assignments or if managing preexisting content and students’ progress through lessons and courses is a higher priority.

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. Most paid LMS do not advertise pricing, but quotes frequently range from $2.50-$4 per user per month, up to a certain number of users.

More Resources

Learning Management Products

(1-25 of 106) Sorted by Most Reviews

Floqq

Spanish company Floqq offers their eponymous learning platform.

Courselle

Geenio is a learning management tool from the company of the same name headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

iversity

iversity.org partners with academic institutions and knowledge-based companies to offer high-quality academic and professional development courses online. Individuals as well as corporate clients and their employees can choose between MOOCs and online professional development courses…

Fuse

Fuse

0 reviews

Fuse is a social knowledge sharing tool that aims to revolutionise the way people communicate, collaborate and learn at work. Fuse can sit in conjunction with the user's current LMS or be used standalone. Fuse incorporates five separate elements: Learning Management System Learning…

Thought Industries

Thought Industries aims to help organizations change how they build, deploy and grow profitable and scalable online learning businesses. The vendor is headquartered in Boston, MA and customers range from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Courseplay Cloud Learning

Courseplay aims to help medium and large businesses bring down the cost of training and multiply training capacity without requiring a manual or tedious training. The vendor says the easy-to-use interface allows anyone to pick-up and run with the platform quickly with minimal…

Looop

Looop is a learning platform that promises to make it easier to deliver targeted and effective employee training anywhere, anytime, on any device. Customers include Sky, ASOS, Financial Times and StartupBootCamp.

Nucleus LMS

Nucleus LMS (Learning Management System) is an eLearning software developed by Shezartech, a company based in Mumbai, India. Developed on open source LMS Moodle, Nucleus is available on cloud or enterprise server with easy deployment. Key features of Nucleus LMS include: personalized…

ItemLogic

Certica Solutions offers ItemLogic, a learning management system that enables assessment content providers to bring engaging content to the K-12 market with enterprise-class infrastructure to support large-scale item creation, content collection management, and item and assessment…

Udutu Authoring Tool

Udutu Course Authoring tool helps you create engaging course content. The tool is free, and can be used with no training or programming skills. Components include: > Free cloud-based Course Authoring Tool > Infinitely Scalable Learning Management System > PowerPoint…

MindScroll LMS

MindScroll is an all in one comprehensive Learning Management System to create, sell and deliver online courses, assessments, live classes and more. According to the vendor key benefits and features include: Setup in minutes : Set up your E-learning store in minutes. Upload courses…

itslearning

itslearning, a Norwegian company, offers their learning management system (LMS) to educators in K-12 and higher education seeking a management console for curriculum and course content, customizable content delivery, in-built collaboration tools, and a wide array of possible integrations.…

Eurekos

Eurekos Learning Management System aims to help clients and partners create impactful learning content and repurpose old content, at record speed. The vendor promises an LMS that puts content first, and also delivers powerful administration, insightful analytics, and engaging social…

KnowledgeQ

HCCS, A HealthStream Company, provides online healthcare compliance training solutions to help acute, non-acute, and other healthcare organizations comply with government regulations and accrediting body requirements. KnowledgeQ allows administrators responsible for annual mandatory…

INDIE LMS

INDIE, according to the vendor, is an LMS for entrepreneurs that makes it easy to create, manage and sell online courses. With a beautiful and intuitive design, easy to use features and attractive pricing, the platform is the perfect solution for people that want to market their…

Configio

Configio, a Community Brands company, offers a scaling event registration platform that at higher pricing tiers includes contact and member management related features and a learning management system (LMS) for delivering and optionally selling online courses and training modules.…

SkillsBoard

SkillsBoard is an Enterprise Certifying & Portable Skills Passport with built-in skills-based learning management (LMS) & talent management (TMS) solutions designed to enable employees to collect and objectively share their skills through their entire professional life. The…

Yellow Platter Learning Suite

Indecomm Global Services headquartered in New Jersey offers the Yellow Platter Learning Suite, a configurable learning management system supporting content authoring and review, publishing content, and learning aid apps.

Brainier Knowledge Solution

The Brainier LMS is a capable and adaptive platform for any sized organization’s learning needs. The reporting wizard generates useful data of learner and trainer analytics. The sophisticated database design will accommodate any combination of user groups and sub-groups.Core…

Northpass

Northpass aims to place the learner at the center of their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) learning platform, thus resulting in more effective and satisfying learning experiences. The vendor says with Northpass, organizations can efficiently train employees, customers and partners with…

BeED

BeED is a Learning Management System & Experiential Learning platform. The vendor says that it is a one-stop-shop in school and professional education. Ecosystem was created by OÜ SchoolOS.eu (Tallinn, Estonia) and BeED Adventures (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) to satisfy all curricular…

CoreAchieve

CoreAchieve is a learning management and content distribution platform designed to drive engagement and revenue, at affordable, predictable costs.According to the vendor key features and business benefits include:Engage with large audiences for one affordable, predictable cost. No…

Schoolbox

Because learners thrive in a connected community.Schoolbox is an integrated, all-in-one learning management system (LMS), community portal, and engagement platform for K-12 schools.Schoolbox is designed to present a robust solution that connects the entire school community, and drives…

iSpring Market

iSpring Market is an ecommerce platform for turning knowledge into steady revenue. The system is designed to be straightforward and help launch a digital marketplace quickly with a course catalog, user management, and promotion options. To start earning, the user only needs to upload…

mAuthor

mAuthor by Learnetic is a ready-to-go solution addressed directly to publishers to create fully interactive eContent (supporting the BigData system) without technical knowledge regarding IT. Learnetic offers a complete suite of software applications supporting all stages of ePublishing…

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a learning management system?

Learning management systems (LMS) provide a centralized platform for educators and administrators to manage and organize educational materials and track student progress. They are also used for designing content and courses, and facilitating online learning.

What are the features of learning management systems?

LMS can include a range of features, but the most common are content management and sharing, student progress tracking, grading and feedback tools, collaboration tools, and assessment creation and management.

How much is a learning management system?

Some basic LMS, or limited versions of broader LMS products, are available for free. Paid versions’ pricing can vary dramatically based on number of users, features offered, and level of customer support.

What is the difference between LMS and eLearning?

eLearning is focused primarily on content creation and content libraries, while LMS products offer broader support for the education process, such as assessments, collaboration, and grading.

What is a SCORM compliant learning management system?

SCORM is a standard model of building an LMS. A SCORM-compliant LMS is a system that can share online content with other SCORM-compliant systems.