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Sera Özkıvanç
How to choose the right LMS software
LMSs are powerful tools in the e-learning landscape, and choosing the right one is critical.
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Learning Management Systems (LMS) are powerful tools in the e-learning landscape, and choosing the right one is critical. Dive into our analysis of top LMS software.

 

Kasper Spiro

Learning Management Systems (LMS) are invaluable tools that facilitate e-learning, which has become more important than ever. But with so many LMS platforms available, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your organization.

This blog article aims to make that process easier by providing insights on what an LMS is, why you need one, and what to look for when choosing an LMS.

What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

LMS stands for Learning Management System. An LMS stores, manages, and distributes digital learning content, making it an integral part of any online education or training program. Check out our LMS guide a for a deeper, more comprehensive look into LMSs.

Well-known examples include Moodle and Blackboard. Organizations across industries use these platforms to streamline their e-learning processes, distribute course syllabi, facilitate engaging discussions, and even administer and grade quizzes. Whether you’re a small business, a multinational corporation, or an educational institution, LMSs play a crucial role in managing and monitoring your e-learning content efficiently.

Why you need an LMS

An LMS is more than just a platform to deliver educational content—it’s a comprehensive system that streamlines the process of creating, delivering, managing, and tracking learning activities.
Here’s a breakdown of how an LMS can help your employee training initiatives:

Simplifies your learning management

With an LMS, you can store all your e-learning content in one place, making it easy to access, manage, and update. It provides a centralized platform where you can efficiently manage course enrollment, delivery, and learner progress tracking.

Enhances your learner engagement

An LMS can boost learner engagement by delivering interactive and personalized learning experiences. Features like discussion forums, gamification, and multimedia content can make learning more enjoyable and engaging, leading to improved knowledge retention.

Tracks your learners’ performance

One of the most powerful features of an LMS is its ability to track and report on learners’ performance. This includes everything from course completion rates, scores on assessments, time spent on learning modules, to learner progress. These insights can help identify gaps in learning and help improve future outcomes.

Increases training ROI

An LMS can significantly reduce the costs associated with traditional, instructor-led training. There are no travel expenses, venue rentals, or printed materials. Plus, learners can access the courses anytime, anywhere—a great way to turn an hour-long commute into a learning opportunity!

Ensures your regulatory compliance

Some industries have regulatory compliance. Healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and the food industry are a few examples. Here, LMSs can ensure that employees receive the required training, and that their completion is properly documented.

How to choose an LMS

The best LMS platform isn’t necessarily the one with the most features—it’s the one that best fits your organization’s needs and goals. Each LMS comes with its own unique features and strengths. 

Here’s what you should keep in mind when choosing “the one”: 

Is it user-friendly?

The LMS should be easy to navigate for admins and learners. A steep learning curve will hinder the adoption of the platform, and can also impact the overall learning experience.

Is it mobile-friendly?

With the rise of mobile learning, it’s essential to choose an LMS that provides a seamless learning experience across different devices. Learners should be able to access courses on the go from smartphones, tablets, or laptops.

Can you customize it?

Look for an LMS that allows you to customize the platform to match your brand and specific learning needs. This could include the ability to change the look and feel of the platform, modify course structures, and personalize learning paths.

Does it integrate into your L&D ecosystem?

It’s important that your LMS can integrate with the other tools and systems you use for employee training: HRIS, CRM, or e-learning authoring tools. This enables a smoother workflow and eliminates the need for time-consuming, manual data transfer.

Is it scalable?

As your organization grows, your LMS should be able to scale accordingly. It should support the addition of more users and courses without impacting performance or increasing complexity. (And you should also account for the cost.) 

Does it have analytics capabilities?

Your LMS should have reporting and analytics capabilities. This includes tracking learner progress, course completions, time spent, quiz scores, and more. This data will provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your learning programs and help you make data-driven decisions.

How is the customer service?

Look for an LMS provider that offers reliable and prompt customer service. This could include live chat support, a dedicated account manager, or a rich resource library to help you maximize your use of the platform.

Top LMS platforms

The best LMS platform for your organization depends on its specific needs, resources, and people. So here’s a closer look into the pros and cons of some of the top LMSs in the market — in alphabetical order, because we don’t play favorites. 

Civica

Civica Learning (formely Agylia) is a flexible and customizable LMS. It’s primarily designed for the education sector, offering features like curriculum mapping, assessments, and attendance tracking. 

Pros

  • Flexibility: The platform supports a variety of educational modalities: blended learning, flipped classrooms, competency-based education, and more. 
  • Highly customizable: Civica Learning allows for creating tailored, role-based learning programmes, making training initiatives more effective. 
  • Excellent customer support: Customer support is always readily-available and has high ratings from its users. 

Cons

  • Complexity: Due to its extensive features, it can require some time to master on the admins’ side. 
  • No learner analytics: Civica Learning’s reports do not contain learner analytics tools, which may hinder opportunities to improve courses. 

Best suited for

  • Medium to large enterprises
  • Organizations that want to adopt a variety of teaching modalities

Cornerstone

Cornerstone drives a culture of continuous learning and development. This robust, scalable LMS caters to both small and large businesses, providing features like personalized learning paths, skills management, and robust analytics tools. 

Pros

  • Comprehensive solution: Cornerstone serves as an LMS and includes a complete suite of talent management tools.
  • Mobile-friendly: It has an easy-to-use, robust mobile app..
  • Excellent customer support: Users often commend Cornerstone for their responsive and helpful customer service.

Cons

  • Expensive: Cornerstone is considered one of the pricier options in the LMS market.
  • Complex to set up: Some users report that the platform can be somewhat complicated to set up and customize.

Best suited for

  • Large enterprises looking for a comprehensive talent management solution
  • Organizations that value mobile learning capabilities

Docebo

Docebo is a feature-rich, AI-powered LMS known for its intuitive interface and extensive customization options. This platform goes beyond traditional training approaches, using AI to deliver personalized learning experiences.

Pros

  • Personalized learning paths: Docebo uses AI to customize learning for its learners.
  • Advanced gamification: The platform includes comprehensive gamification features, which can boost motivation and engagement.
  • Social learning tools: Docebo allows learners to share knowledge and collaborate with each other.

Cons

  • Expensive: Docebo is on the pricier end of the LMS market.
  • Complexity: The extensive features and customization options can make the platform confusing to navigate at first.

Best suited for

  • Organizations seeking an AI-powered LMS
  • Businesses prioritizing engagement through gamification and social learning

LearnUpon

LearnUpon is a powerful LMS for businesses of all sizes. With a focus on usability and flexibility, LearnUpon offers a suite of features that cater to both course administrators and learners. 

Pros

  • User-friendly: LearnUpon offers an intuitive interface that makes it easy to use.
  • Scalability: LearnUpon can support businesses of any size, from small businesses to large enterprises, allowing room for growth.
  • In-depth analytics: It offers comprehensive tracking and reporting features, enabling organizations to measure the impact of their training programs.

Cons

  • Customization limitations: Some users report that customization options could be more extensive.
  • Lacks advanced gamification: Although LearnUpon includes some gamification features, these are not as advanced as some competitors.

Best suited for

  • Businesses looking for an easy-to-use, scalable solution
  • Organizations that want detailed analytics capabilities

Lobster Ink

Lobster Ink is an LMS tailored towards the hospitality industry, offering industry-specific course content. It emphasizes practical and engaging learning experiences, aimed at improving the performance of both individuals and teams. Lobster Ink shines with its interactive content, competency-based learning approach, and in-depth analytics.

Pros

  • Industry-specific content: Lobster Ink offers a vast library of hospitality-focused courses, making it an excellent choice for businesses in this sector.
  • Practical, engaging learning: The platform focuses on providing practical and engaging learning experiences, improving knowledge retention.
  • In-depth analytics: Lobster Ink provides powerful analytics to track individual and team performance.

Cons

  • Limited to the hospitality industry: As the course content is primarily hospitality-focused, it may not be the best fit for businesses in other sectors.
  • Lacks offline access: Course content can only be accessed online, limiting accessibility. 

Best suited for

  • Businesses in the hospitality industry
  • Organizations focused on practical, competency-based learning

Workday

Workday is a comprehensive human capital management suite that also includes an LMS. It’s designed to offer personalized learning experiences within the flow of work.

Pros

  • Integration: Workday seamlessly integrates learning into the daily workflow, linking learning directly to job roles and career paths.
  • AI-driven: Workday uses machine learning algorithms to offer personalized content recommendations for learners.
  • User-friendly: The platform is easy to navigate and has a clean, intuitive interface.

Cons

  • Limited customization: Compared to other platforms, Workday offers fewer customization options for its learning component.
  • Not a standalone LMS: Workday is part of a larger suite of HR tools. Companies looking for a standalone LMS may find it to be more than they need.

Best suited for

  • Medium to large enterprises
  • Organizations looking for an integrated HR and learning solution.

How Easygenerator enhances your LMS

When designing your training initiatives, combining the strengths of an LMS with an e-learning authoring tool can make all the difference. It’s not about replacing your current LMS but about complementing it for an all-in-one learning experience. 

Integrating Easygenerator with your LMS allows you to tap into an easy-to-use, employee-driven course creation process that empowers your subject matter experts to share their knowledge. This makes making courses quicker and easier. And the content stays fresh and relevant because the experts are the ones updating the courses.

The integration process is typically straightforward; users can publish their Easygenerator courses to the LMS via SCORM or xAPI. But what does this mean for users? With this type of integration, they can:

  • Create courses in Easygenerator and easily publish them on the LMS. 
  • Leverage both Easygenerator’s and their LMS’s analytics capabilities.

Easygenerator works smoothly with several top LMS platforms including Civica, LearnUpon, and many more

Wrap up

Choosing the right LMS may very well be a game-changer for your L&D efforts. It streamlines the learning process, keeps track of progress, and when coupled with a powerful authoring tool, it enhances the learning experience for employees. 

Each LMS platform comes with its own set of strengths and potential drawbacks. Consider your specific requirements, reflect on the features that matter most to you, and how the LMS integrates with your existing ecosystem. In the end, it’s about finding a balance that supports the growth and development of your organization’s most valuable asset: its people.

About the author

Sera Özkıvanç is a writer, marketer, and the resident content specialist at Easygenerator. Over the last four years, she’s written marketing content for various SaaS brands around the world. These days, she’s doing her best to embrace the rainy weather in Rotterdam.