Learning Management System Vendors
Learning management systems have completely changed the onboarding and ongoing training process for companies. The LMS system market itself has changed. With every improvement to one LMS, there’s another one with two more improvements behind it. Users have become more demanding the deliverability, cost, and efficiency of LMS software, and for good reason. Learning management systems have become a building block to the success and progression of growing businesses.
Learning management system software usually targets the segments of two market industries: education and corporate. LMS companies that are well-established and have been around for a long time have stayed that way. That is, once a company is implementing a learning content management system, they’re not switching it. Even with traditional or modern LMSs, it’s no easy task switching vendors. That’s why picking the right vendor first is important.
What is a Learning Management System?
An LMS (learning management system) is a system designed to help organize and deliver training throughout an organization. The learning content management system definition is synonymous. The two terms were once different because at one point in history, the LMS could not create content (some still don’t), but now, many LMSs make content creation available right on the platform. The LMS system itself is the way in which a team coordinates the learning process and the tools they do it with. The main tool used by a team (generally instructional designers and HR staff) is a learning management system software. This software helps teams deliver digital training to employees as opposed to having to print off training manuals and host training sessions.
We’re going to breakdown factors of LMS systems, vendors, and comparisons to make the choice as simple as possible.
The LMS Platform
Imagine an LMS as a table. That table is has a base. The base could be four legs, three legs, or one large leg. Regardless, those legs make up the base of the table that you inevitably are going to put things on. Now turn this table analogy, and make it digital. You have an LMS platform. On that platform, you organize files and files of learning content. But how do you know if you need a table with one leg or four? Or, better yet, why have a table with four legs when you can have the same, stable table with one?
Okay, before we get too carried away with the table analogy, we’re going to describe some types of LMS software platforms.
SCORM Learning Management System
The Sharable Content Object Reference Model is a model adhered to by content intended for an LMS. It’s created outside the LMS, then formated by SCORM to become readable to the LMS. SCORM was necessary for LMS engineering. It helps the programmer understand the language of the content to become implemented into the LMS. SCORM-compliancy is common in traditional LMS systems. Even today, with technology available to eliminate the SCORM compliant LMS, some LMSs still support it because customers are used to it and have built mass training content libraries since implementing their first LMS.
A SCORM LMS will more than likely dissipate when companies learn the benefits behind using an LMS without SCORM. Moodle is an example of an education targeted LMS that obeys SCORM but supports and suggests using content without it. At Lessonly, we are not a SCORM-compliant software. Lessonly software has the capability to build content on the platform instead of having to create SCORM-compliant content outside of it.
Open Source Learning Management System
Open source LMS software is software that is created to sell to a general user, and for the user to then customize it on their own. Open source LMSs have a framework of code that is left open to developers to build upon. Much open source LMS software is free initially because it takes a lot of work to customize, maintain, and develop it on the administrative end.
The cost can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on how the LMS needs to grow. With an open source LMS, you’d have to hire a development team to work on the back end, a customer service team (if your software is being used externally) to work with clients, server space to house it, and an IT employee if anything breaks!
Open source learning management systems take time, and if you try to turn a lot of learners to it, they might be off-put by a bland interface and clunky usability. If you have the resources in place to take on an open source LMS, then you should make sure that it is customized and ready for a great learner experience.
Licensed/Supported Learning Management System
A licensed or supported learning management system is an LMS that is housed and supported by the company that sold the LMS to you. Licensed LMSs are generally Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This means that you sign a yearly contract to use the software for a fee. With that, you get the completed software and support from the product’s staff.
With licensed software, you don’t have to have a team to develop the product or customize it. With Lessonly in particular, you can brand the interface to your liking. Any new updates to the product are done by the development team and rolled out for all customers. The software company’s staff is available to help with implementation and fixes. As a client, you’ll never have to figure out why something isn’t working, you simply just report it. With a licensed LMS software, the client is relieved of maintaining the LMS and can gear focus toward creating and delivering great learning content.
Learning Management System Vendors
When communicating with LMS vendors, know what you want for your business. Some LMS providers are open source and SCORM-compliant, some are licensed and open source, some are neither open source or SCORM-compliant. There are benefits to each LMS software. List all the things you want in your learning management software. When you’ve decided what kind you want, break the LMS software list down into features and functionality then compare.
Learning Management System Comparison
Sales representatives are going to help you decide what you need in a learning software and what they can provide. At Lessonly, we feel it’s important that our customers know is Lessonly is a good fit for them. We use our opportunity to chat with prospects to really hone in on their needs and discover new ones. If those needs don’t match up with what we can provide, we suggest trying a different software company. It’s not that we wouldn’t love to have more clients, but we know that our LMS is not fit for certain contexts. For instance, if you are looking for another SCORM-compliant software, we’d happily educate you on the switch from needing SCORM to not needing it, but Lessonly is not SCORM-compliant software.
But before talking to a sales rep, you can answer a lot of common, initial questions in your own research. By visiting LMS comparison sites, like G2Crowd or Software Advice, you can read in-depth learning management software reviews.
Any LMS software comparison will display features, functions, testimonials, and even free trials. Some sites will have charts with a large list of functions and features with simple check marks by the ones that each LMS software provides. If you don’t want to wade through a lengthy chart, create a smaller learning management system comparison chart for yourself.
On your chart, you can write down your top software choices, and present your own learning management system software comparison to your team. Your team can then try out any free demos and fix the software into the strategy of the learning content management system. Reviews prove to be beneficial in speeding up the decision-making process.
Top Learning Management Systems: Lessonly as Your Number One
We could point you to a list of top 10 learning management systems, but there are many LMS software companies out there and we are too humble to choose between our competitors. We do want to note, that on top of all the searching suggestions on this page, be sure to differentiate between the most popular LMS and the right LMS for your company.
Lessonly is a modern, licensed LMS software. We help clients who need to grow their team, grow them faster and better. As a SaaS, we are constantly developing our software, and with the learner perspective in mind. We provide a seamless platform for delivering and learning content. Our sales reps and account executives help clients through every step of the purchasing process, and if a prospect is ready to buy, we then assign them a client support expert to help them kick off their learning program and assist them whenever they need help. We also have a creative learning team in-house to help clients create beginning lessons and transfer content into Lessonly from programs like Google Docs.
An administrator in Lessonly is the highest role. This person can assign courses, lessons, and roles within Lessonly. Administrators can add learners and create groups. Groups can become handy when managers are assigned.
A manager in Lessonly has access to only their group of assigned learners. If you’re an administrator for a huge company, assigning a manager to a group will help manage the learning. Think of it this way, you could have a learning manager in each department in charge of sending out learning materials for onboarding and ongoing training. That way, the manager can focus solely on providing concise content to their learners and allow learners to seek immediate assistance.
A creator in Lessonly does just what you’re thinking: creates lessons. Creativity puts color into learning. That means it take the monotony and dullness out of it. Lessonly works with rich media and some of your favorite platforms so that you can create the best learning content. Need to incorporate a YouTube video? We got you. How about throwing in a funny GIF while you’re at it? We support that too. We don’t support SCORM because it’s not necessary with the technology available today. And we don’t waste a creator’s time with a myriad of tools to manipulate one thing umpteen different ways. The Lessonly interface is simple and intuitive. Creating a course or lesson is easier than creating a powerpoint presentation.
When it comes to updating lessons, admins, managers, and creators can update lessons, but only with the administrator’s permission. All information is saved automatically, so you never have to be paranoid about remembering to click a button. It’s the little things.
One of Lessonly’s most important features is its tracking feature. Tracking with an LMS is extremely important. Without it, you base employee knowledge and functions on assumptions. With Lessonly tracking, you can see who is learning what, when, and how well. Progress reports are sent to administrators each day. With quiz questions and free-response questions, administrators can tell which individuals are struggling and which ones are succeeding. On the same token, if all of your learners are missing the same question on a lesson, you know that it’s either structured wrong or the question’s topic needs to be elaborated on. In case of the latter, we suggest considering creating a lesson revolved around that particular question. Free-response questions welcome an open dialogue between the learner and manager. Employee learners can give feedback that will, in turn, help the manager develop better courses and content for learning. Furthermore, the open dialogue creates a stepping stone to more open communication for innovation purposes.
As a learner in Lessonly, you can learn from anywhere you have internet access. And, let’s be honest, that’s basically everywhere these days. Lessonly works on mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets. If an admin assigns a due date in a lesson, the learners of that lesson can take it at their convenience before the due date.
Lessonly will always remain learner-focused. We know that learning doesn’t stop at a particular age, and for people to do their very best, they need to be taught in the very best way. For the fast-paced corporate world, learning often falls to the wayside, when in hindsight it is one of the most important building blocks of a growing company. Lessonly takes care of the complicated LMS logistics so companies can focus on efficient learning.