An LMS platform is a comprehensive solution that allows businesses to create, manage, and deliver eLearning courses. From providing a centralized repository of learning materials to tracking learner progress and generating detailed reports, an LMS solution is a one-stop shop for all corporate learning needs. It has become an indispensable tool to deliver learning experiences in an effective and efficient manner. It offers a unique blend of scalability, flexibility, and control, enabling learners to access learning at their own pace, anytime, anywhere. With the advent of LMS websites and LMS platforms, the convenience and accessibility of eLearning has further enhanced. Whether for corporate training, compliance certifications, customer education, or onboarding, LMS platforms have become a game-changer for learning and skill development.
What is LMS (learning management system) platform
An LMS (Learning Management System) is a web-based or software application specially designed to facilitate the creation, management, delivery, and monitoring of e-learning, educational content, development programs and learning activities. LMS acts as a central platform to manage courses, evaluate performance, and track learning progress at various stages. Since it is a cloud-based service, it can be accessed from anywhere using an active internet connection.
Some key features of an LMS platform are course creation and management, curriculum and learning paths management, reporting and analytics, collaboration tools, and other integrations with business intelligent tools like Tableau or its alternatives.
Popular LMS platforms include Moodle, TalentLMS, Blackboard, and Canvas. These platforms cater to different industries and use cases such as K-12, higher education, professional development, and corporate training.
For example, a course creator can create courses on ‘Digital Marketing’ and upload videos and other resources on an LMS platform. They can later create assignments and quizzes. Many companies use LMS platforms to onboard new joiners and provide training material based on their job profile. An organization may integrate an LMS platform with their HR system to automatically enrol newly hired employees and track their completion status.
Types of LMS platforms or LMS website
These LMS are hosted on the service provider’s servers and accessible anytime from any place. It’s a good choice for organizations, remote teams, and learners across different locations. Example – LearnUpon and TalentLMS
This type of LMS is hosted within an organization’s servers. Installation and setup require technical expertise but there are many customization options. Examples – Moodle and iSpring Learn.
Open Source LMS
As the name suggests, open-source LMS are free to use, modify, and distribute. These LMS usually have a strong community where people contribute updates and various improvements. They require technical expertise to set up and manage but can be easily customized as per business needs. Examples – Open edX and Sakai.
These are typically sold by a vendor as a locally hosted enterprise product, hosted on an organization’s servers, or as a SAAS offering, hosted on the vendor’s servers with online accessibility.
Benefits and Importance of an online LMS platform
Centralized learning repository – LMS platforms provide a central platform to store, organize and manage learning content. It makes the content easily accessible to admins and learners. It also reduces the risk of losing learning resources.
Time and cost efficiency – LMS platforms have a lot of automated administrative processes such as registration, enrollment, and tracking. This reduces a lot of time and cost. It also reduces the workload on educators and admins, giving them more time to focus on the learning process aspects.
Personalized learning experience – Educators can create curriculum and learning materials on LMS platforms as per the learner’s unique preferences and needs. A personalized learning experience ensures learning engagement and higher retention rates.
Flexibility and accessibility – LMS platforms support various content types such as images, videos, and text, and cater to different learning styles. Learners also get to access the content anytime and anywhere on any supported device.
Scalability – Most LMS platforms are easily scalable to accommodate the growing count of learners or users and educational content, making it cost-effective for organizations where the learning and training needs are expandable.
Data security and privacy – Popular LMS platforms have robust security measures in place to protect their confidential data such as user information and video content. This includes measures such as secure authentication protocols, encryption, and access control to ensure secure access and sharing.
How to choose the best LMS platforms for your business
- Define clear objectives – It’s important to have a clear understanding of your organization’s learning and training requirements and objectives.
- Evaluate the ease of use – A user-friendly interface ensures administrators and learners navigate and use the LMS more effectively. This includes an intuitive user interface, customizations, mobile accessibility, and an efficient platform learning curve.
- Access scalability – As your organization’s requirements grow, the demand to accommodate more users, content courses, and learning requirements increases. An LMS platform must be capable of handling such evolving needs without compromising performance and resources.
- Integrations – An LMS needs to have seamless integrations with 3rd party systems to improve efficiency. Integrations with content libraries enrich course offerings and communication tools to improve collaborations.
- Mobile and responsive support – Most LMS platforms support mobile learning and responsive web design to encourage learners to access course content and other activities on a range of devices, such as smartphones, tablets, desktops, and more.
- Data privacy and security – Modern LMS platforms have robust security measures in place to secure sensitive data and content from piracy and unauthorized access. It includes encryption (platforms like VdoCipher offer DRM encryption), password protection, secure authentication protocols, and access controls.
- Budget and pricing – Before making a final decision, compare the pricing model and features of different LMS platforms. Your own budget is also a crucial factor in making a choice. Apart from one-time or subscription fees, consider other factors such as set-up costs and other additional costs.
Top online LMS platforms and LMS solutions
TalentLMS is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) designed to deliver online training courses and educational programs. Catering businesses of any size, it offers a streamlined approach to e-learning. It provides an intuitive interface that makes the creation and management of online courses a seamless process.
- Course Management – Build courses from scratch, a variety of assessments, latest eLearning content standards, like SCORM, xAPI, and cmi5.
- Blended learning, Certifications, and gamification include badges, points, levels, rewards, and leaderboards.
- VideoConferencing support
- Ecommerce to sell individual courses or via the subscription model.
- API and integrations with Salesforce, GoToMeeting, Shopify, and more.
- GDPR compliant
- Easy customizations and themes
Pros – Course creation tools, ease of use, mobile learning, reporting & analytics
Cons – Limited customization. Some users find the platform’s design somewhat plain.
User Reviews – “One of the advantages is to train multiple people at once with sometimes different training modules. With the fast turnaround of employees, it is difficult to think of other ways to keep up. Also, recruitment of employees is made easy and fair.” – capterra.com
Canvas LMS is a cloud-based educational platform designed to facilitate online teaching and learning. Developed by Instructure Inc., it’s used by educational institutions of all levels, from K-12 to higher education, as well as by businesses for employee training. Canvas LMS provides an open, customizable, and scalable solution to engage and educate learners.
- Course Creation and Management
- Rubrics, Modules, Calendars, Schedules, Quizzes, Syllabi, Analytics
- Canvas API to integrate with tools and apps such as Adobe, Microsoft Teams, and G Suite.
- Mobile apps for iOS and Android
- SpeedGrader feature allows teachers to view and provide feedback on student assignments.
- Integrated tools for real-time communication, including announcements, discussions, chat, and video conferencing
Pros – Integration capabilities, strong user community, and scalability
Cons – Pricing seems somewhat expensive compared to other LMS platforms. Limited customizations.
User Reviews – “I loved that Canvas was easy to use. Even though I had never used Canvas before, I jumped in and was able to do everything I needed pretty quickly. I had all of the features I needed but it wasn’t difficult to use.” – elearningindustry.com
Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is an open-source LMS designed to provide a secure, robust, and integrated system to create a personalized learning system. As it is open-source, it is customizable by educators, administrators, and learners to offer flexibility and numerous alterations.
- Complete control as an open-source platform
- Easy add-ons with more than 200 open-source plugins
- Moodle versions 3.10 and 3.11 are WCAG 2.1 AA compliant
- Content access and manage activities and assignments with the Moodle app
- Collaborative learning with Forums, Web Conferencing, and more.
Pros – Highly customizable, open-source, extensive features, and community support.
Cons – Some users find Moodle’s interface less intuitive. Although free, it requires additional costs for hosting, maintenance, and other services.
User Reviews – “Moodle’s high adaptability enables us to create lessons and learning activities that precisely suit their requirements and preferences. It is simple to design exciting and interactive classes thanks to this flexibility.” – g2.com
Cloud-based Learning Management System (LMS), iSpring Learn facilitates online training for businesses of all sizes. It offers a set of features to create, deliver, track, onboard, train, and develop corporate training activities. The various training programs include new hire onboarding, compliance, product, and sales training.
- Easy content creation – interactive courses, role-plays, assessments, and video lessons.
- Data and analytics tracking to give insights into training effectiveness
- Automated progress reporting, deadlines, notifications, and smart user groups.
- Multiple admin roles on iSpring Learn’s supervisor dashboards
- Social learning along with newsfeed with reactions.
Pros – iSpring Suite, a complete toolkit for creating eLearning content. Structured learning paths
Cons – Reports lack flexibility. iSpring Suite comes with additional pricing
User Reviews – “We are using iSpring Learn as a tool to deliver training materials to our staff team across multiple departments, eradicating the need to complete multiple face-to-face sessions. Whilst primarily focused on our technical support team, we are also using the platform for bulk training needs, such as health and safety and fire safety.” – trustradius.com
360learning is a collaborative LMS focusing on learning creation and training delivery within an organization. Organizations can create and share learning modules, connect all of their business systems, and optimize workflow integrations. The platform reduces your administrative burdens and maximizes fill rates.
- Host and review the existing eLearning catalog of SCORM courses without content migration
- Create company-specific trainings, automated enrollments
- Data-driven insights and dashboard
- Audit proof e-signature
- Customizable validity period for a certificate
- Real-time one-click feedback
Pros – Collaborate learning, easy content creation along with fast customer support
Cons – Not enough gamification. Complex workflow to create trainings reported by some users
User Reviews – “I like that 360Learning makes it easy for anyone to create learning content that is actionable and measurable. I like that the interface of the tool is intuitive, making it easy to navigate through the various courses and modules.” – gartner.com
Thinkific Plus is a premium learning management system from Thinkific, designed to create, market, and sell eLearning products. With no coding required, you and your teams can create amazing learning experiences. It comes with high customizations, controls, and support for enterprise-level services.
- Advanced security features and Single Sign-On OpenID (SSO)
- Enterprise API access. Advanced CSS customization. Custom migration planning
- Multiple seats and tiered pricing checkout options
- White-labeled mobile app. Dedicated customer success manager
- Unlimited administrators and B2B group management
Pros – Automated reminder based on progress, dedicated support team, easy customizations
Cons – Reporting could be better with complex analysis. Need more integrations.
User Reviews – “We can upload our contacts from the previous database within just a few minutes. Also, there are additional groups of learners, which is easier for us to take care of various learning cohorts.”- g2.com
Specially designed for WordPress users, LearnDash is a flexible LMS plugin to create and sell online courses. It is used mainly by universities, startups, and mid-size companies. With LearnDash, you can create free and paid courses.
- Drag and drop course builder, No coding required.
- Easy course cloning to head start on a new course.
- Learning Paths to with challenge exams
- Onboarding wizard, assignment management, and focus mode
- Built-in payment system with subscriptions
- For WordPress
Pros – Integration with 3rd party extensions. Good documentation, support, and webinar guides. Easy-to-use built-in tools.
Cons – Compatible with only WordPress. Limited default payment options. No free trial.
User Reviews – “LearnDash is a power-packed LMS plugin that caters to all types of LMS requirements. It is a very user-friendly, lightweight, and robust system that provides a seamless end-user experience in online learning.” – g2.com
Adobe Learning Manager (formerly Adobe Captivate Prime)
Previously known as Adobe Captivate Prime, Adobe Learning Manager is a cloud-based LMS to set up, deliver, and track enjoyable learning experiences. On a single platform, engage customers, drive sales, and develop staff skills. With Adobe Learning Manager, you can deliver personalized learning across multiple devices with ease.
- A suite of API integrations and custom connectors
- AI-based recommendations, social learning, and gamifications
- Headless LMS with personalized dashboard
- Extended enterprise learning
- Hybrid learning support with flexible learning options
Pros – Various modes to track learner engagement. Badging and gamification. Easy content creation.
Cons – Mobile experience is a little clunky. Pricing is a bit higher.
User Reviews – “It has helped our Learning & development division very effectively. It helped us get huge amounts of people trained and certified, and it’s a great LMS. Its powerful ability to create different types of e-learning content easily.” – trustradius.com
Teachable is a cloud-based learning management system to create personalized online courses and coaching products like videos, quizzes, and lectures. Creators engage with online audiences and collect payments on their own terms with coaching, courses, and downloaded content.
- Advanced editing tools. Less to no coding skills to create, manage, and sell courses.
- Variety of templates to create landing pages for marketing and sales campaigns
- Majority control over your payment solutions
- Drag and drop builder with multiple file format support across devices
- Built-in authoring tools and automated enrollment based on user data
Pros – Free trial. Support for offline access. Built-in shopping cart.
Cons – Payout options seem a problem for subscribers outside the USA. The basic paid version has a limitation of only 5 courses at a time.
User Reviews – “My overall experience with Teachable has been very positive.Improved features, and excellent onboarding training. My only frustration is the inability to auto-schedule blog posts.” – capterra.com
- Automated assessment grading
- Built-in software with accessibility and anti-plagiarism tools
- Easy-to-use tools and workflows
- Personalized support for students from their own institutional resources
- Real-time improvement insights
Pros – Customizations as per educational institutions. Built-in web tools
Cons – Some find it expensive. Integrations are a little tedious.
User Reviews – “Blackboard has been very user-friendly and easy to navigate. After years of using it, it is not hard” – g2.com
Vdocipher Secure Plugin for seamless integration with popular LMS platforms
The VdoCipher plugin works smoothly with most LMS platforms like LifterLMS, WpCourseLMS, LearnPress, Teachable TutorLMS, and LearnDash. Hosting your videos on the LMS may result in a website slowdown. This can hamper the user experience when someone with low internet connectivity comes to access your content and ultimately drops out.
The best case scenario is to host your videos on a video hosting service like VdoCipher which offers numerous features along with Hollywood Grade DRM Encryption at affordable pricing. To do so, simply upload the video on the VdoCipher dashboard and embed it on the page you want. Learn more about embedding on 3rd party LMS websites or platforms like Teachable.
How VdoCipher Plugin is the best choice to stream videos on your LMS platform
Multi-DRM Protection using Google Widevine and Apple FairPlay DRM for the highest level of protection against piracy and unauthorized access.
Dynamic Watermarking to deter screen capture and establish branding. Customizable for color, size, and transparency.
Custom HTML5 Video Player with closed captioning, adaptive bitrate streaming, picture-in-picture, offline download, subtitle support, chapters, and video analytics.
Domain/IP Restrictions to whitelist/blacklist specific countries and regions. Block a range of IPs and set time-based restrictions and expiry of URLs.
Easy Embed Options to generate embed code using one line code in simple steps.
Video Analytics gives video parameters to monitor your content. It includes the number of visitors, bounce rate, average view time, and other engagement metrics.
Video APIs to automate and ease the integrations and other functionalities. Server and Player APIs automate video upload, inject custom HTML in the video player for Android or customize player design.
Adaptive Bitrate Streaming (ABR) automatically adjusts the video quality as per the viewer’s internet connectivity. To do so, the player must be capable to offers multiple video quality options.
We’ve written several other blogs on LMS, feel free to check them out if it piques your interest
What is LMS software?
Often used interchangeably, the LMS platform and LMS software have slight differences in their meaning as per the context. LMS software refers to a standalone application or some module within a larger system, designed for learning purposes. LMS software often has fewer features and functionalities in comparison to LMS platforms.
How does an LMS work?
An LMS platform allows content creation, enrolling learners, and tracking and accessing their performance. An LMS automates the workflow of administration, managing, and reporting events.
Are LMS platforms available on mobile devices?
Most modern LMS platforms have a mobile app or a responsive web design. There is also the option of offline access, making it a hybrid learning experience.
How much does an LMS solution cost?
Based on the number of users and features, the pricing model of an LMS platform varies. While some have free plans and others have subscription pricing models or one-time fees.
Can I integrate LMS with other systems?
Each LMS has specific integrations with 3rd party systems. For example, most LMS integrate well with Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.
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Jyoti began her career as a software engineer in HCL with UNHCR as a client. She started evolving her technical and documentation writing skills to become a full-time Content Marketer at VdoCipher.