by Jessica O' Loughlin
Published on 10 April 2014
E-Learning software, otherwise known as learning management systems (LMS) are often associated with staff training and development. However, the core function of any learning management system is to make teaching and learning more efficient, and this applies to educational institutions as much as it does to other kinds of businesses.
Learning management applications which are geared towards educational institutions are designed to enhance the experience of students along with those of teachers - improving communication, information and resource sharing.
A good LMS for the education sector should ensure that educators and students stay connected, increase student engagement and reduce teachers' workloads, allowing for the easy creation and sharing of digital content online.
As there are more and more learning management systems for educators coming onto the market, we felt it important to create a list of some of the top e-learning software solutions for educational institutions of all varieties.
Moodle is an open-source learning management platform used by educators, students and administrators from small classes to large organizations. Use Moodle to create a personalised online learning environment with collaborative tools such as forums, chat, surveys, assignments, feedback, wikis and more. For educators, Moodle offers a wealth of features from file management and notifications to progress tracking to calenders. Administartors can use the software for bulk course creation, mass enrollment and participation reporting and logs. Encourage student engagement through peer and self assessment, badges, group management and multimedia integration. Supported by a global community of users, Moodle is available in 95 languages and promotes resource sharing and community discussions.
Canvas offers e-learning solutions for higher education institutions as well as high schools. Canvas personalises the education experience with individual student profiles, audio and video messaging among educators and students. Canvas not only provides educators with the opportunity to upload content and share files, it also allows students to create and share audio, video and other media over collaborative workspaces. Canvas provides the ability to assess student learning through goal setting and task automating, by setting repetitive tasks such as updating syllabus, gradebooks and calendars. Course notifications, such as changes to due dates and discussion replies can be sent via email, SMS or social networks. Educators can preview and annotate student submissions directly through Canvas.
Blackboard Learn aims to build a better educational experience for students by promoting collaboration and connectivity between teachers and students. This is done through making digital content accessible through the mobile devices students rely on, in ways that speak to them. Blackboard Learn 9.1 is a new release with a never ending list of new features. These facilitate online content management, reporting, assessment, accreditation and collaboration as well as new resources for administrators. Blackboard also offers a global network of users for knowledge, experience and resource sharing, along with personalized consulting to meet an organization's specific needs.
Edmodo is an LMS that offers an array of features for students to engage and connect. The software brings the classroom discussion online, allowing students and educators to interact and measure progress through polls, quizzes and assignments, teachers can award students with grades and badges. Edmodo not only connects teachers and students, but also parents, administrators and publishers. This network can share resources and tools. Edmodo also seamlessly integrates with a number of useful apps to personalize student learning. Furthermore, Edmodo's Schools and Districts supports collaboration among multiple schools in one district.
BrainCert is designed to operate almost like a traditional classroom. This learning management tool allows users to create online courses, assessments, short tests and quizzes. Working as a virtual classroom, it also provides the ability to host live seminars and conferences, connecting students around the world. Educators can produce and publish content and media directly online using a variety of formats, making it public or private. There is also the ability to charge for courses and tests created through the software.
Schoology is an online learning management system aimed at improving communication among students and instructors. This is done by offering personalized student profiles, unique course webpages for student content creation and learning tools. This application also offers educators the tools to create unique instructional content for each student. Learning is enhanced with collaborative work spaces, interactive discussion pages, announcements and activity feeds. Schoology also improves connectivity with email and SMS notifications.
For more information on these vendors and more, see our full list of top learning management systems.
You can also see our list of e-learning solutions for all industries and purposes.