by Karen McCandless
Published on 13 April 2017
Today's educators and human resources departments are increasingly relying on cloud-based learning management systems (LMS) for running their online classrooms. There are plenty of ways that an educator or trainer can utilize a cloud-based LMS, with the most popular applications offering tools for the delivery, documentation, tracking, and reporting of online training and education programs.
By managing student curricula and evaluation systems, academic administrators are able to open their doors to a worldwide student body. Some institutions may also choose learning management systems as an add-on to their traditional courses, providing local students with avenues for communicating with teachers and collaborating with their peers when they're working outside the classroom.
There's no doubt this is also the case for HR. As your company expands across the country or globe, you need to onboard and train new staff remotely. LMS allows you easily to create and reuse training tools, monitor who is using what, evaluate, and to do it all anywhere.
Here is a list of the top seven cloud-based learning management systems available for educators today, based on a combination of functionality, ease-of-use, cost, and user reviews:
Absorb LMS is a popular LMS used by companies such as Dole, Sony, and New Balance. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to create classes and training courses. Although it is suitable for small businesses, most of those that use it have at least 200 learners. Absorb also has analytics tools and automated reporting to make tracking key metrics easier. There's plenty of cosmetic customization options so that you can tailor the course to match your company's branding.
Absorb LMS user Charlie Drain said that implementing the program was painless. He writes: "The Absorb team was always professional. Through the vendor selection process, implementation, to post-implementation support, I've found the Absorb team to be helpful, knowledgeable, and straightforward. The software is robust and functional. We got everything we were looking for. I would definitely recommend this product. It effectively delivers content and courses, it's totally brand-able, and it's easy to use from the user and admin's perspectives."
Firmwater LMS is specifically engineered to enable commercial training companies and e-Learning content developers to manage delivery of their content to all of their clients. Once content providers have uploaded their e-Learning content, they can create branded client portals within minutes, providing their clients with access to all or part of the library. Each client has their own private LMS, with unique branding, its own user community and content library. Firmwater also integrates with Shopify for eCommerce.
Firmwater LMS user Mieng Lim took advantage of Firmwater's customization options to meet their client's needs. They write: "We've used Firmwater LMS to deliver our security awareness training to customers that do not have their own LMS. The LMS enables us to white label and brand the LMS for our needs and for our customers. Support has been exceptional responding to questions related to the platform quickly and thoroughly."
WizIQ LMS has received positive reviews on GetApp and a big reason is the well-received support that the vendor offers. Customer support listens and implements suggestions they receive from their customers. Another strong point of WizIQ is its up-front pricing, with a free trial and pricing structure that does all it can to avoid hidden fees. Features include a cloud-based content library, secure video hosting and streaming, tests and course material, and multiple teacher accounts.
GetApp user Robert Martin Schatz says that WizIQ is great for people who are self-employed and in education. He writes: "As a self-employed full-time online-tutor I am always on the lookout for efficient, easy-to-use, reliable and affordable software-solutions to offer my students the best possible experience and service and WiziQ LMS is the perfect alternative to Adobe Connect."
SkyPrep is a web-based training platform that offers straightforward course building tools that even non-technical users can employ. Developed for companies who want to quickly build courses online, The LMS helps its users centralize their educational materials in a secure, web-based environment. You can save yourself a bit of time by uploading content such as Powerpoint presentations, Excel files, and videos, all of which integrate into SkyPrep.
Skyprep user Rodney Leonard said that SkyPrep was successfully implemented at his police department. He writes: "We have been using the Skyprep Training software for several years now. We have found that the system is very simple to use and allows our department to train everyone without having to make officers come in on days off and pay overtime. We find it extremely useful for what we do. Thank you!!"
TalentLMS is perfect for companies that want to avoid a complicated course-creation process. Aside from a sleek design that makes it easy to create courses with students or employees, content from Wikipedia, Sharepoint, and Youtube can also be incorporated and repurposed. Courses can also be sold on the marketplace, which provides a place for people to find quality content. TalentLMS is built to handle courses both big and small (Five users to 1000+).
TalentLMS user Daniel Alvarado writes: "TalentLMS is a great option when you have a tight budget. It has all the features you might be looking for in education software. They even let you customize your portal using css. What's more it includes gamification and e-commerce options for your students. If you look at the competition these little things will cost you a lot. The site is responsive so you wont have problems in mobile."
Mindflash is excellent for companies that are scaling up. Users on GetApp report that it is also useful for companies that need to do remote training with a large number of employees. It's one of the easier LMS in terms of preparing and setting up a course, with very little training required. Mindflash works in multiple formats (Word, PDF, Video, etc.,), allows for different admin/teachers roles and access, has automated grading, and includes detailed reporting features.
User Nathan Hancock said that Mindflash was a great way to collaborate and train remotely. He writes: "It's all about the videos. Mindflash is a really good way to train your company if you can't have regular in person meetings. It saves a lot of time onboarding employees since you can just have them watch videos you previously recorded."
Docebo is a popular LMS sold in 70 different countries and used by companies such as Thomson Reuters, Krispy Kreme, and Herbalife. Docebo integrates via add-ons (some free, some not) that offer features such as gamification, custom domains, e-commerce, and ILT-classroom. It can also integrate with popular software such as WebEx, WordPress, and LinkedIn. Docebo supports single sign-on (SSO) and single login functions with third party applications. You can also sell your courses to companies or organizations via the app.
User Evan Behiel said that Docebo was responsive when it came to suggesting new ideas for features and improvements. He writes: "We moved to Docebo last year and have been very impressed with the transitions from concept to implementation. Docebo always had a expert contact for each stage that would touch base and guide us through to implementation. Now with a live system the support of concerns or feature requests has always been met with collaborative and supportive focus."
If you are ready to get your online classroom up and running, the time has come to try out a learning management system. If can't find what you're looking for here, you can check out our Category Leader ranking for LMS or compare more LMS on our GetApp Marketplace.
This post was first published in October 2013. It was updated on April 12 2017