Best Learning Management Systems

Contributor, Benzinga

Your company is only as good as its employees. They are your first line of defense and often your first point of contact with prospective customers — you’ll want to ensure they know what they’re doing. Failing to prepare your employees for the rigors of their job will negatively impact the way they interact with your customers.

That’s where a stellar learning management system (LMS) comes in — an investment in both your employee’s development and their ability to drive your company’s success. Benzinga evaluates some top LMS solutions, highlights their important features and provides a cost estimate for each solution.

1. Best Overall: Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn is a web-based learning management system designed for both the academic and corporate world. With a modern, intuitive, fully responsive interface, this LMS delivers a simpler yet powerful learning and teaching experience. This customizable platform is easy to deploy via the cloud, managed hosting or self-hosting and integrates seamlessly with Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive.

All users have customizable profiles, and the system even collects evaluations and surveys from employees about the courses they are taking. It can generate automatic notifications when a user falls behind a class, which can help you spot a student or employee who needs an extra hand. For extra convenience, Blackboard Learn lets you share all course content without importing or exporting anything.

Pricing: Contact Blackboard for prices

Mobile app? Yes

2. Best for Integrations: Docebo

Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), Docebo learning management system is a cloud-based learning solution that offers formal, informal and social learning. The system’s robust integration capabilities provide a no-code, seamless way to incorporate over 35 SaaS business systems together in 1 learning environment — from CRM and payment gateways to web conferencing and content authoring tools.

Docebo’s configuration engine lets you create learner-specific pages using a convenient, drag-and-drop functionality to get your learning programs up and running fast. Take advantage of free extensions like automation, certifications, audit trail, e-commerce, gamification, custom domains and more to tailor your LMS to your exact situation.

With virtual coaching, content suggestions and auto-tagging, AI will do the heavy lifting. Your learners will remain self-sufficient and learning paths more personalized.

Pricing: Contact Docebo for pricing.

Mobile app? Yes

3. Best for Ease of Use: SkyPrep

SkyPrep is a powerful yet easy-to-use online training software that provides integrated corporate e-learning solutions to help companies facilitate online knowledge sharing and training. You can upload any type of file, create documents and assessments from within the platform and create a training course in minutes.

Its robust reporting features let you track how your users are doing while its visual and spreadsheet reports help in making audits and compliance easy. For a more engaging learning experience, SkyPrep lets you apply game-based features and exciting elements like points, badges and leaderboards.

Make the most out of your formal or informal training and elevate your team’s performance through SkyPrep’s knowledge checks. Create custom questions, set when and where they appear in the course and provide feedback to share more examples or expand on your content.

Pricing: SkyPrep has 3 pricing options:

  • A Lite plan that costs $299 per month (billed annually)
  • A Professional plan that costs $599 per month (billed annually)
  • An Enterprise plan that carries a custom pricing

Mobile app? Yes

4. Best Corporate Learning Platform: D2L Brightspace

As a learning platform designed for corporate learning, Brightspace lets you turn talent into a competitive advantage with tools to create an engaging learning experience. Personalize learning for each employee — whether online or on-site — and build collaborative learning experiences.

Your users can create custom content and personalized learning paths, communicate with other learners and keep track of the training programs. Operating on a 100% modern and reliable cloud technology, Brightspace promises a 99.99% uptime of its platform.

You’ll enjoy a great mobile experience on any device through the platform’s responsive design, which adapts to any screen size. An intuitive interface and built-in templates make it easy for you to create content, design courses and grade assignments.

Pricing: Contact D2L for pricing.

Mobile app? Yes

5. Best for Teams: Lessonly

Lessonly is a powerful, cloud-based training software that business teams can use to learn, practice and perform. Instead of simply watching videos or reading text, your employees can proceed to practice the skills they’ve learned. Lessonly seamlessly integrates with multiple 3rd-party applications to help your business deliver better training and performance management.

Add quizzes, videos, SCORM-compliant content, images and documents to easily build content with its drag-and-drop interface. You can also customize the learning experience with your company logo, images, fonts and brand colors.

Pricing: Contact Lessonly for pricing.

Mobile app? Yes

Important Features of Learning Management Systems

Learning management systems are not all created equal, but you’ll need to consider these indispensable features to ensure you’re headed in the right direction.

Content development

Your learning management system should let you develop personalized course content, either using pre-made templates or from scratch. Course authority tools should let administrators design courses with multimedia, such as PowerPoint presentations, animations, infographics, videos and PDFs.

Learning management

Learning management is a crucial feature in organizing and automating education and training. This includes tools for managing user info, delivering content, scheduling as well as sending alerts and messages. Administrators may also set requirements for training and let users self-enroll into courses.

Content library

Most learning management solutions will include an out-of-the-box content library with pre-created learning materials. The library may not hold course content outright, but instead explore various topics, including management techniques, customer service and safety regulations.

Asynchronous learning

Asynchronous learning lets students access course content and materials from different locations and at different times. The main draw is that users can learn at their convenience. Since users aren’t restricted to a class schedule, organizations set deadlines to motivate users into completing courses.

Mobile learning

Mobile learning gives you access to LMS materials through a web browser or mobile app. This feature complements asynchronous learning to ensure remote learners can complete their course content on the go.

Testing and assessments

Quizzes, assessments and tests help individual students see whether they’ve retained what they learned. These can be taken after each lesson, module or at the end of the course. Combine this with analytical tools to identify any learning gaps and proficiencies.

Integrations

Most companies now consider integration capabilities absolutely essential. In this case, a learning management system should seamlessly integrate with other tools and systems already being used within a business. This lets you easily synchronize data and information.

Performance tracking

Performance tracking and reporting functions help organizations assess the overall effectiveness of the learning program. You can analyze how users have performed in their respective courses and the amount of time they spend learning.

Gamification

Otherwise referred to as game-based learning, gamification increases engagement in all learning activities by providing incentives for students in the form of badges, points and other awards. Students are often motivated by entertainment, competition and the casual nature of games.

Benefits of Learning Management Systems

Here are a few benefits you’ll enjoy if you’re on the receiving end of a learning management system.

Centralized knowledge base

A learning management system provides a platform where you can upload and store a wide range of content types besides text and audio files. This lets you create a comprehensive training program that maintains its cohesiveness and flow rather than having content spread through separate storage solutions.

Improved user learning

Most learning management systems are designed around teaching best practices, including convenient access, microlearning, multimedia, assessments and individual learning paths. As part of an employee training program, an LMS solution can help users learn efficiently and effectively compared to lessons prepared by individuals with a minimal teaching background.

Reduced training time and costs

From preparing the course materials to assessing learners’ performance, training employees can be a painstaking experience. Luckily, LMS solutions streamline and automate the process, which cuts down on training time.

Employers without the prowess to build their own content can leverage the premade course library that incorporates multiple LMS solutions. Asynchronous learning also eliminates the expense of renting a physical room or hiring an instructor.

Ability to track compliance and certifications

Some jobs or industries mandate certifications or ongoing education credits. Learning management systems can help administrators track the employees who need certification renewals or additional credits. Generate reports to demonstrate that all learners have completed the training required for regulatory compliance.

Boosts employee performance

You won’t notice any increase in employee performance after training if the course or its content wasn’t engaging or offering practical applications. Luckily, LMS solutions incorporate a wide range of features to keep your employees engaged. They can transform your training courses with videos, podcasts, infographics and course discussions for better engagement. 

Others add gamification features to reward employees with badges and points and they progress.

Cost of Learning Management Systems

Most learning management systems carry a subscription-based pricing model that lets you pay only for the features you use. Some LMS vendors will offer a monthly or annual subscription, others will charge a one-time license fee and others will avail a free version of their solution. Here’s what different business can expect to pay for an LMS solution:

For small businesses: $100-$500 per month

For mid-size businesses: $600-$1,500 per month

For large businesses: Custom pricing depending on the number of users

Find the Right Learning Management System

Choosing the right learning management system for your organization is a huge step. If your content isn’t delivered and absorbed properly, your business risks falling behind market standards, being noncompliant and using inefficient processes. Unfortunately, all the comparison shopping may not yield the best results if you don’t first see your system in action.

Ask your vendor to give a product demo where you can explore the platform, see the features most relevant to your needs and address any concerns you may have. Where a demo isn’t an option, a free trial should help you get a feel of the platform and how it integrates with your business tools.