Our Top Picks

Absorb-LMS Logo
Absorb LMS
  • Gamification
  • Asynchronous web-based learning
  • Synchronous instructor-led courses (ILCs) both online and in-person
Absorb LMS provides a feature-rich learning management system targeted at corporate online learning and built to work for large offices and mid-sized businesses alike. This company is noted for an excellent UI design that makes it easy to manage the software’s suite of features and an innovative approach to learner information management that allows for easy group organization and sorting, including course management through well-defined tabs. The company offers dedicated plans for both external and internal training, a wide range of language localizations for training in multiple countries and compliance with major standards, including SCORM.

Supporting smart-filtered reports, gamification, asynchronous web-based content and instructor-led courses (synchronous ILCs) both online and classroom-oriented, it’s an excellent platform for bringing together these elements in blended learning experiences. It features generous video support and standout mobile functionality, with secondary apps for both Android and iOS. Pricing and plans — which are too complex and variable to summarize — can range in total price from just under $10,000 per year up to nearly $100,000 per year.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent and intuitive user interface
  • Superb mobile support with useful secondary apps
  • High-quality video support and strong blended learning options
  • Wide variety of localizations for learner languages

Cons

  • Plans and pricing are only viable for midsized and larger offices

What Customers Are Saying

Absorb LMS earns high marks for customers for its ease of use and rich features, especially its strong mobile version: “There are so many features packed into the system, even in the mobile versions. Having a mobile version is a big plus due to many of our learners using iPads and the like.”

Summary

Absorb-LMS Logo
Absorb LMS
  • Starting Price
    • Not provided by vendor
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Gamification
  • Asynchronous web-based learning
  • Synchronous instructor-led courses (ILCs) both online and in-person
Brightspace Logo
Brightspace
  • Automated early-intervention tools through
  • Intelligent Agent process
  • ePortfolio for students accessible after graduation
A product of Desire2Learn, or D2L, Brightspace was one of the earliest LMS packages ever created and has been steadily updated over the years. It remains one of the most popular software packages in the educational space today, praised for its focus on competency-based education and blended learning. It brings sophisticated automation, predictive modeling and analytics to the table. It is SCORM-compliant and easy to access through both desktop and mobile devices without the need for a dedicated mobile app.

Brightspace integrates easily with institutional student information systems (SIS) to allow instructors to build courses and syllabi on the platform through a simple, checklist-based shell interface. It establishes portfolios of learners’ work, which those students can access after graduation. It also makes it simple to pull course content and media in from platforms like YouTube to message and interact with students and to establish prior student competencies before training. One of its major features is the Intelligent Agent, which can be programmed to automatically search for behavior patterns and recommend, or take, a course of action.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Granular roles and impressive analytics
  • Robust add-on packages to enhance functionality
  • Extensive support for competency-based education

Cons

  • Non-transparent pricing

What Customers Are Saying

The efficiency of the Brightspace platform, its file-sharing capability and ability to meet learners at their current knowledge level all earn praise: “Brightspace has offered an extremely efficient platform to engage in continuous learning via mobile, social, and video content while also providing an adaptive toolset to meet employees at their current knowledge level.”

Summary

Brightspace Logo
Brightspace
  • Starting Price
    • Not provided by vendor
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Automated early-intervention tools through
  • Intelligent Agent process
  • ePortfolio for students accessible after graduation
Canvas Logo
Canvas
  • Supports asynchronous, synchronous and blended learning
  • Extensive EduApps library of apps and API customization to support gamification
  • Provides video conferencing tools
The corporate and higher-education spaces for LMS are distinct portions of the market. Instructure’s Canvas LMS has made significant inroads into the latter space, now second in market share only to Blackboard, which previously dominated higher-education LMS. The key distinction is that Canvas’ approach understands that academics tend to engage with LMS software only begrudgingly and if it’s easy to use. Its streamlined UI effectively deploys tabs and contextual menus while offering free API customization for more tech-savvy users. The SCORM-compliant Canvas Commons feature is a repository for sharing resources, and the integrated Canvas Network distributes synchronous, asynchronous and blended courses. It uses a library of apps called EduApps to deliver a robust feature set.

Canvas comes with hundreds of pre-built resources and allows learners to download reader-only versions of many of these resources in .epub format. It boasts deep interoperability with various Google tools, extensive third-party integrations and a free, functional and regularly updated open-source version. Unfortunately, the company’s promises of “transparent” pricing aren’t backed by the actual availability of hard numbers, but Canvas is otherwise very competitive.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent and easy-to-use course assembly tools
  • Platforms for enabling integrations, sharing modules, and publication
  • Open API customization and a free open-source software version

Cons

  • Pricing is surprisingly obscure for a company that boasts of "transparent" pricing

What Customers Are Saying

Canvas’ claims to ease of use and accessibility have only grown stronger with time: “For an LMS, it is easy to learn and use. It has integrations with various other useful software, but I often encourage faculty who have trouble learning software to just use the tools in Canvas. It’s easier to navigate…”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Not provided by vendor
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Supports asynchronous, synchronous and blended learning
  • Extensive EduApps library of apps and API customization to support gamification
  • Provides video conferencing tools
Coassemble Logo
Coassemble
  • Unlimited users
  • Third-party integrations via Zapier
  • Self-enrollment via URL course sharing
Coassemble is an LMS specifically designed for the small to mid-sized business space, focusing on teams of 50 or fewer. It boasts a streamlined user interface, simple search and filter features and unlimited storage that allows it to be used as an extensive, easy-to-organize content library. Mobile-optimized and cloud-based, it offers a drag-and-drop interface with almost three dozen premade templates for lesson creation, SCORM-compliant course sharing and robust assessment and grading features. It integrates with third-party apps, including Salesforce, MailChimp, Microsoft Office and of course Google, and provides a sophisticated onboarding process in addition to customer support via live chat, email and phone. Coassemble’s pricing is competitive through an all-in-one unlimited plan for $99 per month.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Drag-and-drop authoring tools
  • Straightforward and reasonable pricing
  • Mobile-optimized functionality

Cons

  • Doesn't currently have a built-in e-commerce feature
  • Presently lacks an extensive content library of its own

What Customers Are Saying

Coassemble is popular with clients for its user-friendly interface and strong customer support. As one says: “The interface is clean and easy to navigate . . . I love that it’s simple to use and has preset templates on the platform as well. There’s a wide selection of assessment question types, which is helpful!” Another notes, “Intuitive design and user experience, quick support and feedback. It helps being local support.”

Summary

Coassemble Logo
Coassemble
  • Starting Price
    • $249 per month
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    No
  • Synchronous Learning
    No
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Unlimited users
  • Third-party integrations via Zapier
  • Self-enrollment via URL course sharing
Docebo Logo
Docebo
  • AI-powered automation and analytics
  • Scalable and customizable course and syllabus design
  • Advanced gamified learning
Docebo is one of the founding players in eLearning, founded in 2005, and its learning platform is now used worldwide. An online-only eLearning solution, its signature features include AI-powered automation and analytics, synchronous instructor-led training, asynchronous web-based training and blended training that includes social and experiential models. It allows customization of the learning process from end to end, boasts a modular design made for scalability for any size of business and has eCommerce features integrated with tools like Shopify and Stripe.

Docebo has pricing plans to match the flexibility and scalability of the software itself. It integrates easily with business CRM systems and offers a clean, modern user interface, strong multiple-language support that makes it ideal for an international audience and the ability to conduct training virtually anywhere at any time. Its gamified learning features are easily some of the strongest on the market. Its 14-day trial is relatively limited, but small plans are available for further testing for companies that need it.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Some of the best gamification features on the market
  • Powerful AI and automation features
  • Clean and modern user interface

Cons

  • Free trial is a bit limited at only 14 days

What Customers Are Saying

Docebo’s full feature set and ease of use are major features for customers: “The ability to customize homepages, additional fields, notifications, etc. has been extremely useful . . . Our users find it very easy to use on their end.” Another customer notes, “There are definitely lots of functionalities that I have not seen in any other platform which is really good.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Not provided by vendor
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • AI-powered automation and analytics
  • Scalable and customizable course and syllabus design
  • Advanced gamified learning
90CCEA32 76F5 4CD6 B75C EEDA886C1F5D_4_5005_c
ISpring
  • Simple process for creating custom course content
  • User and group management
  • Training management
This award-winning LMS has a reputation for stable functionality and ease of use and is focused on helping companies launch training programs quickly and reliably. It supports all the essential functions of a modern LMS platform and more.

iSpring Learn can create specific learning paths for each department in a company and can automatically assign and track learners based on job positions, group affiliations and other factors. Powerful content reports and learner tracking help assess individual performance and the overall success of various eLearning materials.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Full list of essential LMS features with granular reporting options
  • Fast, stable and relatively bug-free operation

Cons

  • Customization features are somewhat limited
  • Help notes don't always include "how to" fixes

What Customers Are Saying

Customers report overall very positive experiences with iSpring Learn: “The process of uploading and assigning training is very simple, and gathering reports is even better now with the recent upgrades . . . Uploading training and deploying to employees is a seamless process . . . [and] the value we get for the cost we pay outmatched all other options available to us.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • $770 per year per user
    • Volume and Academic discounts
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    No
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Simple process for creating custom course content
  • User and group management
  • Training management
Joomla-LMS Logo
Joomla LMS
  • Integration with Joomla! CMS and a wide range of third-party apps
  • Mobile compatible with Android and iOS apps
  • SCORM and AICC compliance
  • Social collaboration tools
A popular academic-focused learning platform, JoomlaLMS has been listed among the Top Academic LMS solutions by the independent research firm Talented Learning and offers robust online learning tools for instructors and students. It boasts the core features you’d expect in a modern LMS solution, including SCORM- and AICC-compliance, mobile functionality through apps for Android and iOS devices, blended learning support including social collaboration tools, support for both synchronous and asynchronous learning, an embedded course builder, extensive options for customization and a clean, easy-to-use interface.

Among JoomlaLMS’ truly standout features are the scalability and flexibility it offers through full integration with the open-source Joomla! CMS system and numerous other third-party apps and services, the option to deploy it as an on-premise solution, flexible options for monetizing courses, ease of data import and export and a powerful reporting system. It offers a 30-day free trial and a relatively inexpensive Standard tier service alongside its more expensive and feature-rich Professional version.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface allows focus on building learning materials instead of managing the software
  • Extraordinarily robust and feature-rich
  • Excellent and timely customer support

Cons

  • A fairly expensive solution for small businesses, especially to access the full list of features

What Customers Are Saying

JoomlaLMS garners high praise from customers for usability, a robust feature set and solid support. As one customer notes: “[The] cost is a little high in comparison to similar learning management systems. However, JoomlaLMS does offer robust capabilities and a great customer service support team.”

Summary

Joomla-LMS Logo
Joomla LMS
  • Starting Price
    • $299 per year per user
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Integration with Joomla! CMS and a wide range of third-party apps
  • Mobile compatible with Android and iOS apps
  • SCORM and AICC compliance
  • Social collaboration tools
LearnDash Logo
LearnDash
  • eCommerce integration with PayPal
  • Numerous third-party apps and integrations
  • Additional plug-ins to extend functionality
The most trusted LMS plugin built for use with the popular blogging platform WordPress, LearnDash has a deep list of features. One of its signature tools is a drag-and-drop course builder that can produce sophisticated results including discrete lessons and topics, lesson timers, quizzes, drip-fed content and course forums. It offers native integration with PayPal for monetized courses, as well as third-party connections with other eCommerce and membership applications for tracking memberships, subscriptions and other options. It also provides detailed back-end reporting, user group creation and tracking, automated email notifications and the option to connect with Zapier to leverage more automation. At higher service tiers, reporting tools are more detailed and furnished in real time.

LearnDash is SCORM-compliant and provides all the features you’d expect from a modern LMS solution, although sometimes, this requires uploading additional plug-ins, such as the GamiPress plug-in needed to implement gamification. Its most standout features are definitely the drag-and-drop visual course builder, engagement triggers that can automate a vast range of actions via an equally wide array of user actions and a plentiful supply of third-party integrations. There is another major attraction: it’s considerably cheaper than many other LMS solutions.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Visual course designer is easy to engage with
  • Convenient drip-fed content and prerequisite settings
  • Video progression feature makes it easy to embed self-hosted or externally hosted video
  • Powerful and flexible engagement triggers for automated actions

Cons

  • Additional plug-ins needed to take full advantage of monetization
  • Not easy for casual users until there's a full range of needed plug-ins installed
  • Lack of onboarding services

What Customers Are Saying

LearnDash is popular with customers for its flexibility, quality of design and documentation and strong customer support: “I made the decision to switch to LearnDash for the flexibility [and] so that I would have full control of my content . . . I also wanted to have full control of the user experience.”

Summary

LearnDash Logo
LearnDash
  • Starting Price
    • $159 per year
  • Free Trial
    No
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • eCommerce integration with PayPal
  • Numerous third-party apps and integrations
  • Additional plug-ins to extend functionality
LearnUpon Logo
LearnUpon
  • Extensive and thorough eCommerce integration
  • SCORM-compliant content integration
  • Detailed course creation tools
LearnUpon is an award-winning LMS built to efficiently manage, deliver, and track corporate training to every audience, including employees, customers, and partners. Combining a user-friendly platform with an industry-leading support team, LearnUpon partners with businesses of all sizes to quickly and easily deliver high-impact training.

LearnUpon is purpose-built for training multiple audiences. Its configurable portals allow organizations to deliver training in different environments and to different users. For companies who sell training, LearnUpon has an out-of-the-box e-commerce storefront that integrates with outlets like Stripe, PayPal, and Shopify.

LearnUpon seamlessly slots into your learning ecosystem, integrating with commonly used tools like Salesforce, Zapier, Zoom, and your chosen HRIS, among others. Reports can be automated, as well user creation and user groups. For training delivery, LearnUpon supports SCORM, among other content formats, as well sophisticated gamification options, module-based course creation, and robust oversight options for instructors.

With a best-in-class learner experience, the platform offers multilingual support and intuitive learner dashboards.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Makes it easy to segment learners into different groups
  • Strong multi-lingual support
  • Easy-to-parse reporting system
  • Superb gamification options
  • Seamlessly compatible with mobile devices

Cons

  • Module-based course creation is much more unwieldy than it needs to be

What Customers Are Saying

LearnUpon has an intuitive overall system and strong customer support, both of which are praised by their customers: “After going through [multiple] LMS demos LearnUpon shines as the system that makes sense. LearnUpon is exceptionally user friendly for admins and learners/users alike. The system makes sense and when you do have questions the customer service team is exceptional!”

Summary

LearnUpon Logo
LearnUpon
  • Starting Price
    • $599 per month
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Extensive and thorough eCommerce integration
  • SCORM-compliant content integration
  • Detailed course creation tools
Lessonly Logo
Lessonly
  • Asynchronous web-based and blended learning
  • Onboarding services
  • API for custom integrations
Focused specifically on web-based learning for both academic and corporate purposes, Lessonly is built to support asynchronous and blended learning techniques. It provides a full view of learning data in one spot and an open API that lets users evaluate that data using tools like Zendesk and Salesforce. SCORM-compatible resource sharing, onboarding services, online mobile access, customized training modules, user roles and portals, an API for further customization, automation and integration with Slack are all available features at various levels of service.

There are some notable omissions from this feature set, however. Lessonly’s strictly web-based approach means it does not support synchronous, instructor-led learning models, and it doesn’t have the options of localized installation or offline access. It also doesn’t support eCommerce integration or gamification features. Still, it is feature-rich, and its highest tier of service, Enterprise, offers custom integrations and content.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Clean and self-explanatory interface
  • Easy tracking, reporting and resource sharing
  • Rich feature set specifically focused on web-based learning
  • User-friendly customization of training modules

Cons

  • Doesn't support synchronous learning
  • Doesn't support gamification
  • Doesn't provide eCommerce integration
  • Not especially useful for tracking large numbers of learners

What Customers Are Saying

Within its niche — small and medium-sized businesses and training operations with a web-based focus — Lessonly’s performance draws consistent customer praise: “Their onboarding with us was excellent . . . [It was really] easy to build lessons without a lot of technical know-how. It is quick to get content in, publish, and assign out to users. The interface is very clean and self-explanatory to use.”

Summary

Lessonly Logo
Lessonly
  • Starting Price
    • Not provided by vendor
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    No
  • Blended Learning
    No
Features
  • Asynchronous web-based and blended learning
  • Onboarding services
  • API for custom integrations
Mindflash Logo
Mindflash
  • Free data storage
  • Segmentation of trainee groups
  • Mobile-compatible with Android and iOS
This cloud-based LMS is widely used for employee training and is particularly popular in the fields of health care, manufacturing, financial services and retail. Integrated with Word, PowerPoint and Adobe, it provides free data storage for its users and offers SCORM-compliant, user-friendly tools for editing and building courses. It offers a simple means of segmenting, automating and customizing user groups for trainees, delivers training through mobile-friendly Android and iOS formats and provides sophisticated real-time analytics to track learner progress and measure the impact of training programs and specific courses on revenue and profit.

Offering an API for customized integrations and user management, support for over two dozen languages and the ability to deliver instructor-led live training alongside asynchronous and blended learning options, Mindflash is a top-tier LMS. It does not presently support gamification, video conferencing or dedicated learner portals, and some users have been disappointed by its reporting system.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy to upload and edit training, create quizzes and maintain records
  • User-friendly for learners, increasing the chances that they'll engage with the LMS
  • Dynamic and intuitive content creation

Cons

  • Doesn't support gamification or video conferencing
  • Doesn't provide a dedicated learner portal
  • Some users report finding the system's vaunted analytics disappointing

What Customers Are Saying

Mindflash’s users are near-universal in praising its ease of use and intuitiveness: “Mindflash has allowed us to increase our training ‘reach’ . . . Online training in our industry has been revolutionized by our bespoke learning content. [It’s easy to use] without the need for specialized software and additional downloads. We can work from existing materials authored in everyday Office software.”

Summary

Mindflash Logo
Mindflash
  • Starting Price
    • $3500 per year
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    No
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Free data storage
  • Segmentation of trainee groups
  • Mobile-compatible with Android and iOS
Moodle Logo
Moodle
  • Supports blended, asynchronous and synchronous learning models
  • Customizable themes
  • Multilingual support
Perhaps the oldest and best-known open-source LMS, Moodle has been on the scene for almost two decades and to this day offers a free, functional version of its service to users willing to download, customize and host it on their own sites. Focused on academic users but also offering cloud-based plans ideal for small to medium businesses, its current feature set covers all the core bases of a modern LMS, including support for synchronous, asynchronous and blended learning, gamification, built-in course authoring tools and mobile compatibility.

Because of the open-source nature of the LMS, Moodle users benefit from an active and vital community and comprehensive documentation that helps ease the learning curve of self-hosting the software. Additional features include bulk course creation, management of user roles and access, multilingual support, customizable themes and a wide range of third-party plugins. Moodle has a network of certified partners who can provide hosting, training, implementation and consultancy for users who need more support.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent option for limited budgets with a functional, up-to-date free version always available
  • Comprehensive documentation and a strong open-source community to ease the learning curve of implementation
  • Solid list of features and good options for customization

Cons

  • Doesn't support video conferencing or eCommerce integration out of the box
  • User interface garners mixed reviews from customers, with some finding it out of date
  • Lags, delays and timeouts frequently reported in cloud-based services

What Customers Are Saying

Moodle users are very positive about the features and functionality it provides overall: “Moodle has always made it easy for me to grade assignments and make sure that students are able to receive accurate feedback. I will always refer a colleague to create a Moodle site for their course if they do not already have one in the works. [It] provides a very easy way to submit assignments and grade . . . I also appreciate the variety of setup options in the software.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Free plan available
    • MoodleCloud Services start at $150 AUD per year
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Supports blended, asynchronous and synchronous learning models
  • Customizable themes
  • Multilingual support
BC3F6982 7EA7 48A6 9BC9 EE86C3CF00BA_1_105_c
Neo LMS
  • Supports blended, asynchronous and synchronous learning models
  • SCORM/AICC-compliant content sharing
  • Gamification features
  • Mobile learning for Android and iOS
A cloud-based LMS focused squarely on schools and universities, NEO LMS facilitates blended, synchronous and asynchronous learning formats and supports a full set of features including video conferencing, mobile compatibility for Android and iOS devices, SCORM-compliant course and content sharing, gamification features and dedicated learner portals that can be customized according to the branding of the client institution. Universally praised by its user base for its ease of installation, setup and use, NEO LMS is swiftly acquiring a reputation as a major contender against Moodle in the academic LMS space.

NEO LMS provides built-in course authoring tools and integrates with the hundreds of apps available through Zapier. It also integrates with Zoom, GoToMeeting, WebEx, CometChat, TurnItIn and TurnItIn PeerMark, and the Unicheck tool for plagiarism detection. It provides a free plan with a feature list even more extensive than Moodle’s and subscription plans for 500 users or more by custom quote.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy to install, set up and use, with an elegant and simple UI
  • Top-quality gamification features that keep students engaged and eager
  • Offers an extraordinarily feature-rich free version

Cons

  • Provides so many features as to be a bit overwhelming for some users

What Customers Are Saying

NEO LMS draws almost universally positive commentary from customers for its ease of use and robust feature set: “[Having NEO] eliminated the fear of not meeting my class in a face-to-face set up. NEO brings me closer to my students whether we go synchronous or asynchronous . . . [It is] very easy navigate. Lessons can easily be done even without the user’s guide or manual. I really like the customer support because of its efficient and quick response.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Not provided by vendor
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Supports blended, asynchronous and synchronous learning models
  • SCORM/AICC-compliant content sharing
  • Gamification features
  • Mobile learning for Android and iOS
Training1
ProProfs Training Maker
  • Over 100 professionally created courses
  • Easy course customization
  • Gamification
ProProfs Training Maker makes it especially easy to set up training for your employees, as it gives you access to over 100 professionally created online courses. It's easy to customize these courses for your specific business's requirements as well.

This LMS solution also offers gamification elements such as brain games and learning paths to improve knowledge retention and increase your course completion rate. Another key feature is the AI-powered reports, which will help you identify and bridge knowledge gaps.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Advanced features
  • Affordable pricing, especially for a small number of learners

Cons

  • Money-back guarantee only lasts for 15 days

What Customers Are Saying

Customers tend to love just about every aspect of ProProfs Training Maker. "I’d say the way ProProfs removes all the roadblocks to effective training is most impressive," wrote one user. "Whether it is the task of content creation, making learning engaging, or assessing retention and outcomes, the platform takes over everything and minimizes my input as a corporate trainer."

Summary

Training1
ProProfs Training Maker
  • Starting Price
    • $2/learner/month
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    No
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Over 100 professionally created courses
  • Easy course customization
  • Gamification
SAP-Litmos Logo
SAP Litmos
  • SCORM- and TIN CAN-certified
  • Large reference library and knowledge base
  • Compatible with any mobile device
A leading corporate-focused LMS, SAP Litmos is built to facilitate accelerated training for both external and internal teams. Designed to be operable without dedicated training or installations, Litmos is noted for its strong automated features and ease of use. It’s ideal for large corporate teams, but its applicability isn’t limited to them; it also offers an affordable package for up to 100 users. Offering a vast set of integrations — including partnerships with third-party platforms like Shopify, which provides free publication of SAP Litmos-designed courses — it works seamlessly with Salesforce, Ping, Centrify, Okta and similar tools.

SCORM-certified, boasting deep gamification features to motivate trainees and offering the capacity for end-to-end tailoring of learning paths, SAP Litmos provides an extensive reference library and knowledge base. Sophisticated real-time reporting helps to effectively track trainee performance, and eCommerce integration makes it easy to create and sell SAP Litmos-designed course content. On the downside, there have been recent user reports of slow customer service, buggy functionality and even glitches in the billing process.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Clean and user-friendly UI
  • Flexible and affordable, with plans suitable for both small and large businesses
  • Vast range of third-party integrations
  • Useful real-time reporting features

Cons

  • As of 2020 there have been recent customer reports of bugs on the platform, misinformation in report, difficulty in pulling reports and glitches in billing and cancellation
  • Customer support sometimes slow to respond to issues

What Customers Are Saying

SAP Litmos has a large and loyal customer base that praises its ease of use and consistency: “We’ve been using Litmos for a little over a year . . . [it is] extremely easy to learn, we were building courses quickly once we got in.” Another user notes: “We have been using their system for more than 5 years now and dare I say we have never encountered a single issue.” Reports of bugs and slow customer support appear largely to be more recent than 2019.

Summary

SAP-Litmos Logo
SAP Litmos
  • Starting Price
    • $6-$15 per month per user (billed annually)
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • SCORM- and TIN CAN-certified
  • Large reference library and knowledge base
  • Compatible with any mobile device
TalentLMS Logo
TalentLMS
  • Compliant with SCORM and TIN CAN
  • Mobile compatible with any device
  • eCommerce enabled for sale and distribution of LMS content
TalentLMS is a feature-rich cloud-based LMS with a simple, user-friendly framework that focuses on the business eLearning market. It supports all the core features of a modern LMS platforms — including robust course creation tools for synchronous, asynchronous and blended learning models, gamification, mobile compatibility, SCORM compliance, and conferencing — and allows users to sell and distribute LMS content online. TalentLMS users can also configure and customize their portals and will benefit from the powerful analytics, alerts and user management features offered in the platform.

TalentLMS is loved by 5,500+ companies because it’s easy to set up, learn, and even easier to master. This simplicity is combined with a powerful set of features that tick all your boxes. Whether you’re a manufacturing or tech company, or are in healthcare, retail, or professional services, TalentLMS will become a delightful training hub for your teams. TalentLMS is ideal for onboarding new employees (whether in-house or remotely), compliance training, product training, skill training for sales and customer service teams, as well as any other type of training you need to standardize. And, with the same account, you can train customers, partners, and other external audiences, too. TalentLMS also features TalentLibrary, a growing collection of ready-made courses that cover the soft skills your teams need for success at work.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Purpose-built for the modern web environment
  • Allows reuse of existing materials or integration of web content when building courses
  • Simple but flexible and powerful UI

Cons

  • Multilingual support could be extended
  • Navigation in the UI could still be further improved

What Customers Are Saying

TalentLMS is much praised by customers for its blend of power and ease of use: “TalentLMS is clean and elegant and provides a great experience for admins, instructors and users. I think of TalentLMS as the Apple computer of LMS systems. Another big differentiator is that TalentLMS enables instructors to create courses quickly without a painful learning curve that kills productivity.”

Summary

TalentLMS Logo
TalentLMS
  • Starting Price
    • $59 per month
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Compliant with SCORM and TIN CAN
  • Mobile compatible with any device
  • eCommerce enabled for sale and distribution of LMS content
Topyx Logo
Topyx
  • Compliant with SCORM
  • Mobile compatible
  • Robust suite of social learning tools
TOPYX is a full-featured business LMS solution that offers a complete array of modern LMS features, priced according to a flat annual subscription fee instead of charging per user. Its standout features include its suite of social learning tools — including events, polls, articles, shoutouts, calendars and web conferencing — a user-friendly dashboard and profile maker, comprehensive reporting and user management and intuitive tools for data management. It provides SCORM-compliant resource sharing, is mobile compatible for Android and iOS devices and allows the creation of custom portals for training both customers and partners.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Its emphasis on social learning and collaborative features enhances training efficiency
  • Flat subscription fee alleviates maintenance and other ongoing costs in the long term

Cons

  • Customer service issues have been reported in the past

What Customers Are Saying

It’s curiously difficult to find current customer reviews for TOPYX, and tough to say what this might mean. One recent user noted: “The program is fairly easy to use, it [allows] users to view all training that they need to complete [and] allows management to view reports of what training needs to get done and who has completed what.” There have been past complaints about customer service response times and outages, but these are years old and may no longer be relevant.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • $29500 per year
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Compliant with SCORM
  • Mobile compatible
  • Robust suite of social learning tools
Zoho-People Logo
Zoho People
  • Mobile compatible
  • Supports synchronous, asynchronous and blending learning
  • Dedicated learner's portal
Zoho People is a well-regarded HR management suite that has recently added an LMS to its Enterprise tier of service. Focused on training for small and medium-sized businesses, the Zoho People LMS lays claim, as many modern LMS suites do, to a simple and friendly UI, easy-to-use course creation tools, support of self-paced and blended learning styles, in-depth analysis of a company’s learning patterns and a dedicated portal for trainees, including space for in-depth discussion of topics.

Zoho People’s LMS feature set covers most of the basics you’d expect but fails to check some important boxes, especially with its lack of gamification features and SCORM compliance. In evaluating its cost-effectiveness compared to other LMS solutions, prospective users should keep in mind that the comparison is with a complete HR management solution in Zoho’s case.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • User-friendly UI
  • Supports synchronous remote learning designed to construct an "in-classroom" feel from multiple remote locations
  • Simple built-in course creation and useful analytics features

Cons

  • Lacks gamification features
  • Is not SCORM-compliant

What Customers Are Saying

Customer reviews of Zoho People are generally about the HR management suite as a whole, not its LMS component. It generally gets high marks from users: “A cloud solution that covered our HR needs end-to-end. I liked the most hoe intuitive it is to use, no training whatsoever was needed to new employees to get them started using Zoho People.”

Summary

Zoho-People Logo
Zoho People
  • Starting Price
    • $0.83 per year per user
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Asynchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Synchronous Learning
    Yes
  • Blended Learning
    Yes
Features
  • Mobile compatible
  • Supports synchronous, asynchronous and blending learning
  • Dedicated learner's portal

How We Chose the Best Learning Management System (LMS) Software

Simply put, Learning Management System (LMS) software provides a framework for the delivery of knowledge and training. There are a lot of companies on the market offering a wide variety of LMS solutions and touting a huge array of features and services. We found the signal in the noise by evaluating companies on the most important core criteria of an LMS platform.

Support for Multiple Learning Methodologies

Everyone learns differently. We looked at LMS that offers multiple learning methodologies, such as asynchronous, blended and synchronous learning, and that leverage key eLearning innovations such as gamification and game-based learning (GBL), which have proven efficacy in improving learner scores and information retention.

SCORM Compliance

SCORM stands for "Sharable Content Object Reference Model." It creates online educational materials that are easy to share across systems and platforms — everything from units and modules to chapters and pages, whatever are the most convenient ways to break down a course of training into its most granular parts. Because SCORM-compliant software helps your LMS-structured training work seamlessly in multiple environments and keeps the associated learning process agile to match the growth of your business, we made it one of our key priorities.

Mobile Learning Compatibility

High-quality mobile learning functionality gives added dimension to social learning, allows instructors to assess learner progress on various devices and makes training accessible with less expense than a desktop computer. With everyone on their mobile device — mobile users made up over 50% of all internet traffic in 2019 — we prioritized LMS that offered robust mobile learning, so learners can study wherever they are or even download courses for later.

What Is LMS Software?

Overall, LMS software is designed to manage and provide training programs in a wide variety of settings. Some suites focus on the corporate space and cater to businesses of various sizes, while others focus on academic usage in schools and universities. In some cases, software is adaptable for both purposes, although it will be up to the user whether such attempts at across-the-board appeal come with tradeoffs for their specific usefulness in certain spaces. An LMS can also be designed with training companies and educational institutions in mind, eCommerce-enabled to sell training courses to learners, companies and classes.

Most of the companies listed above have viable offerings for the small business market, even if this isn’t always their primary focus. It’s worth keeping in mind the three key areas of competency mentioned at the beginning of this guide as you go over the offerings of specific companies. Issues like SCORM compliance and the availability of support for gamification can go a long way toward reducing the amount of work and time that goes into implementing an LMS and getting trainees engaged with it.

Benefits of LMS Software

LMS software is highly variable in the specifics of the features offered and the focus it places on different elements of learning. In general, though, it should be providing some or all of the following benefits:

  • Making it easy to generate customized course content
  • Making it easy to organize learning paths and syllabi
  • Facilitating clear and simple communication between instructors and learners and among trainees
  • Providing a user interface and overall environment that instructors and learners want to engage with
  • Increasing learner engagement with the course material
  • Increasing the efficiency of training programs and making it easy to track learner’s progress and which courses are working the most effectively
  • Making it easy to access course material from anywhere and, in particular, from most mobile devices
  • Tracking the impact of training programs on a company’s overall bottom line
  • Making it easy to customize portals to the LMS’ training content to reflect the branding of a company or institution
  • If training companies are part of the target market, providing eCommerce functionality to make it possible to sell content creating with the LMS
  • Providing third-party integrations to access any kinds of functionality that aren’t built into the software itself

An LMS that seems to cover all possible bases may not be covering all of them well. Sometimes, it’s best to go with a product that has a tight focus on a few results it excels at delivering.

Must-Have Features of LMS Software

An LMS may focus on certain specific aspects of education: some, for example, specialize in self-directed web-based courses while others lean into social learning and collaboration. In general, though, the highest-quality LMS packages should support all three of the following:

  • Blended Learning: A learning model that combines online and traditional classroom-based education
  • Synchronous Learning: Any learning format in which a group of students all learn at the same time, whether this happens in a classroom or via video conference
  • Asynchronous Learning: A learning format where students proceed at their own pace through online content

It’s usually best if they have at least some support for gamification — a system of learning incentives derived from the awards systems used in video games — although some companies may choose not to do this out of skepticism about gamification “hype,” and users who agree with this might not find the lack of it a game-changer.

Finally, there is simply no excuse for an LMS to lack mobile compatibility or to be unfriendly to mobile devices. SCORM compliance should be a standard expectation at this point, making it easier to transfer course data between apps.

The Cost of LMS Software

The pricing structures of LMS software vary immensely. In general, there are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating prices:

  • Beyond free trials and demos, it’s rare to find functional, free LMS software. This guide lists a couple of important exceptions to this rule of thumb, and even in the most famous case of such software (Moodle), it comes with tradeoffs. You can usually expect to pay for LMS that works well.
  • Per-user pricing can look superficially cheaper than it actually is. Annually billed per-user per-month rates for LMS software typically comes in, in the final analysis, as significantly more expensive than a flat subscription fee.
  • Beware additional after-licensing costs. Onboarding, maintenance and tech support fees can rapidly send the costs of an LMS through the roof. Make sure you’re familiar with all the applicable costs of a plan, and with the fine print about when they provide rebates, before committing to a plan.

Keep these factors in mind as you peruse this guide, and you should find it much easier to find your way to the LMS suite that’s right for your needs and budget.