Learning management system comparison

Learning Management System compare covers several key points in the eLearning field that helps you in choosing the best LMS for your business. Years of involvement in LMS has enabled us to set up several criteria for the comparison that will allow you to make the right choice.

Key LMS comparison criteria and their description

Being new to the LMS world, here is a table that will surely help you. This table presents a comparison of LMS, by dividing LMSs into general categories according to the relevant criteria. The key benefits are pointed out along with a brief general description for every category. The division for LMS comparison is not strict, i.e. many LMSs can fall into several categories under one criterion, or they may be completely unique to be categorized into any specified division. However, we intend to help you get a clear picture of what kind of LMS you need as per your requirements and specifications.

Comparison Chart for LMS:

1.Platform

Stand alone solution;Integrated solution;
These solutions allow the installation of the LMS as a stand-alone application. You can incorporate it with your business platform as a custom project. There are some LMSs which require certain platforms to be installed on. Such LMS-platform integration gives you an option to use your platform capabilities along with the LMS functionality to enhance your eLearning process.

2.Fee type

FreePaid or commercial
Free LMS includes LMS which are distributed free of charge. It's good for technicians and companies with internal tech staff. The staff is then responsible for the implementation and administration of the software. Besides this there are some of free software distributors which may not provide support for their products. But there are some which provide paid support and services, other have free support (usually via forum). Commercial software is clear from the name and they are distributed on paid basis. As a rule, the price for the software includes technical support. It makes the software easy to implement and use for non-technicians and non-tech companies.

3.Source code availability

Open sourceProprietary software
In open source, all the files which make up the system are cost free for modifying, which allows customizing the system in the necessary way. Moreover, the usage of the LMS is not limited. For proprietary software vendors, they do not provide the source code. Also with commercial purposes, encrypting of the source code serves as a security guarantee. It prevents using the software for malicious code distribution and some of the vendors offer customization services, and can provide compatibility with future releases on request.

4.Source code availability

HostedOwn
Hosted solution means are the solutions that LMS is hosting on the vendor's servers and installing on the vendor's site. Customers can purchase access to separate LMS parts also they can manage their own content and students. In this you need to get the LMS application which you can be installed on your site or local network. It allows having a completely individual solution tuned to meet your specific needs. Along with it provides you with full control over your LMS and all the related processes.

5. E-Learning standards compliance

International Standard compliantLocal standards compliantNo standards compliance
If the selected LMS is SCORM/AICC/IMS/ other standards compliant, then you may use the standard packages (SCORM/AICC/other) inside the LMS instead of (or together with) creating native LMS course content. It will be very useful if you don't tie yourself to using one particular LMS. Also, it will also be helpful in creating a customized look and at the same time authoring software. Therefore, courseware vendors often endow with their course content in some of the widely used standards. Some LMS fulfill all the local standards of a specific region (e.g. NCVER – Australian standard for training statistics) or specific field of learning. Such falls in these criteria. Some LMSs are not submissive with any content standards. The native content created in such LMSs is not reusable for any other LMSs. This feature proves to be very useful if the unique nature of the course content is important in your business.

6.Integration possibilities

Integration via bridgesOpen sourceDocumented API (SDK)
Bridges are special plug-in which allow integrating applications of various types. Especially they are useful if you want to integrate applications with encrypted source code or applications with no API. Applications with open source code provide huge range of integration possibilities. You can edit any part of the LMS to integrate smoothly with any other application. API (application programming interface) makes it possible to use functions of one application by another application. It allows integrating applications with encrypted source code, also facilitates integration process for open source applications.

7. Content creation possibilities

Separate tools for native courses creationPossibility to use reusable content onlyIntegrated tools for native courses creation
Some LMSs don't possess integrated tools for course content creation. Therefore vendors provide such tools as separate products compliant with their LMS. In some of the LMSs there is no provision of possibilities for creating native course content. Therefore you can only use standard packages (SCORM/AICC/IMS/other) in such LMSs. Sin many LMSs there is provision for special internal tools for creating native course content based on the learning materials.

8. Business orientation

Corporate trainingE-CommerceGovernment structuresEducational institutions
Corporate LMSs mainly focuses on (evaluating) employee skills and competencies also it helps in providing tools for competency training LMSs are designed for commercial use including an option, which allows users to sell different kinds of subscriptions (student/teacher access to courses/LMS etc.), i.e. to provide eLearning on the paid basis. These orientations include possibilities of education and corporate LMSs, which greatly focuses on security and some other features depending on the certain government structure. Some LMSs don't allow selling LMS subscriptions as they focus on educational features. Such LMSs are designed especially for educational purposes.

9. Licensing models

Fee type: Commercial (starting from 299 USD/year).
Comments: our pricing list is easily available here: http://joomlalms.com.au/try-or-buy/store.html
Source code availability: Proprietary software.
Comments: JoomlaLMS has a PRO edition and has open source.
Licensing models: Per number of enrolled users and per license validity period (per year).
Comments: It comes with a selection for unlimited number of users and continuous license.
eLearning standards compliance: SCORM-compliant.
Content creation possibilities: It contains integrated tools for native courses creation. Installation type: Own.
Comments: It is installed on Joomla. And it is a CMS-based web-site. There is also a provision of web-hosting and Joomla!
Business orientation: Has a wide usage and can be used in all sectors, however, it's more ecommerce and Educational Institutions oriented.
 

Programming Language:

Joomla! CMS. Designed as a Joomla! Component.
Top 2 advantages of this platform:
1. It is the world's best Freeware CMS:http://www.joomla.org/announcements/general-news/5394-joomla-wins-the-packt-open-source-cms-award.html
2. It possess over 4500 components and modules which are used to extend its functionality: http://extensions.joomla.org/
Integration possibilities:

The professional edition allows integration with other systems using open source code. JoomlaLMS can be modified by the core JoomlaLMS team on request.;

For your convenience there is a provision of an XLS file which can be used for comparing different LMS systems or compiling an RFI (Request for Information). This file already contains JoomlaLMS column, and it is easy to add/remove more LMSs. Feel free to download it here: LMS_comparison.xls, if you downloaded the XLS, do check the second worksheet (features comparison).

Please visit JoomlaLMS features page, for full list of JoomlaLMS features

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