Choosing an ideal LMS (learning management system) in a world of constant flux in technological advancement can be confusing.
How do you know which LMS will be the best suit for you?
This article will take care of your needs!
Parameters to Look at while Choosing the Best LMS
The following are parameters to be considered carefully in choosing an ideal learning management system.
Good Customer Experience: Your first parameter for selecting a good LMS for your business is to run a quick search of their customer experience online. Doing this will reveal any pit-holes such an LMS has and it will save you the hassle of falling into the same trap. You should be looking out for LMSs with credible reviews from customers that have used their products.
Value for Money: The values your prospective LMS offers must be commensurate to the money you are paying for. Again, you should be able to pick up this information from the customer experience you have gathered from your research.
LMS Technology: The technological stack your prospective LMS is built on must be thoroughly considered. It may be that such a technological stack is becoming obsolete and in such a case, it will be wise to cross it off your list of possible choices.
Availability of Plugins: Your prospective LMS must be rich in ready add-ons. You should always look out for this parameter when choosing an LMS, you don’t want to be the one using a slow-paced LMS software for a fast-paced business.
Simplicity in LMS Configuration: Some LMSs are quite confusing and tedious to set up, whereas some can be simple. You should be looking out for LMS with simplicity in setting up plugins and interfaces.
Diverse Pricing Options: Lookout for LMSs with many offers and pricing options that you can select from. Having such LMS will save you the hassle of spending too much for your startup business, and in a long run save you quite a lot of money.
Great LMS Track Record: Lastly, make sure you choose an LMS with a great track record, being that they have stood the test of time and backed with lots of credible reviews and recommendations. This will give you peace knowing that you have made the best choice for your e-learning site.
Benefits of Picking an Open-Source Platform for e-learning
You have understood the secret of choosing a good LMS for your e-Learning needs. but there is one more layer of information you should know. You can go about the web seeking out the best LMS for your e-Learning need. Yet, you could still fall into a ditch if you don’t understand the difference between open and non-open-source LMS platforms and their respective benefits.
The open-source software gives you the freedom to change, reuse, and redistribute the LMS program source code. The non-open-source restricts you from such privilege. The above comparison between open and non-open-source LMSs makes all the difference.
As such, we recommend that you see the benefits of picking an open-source LMS for your e-Learning needs.
Control of Content: Open-source LMS software gives you the freedom of controlling your content. You don’t need anyone dictating how your learning content should be. As a result of this freedom, you have a chance to be creative as you want with your learning content, drawing out your uniqueness.
Maintain Brand Originality: Open-source LMS software gives you the freedom to customize your LMS to suit your brand style thereby retaining your image and integrity.
Retains Data Security: With open-source LMS software, you can be sure that there is no eves-dropping on your customer’s data. You retain the right and access to your customer’s data, escaping the war of data siphoning by the big tech giants.
Upholds Modification Rights: Open-source LMS software guarantees you the freedom to alter the software behavior to suit your taste by updating your copy of the software with your program patches, plugins, and even third-party add-ons without violating any rule.
Large Community Fallback: Open-source software often have a large community to help other users that may need help and open-source LMS is no different. Choosing open-source LMS gives you quick support from the community either from questions someone else answered in the past or by dropping a new question which someone from the community will answer within the shortest time.
Consistent Software Update: Open-source LMS software is often updated frequently ensuring that your business runs smoothly. An open-source project often employs the hands of many developers who frequently supply plugins, new features, and updates to the platform. This in return ensures that your LMS business has all the tools it needs to run efficiently.
The above are some of the benefits of picking an open-source platform for e-Learning. Let’s dive deeper by finding out some different open-source LMS platforms available in the market.
Different Options Available
Now that you are acquainted with the benefits of choosing open-source LMS, let’s see the different open-source LMS software available out there in the market.
Moodle™ is an e-learning LMS platform that aims to provide educators, administrators, and learners with a unified, secure, and compact system for creating customized learning environments.
Moodle™ is well-known for being a free and open-source learning management system written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. We’ll talk more about Moodle™ later.
LearnDash LMS is a WordPress learning management system (LMS) that is used by corporate training organizations, institutions, businesses, and entrepreneurs all over the world to create (and sell) online courses.
The LearnDash LMS plugin changes your WordPress website into a powerful learning management system (LMS). You can quickly produce and sell courses, track user progress, send certificates, award points and badges, and much more.
In their words, they said, “If you are serious about offering online courses, then LearnDash is the WordPress LMS plugin for you.”
Canvas LMS is a free and dependable web-based learning management system that enables institutions to manage digital learning and educators to create and present online learning content.
The Canvas Network provides free online courses and classes from some of the world’s top universities. Canvas is a modern, open-source learning management system created and maintained by Instructure Inc. It is distributed under the AGPLv3 license and is free to use by anyone who is interested.
Forma LMS is another open-source Learning Management System (LMS), built around the specific needs of corporate training and used to manage and deliver online training courses.
One remarkable attribute of Forma LMS is that it is developed by a network of companies, with a strong and active community, and like Moodle™, it’s open-source, and it’s FREE.
Totara LMS is a business-oriented learning management system. It is not only a platform for hosting all of your e-learning content, but it also has a slew of features that make it the quickest, easiest, and most dependable way to train employees.
Totara LMS’s adaptable learning management, learning experience, and performance management technologies are aimed at transforming corporate and government employee engagement.
ELMS Learning Network
The ELMS Learning Network(ELMSLN) is an open-source educational technology platform for developing and sustaining course technology innovation. ELMS advertises itself as a Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (NGDLE) that uses a Suite of Tools approach to course design rather than a traditional LMS.
Sakai LMS is an educational software platform that is open-source and free to use. It is intended to support teaching, research, and collaboration. Sakai LMS aspires to be a powerful open-source learning management system designed for higher education.
And there you have it, some of the best open-source LMS software available on the market.
Now Why Pick Moodle™?
Why should you choose Moodle™ among the list of LMSs discussed above? Let’s proceed by observing the pros and cons associated with Moodle™.
Pros of Choosing Moodle™
The following are the advantages of using Moodle™ LMS software for your e-Learning needs.
Moodle™ is an open-source LMS software: Although common to the aforementioned LMSs, this advantage cannot be excluded for any reason. The freedom, flexibility, and credibility Moodle™ brings has a lot to do with it being an open-source LMS software.
Flexibility in hosting: Moodle™ provides you with multiple options for hosting your website on the web. It is dead simple such that the hosting can be done by you. You can host your Moodle™ site on platforms such as MoodleCloud, Virtual server, or through certified Moodle™ Partner.
Customization Option: Moodle™ is a mature LMS software and over the years has been developed to perfection giving so much room for customization. With Moodle™ you have great freedom to personalize the LMS software to your liken and this in return will speak volumes to your image and brand. The Edwiser RemUI is recommended for the task of customizing your Moodle™ e-Learning business to your taste.
Integration options: The Moodle™ LMS software is packed with effective and advantageous plugins and third-party add-ons that will spike the productivity and profitability of your e-Learning business giving you an edge over your competitors. The Edwiser plugins set have been proven to be very effective in bringing out the best from your business with Moodle™.
Good gradebook alternatives: With the Moodle™ LMS software you have access to other grader plugin options that will greatly improve the effectiveness of your LMS business. For example, the Edwiser RapidGrader plugin is a perfect alternative to the default grading system which comes along with the Moodle™ LMS.
Has a mobile app: This is an amazing, Moodle™ goes a level higher over other LMS providers to integrate a mobile app into their system. This integration enables you to access your course content from your mobile phone even when offline. Having a mobile app is a big deal to increase accessibility from smaller devices and also to improve user experience. This also means that Moodle™ users can now access all their course content without the need of a laptop computer or tablet.
Tons of features for different user roles based on needs: With Moodle™ you can have one of the best structured user roles available in the LMS world. Moodle™ has user roles for teachers, students, course designers, and more. Having this kind of set up will greatly streamline the operations of your Moodle™ LMS business and also ensure that the right privileges and features utilized by users with according to their respective roles.
Huge Community support for free: The importance of community support in great LMS software cannot be overstated. The strength of an LMS platform’s online community is an easy way to determine its effectiveness. Moodle™ has a massive online community with tons of questions, answers, and resources at your disposal. If any problems arise, you can quickly seek assistance from the Moodle™ online community.
Those are some amazing pros of using Moodle™ for your e-learning program!
Now let’s take a look at the cons it may have.
Cons of Choosing Moodle™
Look and Feel, UI: Moodle™ by default doesn’t look so great, that’s why massive works have been done around this area with the help of dedicated plugins and themes developed by various companies and developers from the Moodle™ community.
Based on PHP, considered as dated technology: PHP is considered by many as an obsolete technology, and as such tech companies prefer developing software with newly ushered technology stacks. Regardless of these claims and opinions from people and some developers on the internet, PHP is still pushing out modern software development frameworks such as Laravel, Symphony, and more.
Overwhelming to use: As earlier stated, the Moodle™ LMS software provides you with so much flexibility and customization capabilities and as such could get overwhelming to use. However, a little familiarization with how Moodle™ works will get you feeling at home in no time.
Limited reporting options: Moodle™ is great, but it doesn’t always come shipped with every exotic tool out there in the market. You will have to leverage the recommended third-party plugins abundantly available in the Moodle™ market space to get your LMS business at its peak. A recommended plugin set for making up for the drawbacks of Moodle™ is the Edwiser Reports.
Clunky navigation: The default navigation system on Moodle™ is not the best and this is caused by the not-so-great theme Moodle™ comes default with. However, with a dedicated theming plugin all that complaint will be forgotten. This is why we recommend the Edwiser RemUI plugin that solves these navigational issues and also other drawbacks that comes as a result of the poor user interface.
Moodle™ is simple to use if you are skilled enough. But this shouldn’t stop you from being a good Moodler as there are several plugins to help you do the job efficiently.
To refine your Moodle™ LMS functionality and to make moodling a lot simpler, Edwiser plugins really shine!
With plugins such as the Edwiser RemUI theme for Moodle™, Edwiser Forms, Edwiser Reports. And cost-effective multipurpose bundles such as All Access Pass etc. you can effortlessly create & customize your own Moodle™ site without any coding trouble. And the best part is, you can also easily minimize the cost of running it.
So, are you ready to become an expert Moodler… without the STRESS??