Modern education has been greatly influenced by technological development.
Some people state that this influence has made the life of both teachers and students even more difficult, but on the other side such software and platforms as online learning management system have become a breakthrough in teacher-student collaboration. Many educators have appreciated the benefits offered by LMSs and trying one or another example they look for a better variant to implement in the educational institution. Let’s consider which LMSs are really good products that can contribute to the quality of education and make it more accessible. Here are the top 10 LMS software worth mentioning.
Canvas is one of the most popular LMS that is cloud-based and adaptable. Intended for both business and educational institutions is offers a variety of options and has a mobile version supported by the most popular platforms. Canvas is free of charge for signed in users. Its main features are rather various including customizable user profile, a diversity of integrations, collaborative workspaces, RSS support etc.
The benefits of Canvas are:
- Mobile access anytime and anywhere;
- Numerous features like audio and video messages, web conferencing, document exchange;
- Built-in SpeedGrader for quick and accurate grading;
- A possibility to view documents as students see them;
- Selective release that defines all the learning stages;
- Enrollment of parents;
- Professional growth and development for both teachers and learners;
- Easily customizable etc.
- A restricted number of features in comparison with other LMS;
- Inability to copy items within one course;
- Mobile app has many bugs etc.
Canvas has found many supporters due to is comprehensive and optimized character. There can be some difficulties for new users as the number of features is rather big, but experienced users consider it a great teaching aid.
Moodle is a platform developed especially for educators, students and administrators to provide them with a robust and simply integrated system for better learning experience. It has been chosen by such global companies as Shell, Microsoft or State University of New York.
There are multilingual capabilities and it has a number of benefits in comparison with other LMS platforms:
- A user-friendly interface;
- It is an open-source software that is free to adjust;
- It is easily integrated and is all-in-one platform;
- High level of security and privacy;
- Availability of extended resources;
- Back up of the strong community;
- A variety of functions including virtual classes, quizzes, workshops, wikis etc;
- Suitable for restricted-access, asynchronous courses, users’ activity tracking, written communication.
Drawbacks of the platform:
- There are difficulties in open-access learning and synchronous courses;
- Use of the tool requires being tech savvy;
- There is a necessity to learn how to use each Moodle tool separately etc.
Moodle has already conquered interest of many people. Being a web-based tool is can be accessed from anywhere and any device. It is a flexible and customizable LMS worth users’ attention.
Edmodo is a e-learning tool that helps students and educators collaborate. It is used by over 30 million people and is the largest K12 learning network in the world. It is a free and safe place to connect learners and educators through the Internet.
Edmodo has its pros:
- Possibility to create secure groups for learning;
- Tracking students’ progress as well as performance using a built-in gradebook;
- Share files, videos, images between each other;
- Acceleration of learning goals;
- Fast and responsive;
- Personalization with different apps etc.
Cons of Edmodo:
- Support of only English language;
- Access for parents is limited;
- Students can communicate with each other being distracted from the lesson;
- You can’t change the order of right answers is there are several of them or they will be marked wrong etc.
Edmodo has won the Best LMS Software Award for 2015. It is a cloud-hosted platform that is completely free for every user. This LMS is a good tool to keep students updated and connected and it saves teacher’s time and efforts greatly.
Being a blended learning platform Google Classroom was created with the purpose to simplify the process of assignments creation, distribution and grading. Recently, it has become available for Google accounts and in addition students can be invited to the Classroom from the Google Apps. Students can receive teachers’ assignments, be graded, communicate, save time, access archived courses etc.
Advantages you receive using Google Classroom:
- Accessible from many devices and user-friendly;
- Effective file sharing and discussions;
- It speeds up the assigning, checking and grading process;
- Accessible for every person;
- Simple, intuitive and user-friendly interface;
- Availability of the mobile version etc.
Negative sides of Google Classroom:
- Account management is quite difficult;
- Integration options are restricted;
- Automatic updates are absent;
- Learners can share only those documents that are downloaded from their computers;
- Difficulties with editing already sent assignments;
- Absence of automated tests and quizzes etc.
Google Classroom can’t be called a perfect LMS as it lacks functionality. It is a good tool for communication between teachers and students where they can share files and leave feedback about tasks.
TalentLMS is a versatile and powerful system that guarantees everything from mobile learning to compliance trainings. It is scalable and meets the needs of different learning groups. Users can opt for reporting, organizing, controlling and connecting the members of the team. The tool can be easily customized and is a good choice for IT departments.
The main features of the tool are:
- Friendliness to web content;
- Presence of surveys and assessment engines;
- Possibility to create unique learning paths;
- A decent file repository;
- Blended learning;
- Possibility to build and sell your own courses;
- Gamification and certifications of the learning process;
- Numerous enterprise ready functions etc.
As many other tools TalentLMS has its negative sides including:
- Customer support requires improvements;
- The content variety and setup options of the course might be more robust;
- A discussion forum requires enhancement etc.
TalentLMS is often called one of the top LMS in the modern market. At the same time the pricing policy for businesses and organizations is rather reasonable. And each person, who wishes to try the system functionality, can opt for a free trial version: it is enough to register on the website.
Being a powerful system for students of all grades Schoology has been appreciated not only by educators and their learners but also families that have received a chance to follow their children’s progress.
It was created especially for K-12 schools and many educational establishments have evaluated the benefits it offers:
- Free of charge for personal use;
- Correspondence with the educational standards;
- Online grading and remarks;
- Mobile support;
- A specially created “teacher-student” system that helps to organize the learning procedure;
- Integrated assessment management system etc.
Schoology has a number of minor drawbacks such as:
- A few specific peculiarities of the user interface;
- Premium functions and corporative versions are to be paid for;
- Absence of real-time conversations, chatting;
- Lack of settings for students with special needs;
- Calendar feature requires upgrading etc.
Being a system that united features of the social media and learning environment Schoology aims at K-12 schools and its functionality will seem poor for students of higher institutions. In any case, it is a comfortable and flexible LMS for modern education.
A highly acclaimed LMS SuccessFactors has been created with the purpose of development, deployment and management of a comprehensive program for learning.
It can boast such unique features as automated assignment profiles, e-signature, structured programs as well as many others:
- Creation of courses and curricula;
- Tracking learners’ progress using various learning strategies;
- Availability of analytics for effectiveness enhancement;
- Ratings of courses and their recommendations;
- Regulatory compliance ensuring;
- Fast work ability etc.
Unlike other LMS the number of negative reviews about SuccessFactors is much higher. Users mention such troubles:
- Presence of duplicate candidates;
- Numerous bugs like the Agency Portal;
- Inability to connect with customer service;
- Any on-site training requires payment;
- Regular e-mails mentioning software problems;
- One thing can be done in various ways and it is puzzling for learners;
- Inability to change the size of dialog box Windows etc.
Unfortunately, the feedbacks of users about SuccessFactors are not always positive. This system deserves a right to exist and be used for education, but users must be ready to some challenges too.
WizIQ Inc is an e-learning LMS that is regarded to be one of the world largest ones. It is used by over 4 million learners from about 200 countries. It has a wonderful Virtual Classroom feature that has received a deserved award, while WizIQ online academy builder allows educators to create customized academies in a matter of minutes.
In general, this service offers many beneficial features such as:
- Delivery of instructor-led learning services;
- Increased learners’ engagement;
- Mobile-ready learning;
- Video streaming;
- Numerous discussion boards;
- Insights and assessment opportunities;
- Analytics etc.
As well as other platforms Wiz IQ has a couple of drawbacks:
- Quite fiddly and complicated to use;
- Costly starting price (from $396 per a year);
- Difficulties with customer support and API etc.
Unfortunately, many users praise the system until they make the first payment. In general, WizIQ is quite simple to use and share knowledge. Its usability is understandable for every person, so there shouldn’t be problems with its introduction.
Created originally for educational institutions Collaborize Classroom helps teachers to make the learning process appealing and interactive. It is a secure protected by password learning community that is very simple to use.
The platform has several core advantages:
- Communication between educators and learners;
- Attachments of files in different formats;
- Viewing learners’ progress in the smallest details;
- Creation of the topic library;
- Receipt of regular participation reports;
- Support on the mobile devices;
- Free of charge learning platform for everyone etc.
Of course, each platform can have some problems noticed by its users and Collaborize Classroom is not an exception. Here are some of them:
- Inability to control students’ motivation and conscientiousness;
- Restricted number of functions etc.
Collaborize Classroom has a user-friendly interface. You can easily set up your personal class space and engage learners there. Being an interactive learning environment it offers attachment capabilities, multiple groups support and many other useful functions that are very important for productive learning.
Both flexible and rich in features learning environment Sakai 11 is an open-source software for efficient teaching and learning. There is a wide range of tools and support of integrations so this scalable LMS is appreciated by many users.
The software can boast an excellent user community and several other advantages:
- Vast functionality: lessons, announcements, assignments, chats, forums, quizzes and tests;
- Presence of well-documented help content;
- Simple customizations;
- Easy to update;
- Possibility to step outside the traditional course boundaries;
- Fully responsive system etc.
There are also several disadvantages of Sakai 11 too:
- Difficulties with first time installation;
- Lack of documentation for developers;
- Problems with students’ progress tracking etc.
Sakai 11 is not only a decent LMS website but also can play a role of a ‘learning hub’. That helps students to reach their full potential and make learning even more comfortable and accessible. The open source character of the software allows it to be constantly developed and undergo changes, so it never follows behind the IT novelties.
LMS education is a step forward in the modern learning. The appearance of learning management systems has significantly changed our view of the customary school or university education. Today teachers and students can communicate with each other in the distance and that makes studying even more effective. LMS have also enhanced teachers’ job and allowed parents to track their children’s progress without any obstacles – no wonder that is a great breakthrough in the productivity and quality of contemporary education.
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Also published on Medium.