A learning management system (LMS) is software that helps you design, track, and deliver educational courses and training and learning programs. It enables you to organize all the educational processes and allows students to prioritize their workload.

In this article, you’ll discover why you should consider implementing LMS and unveil its benefits. We’ll also analyze its essential features and review the best LMS platforms.

Why use a learning management system?

As of 2021, Coursera, an online learning service, reported 20 million new sign-ups — online learning seems to be the new black. People can gain new knowledge, refine their critical thinking, and master almost any job online. It’s convenient, time-saving, and accessible. Modern tech-savvy users can discover new professions and take on more skills with the help of the internet and a laptop. People can manage their time, obtain technical skills, and show self-motivation.

To ensure seamless eLearning experiences, brands leverage learning management systems. They store all their materials in one place, so companies no longer have to share the necessary information via various devices and drives. This way, they reduce the risk of data loss. When businesses upload online courses to an LMS platform, their participants can access these materials anytime.

Online course creators enable entrepreneurs to save time and money on on-site rentals, printed documents, video and photo reports, etc. They also save the time of companies’ teams and students. Moreover, brand managers and instructors can access students’ progress and performance. This way, teachers can check whether people meet their performance milestones.

Now that you know why you should use a learning management system, let’s explore its pros. In this section, you’ll decide whether this system will come in handy for your business.

Benefits of Learning Management Systems

A learning management system is a crucial part of every learning process that entails communication between teachers and students. It helps structure learning materials, improve lessons, and develop tests. If you leverage an LMS platform, it will help you:

  • store all your learning materials, documents, and lessons in one place;
  • provide users with access to courses;
  • monitor your students’ progress and evaluate their performance;
  • reduce costs and save time;
  • add new compliance standards to your online courses;
  • integrate with other platforms;
  • improve your courses and training or learning programs.

Now that we’ve done a quick look-through on the advantages of LMS, it’s time to delve into specific features your system should have to help you achieve your objectives.

7 Essential Features of Learning Management Systems

To provide learners with quality knowledge and fantastic experience, you need to mull over your choice of an LMS system thoroughly. Below we’ll list the most crucial features your online course platform should cover. They will protect your materials from piracy, provide a flexible reporting system, and offer a great experience.

  • Personalized user experience. Choosing a learning management system that provides a personalized user experience based on their interests is an excellent idea. It’ll help you draw students’ attention to the topics related to their fields of interest. For example, if a person is interested in digital marketing, you can offer them related materials or courses. By conducting quizzes, you’ll be able to reflect on the user’s performance and the shortcomings that need your attention.
  • Scheduling tools. With scheduling tools, you can offer your students to set the date and time of their lessons themselves. This flexibility will enable learners to select the time that’s best for them. As a result, more students will join your course.
  • Unified materials. Your learning management system should allow you to manage your documents in one place. With LMS platforms, you can store your learning materials, such as videos, presentations, instructions, guides, infographics, etc. Users can study and gain new knowledge and skills while being more organized if they have access to all the unified and structured data.
  • Data tracking. The system should provide your instructors with permission to track students’ performance. This way, they will ensure that learners obtain the necessary knowledge and demonstrate progress during their learning process. Having this information on hand allows you to enhance your course and ensure a personalized training experience.
  • Analytics. Flexible reporting helps evaluate the effectiveness of your program. You should align your reporting with your business goals to see if you managed to reach them. With its help, you’ll identify students’ problems and improve your online course.
  • Automated notifications. Notifications are an integral part of any LMS, as they help keep managers and instructors updated on course completion, students’ needs, and completion rates. Learners also receive automated notifications when they have to meet specific deadlines and leave feedback.
  • Integrations. A good LMS should be able to integrate with other systems to complement the course with all the necessary information. Both startups and big enterprises in various niches need integrations like Zoom, Slack, Salesforce, etc. They help your team keep everything under control. Some tools will allow you to automatically collect and send candidate data and provide course updates to instructors, and some will help you schedule meetings and send notifications.

Now that you know the features you should look for, we’ll walk you through the best LMS solutions and find a suitable option for your company.

5 Best Learning Management Systems

The effectiveness of any eLearning process depends not only on teachers and materials but also on your learning management software. It’s a place where you store, deliver, and track your course content. Since the system is a vital part of your success, we’ve prepared a list of five well-performing services for you to consider.

SendPulse

SendPulse is a universal tool that will come in handy for business schools, development centers, industry experts, HR managers, and anyone who wants to teach. The platform’s visual builder helps you create online courses and lessons and modify them based on your requirements. With its help, you’ll be able to improve your lessons by adding videos, infographics, and audio lectures.

SendPulse also cares about the visibility of your online course. You can design a landing page to promote your product and add a registration form to enroll students in your course. Better yet, you can add a custom domain to your online course for free. With its help, users will find your course easily. Once students enroll in your course, you can assign an instructor to take care of the process. This person will collect customer feedback, customize lessons, develop tests, address students’ inquiries, assess the quality of the learning process, and create certificates.

Since the course builder automatically synchronizes with SendPulse’s CRM, you can guide and support your students anytime. SendPulse enables you to communicate with learners using email, chatbots, or SMS.

Once learners complete a lesson or course, you can create tests to check their skills and knowledge. After completing the test, they will obtain a certain number of points. At the end of the course, students will receive certificates of completion. With SendPulse’s builder, you can customize the certificates you issue by changing their text styles and images and adding instructors and dates.

Below you can see how to create a lesson from scratch. You need to drag and drop the necessary elements from the left panel to the workspace and edit them on the right panel.

SendPulse learning management system

Free plan: 200 students, 3 courses, 1 instructor, and 1 GB of storage space.
Paid plan: From $42 per month for 1,000 users.

Thinkific

Thinkific provides vital tools for setting up, launching, and scaling your online courses without any coding knowledge or skills. With the platform, you can offer a live or on-demand online course. The company’s site builder allows you to develop a personalized online school to demonstrate your courses and their benefits. Besides, Thinkfic helps you sell courses and accept payments via popular payment systems. The platform has 0% transaction fees.

The service is very flexible. You can offer your product in different formats: courses, memberships, bundles, or digital downloads. Create quizzes, surveys, and assignments to evaluate students’ knowledge. After completing the course, use Thinkific’s builder to design a certificate.

If you have a site, mailing list, and CRM system, consider integrating them. Thinkific also allows you to connect with ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp, and Zoom. The brand empowers you to stand out with its amazing website themes. Moreover, you can add your own domain to personalize your course and help students find it faster.

Below you can see how to add and create the content of your first lesson using Thinkific.

Thinkific

Free plan: limited courses, unlimited students, 1 site admin account.
Paid plan: From $49 per month.

SkyPrep

SkyPrep allows you to upload different types of documents and use them many times to create your online course. The service provides customizable permissions, automated email notifications, certificates of completion, deadline reminders, user grouping, and all the necessary reports in just a few moments to ensure smooth online course management.

With visual and spreadsheet reports, you’ll always stay in the know about your students’ progress. SkyPrep’s report features cover multiple reporting levels, course and user performance profiles, certificate awards, and more.

When you design your online course with SkyPrep, you can customize the platform to match your brand identity. Use your company logo and colors, custom URLs, certificates, email notifications, and CSS to make your design recognizable and related to your brand. The platform’s open API enables you to add the most useful integrations, including PayPal and Zoom. SkyPrep’s security model keeps all your data highly secured.

When developing a course, you can use gamification elements like award points, a leaderboard, and customizable badges to increase users’ engagement.

Below you can see how to create a new course: insert your course name and introduction and add a course image.

SkyPrep

Free plan: 14-day trial.
Paid plan: From $299 per month for 100 users.

TalentLMS

TalentLMS helps you reach different business purposes. You can design online courses and training programs, such as remote, onboarding, compliance, and sales training.

With the service’s drag-and-drop builder, you can design interactive courses. TalentLMS enables you to build your course from scratch or reuse the uploaded content. Creating a course from scratch won’t take much time since you can add different media formats like videos, docs, and presentations. The platform empowers you to host live sessions. You can invite participants and send them automatic reminders about the upcoming event.

Once you need to evaluate the effectiveness of your course or assess students’ knowledge, create quizzes, tests, assignments, and surveys. You can also craft a certificate to acknowledge your students’ efforts upon their successful completion of your online course.

Setting up a structured course is crucial for users. The platform enables you to guide your students by splitting your content into categories. This way, they will easily find the necessary materials. Besides, you’ll be able to give permissions to users with special statuses so that they can perform their roles efficiently.

Below you can see how to create an online course using TalentLMS.

TalentLMS

Free plan: 5 users, 10 courses, and unlimited email support.
Paid plan: From $89 per month for up to 40 users.

Teachable

Teachable is a perfect solution for those who want to start an online business. You can link your website to the platform under a custom domain. The service is easy-to-use because its builder enables you to create engaging courses by simply dragging and dropping visual elements like videos, images, and infographics. The course you design with Teachable can include multimedia lectures and coaching sessions. To create a quality course, you can invite your team to join you on the platform. Set permissions and roles so that they can contribute to your course development.

You can use unlimited features when you purchase a paid plan. With its help, you’ll be able to have no limit on the number of courses, video bandwidth, and students. You can run one-on-one sessions to communicate with your students live.

Evaluate your students’ progress with quizzes. The platform allows you to design a certificate and congratulate students on completing your course. After the course completion, Teachable enables you to receive feedback from learners. The platform uses third-party platforms to gather student feedback.

Teachable allows you to create the “Pricing” tab for your product and set your prices to receive payments from students. Once you set everything up, users will have several payment options: credit/debit card, PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.

Below you can see how to create the first lesson for your course with Teachable.

Teachable

Free plan: Unlimited students, 1 course, unlimited coaching services.
Paid plan: From $39 per month.

Congrats, now you know the top-performing learning management platforms. Choose one that suits your business goals to design an excellent course for your students. Make use of SendPulse’s course creator to develop your online course fast with our ready-to-go templates.

References:

  1. This article defines the term and unveils how learning management systems work.
  2. In this article, you’ll find a list of learning management systems.
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