The educational world, like other sectors, has also adapted to the digital environment. Digital Transformation in the education sector has been a reality for years. With the creation of e-learning platforms, education is available to anyone with the Internet.
What are e-learning platforms? How are they used? What is the LMS?
What are learning management systems?
First, let’s clarify the concepts.
When we talk about Learning Management Systems, or Learning Management System (LMS) , we are referring to digital platforms that, online, allow the creation of a training system similar to a campus or school. They are the so – called e-learning platforms.
These tools are used by all types of educational institutions, from universities to private training centers to facilitate students’ access to their studies online.
If you are considering giving some type of online training, but you don’t know how to start sharing your knowledge, we will show you in this post.
Open source or commercial e-learning platforms? What do they mean? Which one interests me?
As in all cases, on the Internet you have endless possibilities. To manage e-learning platforms , the possibilities are also very wide.
Two categories : free or open source e-learning platforms, and commercial platforms, within the latter several payment possibilities can be distinguished. We explain it to you:
Open source e-learning platforms, that is, when we say open source, we mean software designed to be freely developed and distributed by users. They are public domain licenses.
One factor to take into account is that, although its use and distribution are free, costs may arise a posteriori for the maintenance of the platform, that it is necessary to hire qualified personnel, etc.
They stand out: Moodle, Chamilo, Sakai or the LMS for WordPress or Canvas.
Regarding commercial e-learning platforms, depending on the payment method we can find:
Pay-per-use e-learning platforms (in the cloud): Subscribers who decide on this type of platform will pay a fee based on the use they make of it. Payments are made, for example, taking into account the number of students, or courses, etc.
Pay-per-license e-learning platforms: They are characterized by not being open source and with the obligation to pay their creators for the user license. Temporary contracts are established with specific benefits based on the quotas.
The main ones in this group are BlackBoard, eDucativa, FirstClass, Saba or NEO LMS.
The latest and greatest open source e-learning platforms
It is undoubtedly the most popular and widely used e-learning platform among the open source LMS tools. Its usefulness is recognized by the thousands of users who use it every day around the world both in training centers, universities and companies.
Almost 80 million people in the world have used Moodle, which consolidates it as one of the most famous e-learning platforms. Among its most advantageous aspects are its ease of use with a clear and simple interface for both students and teachers.
It is an open source LMS platform with a quite significant peculiarity that differentiates it from the rest: It works completely in the cloud, so it does not need to be hosted on any server.
With an intuitive and easy-to-learn operation, you can choose a version specially designed for the business sector, Canvas Network, or a free one for teachers.
With the ultimate aim of bringing education and training closer to countries that are now advancing in their development, Chamilo is present in approximately 80% of the countries.
Like the previous two, it is an easy to understand and use e-learning platform. Its creators highlight the reception they have had by the training sector since its launch in 2010 by the non-profit Chamilo association.
Sakai is an LMS platform created by the collaboration of several universities based in America that launched the Sakai Project to present an open source alternative to Moodle.
At this time, more than 100 universities around the world use Sakai for their online courses, including the Complutense of Madrid or the Polytechnic of Valencia.
WordPress LMS plugin, LearnPress
Converting your WordPress into an e-learning platform is as simple as installing a plugin and starting to use your website as a teletraining site.
Among the most used are LearnDash , Good LMS , LearnPress , etc, the latter is one of the most recommended. Available on the WordPress website itself, it is very easy to use and its installation is very simple.
Learning Management Systems, which are not open source (Commercial LMS)
Access to the website in Spanish
Payment type: license fee.
The software company that created Blackboard Learn was founded in 1997. What makes Blackboard, with its years of experience, the most prestigious and best LMS platforms (commercial grade, that is, it is not designed with open source ).
Blackboard Learn is an e-learning platform used by many well-known universities. Although they also offer solutions for primary education, complementary training in companies, the public sector …
It has different types of platforms depending on the use , Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Collaborate, Blackboard Connect, Blackboard Mobile and Blackboard Analytics.
Type of payment: budget.
We are facing one of the simplest e-learning platforms to offer training courses over the internet. eDucativa is used by education professionals but also by companies, universities and specialized centers.
With a website in Spanish and the possibility of communicating with technical support in our language, many institutions have also chosen to use this platform in their training plans.
Payment type: pay per use.
It is a platform for e-learning offered by the company Open Text. Installation on the server is not necessary, it can be used in the cloud and adapts to all types of devices.
It is used in both educational and corporate settings. It is designed for professionals due to its cost and the technical characteristics it requires.
Type of payment: not available, you have to request a quote.
Specifically, Saba Learning Suite, this is the name of this elearning platform especially used by professionals for learning specific subjects on the web.
It is a very complete LMS platform to execute a complete student evaluation, with continuous monitoring through surveys and fully programmed controls.
You can download the demo here.
Payment type: pay per use.
NEO LMS is a platform that has been designed to be used by all types of public and education professionals. It is used by students in all phases of the educational system, from elementary school to university. Its easy installation, without any previous requirements or knowledge, makes it very popular.
Here you can see your subscription possibilities
There is an alternative to these 10 elearning platforms that works in the cloud, it is
Google Classroom . It’s within G Suite for Education , it’s free, and can be used by training centers, private users with Gmail accounts, or non-profit organizations.
There are four profiles in Classroom: teachers, students, tutors and administrators, each with different permissions or types of functions. For example, the teacher can create and manage classes, assignments and notes and tutors receive a summary of the students’ work by email.
It can be used in the web version, being compatible with the main browsers or through mobile applications for Android and IOS ®.
What do you think of these LMS platforms? Do you know any that we have not discussed? If there is one that you use, you can tell us about it through any of our Social Networks.