The Best Learning Management Systems (LMS) & Software

the-best-learning-management-systems-and-software

Learning Management Systems (LMS) are software solutions that enable individuals or organizations to create and manage online courses and various training programs. The integrated virtual classroom is where students and trainees interact with each other and learn via multimedia teaching methods, including videos, text, PDFs, and audio files.

The Best Learning Management Systems (LMS) & Software 2 2020

To help you find the right software for your needs, we’ll review the 7 best learning management systems currently on the market. But first, let’s see the most important features the LMS of your choice should have.

What to Look For in the Best Learning Management Systems (LMS) & Software?

Learning Management Systems should make your life easier by consolidating your content and bringing into play a variety of learning resources. They should not only meet your expectations but the expectations of thousands of potential students on a global scale. 

Here are some of the key LMS features to consider when looking for the best platform. 

Intuitive Page Builder

An easy-to-use, preferably drag-and-drop page builder is crucial for creating and customizing the course or training program just as you’ve imagined it. Avoid LMSs that don’t offer a flexible page builder with multiple options, as this is a crucial feature required for creating quality content, personalized to your specific needs.

Learner Progress Tracking

Your students need a feature that will show their progress transparently. Progress tracking is one of the best ways to keep students motivated to work continually throughout the course without giving up. 

Content Drip

How you provide your participants with the necessary study materials might also play a role in the students’ engagement and productivity. With content dripping, you will be able to feed your participants with materials in a specific tempo that can be adjusted to fit with the course material.

Tests and Quizzes

The best way to gain insight into your participants’ progress is to give them tests and quizzes. This can be a fantastic motivational boost and reward after all the hard work. Choose a software learning platform that offers a variety of tests and quizzes to make your course more exciting and engaging. 

Certificates and Badges 

The best learning management systems also provide you with the feature of customizable certificates and badges that can be awarded to students after they finish a course. Besides serving as proof for completion (a deciding factor for many potential students), certificates and badges can also serve as an additional motivation.

Automated Emails

Automated emails are another essential feature that you can’t afford to go without. You can use it to notify students about completing an assignment, changes in the courses, various offers, reminders, etc. 

The Best Learning Management Systems and Software

Let’s take a look at the best learning management systems and software currently available on the market. 

Kajabi

Kajabi's landing page

Kajabi is an eCommerce platform that offers the “Kajabi University,” one of the most popular learning management systems nowadays. 

This LMS, developed by online marketers, is an all-in-one marketing automation platform with added capabilities to sell and deliver digital products and online courses. You’ll get everything that a course creator needs because there are no plugins or integrations required, but if you want to use some of your favorite tools, you can integrate it with third-party apps via Zapier.

This solution is perfect for when you’re looking for a comprehensive resource to design and sell your courses in a creative and eye-catching way. Kajabi offers hosting and plenty of useful features and tools for creating high-quality content. Currently, it’s one of the most attractive platforms on the market, so let us go through the best features it offers and see what the fuss is all about.    

Key Features:

  • Integrated Subscriptions, Course, and Digital Products. Kajabi has one-click templates that you can use, plenty of customizable templates that you can edit without any coding knowledge, and a create-your-own template option. 
  • Large Course Capacity. This LMS has an enormous capacity for hosting courses and students. Depending on the price option you choose, with Kajabi, you can offer up to 100 courses and enroll up to 20.000 students. 
  • Drip Content. Kajabi allows you to drip content according to the schedule you have created to keep your students/employees up to date with their materials.  
  • Module Availability Customization. You can unlock all modules and make them available for your students from the moment they enroll in your program. You can also set the course in such a way so that the next module unlocks only after the students finish the previous one.
  • Grading Features. Kajabi is an LMS that offers various options for quizzes, tests, and assignments in all media formats. It also allows you to create forums where participants and instructors can share their thoughts and ideas.   
  • Multimedia Support. Kajabi is a platform that supports text, audio, video, and live video conferences. You can also provide your participants with pre-recorded webinars and events. 
  • Email Marketing. You’ll get integration with several email marketing services and the possibility to use email marketing to its fullest potential.   

Kajabi Monetization Options

Kajabi offers integration with payment processors like PayPal and Stripe. Both payment processors are available worldwide and allow you to take payments directly from your site with Kajabi. You also get payment plans, subscriptions, and discount coupons.

Kajabi also offers excellent marketing options that will enable you to sell your courses more quickly and present them in front of the right audience. The sales page comes with several customizable templates and landing-pages with multiple themes, opt-in forms, email sequences, and more. 

Pricing And Final Thoughts

Kajabi ranges from $119/mo for the “Basic” version, $159/mo for the “Growth” plan, and $319/mo for the “Pro” plan. But before you decide on a plan, you can try it out for free for up to 14 days.

All in all, Kajabi made this list because it is genuinely one of the best learning management systems available on the market today, which is why we highly recommend it.  

Teachable

Learning management system Teachable's landing page

Teachable is a learning management system marketed towards entrepreneurs looking for a solution that’ll enable them to express their creativity when creating online courses. 

It’s a cloud-based platform that allows you to create and sell online courses from your website. All essential tools this platform offers are everything you need to create and deliver engaging online courses. 

Like most of its competitors, Teachable is easy-to-use and comes with a variety of features. However, it stands out from other LMSs with its course creator and delivery. We are truly impressed with the unlimited video hosting. But we also love the course builder and the course player that supports features essential for testing and delivering content. 

Key Features:

  • Custom Root Domain. You can easily link your existing website to Teachable under a custom domain.
  • Visual Course Builder. You’ll get a customizable online school experience and an editor that allows you to create engaging lectures or coaching sessions supported by multimedia.
  • Integration with Third-party Apps. Teachable supports integration with third-party apps such as Google Analytics, SumoMe, Zapier, Mailchimp, Segment, ConvertKit, and many more.   
  • Intuitive Dashboard. With the easy-to-use dashboard, you can organize your course and keep your students in a team by customizing their positions and roles. 
  • One-on-one Coaching Sessions. This feature enables you to host one-on-one or group coaching sessions, as well as schedule Calendar and Zoom meetings.  
  • Quizzes and Certificates. Besides creating quizzes to test the course participants’ knowledge, you can also create certificates or appoint your students’ badges after they finish the course.
  • Advanced Security. This LMS seamlessly hosts and protects your data. They offer constant upgrades, 24/7 monitoring, SSL certificates, and work only with payment providers that are PCI level 1 compliant. 

Teachable Monetization Options

This software solution offers coupons and advanced pricing options, including subscriptions, one-time payments, bundles, and more. It accepts payment from more than 30 currencies and supports PayPal and mobile pay. When you sell through the Teachable getaways, they also take care of the EU VAT.

Pricing And Final Thoughts 

The pricing with Teachable starts from $29 for the “Basic” plan, $99/mo for the “Pro” plan, and $249 for the “Business” plan. 

Teachable is user-friendly, full of valuable features, and very reliable. You’ll receive a fantastic tutorial and onboarding course to help you go through setting up and teaching your courses. This is especially helpful to those who’ve never used an LMS before. However, if you want to have everything under one roof, we believe it’s better to search for other solutions. You won’t get advanced quizzes, assignments, and forum options because Teachable only provides you with the basic functionalities – perfect for those who prefer simplicity.  

Adobe Captivate Prime

Adobe Captivate Prime's landing page

Adobe Captivate Prime is recognized as one of the leading tools in the industry because it brings an elevated learning experience to its users. It has been awarded multiple times and it’s the favorite tool of leading corporations around the world. 

What’s interesting about this LMS is that it provides an AI-based Social Learning Platform for learners to share their experiences with colleges in a motivating and encouraging manner. The overall design of this LMS is more than satisfying and the platform’s ability to organize various multimedia content is something that you will surely appreciate. Moreover, their website is full of instructional videos. So if things get overly complicated, you can open the easy-to-use instructional videos or just rely on their excellent support. 

Key Features:

  • Automated Content Curation. The system automatically keeps a check on content quality and approves only those courses that meet the quality score. This is super-effective thanks to the content scans based on AI & ML algorithms.  
  • Manual Content Curation. With Adobe Captivate Prime, you can moderate your content manually. You can assign SMEs as moderators that can view all content published by students or instructors. Moderators then can approve or disapprove of the produced content. The approved content enters the social learning ecosystem.
  • Discussion Board. Post content to existing boards or create new boards and start discussions in groups or peer-to-peer.  
  • Users Generated Content. Users can post their videos, audio, screenshots, and documents directly from their desktop or mobile devices. 
  • Captive Prime Desktop App for UGC and Browser Plugin. This free app will enable you to capture, post, and edit multimedia content. Learners can also install the add-on on their browser and natively post any web content to Adobe Captivate Prime LMS.
  • Social Learning Feed. Everyone who’s enrolled in the courses has their social feed where peers can follow each other’s activities and discuss different topics. 
  • Poll Option. Learners can turn text quotations to a poll question and invite their peers for responses. The instructor can see popular opinions among the responses, which is a valuable insight. 
  • Access Control for Discussion Boards. You can mark your boards as public, private, or restricted, and allow access to those boards only to people who have the pass.   
  • Activity Tracker. With this tracker, you can follow the engagement of the learners and the engagement levels of the groups. 
  • Social Search. This feature will enable you to take advantage of a robust search algorithm that populates relevant results from both social learning posts and formal learning courses. 

Adobe Captivate Prime Monetization Options

Adobe Captivate Prime has flexible and customer-friendly pricing models. You can use credit cards and buy a subscription for a maximum of 3500 learners. You can assign independent payment getaways to each country and you can implement both PayPal and another payment gateway for each country. Stripe is also supported by Captivate Prime as well as other payment gateways.    

Pricing And Final Thoughts 

Adobe Captivate Prime is licensed on a per-user basis and the price for one user is $4 per month. The minimum threshold on the number of users is 10.

Adobe Captivate Prime is a developer’s dream as it’s one of the most innovative, versatile, and intuitive LMS’s. Mainly trainees, LMS managers, corporate trainers, sales professionals, and serious couches use this LMS. 

Adobe Captivate Prime is a great learning management system if you want to continuously reduce employees’ skill gaps and align their skills to the business objectives. After the courses are over, the manager can make decisions using the data from the skill and compliance reports. The same applies if an individual entrepreneur wants to offer specific knowledge to online learners. This sophisticated LMS can satisfy the needs even to the most complicated and demanding course giver.  

Moodle

Learning management system Moodle's landing page

Moodle is an open-source LMS and the world’s most popular learning platform. It’s designed to provide educators, administrators, and learners with a robust, secure, and integrated learning system. We believe Moodle is a proven and trusted platform and an excellent tool for creating a personalized learning environment. 

Moodle is 100% free, as it comes with no license fee, regardless of whether you use it for commercial or non-commercial projects. It provides the most flexible tool-set to configure, enable, disable, or integrate built-in features. Moodle has multilingual capabilities and possesses no linguistic limitation for learning online. You can use Moodle anytime and from any device. 

What we love about Moodle is that a global community of developers support it. That means that the code of this software is constantly updated and the platform is getting better and more user-friendly with time. Besides the great support of the community, Moodle also offers forum support with lots of documentation on how to solve each problem. It’s no wonder that it’s the most used LMS in the world and translated into more than 126 languages.

Key Features:

  • Modern, Easy-To-Use Interface. Moodle is designed to be responsive and accessible. That is why the interface is easy to navigate and it’s optimized to function seamlessly on all devices. 
  • Personalized Dashboard. The Dashboard on Moodle is customizable and provides the users with details of their progress and upcoming deadlines. Students can easily track their activities and courses on this dashboard.
  • Advanced Activity Section. These are a group of 14 basic functional features that will enable you to assign, grade, chat, give feedback, open forums, quizzes, survey, etc, to all participants on the Moodle platform. With these features students and teachers can properly contribute to the courses.
  • Calendar. The calendar on Moodle can display site, courses, group, users, and category events. It can also show the deadlines of the assignments, quizzes, and tests and show you the chat time for your online meetings.
  • Easy Share Feature. This drag-and-drop feature will enable you to easily provide and share materials with your students. The files can be in a text or presentation format. 
  • HTML Editor. The text editor has many functions to assist the user in entering content. It includes Editing Section headings and descriptions of an activity.   
  • Notification Options. With Moodle, every participant will be able to receive notifications about assignments, forum discussions, etc. Besides notifications, this feature will enable you to send private messages between teachers, administration, students, and other users. 
  • Progress Tracker. There are several ways to track the progress activated on Moodle. This LMS allows you to follow the course grade book, the level of competence and proficiency of the user, activity completion, course completion, course reports, analytics, etc. Based on these activities Moodle will also enable you to award badges.

Moodle Monetization Options

Moodle can be integrated with PayPal, Stripe Payment, Authorized.net, 2Checkout, DPS Payment Gateways, Bitcoin. It also supports payment with SCA and Coupons. Moodle also supports a solid number of enrolment plugins

Pricing And Final Thoughts 

There are three ways you can get Moodle. The first option is to install it for free on your server. The second option is to set up your learning system with a Certified Moodle Partner, or third, to run Moodle on their cloud-based solution, where depending on the number of students, the prices range from $80 to $1,000 per year. 

Moodle is very good for setting up and managing courses, and distributing teaching materials. The platform provides educators around the world with a solution for eLearning that is scalable, customizable, and filled with a large section of activities and features. If you are willing and able to put some effort into administrating this open-source platform, then Moodle might satisfy the needs of the most demanding customers. However, if you are not willing to spend time coding and adjusting, then we recommend looking elsewhere. 

Blackboard Learn

Blackboard learning's landing page

This amazing LMS helps businesses and associations by providing flexible online learning and training experiences for the successful growth of the organization. Blackboard Learn is a product that has a modern, intuitive, and fully responsive interface that delivers simpler, more powerful teaching and learning experience by delivering tools and workflows that can help you stay organized, engaged, and productive.

This is a great platform for students to send and receive schoolwork, and for teachers who use mobile devices to connect with students. This LMS offers all the necessary features and allows teachers to upload assignments and participants to take quizzes and tests to check their progress. 

Blackboard is also very suitable for facilitating and recording real-time lectures and discussions. It offers a secure online space for professors and students with good academic support such as mentoring and tutoring. It works well with big amounts of content and supports multimedia. This software is suitable for preserving institutional knowledge, educating employees, and driving positive business results.  

Key Features:

  • Detailed Course List. After logging in to the course builder, the user can see all of the current courses, assigned instructors, and other custom roles. The course lists are easy to use and display all the details you need to effectively organize the courses.
  • Course Overview. When you open the course list, you will be able to see the option Needs Attention and quickly access assessments that are ready for you to grad. You can also see the Due Dates on assignments, review the grades, go through the announcements, course content, or discussions. 
  • Tests and Assignments. Tests and assignments are included in Course Content, where you can preview, edit, and assign tests for students.
  • Grading. With Blackboard, you can easily identify courses where you need to grade student assignments. With this feature, instructors can also review the grades and give feedback to students. 
  • Discussions. You can start new threads or follow and comment on the already existing forums. The discussions are the best way to stimulate your students and instructors to think and discuss different topics and questions. 
  • Announcements. With this feature, you can create, edit, view, and delete announcements within individual courses. When creating the announcements, you can select options like date and time to set when you want these announcements to be delivered. 
  • Organizations. Organizations behave like courses and contain tools that enable members to communicate. For every organization, you can access content, create announcements, and moderate discussions.    
  • Languages. Blackboard is available in over 30 languages including English, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Italian, German, etc,    
  • Designed for Mobile. The Blackboard app provides course access optimized for mobile devices. This feature takes advantage of all the capabilities of this LMS and helps you complete your tasks with great functionality and ease.  

Blackboard LMS For Business Monetization Options

Blackboard offers great functionality and can be integrated with the most common payment system gateways. 

Pricing And Final Thoughts 

Detailed pricing information is not publicly available for Blackboard. That being said, you can easily contact the team through their website and get all the necessary information.

This LMS excels in course creation because the instructors can upload and manage all course necessary materials on their comprehensive and flexible platform. Blackboard is considered one of the best value-for-money LMSs, however, according to some users, their pricing might get expensive.

Thinkific

Thinkific's landing page

Thinkific is a powerful, all-in-one platform that makes it easy to share your knowledge, grow your audience, and your business. Regardless of whether you have 10 or 10.000 students, this technology has all the necessary tools to satisfy your online teaching needs. Thinkific enables entrepreneurs to create and sell courses and aims to revolutionize the way people think and earn online.

Thinkific is designed for creating sustainable, lasting, and effective courses that you and your audience can enjoy. It’s easy to set up and customize your course to match your brand and you’ll have full control over your data and content. 

Because of its applicability, this platform is suitable for a huge number of users. Consultants, authors, public speakers, experts, trainers, associations, enterprises, and universities all use Thinkific. The platform is popular because it enables anyone who uses it to quickly create and deliver courses on their own branded site. 

Key Features:

  • Course Builder. The course builder features drag & drop and quickly upload content options that are simple to use but powerful enough even for the most demanding online schools. 
  • Option To Fully Customize Your Content. With the full customization power (drag-and-drop) that this feature offers, you can organize content, use your domain name, and go beyond with full access to HTML and CSS.
  • Multimedia Courses. Thinkific supports multimedia, hosts your video content for free, and lets your students enjoy dynamic content. It supports video, text, quizzes, discussion, surveys, Typeform, Google Docs, Captiva, and much more.  
  • Customizable Course System. You can customize the way your course system runs with the click of a button. Create private and hidden courses, assign work to multiple instructors, drip schedule content to your students, and much more.
  • Advanced Marketing Tools. With this feature, you can also attract larger audiences by offering coupons, free trials, upsells, payment plans, and monthly payments. What’s more, you can easily connect with your favorite email provider, and based on the advanced analytics, form a strategy and start a campaign to reach more learners. 
  • Progress Tracker. With Thinkific, you will be able to follow the progress of your course and the progress of your students. The robust data that is generated by this platform can be monitored and analyzed with the tools that will provide you with excellent segmentation and improved communication.    
  • Safety Features. One of the priorities of this LMS is to keep your data and content safe. That is why their cloud is certified with the best and newest online safety protocols. 

Thinkific Monetization Options

When it comes to monetizing, Thinkific offers a full suite of business tools that will help you market and sell your courses. With these tools, you can offer flexible pricing options that are adjusted to the size and style of the business that demands your courses. You can also offer membership and subscription packages or boost your course sales by offering coupons, free trials, upsells, tailor payment plans, and custom first-month payments. Thinkific supports integration with payment gateways such as Stripe, charges in 100+ currencies, accepts all credit cards, and offers secure payments. 

Pricing And Final Thoughts 

Thinkific offers a free test drive with its core features. But if you want to feel the benefits of the software, you will have to go for the paid option of $49/mo for the “Basic” plan, $99/mo for the “Pro” plan, and $499/mo for the “Premium” plan. 

We love that this online course platform is user-friendly and less costly than the more traditional competitors. Thinkific is suitable for individual course givers and small companies that want to monetize their knowledge or educate customers about their products. That’s not to say that it isn’t a solid LMS for big companies, but their competitors might give big companies better conditions. If you’re interested in using Thinkific, you will be pleasantly surprised by the range of features that the more advanced plans offer. 

Docebo

Learning management system Docebo's landing page

Docebo’s AI-powered learning platform is not just a single product but an enterprise learning system made out of a variety of features that can be specifically tailored for your learning needs. Unlike traditional LMS platforms that use the formal educational top-down approach, Docebo blends formal, social, and experiential learning modalities. By blending these modalities, it drives the growth of your business’ revenue.  

This LMS is adopted by more than 1,900 organizations all over the world, and it’s capable of satisfying multiple use cases for external and internal enterprise learning. But what Docebo is best known for is the top-notch enterprise L&D ecosystem that uses learning-specific AI algorithms to produce an unforgettable learning experience. This automated learning management is very unique because the social learning powered by artificial intelligence can be a personalized experience that all your learners will remember. 

The AI makes sure that user-generated content finds its way to learners who value knowledge. That is why when using Docebo, you will be able to create a nice experience that employees, customers, and partners will love and appreciate. The Docebo Learning Platform also facilitates informal learning applied in the flow of work. With these functionalities, Docebo can produce deeper learning outcomes tied to your high business objectives.  

Key Features:

  • Automated Learning Management. You can centralize, manage, and organize activities while enjoying the beautiful experience that this platform provides. 
  • Discover Coach and Share. With this feature, you will be able to reverse the forgetting curve by facilitating social learning as it happens. 
  • Extend Learning Reach. Engage and align partners with your brand, products, and services. You can also boost customer adoption and product renewal and increase the value of membership programs.
  • Virtual Coach. Docebo’s AI Virtual Coach interacts with learners through a conversational UI and provides instant answers to any question. This powerful feature can also recommend content and remind both instructors and students about the progress they’ve made.  
  • Optimization for Mobile Devices. 
  • Docebo Content. The average e-learning course takes more than 250 hours to create. However, Docebo Content reduces the time for course development by supporting in-house content capabilities with engaging learning content that covers a variety of topics.
  • Enable Sales. Docebo enables sales at scale by preparing salespeople with the knowledge they need to have a valuable conversation with buyers. It will also allow you to update product training, establish brand message consistency, and gamify your sales training activities.   

Docebo Monetization Options

The Docebo e-commerce app allows you to sell courses online by creating a marketplace available for registered and non-registered users. Activating the e-commerce app takes several steps. After you configure it, you will be able to choose a variety of payment gateways and currencies. You can also set up a wire transfer payment, offer course subscriptions, and coupons.  

Pricing And Final Thoughts 

The pricing of Docebo depends on the number of active users you have. The software gives you access to 300 users at a charge of $3.33 per user per month. It delivers great value and usability for the price. Thanks to its good reporting feature as well as the emphasis on social networks, gamification, and integration with third-party apps, Docebo offers great value. 

This cloud-based enterprise learning service ranks among the world’s top 10 eLearning solutions, and it’s trusted by big corporations like Starbucks, Uber, and Reuters.   

What Are Learning Management Systems Used For?

Both educational institutions and corporations use online teaching platforms. Educational institutions, especially colleges and universities, use learning management systems to give students more efficient access to information and provide an online learning environment that’s more practical and inclusive. On the other hand, organizations and businesses find these solutions ideal for creating training programs for their employees, including employee onboarding. 

Learning Management Systems can also be used by individuals who want to create courses to share their skills and experiences. This is one of the best ways to share your knowledge with others and make some money while doing that.

In contrast to a physical classroom, learning management systems offer:

  • better organization, 
  • more involvement of all participants, 
  • greater accessibility to information, 
  • maximum efficiency in learning, 
  • lower costs.  

However, different platforms have different strengths and weaknesses in various aspects that might be more or less suitable for you.  

Conclusion

We hope that our best learning management systems list helped you find the right software for your needs.

If you’re an experienced coder, you should go with an open-source LMS like Moodle. On the other hand, if you don’t want to deal with code and want an LMS that will give you easily customizable themes, Kajabi, Teachable, and Thinkific are great platforms. Finally, if you are a large enterprise and money and resources are not an issue, go with a platform that will take care of all your needs, like Adobe Captivate Prime or Blackboard LMS For Business. 

If you are looking for a WordPress LMS plugin, we’ve also reviewed the best WordPress LMS plugins in 2020.

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