LMS Advice / Recommendation

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We are currently using Moodle for our LMS, but the administration has become too cumbersome for us.  We are not using it for internal training, but rather as a platform to sell our courses to other companies. 

We're currently looking for a new LMS that needs the following:

 

-Can host thousands of users
-Can group like users (companies, job titles, etc)
-Can use SCORM (we use articulate to build a good portion of our courses)
-Has quizzes, tests, and other interactive activities
-Is customizable, offers HTML editor for pages/activities
-Can do batch uploads of users
-Solid administration settings

 

Any advice or recommendations would be helpful.  Thank you!

23 Replies
Alexandros Anoyatis

Hi Matthew,

In your case, an LMS such as OpenOLAT (http://www.openolat.org) may be just what the doctor ordered.

All of the requirements you specified above are covered (quite extensively I might add).

The only cons are : A) Hard to install if you have no previous experience setting up a Tomcat Application Server (although the manual is quite extensive), B) If you host it outside your company LAN, you will need full root access on your webserver (i.e. not suited for shared hosting) and C) No SCORM 2004 compliance (it is however 1.2 compliant, and IMHO the most fully featured in the biz).

If you have the patience to get to grips with it, you'll probably start looking at Moodle in an ever more negative manner.

Just my 2c,
Alex

Nicole Legault

Hey Matthew, 

A few years ago I was researching LMS systems for a company I was working for, and I came across this pretty cool website: Capterra. They have a compiled list of over 300+ LMSs that you can sort through and check out features and reviews.

I'd love to be able to offer you some more specific recommendations based on personal experiences, but my LMS experience has been somewhat restricted to using Moodle.

One more thing, once you've narrowed your choices down to a top 2-3 systems, I'd do some extensive Google/Linked In group research and find out what real users are saying and how their day-to-day experiences are going with the software. How many steps are involved in uploading SCORM files? How helpful/responsive is their technical support? You can probably even single out specific individuals who have used the software that you can connect with or Message through LinkedIn to get more details about their experience. May seem a bit extreme, but I think it would be well worth it in the end. Since installing and configuring a new LMS is a money- and time-intensive undertaking, you probably only want to do it once and want to be pleased with the results. =) 

Hopefully you'll report back with your final selection, as well as how you ended up making your choice! 

Andrew Somiah

Hi Matthew,

A few years ago I was researching LMS systems for my former employer a UK Public Sector Organisation and came accross Kallidus LMS. The product fully met our needs, to the point that i became an expert and is now employed by Kallidus supporting the use of the LMS.  Check it out it may meet your needs: http://kallidus.com/ .

A full feature list can be found here: http://kallidus.com/Documents/Features%20Lists/Kallidus%209.pdf

 http://kallidus.com/Documents/Brochures/Kallidus%20Learning%20Management.pdf 

-Can host thousands of users

Yes Kallidus can have unlimitted number of users. Nissan Europe is a Kallidus client with approximately 100 thousand users accross Europe. Specsavers is another client with a similar amount of users accross Europe and Australia. The LMS supports Time Zones.
-Can group like users (companies, job titles, etc)

Yes you can put users into groups and can have as many groups as you like? Users can belong to more than one group depending on needs. You can also create domains with specific administrators for just these domains or groups.
-Can use SCORM (we use articulate to build a good portion of our courses)

Yes most of the Kallidus clients use Articulate Studio 9 & Storyline Content onthe LMS. It tracks perfectly with no issues.
-Has quizzes, tests, and other interactive activities

Kallidus does not have a built in authoring tool however it supports content designed in third party rapid tools like Articulate, Lectora, iSpring and Rapidity. 
-Is customizable, offers HTML editor for pages/activities

Yes Kallidus has Google Style Customisable HTML Gadgets all managed simply from the front end by any user with the right admin access? No need for complex programming skills or HTML knowledge. Custom themes can be created for each group of users/domain so you have a different look and feel depending on your domain/group. It also supports most main languanges including left to right languages like Hebrew and Arabic.
-Can do batch uploads of users

Yes users can be imported in batch via a spreadsheet or csv file with a few clicks of a button. All this is done from the front -end no need for access to the database.
-Solid administration settings

Yes fully managed admin with very good reporting capabilities.

Reports can be schedulled to recepients in either pdf or excel format depending on preference.

Scott Hewitt

Hi Matthew,

Where to start?

The features that you have listed are available in most LMS. I've worked on several LMS procurement projects (independently) and I've always worked with the client to develop a features/benefits list and then move to to develop a specification document. You can then use this to compare the various LMS that are available on the market.

Good places for lists

I suggest that you look at total cost of ownership. There are some excellent cloud solutions but check your costs as your user numbers increase. Jane Hart and Craig Weiss both maintain a list of LMS products and vendors that will give you an excellent starting point. I'd be conscious of a top 10 listing as each client has a different set of requirements - you can use this as a guide but you need to ensure that you have met your own requirements.

I've worked with many LMS products and each offered some different to the client. They were all good products but wouldn't have been suitable for each of them.

Get a demo

You can obtain a demo version of most LMS allowing you to test and measure the effectiveness of the LMS - it is a good idea to see how the LMS will work against your requirements.

I suggest a more strategic and planned approach will allow you to evaluate each of the products against your requirements. Think about a feature list including basic/intermediate/advanced this helps to break down the feature lists.

I hope that this helps,

Scott

Stefano Posti

My advice is that you try some cool 14 demo offered by Docebo and Litmos just uploading a few courses and users and see how you like the administrative panel and the user-side experience; OR arrange demos with Totara stuff or other Vendors (Kallidus, Capterra, etc.).

Remember the thousand users prerequisite... stability is a must, and not all LMS can handle this with no issue... (moodle and moodle derived LMS are ok, Docebo is OK, Litmos sould be ok too... )

You'll find other amazing LMS around (Absorb, etc.)... test them as much as you can. e-learning from a tech point of view is 2 key things: the LMS and the authoring Tool...

Kimberly Read

I think of Brandon Hall as the "Consumer Reports" of all things related to organizational development. They have regular reviews of LMSs however you do have to pay (or your organization does) for the research. However an LMS is a significant enough investment I personally think it is well worth careful research: http://brandonhall.com/learning-management-systems.php.

I've used some of the larger LMSs: Cornerstone, HealthStream, GeoLearning (since purchased by SumTotal) and have been involved in a couple of LMS procurement projects. There are a lot of providers out there who would meet the requirements you have outlined. The challenge might be narrowing the field moreso than finding one that can do the job. Best of luck to you!

J.P. Medved

Matthew,

Nicole already mentioned Capterra, but there's a couple other resources you can use there to help find a good LMS:

Hope that helps!

Dominique D

Bruce Graham said:

I have seen hundreds of LMSs over the years, and I have to say that I am currently working with a Docebo installation, which is the most simple, intuitive, and downright gorgeous product I have ever come across from both a user and administrative standpoint.

Bruce


Hi Bruce,

May I knock at the door?

I have been testing a couple of LMS's for a new project. 

I am right now working with a Docebo trial version. I must say I totally agree with your opinion about this product and will probably choose it. 

I suppose and hope you are still happy with Docebo. Did you meet any problems while integrating Storyline stuff?

Reports are really important for our project. I have a specific question about reports on Storyline objects: do you get the same "semi graphical" per question reports than with objects created in Docebo. Are you also working with iPad clients?

Many thanks,

Dominique

Jean K.

Hello,

We have an LMS, but we are getting requests to deliver some courses via email so users do not have to go to the LMS , register and sign in.  I have looked at SCORM Cloud which would work great, but since we drip feed separate lessons weekly, the ongoing monthly cost makes it out of reach for our needs. We have no need for any tracking or reporting on learner usage. Does anyone know a more cost-effective solution similar to scorm cloud? We don't mind development time either, just need to avoid a significant monthly expense associated with our courses which are usually 5-10 individual lessons/modules delivered separately. Would greatly appreciate any suggestions...not finding much when googling, but may be that I'm using the wrong terminology....thanks!

Wendy Farmer

Hi Jean

If you don't need to track or report do you still need the LMS version to be published.  Could you just publish the web version and load it onto your webserver.  Send the users a link to story.html (sometimes your tech people may change this to index.html) and that should work.

Jean K.

That is helpful.  We do need to keep control of the usage, and we may not be able to get the ultimate end user's emails due to industry privacy issues.  But I will look into that as on option.  Still looking for scorm cloud alternatives if that exists.  But thank you for this idea, I appreciate it!  

Anna Hampton

I tried out other learning management programs and you can't get away from looking for alternatives. I give props to Articulate for providing a good learning management system. It's actually a good alternative to the currently LMS I'm using now, although I would still prefer it over Articulate.

John roberts

Hey Matthew,

I recommend Beetsol LMS. This is a fully featured SCORM compliant LMS that provides the infrastructure for enterprise training and management needs.

It is the best LMS which easily allows you to build courses, import SCORM content, deploy online learning, manage users, communicate with users, track training results, and more.

It allows you to upload Articulate content very easily. Simply publish the content as Scorm 1.2 or 2004 and upload the zip file into a course on Beetsol - that's it!

The best part is its ease of use, scalability, reliable, Gamification, Multi-Tenant, Social learning, Social Wall, Chats, Custom Reports. Also supports integrations like SalesForce, Webex, eCommerce among others.

Hope this helps.

Thanks!
John.

Marcus Louvet Larsson

Hi! This post may be a bit off topic and contain a number of question but...

How specific result info can you retrieve from a scormobject (in this case from an SL3 export for scorm). is it up to the LMS how the statistics are presented (in terms of showing the exact title of the quiz or only an id ex. "slide 14")?

When i export for scorm 2004 and choose "track using number of slides viewed" my LMS (SCORM CLOUD) only shows that the course is incomplete, but not how many of my total slides are visited.. is this possible. 

And.. why do i have to choose one or the other out of "track number of slides.." and track "using quiz results" i want to do both! Track how many quizzes a user completed/not completed and how they scored. And i want to see how many slides have they done, so a client can see that one of their users has done lets say 112 out of 300 slides (or shown in procentage). 

And as far as i can see i can only get quiz results from one result slide? I got like 20 in this particular e-course.

Thankful for any input!