With just a simple search online these days, you can find a plethora of E-learning Software options which leads to an instant need for a E-learning software comparison. However, before you do this, you first need to know the main features of learning management systems (LMS) and how they contribute to the final product. In case you were unaware, an LMS is a piece of software that allows you to plan, deliver, and then manage content released to students, employees, or any other target market. Please visit our one on one elearning software comparison page, where we compare a variety of E-learning software with each other.
For the most part, an LMS will be compliant with SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) which means content created anywhere can be inserted and compressed before then fitting in with the training system of a company. Essentially, the process starts outside the LMS before then using SCORM to transfer and deliver to the LMS itself. Nowadays, the market seems to be split down the middle between computer-based and web-based solutions. Let’s start our E-learning software comparison by explaining these differences.
As the name suggests, this is any LMS that requires a full download onto a particular system. If your company grows over time, this can cause some issues because memory and computers will deplete as you welcome more employees to the business. For the learners, they can also be prevented from learning in their ideal environment.
On the flip side, we have the more popular option of online-based LMSs which we can’t leave out of any e-learning software comparison and these rely on the ‘cloud’ to store all information. Before we head any further with our e-learning software comparison features, we should probably clear up the difference between an online learning system and an online training system as many seem to get the two confused. For a learning system, this is where learning is actually published on the administrative side of things; this includes e-learning software. On the other hand, an online training system looks at the actions of the company and how they execute the e-learning for the learner.
With some LMSs in the market, they essentially take the form of an online wiki for each company. However, there is no way to check whether new employees actually read the information expected unless they physically sit them down and ask direct questions. Therefore, you should ideally look for a program that acts as an online course software; for example, you can track all learning and ensure time is spent reading each section. With web-based training software, you can have a solution that acts as an e-learning program and therefore allows companies to take more control.
If you’ve previously paid out for a SCORM-compliant LMS, you might be wondering what you can do but it isn’t too late. Sadly, many businesses think it’s too late to go back but this should be seen as progression and an investment into the future. With superb web-based e-learning software by your side, you’ll instantly become more efficient and it takes less than a day to transfer the important content from the SCORM LMS.
Once you’ve made this positive step, distributing content becomes easier along with the learning itself for the recipient. With this in mind, you save money as well as the need for training personnel because the software does it all for you. Over time, the content can be made specifically for your own brand and the material can be focused on what you need the recipient to learn.
In addition to this, it helps in different areas of the business despite being cared for in HR. For example, a sales director can use their expertize to really drive home the elaborate points rather than relying on an HR member who won’t have the same extensive knowledge. From here, the sales director can send the content to every member of the sales team as well as other employees who could use the information. Because the sales director has a direct input into the content, they can be happy knowing all the important information has been included.
Of course, you can still use company-wide content that goes to every employee and this can act as a newsletter with important information within. However, it’s more interactive and helpful than a newsletter because you can include quizzes and questions to ensure the information is understood. If required, you could also ask for feedback and responses on the content. With both of these in mind, you have each department up-to-date on their own information as well as knowing what’s happening around the company and industry.
Best Learning Management Systems
When you look towards an E-learning software comparison of the very best learning management systems in recent times, they all have one thing in common; they find the balance between teaching and learning perfectly. Therefore, it’s fair to say the norm is very quickly being introduced with web-based learning management systems because they cut costs and time. In addition to this, the top learning management systems will also allow the ‘teachers’ to be creative without worrying about ink in the printer or not being able to remove a mistake when completing a form.
E-Learning Software Comparison
Unfortunately, there’s no way we can sit here and name the best e-learning software because they all excel in different areas. Therefore, you need to visit sites that show you which tools have which features before then comparing them to your own needs. If you’re going to make a E-learning software comparison in the coming days and weeks, a review of your needs should always be the very first step in the process.
If you make the right decision first time around, you can save time, money, and valuable resources that can be spent elsewhere in your business. Below, we’ve listed a process that seems to work for most businesses when making a E-learning software comparison.
Step 1: Assess Your Needs – As we’ve already suggested, there is no point asking other companies what they use because every single business has their unique set of needs. What works for hundreds of others might not work for you so take your time, find the features you need the most, and then you can continue. Before you even look at the options available, write down a short list of ten things you would like to see. In all likelihood, you’ll come across LMSs that exceed your requirements; as long as the LMS covers what’s on your list, then you know it will do what you require.
Step 2: Previous Customer Reviews – When we’re buying a new piece of machinery or maybe a new smartphone, we read through the reviews of previous customers so why should an e-learning software comparison be any different? Whilst doing this, we recommend paying more attention to the negative reviews than the good ones. Not only do you learn the faults of the system, negative reviews are normally more detailed so you get to see whether or not it would work for your company.
If possible, find a website where reviewers can leave ‘pros and cons’ as this will give you a great insight. If you’re looking at the site of the LMS developer, you’re going to see some biased reviews because why would any company post bad reviews of their own product? With this in mind, impartial review sites will always be the best way to go.
Step 3: Test – By this point, your list should be down to a handful and you can try to test as many solutions as possible. With most programs, they offer a small trial so take advantage of this and have your team test it to see if it meets their needs.
Step 4: Make the Decision – Once you’ve taken the three steps above, all that’s left to do is make the call or send the email to make it happen. By contacting the company directly, you can ask any key questions you have as well as letting them sell the product to you; you might just learn some extra features and customer support functions here. As long as they’re patient and willing to help, you can be confident in their service in the future and you can proceed to the next step of purchasing.
By following these four steps, you don’t forget anything important and you find the solution that really fits your business.
Creating Online Courses
When you choose the right software, you should have complete creative freedom to do what’s right for your business. This being said, it shouldn’t come at the price of simplicity; some programs allow perhaps too much freedom because beginners might need some guidelines in place to get started. With the right program, you should be able to start a new project before then splitting it up into different lessons. There is also E-learning authoring software as for example, Captivate, Articulate and Easygenerator that specifically focus on creating content. Also have a look at our review on articulate vs captivate.
Example – For your business, you might want to start by training your customer service team on the various methods and techniques of communicating. From here, you can give the section a label and break it down into different sub-sections with quizzes and extensive content. As an example, we recently saw a company produce different sub-sections on phone etiquette, remaining calm under pressure, how to yield results whilst on a call, etc. If you want to see the best results, we advise taking advantage of various media types including videos, quizzes, text, infographics, and more. This way, you’ll keep the attention of the learner for a longer period of time. With most modern LMSs, they don’t require any coding so the process remains simple.
Furthermore, you could look for an LMS with widgets so you can incorporate YouTube videos, GIFs, and other types of media. As we saw earlier, traditional LMS options require you to do this outside of the LMS and then formatting it so it’s SCORM compliant. If you want to avoid this, newer platforms will remove this process and allow a direct connection so it feels as simple as creating a powerpoint presentation. Since it’s web-based, you also don’t have to worry about file size.
Getting the Most From Your Software
With each industry providing more competition than ever before, training has become one of the cornerstones of business and this can happen with e-learning. In recent times, businesses have been seeing success with ‘flipped learning’ which means allowing new employees to work where they prefer. Rather than forcing them to sit through lectures, they can start learning at their own pace with online resources before then going into more detail with the expert lecturers. With traditional learning, time is wasted simply learning the basics but this can be done at home, in the gym, or wherever the employee feels comfortable with flipped learning.
With most high-quality e-learning software solutions, the lessons you build will remain on the server to be accessed at any time and from anywhere in the world. Rather than having to download the software onto the computer and have your employees come into the office, they can learn from the comfort of their own home or even whilst on vacation. If you have any questions, some of the very best solutions will also have creative learning managers to get you going.
If you’re currently undergoing an e-learning software comparison, bear these points in mind to find the right balance between teacher and learner. If you follow the steps listed above, you can create the course with ease whilst also making it enjoyable and engaging for the end user!