Learning is an integral part of being human. We learn our whole lives, from the groundwork of mathematics, such as counting, addition and subtraction, to more complicated concepts such as how the universe works and what our place in the galaxy is. Our brains are meant to absorb and retain information, big or small. But sometimes, the way that the information is packaged helps determine how well we remember or recall the information, if at all. Learning is typically associated with classrooms, but as smartphone technologies become more ubiquitous, mobile learning and eLearning are gaining in popularity. As it stands, the global eLearning market is expected to reach USD $325 billion by 2025.
According to Forbes, in 2017, 87 per cent of higher education institutions in Canada and the U.S. reported using some form of eLearning platform. And according to a market analysis by Global Industry Analysts, Inc, 77 per cent of American companies have already used online learning to train their workforce.
There’s no shortage of options for eLearning platforms, but which ones stand out? Free online Learning Management Systems are software applications that are used by schools and companies to help administer, document, track and report the delivery of education courses. Training programs have always been present in corporate life, and free online LMS allow corporations to fine-tune their learning programs to better align with their objectives. Not to mention it makes it more attractive to the target audience and increases the likelihood they will engage with the material!
Here’s a list of the 10 best free LMS available:
ATutor is an open-source free LMS software, used to develop and manage online courses, and to create and distribute interoperable eLearning content. It’s a great cost-effective tool for organizations of all sizes, and allows you to develop online courses and create your own eLearning content. The software provides several development tools for administrators, instructors and learners, and is designed with adaptability and accessibility in mind. The software is inclusive and features assistive technology for those with disabilities. It also allows for social networking, messaging, file storage, file tracking, and communication tools.
CourseSites is a an online free LMS platform that allows instructors to engage with their students anywhere, anytime with an interactive eLearning platform that fits the needs of your audience. This powerful and free LMS allows you to post and update course materials, interact with students, promote collaboration, and assess and improve performance, all from one place. It allows teachers and instructors from all levels, from kindergarten to university-level courses to add web-based content to their curriculum, or even build a whole class from the ground up and host it online. With customizable URLs, it’s easy for students to find your class and follow along.
CourseSites is the free version of Blackboard Learn, the premium solution from the Blackboard Company which specializes in providing educational technology solutions and services. Because of its global footprint and ease of use, this is also one of the platforms that is a particularly strong free LMS for non-profits.
EdApp’s multi-award winning mobile LMS is the new standard in corporate eLearning LMS. Using microlearning, gamification, spaced repetition and many other LMS features, this mobile-focused system, which enables employees to perform training on their own mobile devices, is the most effective and engaging way to create, distribute and analyse training in corporate, retail and other business environments. Whether it’s deployed as a standalone LMS to create a continuous learning culture or it’s used to extend the capabilities of traditional learning management systems, their mobile-first LMS sets the standard.
Just like CourseSites, MyiCourse is a free online LMS platform catered to those who wish to teach online. The difference is, MyiCourse allows you to establish a virtual institution where you can publish or even sell educational content. You can either host a “public” college with your courses available to everyone on the internet or put up a “private” college with content available to a selected group of people.
In this regard, it is a little more sophisticated, and allows you to create customized, interactive courses to train and engage your employees or students. Other features include branding options, test question creation, customizable certificates, custom registration, and the ability to monetize coursework.
It also has a host of sophisticated analytical tools that corporate trainers can benefit from, allowing you to track time spent on courses, chart test results, and take a close look at course sales.
Whereas some of the options in this list offer LMS that are very technical and highly customizable, Coggno is a free learning management system that encourages simplicity. This LMS offers free simplified training and certification globally, and delivers a single, cloud-based system to connect all the stakeholders together, from HR organizations to workers to content providers.
The LMS platform also allows you to label it with your logo and branding, load courses from a whole library available, view the progress of your trainees and employees, and calculate the return on investment of your training initiatives. Many courses come with a certification that you can download, and the LMS can be set up to send you push notifications and reminders to continue your progress.
GoSkills was created as a free LMS platform adequate for businesses of all sizes. It incorporates elements of gamification to encourage friendly competition among your participants and supports all kinds of content and files to ensure the content remains engaging.
This cloud-based, free eLearning platform is a mobile-ready software that has a host of tools that give insight into the progress your participants are doing, and powerful analytics so you can accurately track everyone’s progress. It even offers a learner’s portal wherein each participant can monitor their grades and keep track of all the courses they’ve taken.
Chamillo isn’t just a free online LMS system that allows you to create individual classes. It allows you to create a whole virtual campus for your training. It is designed for ease of use and speed, and includes features such as courses catalog, skills management, certificates generation, configurations of complex configurations, and SCORM support.
Chamilo offers ease of creation regarding training content, as well as a host of solutions to track participant’s results. It can accommodate over 3,000 simultaneous connected learners through its cloud compatibility, and therefore is a good solution for large companies that train many people at the same time.
Sakai is a product of the joint resources of colleges, universities and some commercial firms who help design, build, test and refine the software on an ongoing, voluntary basis. It is a platform build by the community, for the community. This free LMS offers a responsive design and interesting core features like banner alerts, notifications, lessons tool enhancements and intelligent feedback. This platform environment promotes training, learning, research and other pursuits of acquiring knowledge. It’s a constantly changing platform that continually improves to meet the needs of the community that created it, and which it was created for.
Unlike some of the other platforms in this list, Schoology is an LMS that particularly focuses on the needs of students, though it can still be applied toward corporate training. This LMS allows you to track progress while also monitoring attendance, share instructional materials, and undertake grade recording. It is a flexible interface with a real focus on improving the student experience and meeting their most immediate needs.
Appsembler’s sophisticated cloud-based training platform makes it easy to create and instantly deliver hands-on, immersive learning experiences that stick. They believe in learning by doing, and so their courses and training is very hands-on, giving participants a real-world scenario and environment in which to practice their skills and develop their training. Their LMS is similar to other platforms listed, but what makes this one stands apart is that their platform also offers integration capabilities, so you can deliver courses while also meeting your other business needs by improving workflows and enterprise systems.
Are you interested in adapting your existing training platform to one of the top LMS platforms? Visit EdApp today to see how they can help. EdApp’s multi-award-winning mobile app is the new standard in eLearning and offers support for microlearning, mobile learning, spaced repetition and gamification.