A Course Management System (CMS) is a software tool that provides an online platform for hosting courses as well as interacting with these courses. A CMS is built for professional training to provide structure to easily manage training content. Some of the best systems help drive better learning results through built-in features. And the best ones also help make the experience as easy as possible with an intuitive platform, enabling anyone to easily make the most effective training.
Through an infrastructure including design, storage, access, and delivery of learning content but not all course management systems are the same. Today, authors have the choice to use tools that are affordable, easy to use, intuitive, enable the rapid production of eLearning content, and do not require special computer knowledge to use them.
Discover some of the top 10 CMS in 2020 below.
EdApp is an entirely free LMS, covering all parts of the learning process. Its large collection of built-in tools make course designing and managing reachable to anyone of any skillset.
With EdApp’s course authoring tools, you can include pictures, interactive exercises, tests, and quizzes within the course content. If you lack the creativity or time to search for media, EdApp presents you with access to Canva’s media library – so interactive and multimedia-rich courses can be created quickly and easily – no coding or design knowledge necessary.
EdApp is also extremely intuitive and allows you to easily generate bespoke learning content for every type of learner. It hosts an extensive template library where you can pick and choose over 50 different varieties of styles and structures. Features like these are incredibly time-saving, and EdApp provides even more support with a built-in completely free and fully editable course library. This extensive library is full of ready-made, high-quality courses for all industries.
Elements of gamification make learning fun and also has proven benefits like boosting participation rates. The platform also drives microlearning, which is the most effective form of learning and breaks down concepts into small, digestible chunks.
Another special advantage of EdApp is that the content created can be transmitted to the devices that we spend the most time on: mobile phones (as well as desktop).
Showbie is suitable for authors who encounter LMS or a similar environment for the first time, as it offers basic tools with clear explanations. You can create your content, rearrange it, or change templates from Showbie.
The platform supports basic integrations like Flash animations, pictures, and questions, to help upgrade your training content.
A course can be designed with the help of a tool in the form of a tree branch, which gives a feeling of greater interactivity, or you can stick to the usual linear way while designing your content.
While the tool is relatively easy to use, it’s not ideal for corporate-business needs. If you need more complex functions, you will, have to turn to other software solutions to help boost your results and also measure results.
The SmartBuilder tool enables simple content creation for your learners. Since the platform doesn’t provide the most intuitive experience, SmartBuilder offers an introductory 10-minute film to learn how to navigate it properly.
In terms of course creation, your content can be enriched by adding images with various special effects, inserting shapes, buttons, quizzes, surveys, and audio files. If you want to create content in multiple languages, SmartBuilder offers some translation tools as well.
Some areas need to be worked upon, as you don’t get a feeling that this is an LMS that offers support for a complete course management cycle. For starters, there is no image library or webcam/screen recording. A major drawback is the limited set of templates (only three!), so selecting a platform that offers more customization with more choice is preferrable.
The Sana EasyGenerator tool is intended for authors without technical knowledge. The latest version allows you to create your templates, with the option of adding images or text. You can easily change the properties of slides, specify a color or image for the background and icons, or add navigation buttons. Whatever you add to the first slide is automatically included in the rest of the worksheets, which can be convenient but also limiting, as you’re automatically locked into the same design and structure.
The platform’s timeline design allows you to make your training interactive, and objects included on an individual slide can be hidden or displayed at certain times, to help guide learners. The cons are that the cost of the software is quite high, and Sana does not offer a mobile-friendly version.
The Hot Lava Mobile tool is designed to create learning content for use on mobile phone.
The tool offers a number of interactions for presenting and exploring content, such as quizzes, different types of questions, surveys, links to external sources, and imagery. The tool is ideal for adding videos to presentations followed by questions, so it is a good add-on to PowerPoint.
Hot Lava is only a mobile platform, so you cannot count on it to fulfil all your learning needs, but is better suited for small teams or with the use of additional resources to create a holistic learning or training experience.
With the help of the Exact’s built-in templates, authors can create courses and learning content by dragging basic elements such as images into the structure of the tree that represents the template.
The tool is also useful for creating content that needs to meet different learning requirements, such as delivery for PC, printed materials, and mobile devices. Exact has a “grab and drop” design mode to enable faster content creation while the indexing of materials provides a faster and easier search.
The Exact environment works on the principle of dynamic learning design and offers authors the creation of learning content based on the use of templates, design, and supplementation of templates.
Exact feels more like a content management system and lacks tools to help track, measure, and engage your learners. So if you are looking for a single training solution, Exact might not be the platform for you.
Rustici software has an open-source course management version, but if you want access to all features you need to make a purchase. The paid version includes a more modern experience with some beneficial learning elements to help deliver better training and, in turn, in better results.
Rustici software is easy to use, the interface is intuitive. This means that creating eLearning content is easily achieved without any special knowledge of HTML. You can organize your training content into sections, pages, or according to the topic. Each new page added is initially blank, with the ability to add desired interaction, such as animations created with sound, text, video, quizzes, along with the option to create combinations between them.
Even if you purchase the software, it still falls short in certain areas like social learning as there is no video conferencing feature, for example.
Elmo CourseBuilder works online, so you don’t have to have plug-ins or make time-consuming downloads to your computer. This makes it easy to collaborate in creating training content, regardless of everyone’s geographical location.
Plus, the interface is very intuitive, as it works on the principle of WYSIWYG design (What You See Is What You Get), and the menus, which guide the author step by step, are also very helpful to create basic courseware to your learners.
Since the tool is fairly easy to navigate, it’s suitable for authors without experience. But while it’s a handy tool for course creation, it does not offer functions that support the whole course management process. For example, you cannot assess course progress, grade participants, and manage certifications.
Edjet focused on the course management process only, so it is limited compared to all-in-one LMS platforms which provide a holistic training experience.
That said, Edjet is a simple online tool for creating interactive elements and integrating them into learning content, without the knowledge of programming. Once you create an account, a collection of options appear on the interface, from which the authors can choose any type, depending on what they want to create (interactive pyramids, interactive conversations, quizzes).
The tool also has several templates that can be changed and adjusted to your liking from a visual standpoint. These simple options include changing your course colour and size.
Brainshark gives you the tools to create an essential training experience by adding elements like audio and video clips, adding questions, links, surveys, and the like. Within Brainshark, the content is created as a sequence of slides or clips, they can be imported from our already existing files like PDF documents and images.
Once the content is complete, a link can be sent via email to your teams. When you click on the link, the presentation is automatically opened. Users can view the content both on a computer and via mobile phones using regular browsers, Brainshark iOS or Android applications, but they need a specific application to solve interactive surveys and questions. Also, the web-version is flash-based, so you need to have flash installed.
With Brainshark, you can get a free demo, but after that, you need to subscribe to a paid version.
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