aLearning Blog

Online Learning for Trade Associations

More LMS Options for Associations on a Budget

Posted by Ellen on April 26, 2010

And the emails just keep coming in!

Of course I welcome more leads and suggestions for LMSes that are well-suited to the association sector and will continue to include links periodically.

I am finding that I just don’t have the time to try out all of them. I am hoping to get a sample course together to post in various places so you can see how the same course or tutorial would work/look in different environments, but what I produce and what you’re going to offer are likely different anyway, so doing your own experimentation is your best option.

For the time being, know that I’ll note where I’ve experimented and where I haven’t… none of these comments are endorsements; no one paid for a chance to be listed here. Right now we can afford to be financially independent, so we mention anybody we want without offending an advertiser or sponsor, and that’s how we like it :)

Finally, a few words of caution:  You’ve probably heard that the wiki platform Ning is shutting down its free option; subscribers either have to move their content off Ning or start ante-ing up for the paid version. Always keep a backup of anything you put on a free site and have a Plan B in case that option suddenly isn’t available to you.

That said…

Here are a few more LMS and LCMS options to consider:

Nancy Safer [nancy@edcetratraining.com] at edCetra Training tells me they have a “mini” LMS as part of their edXact! product, which is primarily a tracking and reporting system. Their fees sound reasonable, compared to many others, roughly $6000-$11,000 annually. The case studies I read (I confess I didn’t read them all) suggest a client base of primarly large organizations with implementations with other systems. If you have a courses requiring tracking and reporting that must integrate with a large AMS, this option is worth exploring.

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This update came in from Susan Lewis at Rustici (some of you asked for updates after she posted a comment in a previous post here):
“I just wanted to update you on where we are in our move toward a delivery platform. The big update being that you can now deliver training via our SCORM Cloud product. Just upload a course, then send it to a group of learners directly from the SCORM Cloud dashboard. Learners click the link in the email and the course launches. Easy peasy. And while we’re mostly talking to people about it in terms of being able to see how SCORM Cloud works before they take the step of integrating it into their LMS, it could be used by anyone who needs a simple delivery system. Small association chapters for example.

“This makes the SCORM Cloud platform a viable option for anyone looking for something really, really basic. And we’re encouraging outside developers to take advantage of our open API to connect SCORM Cloud to other websites, which could add pretty much every feature you listed at some point. (That’s the part we get really excited about!)”

You can contact Susan directly at susan.lewis@scorm.com or by calling (615) 852-5123.

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Educadium  has a nice platform called Easy Campus. I’ve been working on a course about Webinars to upload there, but rather than hold up mention of their system while I keep trying to make castles in the sandbox, take a look yourself. There’s a blank sample at http://campus.educadium.com/aLearning. Login with the username “alearning2” and use “alearning” as your password.

This was a free option, so set up your own campus if you’d like and see what you can do! For more information about Easy Campus, contact Jim Friscia at jfriscia@educadium.com.
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“Patrick” added a comment to LMS = Losing My Smile, which said, in part: “Our company has created TOPYX and TOPYX Lite, a very affordable fully hosted Learning Management offering that allows an organisation have a fully branded, e-commerce enabled, with no user or course limits, for as little as $500 for TOPYX Lite, $999 for TOPYX, plus monthly plus minor hosting fees.

“An association can present and track courses, integrate member and course communities, and even integrate to a number of social networking sites, like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

“There’s a lot more included with a subscription, but I don’t want to turn this into a blatant sales pitch. I just want to make you aware of some highly capable alternatives to either the high priced LMSs or the high manpower expenses associated with implementing and customizing the various open source alternatives.

For more information, feel free to have a look at: http://www.interactyx.com/

I promised Patrick I’d take a look but frankly haven’t had a chance to do so. Didn’t want to hold up this mention, either, so take a look around and see what you think.

**************

Jennifer from ShareKnowledge added this comment: “We are brand new to the US with ShareKnowledge LMS, a Microsoft SharePoint-based e-learning system for corporations. Right now we are preparing to release version 3.1 in June with major design enhancements to be compatible with SharePoint 2010. But you can download it now for free – our special is for one year 100/users. All future upgrades are complimentary and includes an Author tool and is fully SCORM compliant.”

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Jennifer at (425) 996-4201.

I’m not sure about you, but their focus still sounds sort of corporate-oriented to me. But it’s worth checking into if a Sharepoint-based system is what you’re looking for.
************

And awhile back I mentioned MyiCourse. I think you can see the sample via this URL (if not, let me know and I’ll see what we can do to make it work): http://alearning.myicourse.com/menu/menu/4837

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I’d provide the UDUTU option I’ve been using, but they’ll charge me $$ and I’m all about free when I can advocate for those options, so though I was able to create a neat little course with it, I’m still trying to get it hooked into the back-end of my Web site to make it work. In the meantime, you can set up your own UDUTU account at www.udutu.com to see what’s possible there.

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Have heard about the EZ LCMS but haven’t tried it, either. They have a free trial, so prep something then upload it to see how it works if you want at www.ezlcms.com. Cost is $399/mo for up to 1000 users, with PPT plug in, ILT and Web conferencing options.

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Vignettes Learning  offers LMSSimplify, which they describe as enabling you to “construct and publish online learning programs developed with Articulate, Captivate, Flash, Lectora, and other authoring tools, register participants, assign curricula, set up training schedules and alerts, build pre- and post-tests and multiple methods of reviews, tests, and evaluations. The LMSSimplify provides an advance randomized certification function, as well as extensive reporting on learning performance and certification. It also provides a classroom registration system and email alerts.” Pricing starts at $500/month and its hosted with Vignettes Learning rather than on your server (which makes it a SaaS system).

Note that the base fee noted here *probably* doesn’t include the certification functions. For more questions, contact Ray Jimenez, PhD, at Rjimenez@vignettestraining.com

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Don’t forget to get a copy of Association Learning Management Systems from Tagoras . Originally priced at $199, the report is currently available for just $99! This is a bargain for all the info you’ll get — but this price is listed as “temporary,” so don’t wait to order.

If you’ve used any of the systems mentioned here in the aLearning Blog — or a one that hasn’t been mentioned yet — I hope you’ll share your experience by adding a comment about what you’re using or leaning toward using, and why. Or if you aren’t using an LMS… why you made that choice.

And let me know if you’d like these quick descriptions and links saved to a wiki or someplace where they’re more easily accessible in one place.

Whew!  Next LMS post will include some handy-dandy blogs and sites for getting even better LMS info than you get here🙂

11 Responses to “More LMS Options for Associations on a Budget”

  1. EDU 2.0 for Business (http://www.edu20.com) is very easy to use, web hosted, has a comprehensive set of features, is free to setup (no credit card required), and costs less than $1 per student. It also includes full SCORM support and a beautiful mobile interface.

    Cheers,
    Graham

  2. Jeff Cobb said

    Thanks, as always, for the mention, Ellen. Readers might also be interested in the series (free) of audio interviews we are doing with LMS providers. The latest one features, Educadium – one of the companies mentioned above – and the next one will feature Interactyx – also mentioned above:

    http://www.tagoras.com/2010/04/27/association-lms-educadium/

    Jeff

  3. Ellen said

    Graham — Thanks for your post! I knew there was another system I intended to list, and I’m glad you added the link to Edu20.

    Jeff — Thank you for the update on the upcoming podcasts. Hopefully everyone will check those out to learn more about various options. It’s a great service you render to association learning leaders with these interviews and the comparison report!

  4. Hi Ellen,

    The Litmos LMS is another great, relatively new (3yo) option – web-based, SCORM certified, clean user interface, easy navigation, comprehensive reporting and a free trial to get started with upgrade by online payment so that organizations really can get going in minutes. We provide a quiz and survey builder and the rest of the modules are created by uploading eLearning content as SCORM 1.2, Flash, Video, PowerPoint and Audio files.

    Pricing plans are based on active user seats on a monthly basis, so you just pick the plan that will work best for you and you can bump it up or down depending on the flow of trainees/students each subsequent month, if needed.

    Anyone can sign up for a free trial on our website – Litmos LMS – (you don’t need a credit card) then begin uploading content to experience just how easy it can be to set up an LMS!

    Many thanks, Nicole
    @Schnicker
    Litmos – Love Your LMS

    • Ellen said

      Nicole — Thanks for mentioning Litmos. Haven’t seen it or tried it, so can’t comment on it. Appreciate your reading aLearning!

  5. addietood said

    Udutu offers a Facebook-based LMS option that is currently free. More info on their site: http://udutu.com/products-udututeach-and-udutulearn.html

    • Ellen said

      Addietood — Thanks for the mention of Udutu’s Facebook option. I’m not a Fan of Facebook, so I would advise those considering Facebook-reliant options to read all the fine print very carefully, and to make sure they’re getting something from the Facebook option something they can’t get anywhere else (but I’m thinking they can, in this case).

  6. Another great light weight LMS solution is Knoodle.

    Deliver high-impact web-based video presentations that syncs your video content with PowerPoint slides and effectively engage your viewers with Knoodle’s dual panel presentations.

    With Knoodle, you can easily publish your content for e-learning, corporate training, product demos, sales pitches, and more. Use Knoodle as a multimedia presentation tool or as a lightweight yet powerful learning management system (LMS).

    Take a tour to learn more or sign up for a free 30 day trial!

  7. Ellen said

    Kelly — Thanks for offering another option to aLearning readers. I’m not sure where the instructional value is in showing a person talking next to bullet-point riddled slides, though… At least that’s what I saw on the Knoodle site’s tour page. We do have to be careful about cognitive overload — and two screens seems to double the chance of getting the balance wrong.

    Just one opinion…

  8. Umesh said

    There are opensource LMSes out here as well.

  9. Dear Jack,I read your blog and was moved to tears. Being a mother of two young children I can understand what you are going through. I moved to the UK 9 years ago and this country has given me a good respectable job and income. Now is my time to give back to people of this country. Please let me know if you need anything and will be glad to help. God bless you and your son.

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