Currently, an internet search for an LMS platform to create online courses yields dozens of results. However, few of them are capable of fulfilling such basic e-learning platform characteristics like large storage capacity, adequate technical support and user-friendliness.
Companies, training centres or consultancies need to train their staff and students virtually and in a customised way on a daily basis. It is difficult to make a comparison between the e-learning platforms that appear on the internet if you do not take into account a series of criteria to evaluate the adaptation of the LMS to your needs as a teacher.
First of all, you must decide whether to opt for an open source platform or a SAAS or commercial e-learning platform.
Open source' e-learning platforms are characterised by the fact that they are open source, i.e. you can download the code and install it on your own server, therefore for this reason they are free; but it also means that you must know how to install and configure them or hire the services of a company that is dedicated to this. If you decide to install it yourself, you must also take into account that you will not have direct assistance for doubts and problems, you will have to look for help in the online community, depending on the platform, there are many forums and blogs where you can look for information.
An advantage for advanced users (programmers) is that it enables you to " feel your guts ", that is to say, since you have the code, you can carry out customised programming on it.
Basic actions to take into account when choosing the best e-learning platform
On the other hand, paid LMS platforms are characterised by paying for the use of the platform. Most of them will charge students to study on your platform, some have a separate maintenance fee and others have payment methods related to the number of courses, permanence, etc.
The main advantage is the help and support on the platform and its use, as all of them have a support system either direct, email and ticket system. The main shortcoming is that there is no customised development, i.e. the platform must be adapted to what you need to provide on-line training in companies or specific educational centres.
Among the basic tools to be analysed in a comparison between e-learning platforms should be those for managing the administration of the LMS platform, communication with students, content and course management, the option of group work and progress evaluation.
We have chosen five of the most important e-learning platforms for a small comparative study in order to help you make the right choice.
Comparison of the best e-learning platforms
evolCampus is our own e-learning platform. Evolcampus has reached 45,000 students and more than 300 clients of all kinds: companies, consultancies, study centres, schools and universities.
Evolcampus is a commercial e-learning platform, where you pay only for the students who use your platform for their e-learning.
- In evolCampus you will only pay for the usage of the LMS by your students.
- No limit to the number of courses, groups or content you can create on the platform.
- Direct support by email and telephone
- Free maintenance and improvements.
- Group reports in Excel and PDF
- A large number of different types of training activities on your platform.
- 100% adapted to FUNDAE (former Fundación Tripartita Empleo España).
- Economical, easy to use and flexible, one of the advantages mentioned by clients who have used other platforms is the simplicity of use even though they are as effective as others.
- No mobile app (although it can be viewed in a Responsive version).
- Closed code, we do not make customized developments, although we do listen to requests and they are studied by our product department.
It is arguably the most widely used open source e-learning platform in the world. Its main strength is at the same time one of its weaknesses, as it is open source, bugs and security problems have arisen over the years; however the Moodle community is quick to develop patches or release security updates.
- Open source that permits customised developments.
- A large community that has generated hundreds of plugins to use.
- Many configuration options
- There is no charge for students to study on it, in principle it is free although it needs a server to host it and knowledge to get it up and running.
- Complicated usability both for the creation of on-line courses by the company, given the immense number of options, and for the student who may encounter too many elements.
- Requires advanced computer skills for installation and implementation or outsourcing.
- It does not have a support service to deal with doubts and problems; you have to "make a living" in the online community.
Chamilo is an online training platform created in 2010 that has reached a large number of clients, but without reaching the level of Moodle. It is simpler to use than its competitors and has been gaining ground in recent years.
- Open source code that allows customised developments
- An internet community with a lot of help
- Slightly simpler to use than Moodle.
- In principle it is free, although it needs a server to host it and knowledge to set it up.
- Requires advanced computer skills for installation and start-up or outsourcing.
- It does not have a support service to deal with queries and problems. You have to rely on the online community to find solutions.
- Far fewer configuration options than Moodle.
Blackboard is one of the oldest LMS platforms. Widely used by large institutions due to its power and connectivity with other software; but also the least economical of the e-learning platforms in comparison.
- Connectivity with a large number of CRM's and other management software.
- Many years in the market and a large team of staff in more than 90 countries.
- A wide range of consulting and advisory services based on experience.
- Various platform types depending on usage.
- Lacks usability and simplicity because it is so comprehensive.
- The price, very expensive, with payment per installation and per use.
5.- LMS de Wordpress
This is a series of plugins that Wordpress puts at your disposal to turn your website into an e-learning platform. Most of them are free, but with some limitations. ‘LearnPress’ is one of the best known.
- Completely connectable to a Wordpress course shop.
- The knowledge required to set them up is based on Wordpress, which has numerous tutorials and help.
- Highly compatible with education standards
- Requires prior installation of Wordpress and necessary plugins.
- Highly oriented to study only, with few options for exercises, reports, and administration of groups of students.
In summary, at Evolmind we have been in contact for years with the training centres, companies and consultancies that rely on our e-learning platform. That is why we know first-hand the needs and requirements of the people who work in this sector.
Evolcampus is undoubtedly the commercial e-learning platform that best adapts to your e-learning needs, since it is continuously improved based on experience.
In addition to all this, the large storage capacity in the cloud and its ease of use makes it the best e-learning platform for companies and e-learning training.
The price of evolCampus is also a plus, and it can start at €70/month with 50 active students. The price per student is €1.4/student/month and decreases with subsequent fees.
We have summarised this comparison of e-learning platforms briefly to make it easier for you to find the right solution for your needs.