LMS user experience can make or break your learning and development initiatives. We explain why the quality of your LMS user experience is vital to engaging employees and keeping the larger learning and development wheel going, absolutely seamlessly.
“It’s important to understand that UX isn’t just user-friendly interfaces and a smart look-and-feel. It also involves applying intelligent business rules that help simplify jobs and push engagement and productivity. These ideas are crucial for user adoption,”
The Best Learning Management Systems based on Customer Experience
This Top 20 LMS list has been created using a holistic approach and is based on input from actual LMS users.
The order of appearance depends on Customer Satisfaction (CSAT Score), Customer Effort (CEF Score) & Customer Expectation (CEX Score).
Over the past 10 years, new learning management systems (LMSs) have sprung on the scene to rival the Blackboards and Moodles of old. On the EdSurge Product Index alone, 56 products self-identify and fall into the LMS category. And with certain established companies like Pearson pulling out of the LMS ranks, where do you start?
As University of Central Florida’s Associate Vice President of Distributed Learning, Tom Cavanagh, wrote in an article for EDUCAUSE, “every institute has a unique set of instructional and infrastructure circumstances to consider when deciding on an LMS,” but at the same time, “all institutions face certain common requirements”—whether a small charter school, a private university or a large public school district.
The LMS Checklist
#1: Is the platform straightforward and user-friendly?
#2: Who do we want to have access to this platform, and can we adjust what they can see?
#3: Can the instructor and student(s) talk to and communicate with each other easily?
“Students and faculty live a significant portion of their daily lives online in social media spaces,” writes University of Central Florida’s Tom Cavanagh in his article on the LMS selection process. “Are your students and faculty interested in these sorts of interplatform connections?”
#5: Does this platform plug in with all of the other platforms we have?
“Given the pace of change and the plethora of options with educational technology, it’s very difficult for any LMS vendor to keep up with stand-alone tools that will always outperform built-in tools,” explains Michael Truong, executive director of innovative teaching and technology at Azusa Pacific University. According to Truong, “no LMS will be able to compete directly with tools like Piazza (discussion forum), Socrative (quizzing), EdPuzzle (video annotation), etc.”
As a result, Truong says, “The best way to ‘prepare’ for future technological changes is to go with an LMS that plays well with external tools.”
the fundamental problem is that learning management systems are ultimately about serving the needs of institutions, not individual students.
Inhis manifesto on Connectivism, George Siemens writes that in Connectivist learning environments, the “pipes” of a course are more important than what flows through those pipes. The networks that students build are durable structures of lifelong learning, and they are more important
by having students own their learning spaces and democratize the means of production. Rather than forcing students to log in to an institutional LMS, I asked them to create their own websites, blogs, Twitter accounts and spaces on the open Web. In these spaces, students could curate links and connections and share their evolving ideas. Whatever they create is owned and maintained by them, not by me or by Harvard. They can keep their content for three months, three years, or the rest of their lives, so long as they continue to curate and move their published content as platforms change.
so, it is back what i claimed at the turn of the century: LMS were claimed to be invented to make the instructor’s life “easier”: instead of learning HTML, use LMS. My argument was that by the time one learns the interface of WebCT, one can learn HTML and HTML will be remain for the rest of their professional life, whereas WebCT got replaced by D2L and D2L will be replaced by another interface. I was labeled as “D2L hater” for such an opinion.
Now to the argument that LMS was a waste of instructors’ time, is added the new argument that it is also a waste of students’ time.
The way that Connected Courses deal with this challenge is byaggregation, sometimes also called syndication. All of the content produced on student blogs, websites, Twitter accounts and other social media accounts is syndicated to a single website. On theFlowpage, every piece of content created by students, myself and teaching staff was aggregated into one place. We also hadBlogandTwitter Hubsthat displayed only long-form writing from blogs or microposts from Twitter. A Spotlight page highlighted some of the best writings from students.
This online learning environment had three important advantages. First, students owned their means of production. They weren’t writing in discussion forums in order to get 2 points for posting to the weekly prompt. They wrote to communicate with audiences within the class and beyond. Second, everyone’s thinking could be found in the same place, by looking at hashtags and our syndication engines ont509massive.org. Finally, this design allows our learning to be permeable to the outside world. Students could write for audiences they cared about: fellow librarians or English teachers or education technologists working in developing countries. And as our networks grew, colleagues form outside our classroom could share with us, by posting links or thoughts to the #t509massive hashtag.
We need now to have a totally new type of learning environment, both conceptually and technically, and it will also need to be different from a business perspective.
You might think of CN (Course Networking) as a complete social learning suite combined with comprehensive learning management tools, along with associated elements like ePortfolio, data mining, globalization and collaboration tools, and much more.
Every student on the CN has a “social portfolio”, which will be there for the student to access, life long. This social portfolio is different from a “typical” ePortfolio in several ways, but importantly, it can be created dynamically — for example, a teacher might check a box indicating that each student in the top ten percent of her class will receive a badge. Beyond that checkbox, everything happens automatically, without a need for the student to locate and upload the badge for display, and no need for the teacher to monitor or be further involved with the awarding of badges. As a student I can manage my social portfolio, and determine who will see or not see certain elements of it.
we are building and maintaining really one big network — instead of necessarily supporting many, many independent institutional client implementations.
Koondis works in traditional large introductory lecture classrooms, blended classes and fully online courses that often are filled with students enrolled from various disciplines who are required to be there for their majors.
Described as a “social homework system,” a “discussion forum that puts students in small groups” and even a replacement for the campus learning management system, Koondis is showing great promise as a pill for student satisfaction.
The idea is that Koondis eliminates the need for teachers to read all of the posts. The program even counts posts for the instructor for grading purposes, and alertsthe faculty member to do follow-up when a student isn’t participating.