Top 5 Learning Management Systems for Schools

Top 5 Learning Management Systems for Schools

|Photo by

What is a learning management system?

A learning management system (LMS) is an online platform that organizes and delivers eLearning programs, and stores and tracks student learning outcomes. Higher education institutions are increasingly adopting learning management systems to reach a wider network of students (University at Buffalo, 2017). Learning management systems enable students access to learning materials 24/7 so that students with full-time or part-time employment can more easily make time to pursue a degree. Additionally, in blended learning settings, an LMS can serve as a great platform to easily send students relevant supplemental resources to enhance the education received during classroom time.

Top 5 LMS Companies for Schools

1. BlackBoard Learn

  • BlackBoard is a proprietary LMS. This means hosting can either be provided by BlackBoard, or leased to users (Wright, Lopes, Montgomerie, Reju, & Schmoller, 2014).
  • This LMS company specializes in higher education, corporate, and government trainings (Bunte, 2017).
  • Students can customize the settings of their BlackBoard interface to align with their preferences for greater ease of use (University at Buffalo, 2017).
  • Scoring tools support individual and group grading (University at Buffalo, 2017).

2. Canvas

  • Canvas is an open-source LMS for K-12 and higher education institutions. This means that administrative users of these organizations can access the source code and make enhancements to the software (Wright et al., 2014).
  • Canvas is easy-to-use for students and academics (University at Buffalo, 2017).
  • Canvas offers an app center which allows administrators to pick and choose which educational tools they decide to install for their organization. For example, administrators can decide whether it is necessary to integrate with DropBox, or OneDrive (Bunte, 2017).
  • Canvas’s Arc feature supports easy video uploads, and supports student and instructor ‘conversations’ below videos regarding video content (Bunte, 2017).
  • Canvas’s Arc feature also supports one-on-one web conferencing with students, and web conferencing with a larger classroom audience (Bunte, 2017).

3. Moodle

  • Moodle is an open-source LMS designed for K-12 and higher education.
  • Moodle offers content authoring tools such as the gamification of exams and course content (Bunte, 2017).
  • Moodle also includes features such as word count for student writing assignments, and the ability for students to choose groups online for group projects (Bunte, 2017).
  • Checklist and attendance tracking makes it easy for teachers to assess student engagement.

4. CertCentral

  • The cloud-based, proprietary LMS by CertCentral is hosted by the vendor with no implementation fees and no training fees.
  • CertCentral’s easy-to-use platform is designed by academics for academics to conduct higher education and continuing education programs online. Deliver courses or exams on mobile, tablet, or desktop devices–and enable students access anywhere, anytime as long as that student is connected to Wifi.
  • CertCentral’s streamlined platform allows easy construction and delivery of courses or exams online. Incorporate multimedia-rich materials seamlessly, and track student engagement statistics (e.g., percentage of video watched).
  • Automated certificate generation makes it easy to send custom completion certificates to students that pass programs.

5. Schoology

  • Schoology is a cloud-based LMS designed for educational institutions (Bunte, 2017).
  • Schoology integrates with Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard Collaborate, Moodle, PowerSchool, Evernote and YouTube. It also synchronizes with a School Information System (SIS).
  • Schoology enables teachers to give students personalized feedback regarding assignments, and enables teachers to communicate with both students and their parents in one organized location.
  • Schoology enables teachers to expand their professional networks and acquire new eLearning materials to immediately incorporate into their own online classrooms.