Online education is rising in popularity. The global market volume for elearning is already at $91 billion and is projected to grow 20 percent annually through 2017, according to Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.
The rise in elearning popularity and demand is likely tied to the growth of cloud technology, as businesses and educational institutions alike have turned to the cloud. Cloud-based systems are the perfect environment for a virtual classroom as they offer seamless access to information, easily sharable data and foster a means for tracking multi-user collaboration.
Learning platforms were traditionally static software-based courses filled with single-source content and at best patchy technology options for collaborating. Today, online-learning platforms are flexible, dynamic and can be accessed on the user’s preferred device, including smartphones and tablets. Content can also come from a variety of sources, including crowdsourcing, making the information more dynamic and varied for learning.
Online-learning platforms offer entrepreneurs and businesses a flexible, but frameworked method for ensuring they and their staffs are getting the training they need. Many solutions offer fully customizable white-label systems so you can create and set up courses exclusively branded for your business.
Here are six new and up-and-coming cloud-based learning platforms that are changing the online education marketplace that every entrepreneur should know about.
TalentLMS is an enterprise-friendly learning-management system, or LMS, that can be white-labeled for use by businesses or educators. It’s a mobile-friendly cloud platform where users can learn from their tablets, smartphones or laptops. A readily white-labeled solution means enterprises, universities and just about any team, organization or individual can incorporate it, or even re-sell the platform as their own.
Added benefits include complete reports, embedded tools and built-in tests. TalentLMS has a free plan for up to five users and 10 courses. Paid plans range for $29 per month to $349 per month, billed annually, and include anywhere from 25 users to 1,000 users or a customized tailor made plan up to 50,000 users and unlimited courses.
Moodle is a scalable and customizable open-source learning-management system. It features blended learning, classroom management, built-in course authoring, mobile learning, both asynchronous and synchronous learning, certification management, social learning, video conferencing and more. It also supports gamification to make learning fun and can be adapted to corporate and business applications, though it is mainly marketed to educational institutions.
Because it’s open source, it’s completely free to use on your own servers. For those who need a little help, Moodle has a selection of partners to help with consulting, training, theme design, development and maintenance to make sure customers get the most of it.
Degreed is an enterprise LMS solution. It enables businesses to manage thousands of courses and platforms in one place so employees can learn at will. There are customizable learning paths, and administrators can track an employee's progress, even outside what the company mandates. It makes talent identification easier, since administrators can see which employees have cross-functional skills.
Administrators can purchase and manage credits for various platforms in a single place, while employees can choose where to spend the dollars, which can be on any learning activity they want. Pricing information is not publicly available, so if this option sounds interesting to you, you will have to request pricing and a demonstration.
BISTrainer is a paid LMS that features classroom management, training-record management and a training matrix. It is designed for enterprises that want all the features of an enterprise LMS without the hassle of a complicated setup. It supports multiple languages, document management, virtual proctoring, ecommerce, reward tracking and more.
The custom-branding feature means businesses can make it look like their own. Pricing starts at $150 per month for up to 100 users and goes to $1,500 a month for up to 2,500 users. Additional users are billed at anywhere from 50 cents to $5, depending on the plan.
BizLibrary LMS offers custom content management, virtual classroom management, certification management and social learning. This is a great option if your business happens to be within a regulatory environment that requires any kind of ongoing licensing, certifications or security training to remain in good standing. Everything is scalable and can be white-labeled for your business.
Entrepreneurs and businesses can choose which courses to mandate for their staffs and the platform will allow for self-enrollment. Pricing information is not publicly available, but you can sign up for a free trial.
Grovo is an employee-training platform that’s quick and easy to set up. The model has been shown to reduce required time to train by up to 88 percent, with the average user completing 50 percent more training than assigned. The system provides data to help you learn more about your employee’s strengths and weaknesses and to continuously improve upon the training experience.
It is an expensive platform, at $199 per license per year, or $299 per license per year. White-label company-branding options require custom pricing and costs rise from there. Schools, nonprofits and government agencies are eligible for special pricing, so if your business is in one of those sectors you’ll want to mention the discounted pricing options.
With the increased flexibility and mobility of cloud-based platforms, it makes sense for both businesses and educational institutions alike to move their learning platforms to these types of services, simplifying management and reducing costs. Cloud learning keeps employees learning on the go, while reducing the need for IT teams and equipment.