To make a complete list of all the top LMS Vendors for 2016 is an attempt at an impossibility. There are so many in the market today that it borderlines ridiculous.
It is without a question a complicated and tedious list to make available, as this area of technology is one of the most fragmented yet most desired markets in the education and employee training sector. I foresee a consolidation in the near future (or at least a few mergers).
That, of course, won’t stop us to at least attempt at providing you with a partially complete list of the best LMS providers that are on our own radar.
We will do our best to shed some light each one of these learning management system vendors and e-learning vendors, as some are geared more for corporate and other are more for education. It is complex and massive maze of options.
Lets Start with The Top
According to Berstin & Associates, the top and largest six elearning providers take up about 50% of the market share. The other 50% is spread between hundreds of others, ranging from elementary grade focused vendors, to ones that already leverage the built in benefits of an existing content management system and are now considered a WordPress LMS vendor by way of a plug in.
Their report those that clarify which ones are top vendors but the following six in their respective sector are by far the largest.
- Outstart (an IBM company)
- Plateau (a SAP company)
- Learn.com (an Oracle company)
- Moodle (Open Source LMS)
- Canvas by Instructure
- Connexus and PowerSchool (by Pearson)
Just because one LMS vendor is categorized for education does not mean a business can’t use them. As the e-learning sector advances with new features and tools, both sector’s target audience are blending with each other.
Great products evolve as great companies take cue of what works and implement them in their own products regardless of what their original intention was.
The same goes for an educational institution. If they are a more for-profit school and geared towards online distant classes, then a more corporate geared LMS might fit their needs.
The List Goes On
Don McIntosh, from Trimeritus e-Learning Solutions, made a beast of a list that spans almost 200 pages!
We highly recommend you check out this mega list of learning management system vendors as he updates it every month with new vendors, merged vendors, and the gone and forgotten vendors (and yes even SaaS vendors), it’s all there.
This list is not just on the top LMS providers but also on companies that develop virtual classrooms, course authoring tools, generic courseware vendors, and other highly specialized and unique e-learning vendors. Definitely worth checking out and keeping for future reference.
Before You Choose, Ask
With all these choices that you have in selecting your future LMS platform to house all of your online classes, training records, certifications, award badges, record and certification management, and on and one, you definitely should take a step back and make a list of needs and wants so it will make it easier to do a true provider comparison later on.
To get you started here is a short list of questions you should ask before you choose (inspired by the blackboard blog):
- Is it easy the interface user friendly and intuitive?
- For that matter, is it easy to install and configure?
- How is the their support?
- Does it have social sharing and gamification features?
- What analytic reporting tools does it have to measure usage and training?
- Is it mobile friendly and does it have an mobile app?
- Keep going and add you own questions!
In time, as we learn of new elearning providers or learn more about existing ones, this list will be updated. We will also take into account your own recommendations, whether you are a user of a current LMS or work for one of many LMS vendors yourself.
Also, if you want to add more LMS selection related questions please share them with us, we want to hear how you choose an Learning management system!