Teachers’ Experience: Top 5 Learning Management Systems (LMS)
Learning Management System known as LMS became popular for the past years in educational and academic environments. LMS is a computer application software for the administration, managing, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of electronic mean of educational courses or training programs so called elearning via internet.
LMS was widely used by teachers and instructors from various fields to deliver teaching and learning materials to the students for multiple purposes as teaching, instructing, training and administrating tests. Schools and universities all over the use LMS for the purposes of supporting pure online classes, online courses, as well as several hybrid forms, such as blended learning and flipped classrooms.
There are several commercial LMSs, free LMSs and opened sourced LMSs nowadays. As users and teachers, we picked some of the best LMSs based on our own experience. The LMS provides to each individuals to groups in any course, is convenient for studying from any place at any time and at any pace, 24 hours a day if the systems and learning materials are available online.
Images by Moodle
Moodle (acronym for modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment) is Free and open-source learning management system and there are currently more than 100 million users and 75,000 registered site around the world. Moodle is used for blended learning, distance education and other e-learning in schools, universities, workplaces and other sectors. There are many Moodle developers around the world contributing to improve its versions and plugins to be more powerful and customizable for educators and trainers to achieve learning goals.
Pros / Cons
Moodle is free so it is cost effective methods for your school or university’s online based learning courses or elearning programs. On the other hand, you have to take your own risks for using it. You also need basic knowledge of setting up server to host your Moodle system, system installation for the systems and plugins, and sometime you need to hire designer and developers to hire to customize your educational needs. There are various kinds of plugins for educational purposes available, such as Grade Me for grading, Adoble Connect for video conferencing and online meeting among teachers and students, Lightbox Gallery for school or university’s photo and media galleries, Turnitin for Plagiarism Detection and many more very useful plugins. But sometime plugins need to be updated according to the major version changes in Moodle systems and of course! be careful for updating major versions and have to check more in Moodle’s forums.
Moodle apps are available on both iTunes and Google Play stores.
2) iTunes U
iTunes U is one of the best LMSs for teaching and learning. The user interface is very intuitive for students and it is absolutely easier for teachers to do administrative purposes such as creating lessons, making assignments, grading, engage with students in chat and using multiple available apps from iTunes in one place. You can create courses, assignments and share your digital lessons and courses, grading, publishing materials, linking with external reading or learning sources very easily via iTunes U. You save time, they stay on track.
Pros / Cons
You need Apple devices such as MacBook, iMac, iPad and iPhone for using iTunes U. It as pre-installed in all iOS devices and you need to use your apple account for it. There are various kinds of courses and materials offered in iTunes U and majority of them are free. It is also easy to work with the interfaces and you can use various kinds of Apple apps such as Quick Time for your course recording and demonstration, iMovie for your recorded video editing and publishing, Pages, Numbers and Keynotes software for writing and presenting your teaching materials, other apps such as iBook for reading as referral external resources from iTunes U’s courses and other available apps such as widely used by educators as advantages of using Apple’s products. iPad is highly recommended for mobility teaching and learning purposes. But Apple products are a bit expensive when comparing the prices of other vendors’ electronic devices such as laptops, desktops and tablets. Your students or audiences may need one of Apple products for learning purposes at iTunes.
Although iTunes U is available for Windows and Android but the external apps associated with some of the courses might not be available on other systems.
Images by NEO LMS
Neo LMS becomes increasingly popular in terms of its UI/UX (User Interface/ User Experience) which is very elegant and intuitive, enjoyable, and highly appreciated by users. It can support the same as other LMSs for uploading courses, setting up roles and rights, grading assignments and quiz and tracking students’ activities. Students also can communicate each other by blogs, chats, discussions and the user interfaces for those features are clean and neat. More than 20,000 organizations are currently using Neo LMS and it reaches over more than 1 million users.
Pros / Cons
Neo LMS is free of charge for limited number of students and the pricing is a little bit sophisticate for medium and larger size schools or organizations if you are not sure for your capacities. Neo is very well known and powerful solutions for eLearning or your academic’s online learning solutions and students love its interfaces. Neo also have both Android and iOS apps available at Google Play Store and iTunes and it has more than 400 other apps associated with it.
Images by Blackboard
Blackboard is the most award winning LMS and it is the top LMS among popular LMSs. Blackboard delivers leading-edge technology and tailor made LMS to many schools and academic institutions around the world. Most of the US schools and universities adopted Blackboard LMS as their favorite LMS in terms of its tailored made features, elegant designs and cutting-edge technologies.
Pros / Cons
Blackboard is widely used by schools and universities around the world in terms of its quality of services. But it is not Free so you have to think about your budgets for your own capacity in your school or institution.
Images by Schoology
Came it last but so far it seems first, Schoology becomes the popular LMS because of visually familiar to users of Facebook and other popular social networking websites. This visual UI interfaces makes sweetness of LMS, its concepts of instruct and communicate features within the system. The user interface is very intuitive and you can easily create media enrich and collaborate with Google Drive, Microsoft Office, YouTube and content providers.
Pros / Cons
The best features of Schoology is you can personalize instructions and classrooms to individuals, groups, or even on self-paced basis. Students who are familiar with facebook or other social media can easily to use the systems without orientation or training for the system. The apps are available on Google Play Store, iTunes and even in Kindle Fire.