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Online Course Platforms


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Versal is a cloud-based training platform that is suitable for companies of all sizes. Users can develop training courses and micro lessons with built-in assessments and deliver them via Versal or embed in an LMS or website. Courses... Read More
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Versal is a cloud-based training platform that is suitable for companies of all sizes. Users can develop training courses and micro lessons with built-in assessments and deliver them via Versal or embed in an LMS or website. Courses... Read More
 
 
Mindflash is a cloud-based training solution for contractors, resellers, and other partners of all sizes. With Mindflash, users can create courses, add quizzes and track results. They can upload PowerPoint, Word, PDF, SCORM or video... Read More
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Mindflash is a cloud-based training solution for contractors, resellers, and other partners of all sizes. With Mindflash, users can create courses, add quizzes and track results. They can upload PowerPoint, Word, PDF, SCORM or video... Read More
 
 
Saba Cloud provides companies across the globe with a cloud-based learning and talent management application designed to drive employee engagement, elevate skills and improve business productivity. Saba Cloud provides traditional... Read More
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Saba Cloud provides companies across the globe with a cloud-based learning and talent management application designed to drive employee engagement, elevate skills and improve business productivity. Saba Cloud provides traditional... Read More
 
 
Bridge is a cloud-based Learning Management (LMS) and Employee Engagement solution that caters to businesses of all sizes across various industries. It grants learners and course creators accessibility to content from mobile devices... Read More
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Bridge is a cloud-based Learning Management (LMS) and Employee Engagement solution that caters to businesses of all sizes across various industries. It grants learners and course creators accessibility to content from mobile devices... Read More
 
 
Docebo is a cloud-based LMS solution to provide training programs for employees, partners and customers.  Docebo serves various industries including IT, technology, retail, consulting, healthcare, manufacturing, energy, oil and gas. Docebo... Read More
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Docebo is a cloud-based LMS solution to provide training programs for employees, partners and customers.  Docebo serves various industries including IT, technology, retail, consulting, healthcare, manufacturing, energy, oil and gas. Docebo... Read More

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eSSential LMS is a learning management system designed for large and midsize businesses. The system can be deployed on-premise and through a cloud-based software-as-a-service platform. Both deployment methods include access to eSSential... Read More
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eSSential LMS is a learning management system designed for large and midsize businesses. The system can be deployed on-premise and through a cloud-based software-as-a-service platform. Both deployment methods include access to eSSential... Read More
 
 
Torch LMS is a cloud-based learning management (LMS) solution that helps businesses and nonprofit organizations to manage, track and deliver training to employees or affiliates. The solution offers a tiled user interface and a team... Read More
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Torch LMS is a cloud-based learning management (LMS) solution that helps businesses and nonprofit organizations to manage, track and deliver training to employees or affiliates. The solution offers a tiled user interface and a team... Read More
 
 
SkyPrep LMS is a cloud-based learning management solution that offers a platform to training administrators for creating, managing and selling training courses. Key features include custom branding, automated learner enrollment and... Read More
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SkyPrep LMS is a cloud-based learning management solution that offers a platform to training administrators for creating, managing and selling training courses. Key features include custom branding, automated learner enrollment and... Read More
 
 
Kallidus Learn is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) featuring certification and compliance management, a built-in course library and SCORM compliance. The system is suitable for large and midsize organizations in a variety... Read More
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Kallidus Learn is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) featuring certification and compliance management, a built-in course library and SCORM compliance. The system is suitable for large and midsize organizations in a variety... Read More
 
 
Thought Industries offers a cloud-based learning business platform designed to suit the needs of varying business sizes across multiple industries. All of the frontend learning experiences are customizable to be adapted for businesses... Read More
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Thought Industries offers a cloud-based learning business platform designed to suit the needs of varying business sizes across multiple industries. All of the frontend learning experiences are customizable to be adapted for businesses... Read More

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eCoach is a cloud based learning management solution (LMS) that allows training administrators to create, manage and deliver online education. The solution is compatible with Android and iOS devices and enables users to access and... Read More
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eCoach is a cloud based learning management solution (LMS) that allows training administrators to create, manage and deliver online education. The solution is compatible with Android and iOS devices and enables users to access and... Read More
 
 
Cornerstone OnDemand is a cloud-based performance management solution. It enables users to recruit talent, customize learning initiatives, generate compliance reports, prepare high performers for succession and more. Cornerstone can... Read More
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Cornerstone OnDemand is a cloud-based performance management solution. It enables users to recruit talent, customize learning initiatives, generate compliance reports, prepare high performers for succession and more. Cornerstone can... Read More
 
 
Auzmor Learn is a cloud-based learning management (LMS) system that helps businesses and organizations manage, track and deliver training to employees or affiliates. Auzmor Learn offers course-authoring capabilities and centralized... Read More
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Auzmor Learn is a cloud-based learning management (LMS) system that helps businesses and organizations manage, track and deliver training to employees or affiliates. Auzmor Learn offers course-authoring capabilities and centralized... Read More
 
 
RedVector is a cloud-based learning and talent management solution catering to a variety of industries such as engineering, construction, architecture and IT. Key features include competency assessment, credential management, self-assessment... Read More
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RedVector is a cloud-based learning and talent management solution catering to a variety of industries such as engineering, construction, architecture and IT. Key features include competency assessment, credential management, self-assessment... Read More
 
 
Edvance360 Learning Management Software is a cloud-based learning management system that provides online learning programs for K-12, higher education and corporate training departments. The system features online lesson management,... Read More
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Edvance360 Learning Management Software is a cloud-based learning management system that provides online learning programs for K-12, higher education and corporate training departments. The system features online lesson management,... Read More

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: (855) 590-2849


 
 
Lessonly is a cloud-based learning management system that allows users to build, share and track training materials and activity from a singular interface. It is primarily used by customer service teams, sales teams, and human resources.... Read More
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Lessonly is a cloud-based learning management system that allows users to build, share and track training materials and activity from a singular interface. It is primarily used by customer service teams, sales teams, and human resources.... Read More
 
 
PeopleFluent LMS is a cloud-based learning management system suited for midsize and large organizations. It features content management, skills and compliance management, social learning, reports and e-commerce. PeopleFluent LMS has... Read More
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PeopleFluent LMS is a cloud-based learning management system suited for midsize and large organizations. It features content management, skills and compliance management, social learning, reports and e-commerce. PeopleFluent LMS has... Read More
 
 
EducationFolder is a cloud-based training and performance management solution for call center agents. Key features include learning management, quality assurance, a knowledge base, task management and reporting. EducationFolder enables... Read More
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EducationFolder is a cloud-based training and performance management solution for call center agents. Key features include learning management, quality assurance, a knowledge base, task management and reporting. EducationFolder enables... Read More
 
 
Litmos is a cloud-based continuous learning platform that unifies learning management, the extended enterprise, prepackaged content and a content management system to meet organizations’ training needs. Litmos is SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type... Read More
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Litmos is a cloud-based continuous learning platform that unifies learning management, the extended enterprise, prepackaged content and a content management system to meet organizations’ training needs. Litmos is SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type... Read More
 
 
Cornerstone OnDemand is a cloud-based performance management solution. It enables users to recruit talent, customize learning initiatives, generate compliance reports, prepare high performers for succession and more. Cornerstone can... Read More
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Cornerstone OnDemand is a cloud-based performance management solution. It enables users to recruit talent, customize learning initiatives, generate compliance reports, prepare high performers for succession and more. Cornerstone can... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Brian Westfall,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: December 11, 2018


Let's be honest—a lot of us hated going to class when we were young. But now that we're out of the traditional school system, we recognize just how much we still have to learn. We may want to develop our career skills, take up a hobby or even delve deep into a scientific topic we've become interested in thanks to a late-night Wikipedia binge.

While it might be nice to take time off from work and go back to college or graduate school for a first or second degree, this isn't always feasible, and it's certainly not easy financially speaking. That's where online course platforms come in.

Like other learning management systems (LMSs), online course platforms facilitate learning, teaching and training programs for large groups of people. They automate the administration, testing, tracking and reporting of student progress through online courses.

LMS software is commonly used by educational institutions for academic purposes, and by businesses for training and compliance purposes. But, online course platforms can serve larger audiences, and they are frequently open to anybody who is interested in taking the course.

This buyer's guide will discuss the unique properties of online course platforms and explain how they may best be utilized by you and your business.

Here's our syllabus:

What Are Online Course Platforms?
Common Features of Online Course Platforms
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Key Considerations

What Are Online Course Platforms?

Online course platforms are a specific form of LMSs that provide access to massive open online courses, commonly known as "MOOCs." A variety of institutions, from universities to foundations to even the Smithsonian, provide MOOCs through online course platforms. They provide courses in science, engineering, mathematics, writing, business, project management and so on.

These courses are similar to traditional classes in many ways—a teacher provides a syllabus, complete with readings and assignments, posts weekly material for discussion (which may include a live-feed of a lecture, a pre-recorded lecture and/or a discussion board) and makes sure that assignments receive some form of grading or feedback, whether that grade is assigned by a person or a computer algorithm.

Some of these courses offer specific types of certification upon satisfactory completion of materials, while others will open up access to more advanced courses. Many of these classes are provided for free, while others charge a fee. This fee may be charged per class, as a monthly subscription with access to all the classes on a particular platform or as a specific charge in order to receive certification for a class.

Common Features of Online Course Platforms

Learning management The core function of course platforms, manages creating, storing, organizing and administering learning materials.
Certification/compliance management Tracks student progress in order to manage and monitor certification and compliance training and provide certification upon completion of the course.
Virtual classrooms Facilitates live, remote training sessions, typically led via video.
Proficiency reporting/testing Administers tests to gauge users' learning of the course material. Allows for reporting of test scores to identify proficiencies or gaps in learning.
Discussion board Provides a space for students and teachers to interact, whether via text or through the uploading and sharing of video or audio responses.
Dynamic calendar Allows teachers to release materials at specified times during the life of a course, as well as track the submission of assignments by students.

An example of a course calendar in online learning platform Canvas

An example of a course calendar in Canvas

What Type of Buyer Are You?

A wide variety of different types of people and organizations may find online course platforms useful. As a software buyer, you're likely to fall into one of the following categories:

  • Individual. If you are an expert in a particular subject that you wish to teach, you may want to create and self-publish your own online course(s). If this is the case, rather than purchasing software yourself, you should find an online course platform that will allow you to host a class. You may have to pay a fee for this, which you can recoup by charging tuition. The platform may also offer a per-student tuition profit-sharing plan.
  •   
  • Educational institution. Colleges, universities and even high schools are going to be the primary users of online course platforms, since they are institutions that are naturally structured around the provision of educational courses. Online course platforms are especially useful for schools providing distance learning, whether it's for a particular program or for every course offered, in the case of online universities. Systems that mimic tried-and-true educational methods through online recreation of classes, assignments and teacher/student interaction will likely prove the most effective for these institutions.
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  • Nonprofit organization. Charities, foundations, hospitals, religious organizations and other nonprofits may also have a need for online courses. Some nonprofits, such as the United Way, offer classes on topics such as financial management, parenting and other life skills.
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  • For-profit business. Larger businesses may use online course platforms for purposes of employee training, but general LMS software is usually more suited for this task. Online course platforms may be more useful for ongoing career development programs that are structured more like a traditional class.

Key Considerations

Other factors to take into consideration when picking the best online course platform for you or your organization may include:

  • Integration with other systems. If you are going to be hosting classes that pulls a great deal of information from elsewhere—perhaps from a digital media library, or from a business' policy documents—you'll want to be sure that the platform you choose is able to integrate with those other systems. A poor technical experience for students will reflect poorly on you, so you want to make sure they can smoothly access all course materials and can upload their assignments in a variety of different acceptable formats.
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  • Cloud-based software vs. on-premise software. When researching and consulting with potential vendors, make sure you check how their software is hosted. On-premise software will, as the name suggests, be hosted on the premises of your business. This will require space for the hardware as well as an IT department (or consultant) to help you get the software set up and running, as well as to maintain it over time. It is more common today, however, to find cloud-based software, which is hosted by the vendor and delivered to your business online. This will cost less up front and require fewer IT resources, making it a favorable option for most smaller businesses. For online course platforms, it is extremely rare that you will have any need to host your own hardware, since the entire industry is structured around cloud-based access.
 

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