Find the best Online Course Platforms

What is 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 m... read more
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Absorb LMS

FrontRunners 2022

Absorb is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) engineered to drive business productivity and deliver a top-tier learner and admin experience. Absorb LMS is a powerful and flexible software that allows its customers to fi...Read more about Absorb LMS

4.46 (213 reviews)

88 recommendations


FrontRunners 2022

Tovuti is an all-in-one, cloud-based solution designed to activate the potential of organizations through creating, delivering and tracking online training and education. The end-to-end solution gives users everything they need to...Read more about Tovuti

4.86 (84 reviews)

70 recommendations


Acorn is a cloud-based learning management solution designed to help businesses handle corporate training for employees. The platform comes with white-label capabilities, which allow organizations to personalize the interface usin...Read more about Acorn

4.72 (18 reviews)

53 recommendations


DigitalChalk is a cloud-based learning management solution for small and midsize businesses. Primary features include e-learning, customizable course content, content library, track progress, reward and real-time analytics. O...Read more about DigitalChalk

4.67 (97 reviews)

46 recommendations


Docebo’s LMS Suite is transforming the way enterprise and corporate customers increase speed to onboarding, development, enablement and customer education with ease and flexibility. Docebo’s learning solution is designed to meet t...Read more about Docebo

4.20 (120 reviews)

44 recommendations


FrontRunners 2022

Your employees have valuable knowledge, and you need to tap into it. Now, you can. 360Learning enables companies to upskill from within by turning their experts into champions for employee, customer, and partner growth. With our L...Read more about 360Learning

4.64 (253 reviews)

29 recommendations

Cornerstone LMS

Cornerstone Learning helps you provide a connected learning and growth experience for your people. Create a personalized development and growth experience that inspires people and accelerates transformation. Get a solution designe...Read more about Cornerstone LMS

4.31 (207 reviews)

29 recommendations


Travitor makes it easy to create, deliver, and track training. Plus get hundreds of top-rated courses in Compliance, Business, Safety, and Personal Development included. Help your teams do great work with featured courses like H...Read more about Travitor

4.46 (46 reviews)

28 recommendations


FrontRunners 2022

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 an...Read more about SkyPrep

4.74 (132 reviews)

26 recommendations


At LearnUpon LMS we’re on a mission to help you unlock the power of learning. Combining our award winning LMS and our industry-leading Customer Experience team, we pride ourselves on being a trusted partner to over 1,300 businesse...Read more about LearnUpon

4.85 (78 reviews)

26 recommendations


eLearning Cloud is a cloud-based learning management solution (LMS) from VAIRKKO that enables organizations to provide training to their employees. The solution allows users to distribute learning content to company employees, cre...Read more about VAIRKKO Suite

4.62 (125 reviews)

23 recommendations


Schoox transforms learning into business growth. Our SaaS learning platform and course marketplace help companies accelerate business results by unlocking employee potential, boosting customer retention, and driving reseller reven...Read more about Schoox

4.26 (50 reviews)

22 recommendations

Thought Industries

Thought Industries offers a cloud-based customer training platform designed to suit the needs of business across multiple industries including software, manufacturing, professional training, continued education, continued medical ...Read more about Thought Industries

4.55 (78 reviews)

21 recommendations

Prosperity LMS

Ziiva's suite of Prosperity software systems is designed to help businesses manage their employee training programs. It is suitable for businesses of all size and kind to deliver an end-to-end learning management solution. Pr...Read more about Prosperity LMS

4.50 (8 reviews)

19 recommendations

Auzmor Learn

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 centr...Read more about Auzmor Learn

5.00 (11 reviews)

18 recommendations

Trakstar Learn

Skip the classroom, train anywhere. Trakstar Learn's cloud-based e-learning platform provides a simple, training solution for employees working from home, in the office, or in the field. We make it easier for business leaders to e...Read more about Trakstar Learn

4.28 (103 reviews)

17 recommendations


At BizLibrary, we’re on a mission to elevate employees’ skills, create better places to work and do our part to build a more compassionate and competent future. We lean into these goals every day by supporting organizations’ learn...Read more about BizLibrary

4.50 (68 reviews)

14 recommendations


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 about Edvance360

4.62 (117 reviews)

10 recommendations


ExpertusONE is transforming how today’s companies train their employees and how learning resources are found, shared, tracked, collaborated on, and retained. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, ExpertusONE is a leading global enterpr...Read more about ExpertusONE

4.13 (8 reviews)

10 recommendations

Relias Healthcare LMS

Relias LMS is a cloud-based solution that helps small to large businesses manage and streamline learning and compliance needs of employees. The centralized platform enables users to develop and deploy training programs for selecte...Read more about Relias Healthcare LMS

3.87 (45 reviews)

9 recommendations

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: November 27, 2022

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.