LMS Stat’s

Have you ever wondered how the LMS you have chosen stacks up against the competition? Maybe you are thinking of investing time and/or money in an LMS. How would you choose one?

Would you:

  1. Look at demo’s
  2. Listen to a sales pitch
  3. Go with something commercial
  4. Phone a friend

What ever route you take does not matter. At the end of the day you will second guess your choice. Trust me, you will. I have work with Docent, IBM LearningSpace, Moodle, KEWL, and a bunch of others. The other day I came across a question in LinkedIn, where the person asked what you should look for when choosing a LMS.

Tricky question I think. Do you go with what’s popular, and adapt it to meet your needs, or do you go for a best fit, even if it’s not well supported.

This is what I answered:

  1. How is it to install, maintain and upgrade the LMS
  2. How much support is there in the global community for the LMS
  3. How easy is the User and Course administration
  4. How well is the course content presented
  5. How good is the reporting on User progress and scores

Something I would add at this point is, how easy is it to backup and restore a course. Lets not even discuss the issue of off-line courses. But, coming back to your choice of LMS. I used Google Trends to have a look at how some of the LMS’s measure up.

blackboard
1.00
webct
0.53
sumtotal
0.01
ecollege
0
learningspace
0

Commercial LMS

Commercial LMS

moodle
9.60
kewl
1.00
olat
0
claroline
0.60
lon-capa
0
Opensource LMS

Opensource LMS

blackboard
1.00
webct
0.53
moodle
0.69
Opensource vs Commercial

Opensource vs Commercial

I have linked the images to Google Trends, for those who would like more information. One last trend that I am including is one about authoring tools. Many LMS’s come with their own default authoring tool, but they are often not up to much. You will invariably want to build content using a third-party application like Authorware, Toolbook or Captivate. I have a personal preference for Flash, but did not include it in the measure. I also accept that you can use Dreamweaver to build SCORM content. Flash and Dreamweaver are so widely used that I was afraid they would not give a true reflection.

toolbook
1.00
captivate
3.30
authorware
5.90
lectora
4.10
scribe
8.90
Authoring tools

Authoring tools

Let me know if you are using something else. Maybe I have this all twisted.

Sean

0 thoughts on “LMS Stat’s

  1. What do these “trends” even mean? What is the X & Y axis here? In looking for an LMS, wouldn’t you want to do industry comparisons using a website like EduTools or something? Plus, these LMS comparisons aren’t really “apple to apple” – I mean Bb isn’t really an ASP where eCollege is. Moodle is significantly more expensive when you look at all of the support it requires than Angel. As an educator and administrator, having worked with 12 LMS’ in 20 years, I think this approach would not yield the kind of results a school would be looking for.

  2. Thanks for the reply Jim

    The trends above (http://www.google.com/intl/en/trends/about.html#7) are based on average search traffic for a given period. The X axis is the period, and the Y axis is the scaled average search traffic in the choose period. The subsequent entries are scaled relative to the first term.

    Could you give me more detail on why you believe Moodles ‘cost of ownership’ to be more expensive? Being Opensource, I immediately think of the money saved buy not buying an LMS. What support issues have you experienced with Moodle? Which is your preferred LMS?

    Thanks once more for your response.

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