Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Low Cost LMS

I received an inquiry about the need for a low cost LMS solution and I've not had time to help this person with answers. I'm hoping folks can chime in with suggestions and resources. I'll try to aggregate them together.

Situation description:
I have talked to several vendors and have received quotes at the 6-8k (per year) range for the licensing. We have roughly 500 learners and would use the LMS for mainly tracking and registration of ILT courses, communication (possibly through message boards), and posting of class materials. The development of e-Learning is being done through Captivate, so I do not need a system with authoring capabilities.

I have not had much luck with open source LMS programs, mainly because of technical limitations on our part. Do you have any recommendations on which programs to consider? Also, are the price quotes mentioned above reasonable?
What would you suggest?

Also, my guess is that looking at License costs is probably a bad idea here since quite often there are services, hosting, etc. costs that can exceed license costs. So, help on effective all-in low cost LMS solutions would be good.

Tim Seager of Xerceo posted about this issue and suggested a some resources:
  • GSA Advantage - This is a very interesting site to visit and see pricing that's been established by contract with the government. Simply type the LMS vendor name or LMS name in the search bar and it should give you the per user/ per installation pricing. Smaller vendors may not be found. And it can be difficult to interpret some of the results. Still fantastic to have a resource with pricing.

Another way to tackle this kind of Search is to use the exact approach I tell folks about in my presentations like the recent ASTD Keynote.

~inexpensive ("learning management system" OR lms) 2007..2009 filetype:pdf
~inexpensive ("learning management system" OR lms) 2007..2009 filetype:ppt

This netted some interesting material including the following list that is the list in the Brandon Hall report.
  • Absorb LMS (Blatant Media e-Learning)
  • Acadia HCS (Acadia HCS)
  • Allen Communication Learning Portal
  • Avilar WebMentor
  • Course-Source (Course-Source Limited)
  • CourseMill LMS (Trivantis)
  • DOTS (WebRaven)
  • ED Training Platform (Strategia)
  • Generation 21 Enterprise
  • InforSource (InfoSource)
  • Inquisiq EX (ICS Learning Group Inc.)
  • IntraLearn XE (IntraLearn Software)
  • Isoph Blue (Learn Something)
  • Kallidus LMS (e2train)
  • LearnerWeb (MaxIT)
  • LearnShare LMS (Learnshare)
  • LMS Live (Wizdom Systems)
  • MindFlash E-Learning System
  • NetDimensions EKP Bronze
  • OnPoint Learning & Performance Suite
  • On-Tracker LMS (Interactive Solutions)
  • OutStart Evolution LMS (OutStart)
  • SSElearn Portal (SSE)
  • Syntrio Enterprise (Syntrio)
  • TeraLearn LMS (Teralearn.com)
  • The Learning Manager (Worldwide Interactive)
  • Tracker.Net (Platte Canyon)
  • TrainingPartner (Geometrix)
  • TrainingMine (Frontline Data Solutions)
  • Upside LMS (Upside Learning Solutions)
  • Virtual Training Assistant (RISC)
What systems are missing here? How would you potentially proceed through this list?

Maybe it's money well spent to buy the report?

I tried to find information from the eLearningGuild, but had a hard time finding anything. You can certainly go back and look at: LMS Satisfaction Features and Barriers. It's getting a bit old now, but you can at least see a little about some of these systems.

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