Best E-Learning Software

E-Learning Software

Education has not just evolved into the digital space, but it has also opened up trillions of sources too. To aid service seekers in finding the best eLearning Software, GoodFirms have listed the best E-Learning Software available in the market. Learning is a dynamic process and with the power of the internet, anyone can learn anything and anywhere. But this is possible when your eLearning authoring tools are mobile-friendly and flexible. They should be flexible enough to support learners on-the-way. The listed e-learning system understands the correct learning UI of the market and have designed their E-Learning solutions accordingly. Check out the list for the best e-learning platforms fitted one:

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List of the Best Elearning Software | Top eLearning Platforms
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List of the Best Elearning Software | Top eLearning Platforms

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Buyer’s Guide

Introduction to the Buyer’s Guide for Elearning Software:

In 1965, Gordon Moore, in one of the past half-century's greatest technological predictions, extrapolated that computing power will increase every two years and decrease the costs of computing technology drastically. Popularly known as Moore's law, the prediction set the pace for digital revolution, innovation, and development. The broad array of elearning solutions wouldn't have been possible if Moore's prediction had not set the trajectory for future developments in computer chips. Growth of elearning as a ubiquitous learning method is the testimony to what technological excellence can achieve. 

Elearning eliminates the challenges and issues faced in traditional learning environments and offers a highly-engaging instructional method for meeting learning objectives. Implementing elearning is the correct strategy. However, without a proper Elearning software tool, the implementation is unsustainable and ineffective. 

Elearning software has features and tools that leverage modern learning taxonomies for course formation, enables intelligent session management, and enhances the effectiveness of content delivery. Choosing the right eLearning software can be challenging. This buyer's guide will help you pick the right eLearning authoring tools after careful analysis of all factors, features, pricing, etc. of the elearning solutions.

What is elearning?

Elearning, in simple words, refers to delivering a course, program, or degree through a completely electronic device or an online platform. It is different from conducting classes/sessions in a traditional classroom in terms of access, usability, and structure. However, the prime objective of imparting engaging learning content remains the same. The sessions take place through digital devices such as mobile phones, computers, and tablets. 

Benefits of elearning: 

The digital revolution has changed the entire outlook of how a piece of content is accessed, consumed, and shared among today's audience. The potential of the eLearning mode of training is reaching a wider audience day by day. Starting from a professional employee to a business owner and even for a homemaker, it's meant for all. Online training through elearning platforms can be taken as per your availability and comfort anywhere in the world.

  • Lifetime access to the online sessions: Unlike traditional classroom pedagogy, online learning content and materials can be accessed unlimited times. One can always access the selected topic, which they missed and can prepare accordingly.
  • Quicker learning method: eLearning provides swift delivery of training and sessions. In comparison to offline training methodology, online mode of education has an adequately quicker delivery pace. 

Elearning is a better option over traditional learning when:

  1. Learners are dispersed geographically.
  2. A huge amount of content needs to be delivered to a large batch of learners.
  3. Learners have a restricted mobility situation.
  4. The focus is on cognitive skills rather than psychomotor skills.
  5. Learners are busy with other personal and professional commitments and cannot attend traditional classes.

How has elearning evolved over time? A brief history of elearning:

Since 1999, the term eLearning has been in existence. It was Elliott Maisie who coined this term. Since then, eLearning is gaining popularity and acceptance worldwide. There are a few factors that have given rise to facilitating eLearning as an effective way to deliver training today: 

Rise of Internet Connectivity: 

Way before, when the internet was not even a gig, people relied on the printed study materials and notes. Post the rise of the internet, it allowed various schools, universities, companies, businesses, and organizations to leverage eLearning benefits.

Maturing of Media tools:

As eLearning continued to thrive, the expertise to include elements such as images, videos, infographics, audios, gifs, and other types of visuals increased, and high-quality formats were developed to engage the learners and keep their attention alive throughout. 

Cloud tools: 

The eLearning system has grown to be more intelligent. Progressing towards a cloud-based system from a locally installed device has allowed elearning to unveil more potential over the years. These cloud-based systems are effectively used by companies and organizations to use the eLearning method to the best of its capabilities. 

Today, elearning is one of the most cost-effective training solutions for businesses, a sophisticated method for disseminating courses for universities and colleges, and a great alternative for individuals who desire self-paced learning options. 

What are the challenges faced in traditional learning methods? 

Teachers:

  • Lack of Engagement And Motivation: It's true that not every learner is going to be at the best of their learning commitments through an online platform. The learners may get distracted, lose attention after a short period, or simply not be interested. The attention span of an ordinary human being is reducing drastically, with so many floating distractions around them. Starting from the constant notifications, messages, updates, and calls, it's hard to remain focused and keep the attendees engaged. The sessions should be made highly participative through simulation, gamification, etc. However, it is challenging for instructors to adopt an innovative approach to keep the sessions interactive throughout.
  • Tailoring Content As Per Batches: Creating content does not follow a 'one-size fits all' approach. Different batches seek different information sets, goals, objectives, and preferences. This is because each set of batch/attendees and students possesses unique traits and needs. The creation of new learner personas should be curated. It is challenging for traditional trainers to customize their sessions based on each batch's experiences and knowledge.
  • Constant Upgradation of study material: In traditional learning environments, once the study material is distributed to the learners, it is very difficult to change the content. 

Students:

  • Students with different learning curves may find the pace of course instructions difficult to follow. 
  • Students may find it difficult to focus on the material and keep themselves motivated. It is also difficult for them to refrain their mind from classroom distractions and noise. 
  • Introverts find it difficult to engage fully with their peers, raise questions, and give feedback.  

Corporate:

  • Traditional learning methods put the employee/worker off-site. It makes a scarcity of the workforce whenever training is on. 
  • Training is costly as trainers charge more for visiting the site. Other costs, such as space, electricity, traveling, and accommodation (if employees are sent to other places for training), are applied. 
  • Corporates cannot train a large number of employees simultaneously. 
  • Keeping the quality of instruction the same for teaching all workforce. 

What is Elearning software?

Elearning software is a set of application tools designed to deliver courses or training via the internet or electronically. The elearning system helps trainers design and deliver content adhering to the best practices, such as Bloom's taxonomy. 

Elearning software supports all types of learning experiences as below:

  1. Expository: Expository learning experience is induced when digital devices transmit content. The content is designed by the trainer and then transmitted via mobile devices; computer-assisted technology etc. 
  2. Active Learning Experience: When learners play games, engage in simulation exercises, mock drills, etc. it is referred to as active learning.  
  3. Interactive learning experience: The learner engages in interactive activities with fellow-learners, instructors, and peers to build knowledge; it is known as interactive learning.

What are the various types of elearning software?

  • Web-based or online: Third-party elearning software providers offer web-based online elearning solutions that can be accessed by learners and instructors from anywhere with internet accessibility. 
  • Cloud-based: The cloud-based elearning software is hosted through a third-party cloud service provider, and information is stored in cloud servers for high-speed, reliability, and massive storage capabilities. 
  • Open source: Open source elearning software comes with a free source code that can be modified according to the instructor's requirements and learner's needs.  

What are the advantages of using elearning software?

  • Lowered Costs: eLearning is an effective way to remain light on the budget. The incremental costs are further reduced with the increase in batch size.  Elearning demands fewer resources as compared to a traditional form. One can save expenses of space, travel, electricity, etc. involved in traditional settings. 
  • Easy tracking of learner’s activity: Elearning software tools can track how a learner is progressing in the course. It can also identify learning breakdowns and provide practical solutions to overcome them. 
  • Create learner-centered content: E-learning software allows instructors to create relevant and specific content that is customized to cater to individual learning goals.
  • Empowerment: The elearning system empowers the learner and supports him or her in gaining rapid career progression.
  • No Geographic constraints: An elearning tool can be accessed from anywhere in the world and anytime. For self-paced learning, users can access the learning content on their mobile devices and laptops anytime.  
  • Increased learner interaction:  With elearning software tools, the learner's interaction with the trainer and the peer group increases.  Interaction is assured with real-time messaging, video-conferencing, peer-to-peer discussion forums, etc. 
  • Distraction-free learning environment: During live virtual sessions, Elearning software blocks all distractions such as unproductive apps, social media access, other messaging platforms, etc. to ensure that the learners stay focussed.  
  • Versatility: It allows instructors to use any of the learning techniques such as flipped learning, blended learning, gamification, simulation, etc. easily. 
  • Security of data: Data is secured in the encrypted storage of these software solutions. 

What is the role of elearning software in:

Synchronous elearning

Synchronous learning is a live, real-time, facilitated instruction that is usually scheduled and time-specific. It requires learners' virtual presence via online tools. Few examples of synchronous learning can be- video conferences, chat-based online meet-ups, interactive webinars, live webcasting, or online lectures. The feedback mechanism is in real-time.  

Elearning software provides all essential tools to handle the classroom, the media, and the overall conference. It helps build a spontaneous and flowing session and provides the synergy to create a structured collaborative learning environment. 

Asynchronous elearning 

Asynchronous learning, on the other hand, is a type of self-paced learning method where the learner has access to pre-recorded sessions, DVDs, podcasts, etc. The learner has the flexibility to learn as per his/her convenience, and no real-time presence is required. The feedback is provided later on based on the assignments submitted by the learner. 

Elearning management software mitigates time and place restraints by allowing the learner to choose his/her convenient time, place, and pace of learning. Its unique functionalities allow the learner to access sessions whenever required and engage in learning activities from anywhere in the world. 

Elearning software usage in education vs. corporate

In Education:

Balancing the learning dynamics:

Universities, colleges, and schools are balancing the learning dynamics with the use of elearning software. In the traditional environment, extroverts can dominate, and personality and gender-based identifiers can hinder the learning process. But in a virtual environment, these barriers have no effect. 

Examples:

  1. The instructor has asked a question and allowed the participants to use the chat function to answer the question. Even introverts are comfortable answering with chat tools. 
  2. The instructor wants a solution or change in the course format. She has asked students to use the anonymous poll function of the elearning software to submit their views. It provides a level of comfort to introverts to answer freely and without the fear of peer pressure. 

Course authoring: 

The course authoring tool is a particular kind of elearning software product used to create appealing and collective multimedia content for educational training. Content authoring tools assist trainers in putting content into a standardized format such as SCORM or xAPI. 

Moocs: 

Massive Open Online Courses, also called Moocs, are types of elearning courses that anybody can apply for free to upgrade their knowledge.  It gives a chance to everyone to learn from a few of the top instructors across the globe. MOOCs offer interactive courses with learner-centric design. Elearning software equips trainers to design effective Moocs without hassle.  

Online classes: 

An online class is a virtual interaction between the teachers and the students conducted over the internet. An online class generally allows excellent flexibility in completing the course curriculum at one's own comfortable pace. Elearning software comes with all tools to conduct an effective online class. Application to create content, visual tools to make it appealing, professionally designed templates, and many more

On-demand learning:

Elearning software allows the learner to absorb content in terms of facts and logic-based information in real-time, anywhere, and at any time. The just-in-time learning or on-demand learning concept empowers the learners to gain access to knowledge just when they need it. 

Assessment and evaluation:

Elearning tools use systematized procedures for assessing, evaluating, and accessing the same using empirical data based on a learner's understanding, knowledge, skills, and attitude.  

In the corporate world

Industry Wise usage:

Retail and Ecommerce

With the rise of in-store retail and ecommerce, sales professionals and skilled employees are required in the retail and ecommerce industry. Elearning is used in these industries for imparting selling skills, inventory management courses, product management courses, and certain financial automation courses. 

Education

The education industry is in constant demand for eLearning software for delivering MOOCs, online classes, virtual sessions, etc. Universities, schools, and colleges are adopting e-learning platforms and investing heavily in this field. 

Computer and Information Technology

The Computer and Information Technology industry requires a constant upgrade of their knowledge and skills. With new software architecture and updates frequently coming in the IT field, IT professionals find elearning software as a convenient medium to stay ahead of the recent technological advancements. 

Construction

Construction is an industry where environmental considerations, government regulations and, construction compliance, and various other parameters have to be met for sustainability and legal compliance. Elearning assists the construction industry in meeting all necessary compliance standards by training the managers, on-site supervisors, and engineers at various locations. 

Banking and Finance Industry

With Fintech technologies making a way in the financial sector, the requirement of the banking workforce that is well-versed in handling complex processes, software suites, financial instruments, etc. has increased considerably. Elearning software provides an effective solution by training multiple batches of banking employees. 

Manufacturing Industry

In the manufacturing industry, employees need to know protocols, regulations, best practices, hygiene standards, safety measures, etc. Elearning is a perfect solution to train the large workforce in the highly-regulated manufacturing industry. 

Healthcare training: 

Continuous healthcare training is mandatory for medical professionals. As soon as new technologies, medicines, equipment, and procedures are announced globally, medical professionals are expected to get acquainted and train themselves in those developments. Elearning software can help them in training without hampering their daily routines. 

Types of training provided using eLearning software tools:

Corporate training: 

Corporate training, also known as workplace culture learning or corporate education, is a set of rules, regulations, and corporate etiquettes laid out to educate the employees within an organization. Elearning can be used to show employees pre-recorded videos of the organization's mission, vision, history, culture, workplace rules, attire, etc. to train newcomers. Making the new hires familiar with the workplace and taking them through their responsibilities and familiarising them with their co-workers is what employee orientation is all about.  It helps them to get familiar with the company policies and gets their expectations set right.

Employee skill development training: 

Post the new hire, the employees in the organization are expected to go through specific training, which helps them enhance their skills better while allowing them to perform even better in their professional domains. Elearning tools provide the opportunity to gauge employees' current skills and potential and scope to improve their skills further to perform their work effectively.

IT training

IT provides employees with an edge essential to perform productively in the competitive business world. From executive to upper-management, IT training is essential for everyday operations and workflows. Elearning software can be deployed to train and assess the employees for various IT related programs.  

 Safety training: 

Safety training or workplace safety training entails making the employees and the entire staff of the organization aware of the workplace safety measures, including instructions, guidelines, hazardous zones, and ways to deal with the ordeals if they occur by any chance in the near future. Even visitors, inspectors, and management visiting the plants that contain heavy machinery, chemicals, combustible materials, etc. need to be trained for safety before they can enter the plant for industrial compliance. Elearning tools can be deployed to provide above all types of safety training so that risks of on-site injuries or fatal incidents can be mitigated. Elearning costs are negligible when compared to compensation costs in the event of a mishap. 

Sales training: 

It's a kind of training that involves the enhancement of personal development attributes like certain techniques and skills to generate and explore brand new sales opportunities in the organization's interest.  Elearning offers a cost-effective way of imparting sales training to employees.

Product training: 

Product training is required whenever new products are launched or when a new employee joins the organization. Elearning can be used to show demonstrations, features, and functionalities of that product. Elearning software allows employees to learn in a flexible manner, in free time, and without halting the current shift. 

What are the current trends in Elearning?

Blended Learning: 

As the name implies, blended learning is an amalgamation of online and offline approaches to education. It combines eLearning education materials with that of traditional classroom methods. It demands both the trainer and the trainee's visible presence with a significant amount of control over the place, time, and pace.

Social and Collaborative learning:

It is an eLearning tactic where the learners can interact with their fellow learners and even the instructor in the group for discussions, projects, etc. This way, the participants and the instructor get along pretty well and share knowledge, views, and opinions effectively.

Gamification:

Gamification is a learning pedagogy that structures content in a game format. The learning objective is achieved through games played by students. Learners earn points, win badges, climb levels, gain coupons, etc. when then complete a particular activity or module. Gamification makes life fun for learners. 

Microlearning: 

Micro-learning creates and delivers short-term learning tasks. This term is popularly used in the eLearning domain or related fields as a learning methodology in moderate learning environments. With micro-learning, both, the content size, and the time taken to memorize is crunched down significantly.

Video learning: 

Video learning or video-based learning is an approach to teach a particular course/topic via video. It makes use of audio and visual prompts as well. This specific approach makes it more apparent for learners to grasp the concept quickly.

Personalized learning:

Personalized learning is an explicitly tailored teaching pedagogy that is used to meet individual learning needs. Elearning software customizes pace, instructional design, and lessons to cater to individual learning styles. Artificial intelligence-enabled elearning tools are quick enough to pick on the learner's feedback to devise a personalized learning schedule for him/her.  

Rapid Learning:

Rapid learning is an approach where the sessions tare escalated with building eLearning courses rapidly. Few examples can be- PPT's, Audio/Video Narrations, or the usage of particular software to collaborate and switch between different slides.

Customer service-learning:

This type of learning is mainly used in a professional setup to equip the customer service executives with a particular skill set and knowledge to perform the job effectively. This type of education is also referred to as 'Customer Service Training.'

What are the features of elearning software?

Content Development: 

Elearning software allows instructors to create learning resources such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, audio files, documents, etc. The developed content can be stored, shared, and accessed whenever required by the user. 

Form interactive sessions: 

With the elearning tools, instructors can develop a sequential set of study material (Videos, animations, GiFs, Quizzes, polls, surveys, games, etc.) that provides interactivity in the virtual environment.

Simulations:

Instructors can create a simulative exercise that immerses the learner in the real-life situation. For example, finance faculty can create a stock market trading simulator to give students virtual trading experience. 

E-tutoring 

elearning software has features to provide e-mentoring, e-coaching solutions to students who require one-on-one interaction, and facilitated learning support.

Collaborative learning tools

Elearning software offers knowledge-sharing options, discussion forums, peer to peer interaction models, and instructor-learner discussion facility for the collaborative learning experience. It has a chat, messaging, notification, and project tools for easy reach. 

Reporting 

A step by step evaluation is also a possibility when it comes to eLearning study practices. The participants can measure their progress throughout their eLearning journey. This approach helps them introspect where they might have gone wrong and improve on those areas. For trainers, the software provides customized reports about learner's engagement, participation in activities, progress, and assessment reports.  

Marketing:

One of the prominent features for eLearning organizations is inbuilt integration with marketing tools, which enables businesses, instructors, course authors, etc. to market their eLearning courses. The ecommerce integrations allow them to sell courses online via portals, virtual shopping baskets, etc.

Ease of Registration:

The elearning software provides a portal that consists of a registration link to join a course. 

Administration  Support:

The elearning software provides the users with access to the administrative section, where they can list courses, fix prices on each course, see the number of students enrolled in each course, and see the progress of individual courses. 

Other Features:

  • Multimedia support
  • Screen sharing tools
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Learner’s portal
  • Group discussion forum
  • Attendance tracking
  • Raise a hand facility to ask questions

How to evaluate and select the right elearning software solution for your needs?

Amidst multiple lucrative options, it is challenging to select the best elearning solution for your needs. Identifying requirements and evaluating vendors before making the actual purchase decision is essential.  

Below are some steps that  one should follow to select the best solution:

  • Keep in mind your learner's current skills, prior qualifications, age factor, learning goals, tech-savvy ness, demographics, etc. to define the right elearning software requirements.
  • Convey your requirements clearly to vendors, and ask for price quotations. Ask for trials and demo sessions based on your requirements. The vendors offering the best interface and features in the lowest pricing should be marked.
  • During the trial period, you can ask your vendor to demonstrate how their product will resolve a particular learning problem.  

Checklist:

  • Whether the elearning software provides course completion and progress reports?
  • Whether the online authoring tool provides other reports such as feedback, assessment reports, certificate of course completion, student metrics, etc.?
  • Check if your vendor has a robust customer support system, positive reviews on trusted sites, adequate industry experience, and a compliant product?
  • Analyze the cost of the elearning creation software; hidden costs applied, costs of hardware required, cost structure, payment mode, etc. Keep expected return on investment and other benefits in mind.
  • Can the e-learning software integrate with other technologies such as LMS, course authoring software, AI, machine learning, etc. ?
  • How secure is the learner's data, and does the software provide adequate storage capacity to upload videos, infographics, images, ppts, etc.? 
  • Is the e-learning tool user-friendly and easy to navigate?
  • Is the elearning authoring software scalable to accommodate more features?
  • Is the elearning solution accessible on multiple digital devices simultaneously?
  • Can the elearning portal work smoothly with low bandwidth internet connectivity?

What is the future of elearning and growth potential for elearning software?

Elearning is undoubtedly here to stay. With increasing dependability in the growing internet era, eLearning becomes an extremely accessible and ideal option for many. From a simple course to a full-fledged degree, elearning has successfully made its way into the industry. Internet connection frequency is increasing, which means the potential for multimedia training methods is enormous. 

E-Learning Market size surpassed USD 200 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to grow at over 8% CAGR between 2020 and 2026 to become a $375 billion industry. 

Every year, elearning software comes with a modern technology spree. It consists of new tools, gadgets, and software updates, which is ultimately used to improve the delivery of the eLearning sessions and training. Software vendors are offering niche products to help schools, colleges, businesses to reach their learning goals.

The future of schools, colleges, businesses, and coaching centers opting for timely deployment of elearning platforms will be bright. 

What is the average cost of buying an elearning software product?

The costs of elearning software solutions depend on varied factors such as:

  •  Functions and features it offers
  •  Number of admins/ users/elearners it can accommodate.
  •  Quality of service offered 
  •  The user interface and learner experience it offers

The DigitalChalk will cost you around $99 for 20 active users per month billed annually.  iClassPro comes at a flat rate of $129 per month for a location. Learning Cart comes at $199 for 50 users per month.  The costs, however, decrease if you have more learners on board. 

There are also some free elearning software systems available in the market, such as ChamiloCourseLab, etc. You can also use free and open source elearning software such as Open Elearning. For other online elearning software such as Pocket Study, DoceboUdemy,  Elucidat, Advedu, and many others, you need to contact the vendor for detailed pricing. Get the updated list and complete information from the GoodFirms E-Learning Software Page. 

Why refer to GoodFirms’s list of elearning software?

GoodFirms is among the few best IT market research companies that provide authentic and accurate software categorization, listing, reviews, pricing information, and detailed analysis of their pros and cons to assist B2B IT service seekers. 

Currently, GoodFirms hosts a listing of around 9000 software services and products. The unbiased and genuine reviews of more than 9000 software products and services provide buyers a spectrum to gauge the utility of the software along with an extraordinary insight into the features, functions, pricing, and many more aspects of the listed software services. The list is consistently updated by the GoodFirms software research team to keep it relevant for the service seekers.  The readers of this buyer's guide for elearning software are advised to navigate the list of thoroughly researched elearning solutions to find the most suitable ones for themselves.