The e-learning space is becoming increasingly crowded, and consumers may feel overwhelmed by all of the LMS, LXP, TXP, and other learning platforms on the market. If you’re looking to separate the best options from the chaff, look no further than Craig Weiss. As founder and CEO of the Craig Weiss Group, Craig has become one of the most influential names in the e-learning industry. He launched his blog as part of FindAnLMS.com over a decade ago and boasts a 90+ percent accuracy rate in his forecasts and predictions since then. The site’s dedication to unbiased LMS reviews is also unheard of in the industry, giving organizations an accurate look at what’s available to them.
Weiss recently revealed his platinum picks” for 2021, identifying the top options for Learning Management Systems (LMS), Learning Experience Platforms (LXP), and Talent Experience Platforms (TXP). His picks were based on numerous criteria, including how well the platform’s user interface (or UI) matched its target audience, industry awards, features, functionality, customer support, and analytical tools. Without further ado, here are some of the top LMS picks straight from the expert in alphabetical order:
- Absorb LMS
Absorb LMS offers an intuitive interface for both learners and administrators and undergoes regular updates, so it’s constantly becoming more powerful and stable. The biggest downside is that the vendor doesn’t currently offer an all-in-one package, forcing users to add the features they want through standalone products. Absorb Analyze provides much better analytics than the base product, while Absorb Engage and Absorb Infuse are both great for engaging learners. Absorb with Create LI is also recommended if you’re looking for a built-in authoring tool that rivals commercial options. You can learn more about Absorb by reading the full Absorb LMS review on FindAnLMS.com.
- Access LMS
Access LMS was the best learning management system for the financial services industry in 2021, and new features coming in the upcoming quarter will make it even better. Access LMS definitely has a targeted niche, but you won’t do any better in that niche.
- Acorn LMS
Acorn LMS is virtually unheard of outside of the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), but everything about it screams potential. It could be a major player in 2022.
Agylia’s greatest strength is a consistent commitment to mobile learning that helps learners engage with training content. They recently added new features for CPD (or Continuing Professional Development) that raise the whole system a notch.
- Cornerstone Learning
Cornerstone has a lasting reputation as a “traditional” web-based LMS, which is a shame since everything about it screams “next-gen.” It has the same problem Absorb does in that you need to purchase numerous add-ons for full functionality. Weiss recommends Cornerstone PXP (their LXP) and Content Anytime as the best add-ons for Cornerstone Learning. You might also want to look into the Careers module if you’re looking for a TXP. Weiss has a full Cornerstone LMS review on his site if you’re looking for more information.
Degreed is a top-tier TXP with an advanced analytics module coming down the pipeline, though they haven’t yet revealed if it will be part of the base package or an optional add-on. If your organization skills to job opportunities, the Organizations module is highly recommended even though it costs extra.
Docebo is a powerful learning suite that unfortunately doesn’t offer everything you need out of the box. Learn plus Content is the basic starter package, and then Weiss recommends Learning Analytics as your analytical tool because it can draw data from outside sources such as Salesforce and most other Business Intelligence (BI) tools. The Coach and Share add-ons provide digital coaching and content curation, respectively, making them great additions to the suite. It should also be noted that Content doesn’t come with any content, so factor in the cost of third-party materials in your budget.
- D2L (Corporate)
D2L seems to get better every year. It offers multi-tenant, digital coaching with video skills validation, grids, and a ton of other functionality that the company doesn’t do a great job of advertising. This is a top-notch, under-the-radar pick.
- EdCast TXP
The number-one learning system in Weiss’s 2021 awards, Edcast TXP expanded upon its already robust offering with EdTech (a BI tool) and brand new feature sets in Skills Studio and Skills DNA. It’s one of the few platforms that support deep configurations that go beyond what you can see or do and offers customer training support if your organization needs it. The only true downside is that customer training may be an added fee depending on the use case.
Eurekos focuses on customer education (or CE) and offers numerous features that are tough to find in the space. It’s also getting a great new feature at the end of the year that nobody else has, with a Skills module slated to drop in 2022. Eurekos is one to watch for sure.
Fuse has a unique UI that doesn’t align with other platforms, so there may be a learning curve if your learners are accustomed to a different cloud-based LMS. That said, Fuse is also the only option on the market that allows learners to type questions into a search bar and see relevant training results, making finding courses just as easy as using internet search engines. The BI tools and metrics are also outstanding.
- Gyrus Aim
Gyrus Aim combines powerful capabilities across the board with outstanding support to be a top option for enterprise-scale organizations and above.
- IMC Learning Suite
IMC Learning Suite is a great tool that is well-known in Europe but not as popular elsewhere.
Intellum is marketed as a Customer Training tool with a particular emphasis on the technology vertical, though it can be used for other industries as well. It is a robust system with more skills capabilities than you would expect from a CE platform and the ability to white label the mobile app with your organization’s branding for an additional fee, though your organization needs a minimum of 4,500 active users to use it.
- Instilled LXP
Instilled LXP is a learning platform that accepts any form of content, including SCORM, xAPI, AICC, videos, and links. It also comes with a video editing tool that makes it a hidden favorite.
- Juno Journey
Juno Journey is a TXP with a strong emphasis on interests: a must in today’s competitive business environment. Its UI is different, but learners who lack prior experience with a cloud-based LMS will probably enjoy it.
LearnAmp has an impressive, feature-rich UI that expanded its capabilities further in 2021. For example, the platform now includes a recommended skills engine and a community option that offers Instagram-like news feeds and LinkedIn-like search directories.
Learnster intentionally differentiates itself from every other cloud-based LMS on the market in both look and approach. It isn’t standard and there might be a learning curve if your learners are used to something else, but it more than gets the job done.
Raven360 is a combo platform that plays well in customer education and enterprise-level training alike. It can also run simulations that go beyond the technology vertical, giving it more flexibility than other platforms.
- Rockstar Learning Platform
This LMS launched in early 2021 and has started differentiating itself from the pack, though it is still a work-in-progress. Its digital coaching feature is its best asset right now.
- SAP Litmos
Their web screens have a bot plastered all over them that can get really irritating if you’re visiting them a lot, but otherwise, this is a powerful platform. The metrics aren’t great, but everything else is cutting-edge.
Schoox has an unintuitive UI that can cause challenges at times, but you get a ton of functionality if you can overcome that hurdle. Slick metrics make it easy to quantify learner progress, the mobile app is fantastic, and it does a great job relating skills to broader improvement.
SkillJar claims to be a customer education platform, but that’s only 50-55% of their client base when most experts agree that an 85% threshold is the logical cutoff. Still, this is a top-tier LMS that works great as a combo solution.
SmarterU is an under-the-radar option with a lot to offer. It wouldn’t be surprising if it exploded in popularity in 2022.
- Thought Industries
Thought Industries was the top-ranked learning system in the Customer Education/Partner Training category in 2021 and it’s difficult to see anybody else taking that title in 2022. A new component called Atlas is scheduled for release in late ‘21 or early ‘22 and that will take Thought Industries to a whole new level. Sadly, mobile support isn’t expected until mid-2022.
Like SkillJar, Valamis markets itself as a customer education platform but makes acquisitions that position it better in the employee development space. The result is a great combo platform that could become even better if they adopt a clear direction in 2022. You can also white-label their mobile app to your brand.
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