Does the best LMS exist?

    Thursday, March 28, 2019

    Learning management systems, also known as LMS, are a key component in today’s edu technology suite. Primarily viewed as a refined techy addition to some on-campus programs, LMS have garnered quite the amount of attention in the educational software world. As the online edu era continues at full speed, universities are tasked with choosing an LMS that will bolster their online programs and successfully integrate online education technology into their academic core. But, which LMS is best? Does the best LMS even exist?

    In today’s world of higher education, rankings are extremely relative. What may be deemed great by one university can very well be deemed poor by another. The same rule of thumb applies for online educational software such as LMS. In order to truly find the best LMS out there, finding a general consensus amongst the higher education community is imperative. Take a look at the most highly valued LMS in the higher education market below!

    Blackboard has been a dominant player in the higher educational software game for a while now. Used by more than 17,000 schools and organizations, Blackboard has earned quite the reputation for being the go-to online education platform. Adding mobile functionality and virtual class integration capabilities, Blackboard has shown its ability to adapt with the times and stay relevant for years to come.

    Schoology is known for its functional dexterity and emphasis on community. Used by more than 1,000 schools and organizations, Schoology is all about built in integrations, with tools such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and YouTube already built in the platform. Schoology also boasts that they provide the best communication between professors and students when compared to other LMS.

    A newer LMS on the higher educational software scene, Canvas has been making a lot of noise. Used by more than 300 colleges and universities, Canvas has prided itself on being the only LMS that students and faculty will truly feel comfortable using. With a fresh and simple to use interface that mixes cloud services and speed, Canvas has shown that it has the chops to heavily compete in the education technology market.

    Although not as clean cut as the LMS above, Moodle offers a highly functional platform with over 1,300 plug-ins. Used by 440 colleges and universities worldwide, Moodle has become a popular choice due to its classification as an open source LMS. In other words, Moodle is a free for download!

    Curious to find out which LMS major online colleges and universities are banking on these days?
    Check out the list below of the top online higher education institutions and their LMS of choice.

    Southern New Hampshire University
    SNHU has seen tremendous growth ever since it began offering courses and programs online. With an online student enrollment of 87,000, SNHU trusts in D2L to deliver a pleasant online learning experience for all online learners. Also known as Desire2Learn, D2L is known for its cloud based learning system, customization capabilities and modern user interface.
    D2L has a strong reputation for being a dependable LMS and is used by over 1,200 colleges, universities and schools around the world.

    Purdue University Global
    A member of the Purdue University system, Purdue University Global offers online courses and programs for adults.
    Established in 2018 as a result of Purdue’s acquisition of Kaplan University, Purdue University Global has an online student population of 30,000. Similar to SNHU, PU’s preferred LMS is D2L.

    University of Texas--Arlington
    Offering online courses and programs since 1998, the University of Texas at Arlington has quite the amount of experience competing in the online higher education market. To serve its student population, UTA utilizes Canvas as their LMS of choice.
    The decision to implement Canvas was made very recently, as UTA began testing Canvas in Fall 2018.
    Without a doubt the most up and coming LMS on the market, Canvas, seems to be popping up all over the country and is poised to dominate for years to come.

    University of Phoenix
    It is impossible to not think of the University of Phoenix when discussing online college. Although not necessarily the highest ranked online provider of education, the University of Phoenix has the largest reach with over 100,000 enrolled students.
    To serve such a large quantity of students, the LMS of choice used by the University of Phoenix is Blackboard Ultra.
    So, is Blackboard Ultra just a ritzier version of Blackboard? For the most part, yes. Blackboard Ultra offers the user a more advanced interface with improved features that facilitate the learning and teaching experience for students and faculty. Released in 2018, Blackboard claims that there are 62 institutions currently using Blackboard Ultra.

    Written by Samuel Ducoff