What is an Online Learning Platform?
Online learning platforms or eLearning are a great asset to use for training your employees. They typically have many features to help you create, host, and track online learning courses and modules. Some of the best online learning platforms include content libraries of pre-made courses you can use rather than creating your own.
If you're researching online learning platforms to train your employees, that’s great! Join the online learning club. Online learning was first attempted in 1924, (although the term ‘eLearning’ wasn’t used until 1999), according to estudent.org.
Let us help kickstart your research by compiling a list of some of our top online learning platforms.
These are some of the best digital learning platforms for corporate training, so if you’re looking for an online learning platform, you’d be remiss not to consider the five we have listed below.
First, let's get into the nitty-gritty of an online learning platform.
The Definition of an Online Learning Platform
The definition of an online learning platform is, to be blunt, an online platform that facilitates the creation and hosting of online learning (or eLearning) content, including courses, modules, and a variety of other features that can help learners learn. Online learning platforms aren’t technically the same as LMSs necessarily, but LMSs are often also online learning platforms.
Online learning platforms have a variety of features that are standard or important to have. Below are some of the top features included.
Course creation and customization
The whole point of online learning platforms is to use them to teach learners something. A critical feature of online learning platforms is the ability to create and customize online courses and modules. You can create courses with the content and features (like text, graphics, videos, audio, etc.) that would best communicate the training your employees need.
Course hosting and management
After creating the courses and modules, the next most important feature is probably the hosting and managing of those courses so that learners can access them and creators/administrators can keep an eye on them and make adjustments if necessary.
Tracking and analytics
When you’re on the administrative side of the best online learning platforms, you should have access to analytics to view stats on your courses, and you should be able to track your learners' progress. You should be able to see how far along they are, if they’re finished if they’ve left any feedback, etc.
The gamification definition is adding elements of games to things that aren’t games. In online learning, gamification can look like using quizzes, leaderboards, friendly competitions, or actual games to supplement online learning. It’s an essential element of online learning, with 89% of employees saying they felt more productive and 88% happier at their work using gamification, according to a 2019 TalentLMS survey.
A new platform for eLearning isn’t exactly useless, but it can be a major hindrance if it doesn’t also integrate with the apps you already have and could want to use in online learning. That’s why it’s a standard feature for the best digital learning platforms to have a wide selection of integrations with other apps available. Tovuti, for instance, allows you to connect with over 2,000 apps when using the LMS, because of its connection through Zapier.
Responsive on Mobile
As it’s become more common for learners to complete their work using their cellphone, it’s become more standard for the best online learning platforms to be responsive on mobile devices. As much as 25% of learners online study with their phones, according to Research.com. That’s 1 in 4 learners. It’s not an insignificant number.
If you want to learn more about common features for online learning platforms and LMSs, check out our blog LMS Meaning - Definition and Everything Else You Need to Know.
Top Online Learning Platforms
If you’re looking into implementing the best online learning platforms for your business, you’ll need to know what some of the top online learning platforms are. Don’t worry; we’ve gathered up five of our favorites.
In no particular order, we believe some of the best online learning platforms are:
- Absorb LMS
- SAP Litmos
What Makes Them (Some of) the Best Online Learning Platforms
Before we detail these platforms individually, let’s elaborate on how we picked these as the top online learning platforms.
If you’ve been following our blog, most if not all of these will look familiar to you, as they’ve been listed in our top picks before. These online learning platforms have high ratings on websites like g2 and Capterra.
They’re popular, well-received platforms with awards and industry recognition to their names.
Although these may not be the highest-ratest on g2 and Capterra or those websites' top choices for online learning platforms, these are still competitive choices for online learning platforms for corporate training. (And they still typically seem to rank well. All five choices are included on The Best Learning Management Systems top list from 2021 (as listed on Tovuti from g2).)
And they’re our choices for some of the best digital learning platforms that businesses should consider.
Not to toot our own horn, but Tovuti is undeniably one of the best online learning platforms. It has various great features, excellent customer support, and several compliances, including SCORM and VPAT 508. Not to mention it’s #1 on the previously cited The Best Learning Management Systems list.
Our tagline on our homepage reads, “Tovuti's next-generation LMS software is the fastest and easiest way to offer engaging online learning experiences.” and we mean it! We pride ourselves on the speed and usability our platform offers.
Coassemble is another excellent example of a top online learning platform. It also has a variety of great features and also offers a series of languages and discounts for not-for-profit organizations. Also, it has an easily navigable website. And it was rated #2 on The Best Learning Management Systems list.
The tagline on the homepage reads, “Your first online platform. Drive business growth by creating genuinely engaging online training experiences for your employees.” This really sums up Coassemble’s approach. The FAQ mentions that although there’s no pre-made content library, businesses should have an easy time creating courses, even without experience.
And coming in as the next on our list of our picks for the best online learning platforms is Absorb LMS. It’s no surprise that it also offers a variety of features and eCommerce options and, according to the homepage, over 100 awards, over 1500 customers, and 26.5 million users. It was rated #14 on The Best Learning Management Systems list.
Absorb LMS proudly displays on the homepage some big-time companies that have used its services in employee training, including Sony, Johnson & Johnson, the Gap, and A&W.
Next, we have SAP Litmos, another of our choices for the best online learning platforms. SAP Litmos, like those before it, also offers a variety of features. According to the homepage, it also boasts universal accessibility, more than 35 languages, and a pre-made course library. It was rated #9 on The Best Learning Management Systems list.
SAP Litmos also shows off a series of big-company customers on its homepage, including Lindt, Mercedes-Benz, Pepsico, IBM, and Fitbit.
And last but not least, the final platform on our list of top online learning platforms is Docebo. Surprise, surprise, we will also be praising the many features of this platform. But just like the others on this list, there’s more to it than great features. We also want to praise its accessibility and its mobile app publisher. It rated #11 on The Best Learning Management Systems List.
According to its homepage, Docebo has been used by over 2000 brands, including some big names like Amazon Web Services, Walmart, Heineken, and ZipRecruiter.
Pros and Cons of The Best Online Learning Platforms
We’d be remiss in giving you a list of the best online learning platforms and not giving you the pros and cons of the best online learning platforms. So here we go. Let’s go through some pros and cons of each of the top online learning platforms.
Every platform has pros and cons, even Tovuti. We’ve listed some of them below.
If you want to know more about anything you see in the table above, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Using the Best Online Learning Platforms
Now that we’ve listed some of the best online learning platforms, and their pros and cons, let’s go through some tips for actually using these platforms effectively.
When creating courses, consider your employees’ needs
Ultimately, you’re creating these courses because you need or want your employees to learn something and apply it to their work for your business. So you want your employees to succeed. Keep that in mind when creating training courses. Know how your employees learn best, how much time they have available for training, what their training needs even are (it’ll be a waste of both of your time to have the training on something they already know and are quite confident in), and take it all into consideration when you’re building a course for them.
Don’t overlook gamification
Gamification can be a beneficial strategy for online learning. According to Review 42, gamification motivates 72% of employees to work harder. It can add a fun turn to learning that employees may appreciate – or even an element of friendly competition.
Microlearning is elearning in bite sizes, so it’s typically cost-effective and easier to fit into your employees’ schedules. If they’re completing asynchronous learning, they can even squeeze it into their schedules themselves whenever they have a few spare moments. According to EdApp, its microlearning courses have a retention rate of 70-90%, which is higher than other forms of online learning.
Track your employees’ progress
One of the benefits of using an online learning platform is the access to data you have using analytics. You should be able to track your employees’ progress so you can ensure they’re understanding and completing their courses. Depending on the platform you use, you should be able to apply some form of due dates or deadlines to your courses, as well.
If you want to ensure your courses are effective, your tracking and analytics will take you pretty far. Still, it’s important to get feedback directly from your employees’ completing the courses, too.
Adjust strategy/courses as necessary
Once you’ve checked out your analytics and get feedback from your employees, you can make adjustments to your learning strategy, and your courses as necessary so your course can be more effective, making your employees more successful at learning and applying the content, ultimately helping your business succeed.
Which online learning platform is best for your business?
Truthfully, that’s up for you to decide. You’ll need to look into which online learning platforms work best for your business yourself. To do this, you’ll need to consider your company’s training needs, your employees’ needs, including how tech-literate they are, your company’s ability to host an online learning platform, which platforms are most affordable and user friendly, if they can be integrated with other apps you already have that you may want to use for online learning, etc. You can learn more about choosing the best online learning platform for your business in our blog Learning Management System: Tools, Benefits, & More.
However, obviously, we have to give an extra shoutout to Tovuti. It’s a great LMS with great support and a variety of features like virtual classrooms, SCORM compliance, over 2,000 available integrations, etc.
What is the best online learning platform for learning?
Truthfully, the best online platform depends on you, your business, and your employees because what you need is the best online platform for your business. It might not be the same for every business because every company will have different training needs.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, call us biased, but we’re going to have to give the best online platform for learning to Tovuti.
We’ve already sung its praises a few times now. And truthfully, that’s just our opinion. We encourage you to find the best online platform for your business to have the best results possible.
(Psst, we still tend to think that’ll be Tovuti.)
How do you know the best online learning platforms for your business?
To figure out which online learning platforms will be best for your business, you need to take a few things into account, weighing different options against these considerations. Some of these considerations include
- Features: Does the online learning platform have all the features you’re looking for? Does it have various extra features that will cost you more money but you’ll never use?
- Usability: Is the online learning platform easy to use for the administrators, course creators, and learners? Can it be implemented quickly and easily? Does the platform offer great support?
- Integrations: Does the platform integrate with other necessary platforms for you?
- Cost: Does the cost balance well with what you’ll get out of the platform and any other extra applications or platforms you may have to invest in?
You can learn more about how to choose the best online learning platforms for your business in our blog Top 5 LMS Learning Management Systems for Businesses.
In summary, there are many incredible options for online learning platforms. However, we’d have to say some of our top choices are:
- Absorb LMS
- SAP Litmos
If you’re in the market for a new online learning platform, don’t overlook these gems.
Although call us biased again, we have to say that Tovuti, in particular, is an excellent option for an online learning platform. With its plethora of features and incredible customer support, we’d be wrong not to give it (or us) the extra plug. If you agree, please, don’t be afraid to reach out and request a free demo so you can see how the platform works.