What is LMS, and how much does a learning management system cost? This is what we will analyze in this article.
What Is a Learning Management System?
A learning management system or LMS is designed to create online courses (classes) and to manage them. LMS systems are in demand for various educational institutions such as schools and universities. Besides that, LMS solutions are also used in various enterprises to organize corporate training.
The main features of most LMS systems are as follows:
- Learning management. This block includes various functionality that helps in training monitoring, for example, scheduling, alerts, messages, and much more.
- Content creation. This category includes any tools that help educators and instructional designers create online course content from scratch (scripts, tests, quizzes, assessments, and much more)
- Progress evaluation. An essential set of tools helps understand whether the online course meets its requirements and how successfully students master the educational material.
- Support for various training formats. Some LMSs may support different delivery and learning methods, such as synchronous and asynchronous. This allows educators to adapt their material better and fine-tune its presentation to the needs of a particular group of learners.
Each popular LMS has its own set of features, and we just named the most basic that can be found in most representatives on the market. Some features are available right out of the box, while you will have to pay extra for others. By the way, speaking of payments.
LMS Pricing Models
Let’s talk about three LMS pricing models in more detail.
Model #1. Pay Per Learner
This is a reasonably widespread payment scheme with a relatively simple principle: the price for the LMS is formed from the number of students that the LMS will serve. This approach makes it easy to predict the monthly costs of the learning management system.
Often there are several packages distributed by the number of students. Accordingly, the more students are planned to be added to the system, the higher the monthly payment for LMS.
A prime example of the Pay Per Learner scheme is Adobe Captivate Prime. If your school has a fixed number of students, Adobe Captivate Prime is great because it has a monetization model. For each registered user, you will need to pay $4 per month. In addition, you can pay for active users (we will talk about this monetization model a little later).
Model #2. Pay Per Active User
This payment model is quite similar to the previous one, but it also has its nuances. For example, instead of having fixed plans for students on the platform, this payment method allows you to enroll an unlimited number of students. Payment will only be made for the number of students logged in during the payment period. However, it is worth considering one nuance.
Let’s say you figured that your course would mostly have 300 active users, and you have chosen the appropriate plan for the price (let’s say $500 per month). However, if your number of students has not reached 300 and stopped, for example, at 280, you still need to pay $500 for a month of using the platform.
This pricing model is used by Abara LMS, in which seven pricing packages differ in the number of active students. For example, if you want to start a group with about 100 active users, you will have to fork out $6,000 per year. And this is not the most expensive plan yet. The Enterprise plan is individually priced and can exceed $20,000 per year. However, it should be noted that the platform offers a free trial version with 25 active users.
Model #3. Pay as You Go
How much does a learning management system cost? This may depend on the workload of your institution. This form of payment is highly flexible since you pay directly for using the platform. More specifically, during periods of low workload (fewer students per course), you pay less, while during peak periods (new enrollment, start of the school year), you will have to fork out.
Model #4. License Fee or Subscription
However, very often, you can find various payment plans that differ in terms of content (additional features, storage space, and so on) and at the same time also have a fixed price per month. And you should be prepared that the difference in LMS cost for each manufacturer will be high.
One example of such a monetization model is Topyx LMS which has four different plans:
- Elements ($ 6,500 / year)
- Essentials ($ 17,550 / year)
- Expanded ($ 31,050 / year)
- Enterprise (individual pricing)
These models differ in the number of students (in the cheapest package, a maximum of 500 users are available) and the amount of space allocated in the cloud for storing files.
Model #5. Free to Use
These LMSs often include open-source learning management systems, which means the free possibility of its сustomization. This is an excellent choice for those who want maximum platform flexibility or have specific learning processes, and none of the other LMS platforms can cover them.
Even though such LMS solutions are often costless in their basic configuration, be prepared that you will need to invest in LMS customization. Usually, the implementation of such systems requires sound technical knowledge. Therefore you should address a professional team of developers.
How Much Does a Learning Management System Cost? Popular Platforms and Their Pricing Policies
So, we have analyzed in detail all possible pricing models that exist in the LMS systems market. Now is the time to look at a few popular platforms and what pricing models they adhere to. This information will help you when choosing your future learning management system for organizing the educational process.
OpenEdX is an LMS system developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. The main goal of this platform is to provide educators and educational institutions with the most flexible and convenient tool for creating online courses and their management. And the central aspect is that the platform is distributed free of charge, and anyone can start using it for educational purposes.
Moreover, the platform offers incredible flexibility and customization that you can fully unleash with a professional service provider like Raccoon Gang. We have a vast range of services for setting up Open edX and implementing various functionality, from customizing interface design to implementing gamification and separate custom analytics. In addition, we provide three consulting services packages, including system audit, fixing known Open edX issues, and much more.
TalentLMS is an easy-to-use LMS suitable for both experienced and novice trainers. The system allows you to create courses for corporate online training quickly. The system itself is distributed in several packages, which differ in the number of users on the platform. In addition, more expensive packages have additional features that can make life much easier.
|Premium||$429 / month|| |
Moodle is one of the most popular LMS solutions on the market and offers a basic package for free. However, the expansion of functionality and the number of students entails additional spending and the purchase of extensions.
|Starter||$110 per year||50 users|
|Mini||$210 per year||100 users|
|Small||$370 per year||200 users|
|Medium||$830 per year||500 users|
|Large||$1,470 per year||1,000 users|
The platform developer is always responsible for how much a learning management system costs and what pricing model utilizes. As a result, each LMS on the market is unique and offers different features and services for different prices. Some platforms require payment for active users, like Adobe Captivate. In contrast, others are distributed free of charge but require additional investments into customization like Open edX. This is extremely important to consider when choosing your future LMS.
Imagine you have already chosen Open edX as a future platform for your educational process. In that case, the Raccoon Gang team is ready to provide our expertise to create a highly flexible LMS to cover your academic needs. We have years of experience with Open edX and specialize in implementing and developing custom features and online courses for clients from various industries. Just drop us a line, and our representative will contact you to discuss your project in more detail.