Find the best Online Course Platforms

What is online course platforms ?

Online course platforms are a specific form of LMSs that provide access to massive open online courses, commonly known as "MOOCs." A variety of institutions, from universities to foundations to even the Smithsonian, provide MOOCs through online course platforms. They provide courses in science, engineering, mathematics, writing, business, project m... read more
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TOPYX is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that features social learning tools. It provides organizations with access to formal training with informal learning. It is suitable for enterprises, government institutions,...Read more about TOPYX LMS

4.25 (16 reviews)

IBM Talent Management

IBM Talent Management is a cloud-based solution that assists small to large-sized organizations with employee acquisition, assessment and skill development. Its key features include onboarding, training, real-time test feedback an...Read more about IBM Talent Management

3.95 (96 reviews)

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Trellis is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) system. The product consists of two components - "TrellisManage" and "Trellis Author". In TrellisManage, both training administrators and learners can sign on to visit...Read more about Trellis

4.50 (1 reviews)


eLeaP is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that helps organizations to manage team performance and organizational compliance. The solution enables training managers, HR professionals and sales managers to create onlin...Read more about eLeaP

4.58 (6 reviews)


Edmodo is a cloud-based learning management application for teachers to connect and collaborate with parents and students. The solution allows teachers to create academic groups, distribute assignments and homework, schedule ...Read more about Edmodo

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Improve your teaching and learner outcomes with Moodle LMS, the customisable open source learning management system used by over 300 million people in over 100 languages worldwide. Our feature-rich platform is secure and scalable,...Read more about Moodle

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Schoology is a cloud-based learning management solution specializing in curriculum management, course instruction and system-wide resource sharing and collaboration. Users can upload course content and assignments into the databas...Read more about Schoology

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Itslearning is a multi-national, cloud-based learning platform that provides a complete course management and delivery solution for users in K-12 schools. Using resources generated by content providers, fellow Itslearning use...Read more about itslearning

4.11 (19 reviews)

Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn is an interactive learning management system (LMS) suitable for higher-education universities, K-12 schools, government and military programs, as well as large businesses in a variety of industries worldwide. ...Read more about Blackboard Learn

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Docebo’s LMS Suite is transforming the way enterprise and corporate customers increase speed to onboarding, development, enablement and customer education with ease and flexibility. Docebo’s learning solution is designed to meet t...Read more about Docebo

4.20 (120 reviews)

47 recommendations

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Trakstar Learn

Skip the classroom, train anywhere. Trakstar Learn's cloud-based e-learning platform provides a simple, training solution for employees working from home, in the office, or in the field. We make it easier for business leaders to e...Read more about Trakstar Learn

4.28 (103 reviews)

19 recommendations

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FrontRunners 2022

TalentLMS is the LMS built for training success. Designed to get a yes from everyone, its where great teams, and companies, go to grow. With an experience thats fully customizable and easy to manage, teams embrace training while f...Read more about TalentLMS

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SkillPort is a cloud-based learning management solution offered by SkillSoft. The solution is used by businesses of all sizes across industries such as financial services, health care and manufacturing. Users can browse through th...Read more about Skillsoft

4.16 (61 reviews)

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Administrate Training Management

Administrate is a comprehensive, configurable training management platform that helps organizations streamline enterprise learning and development. The Administrate platform allows users to organize, deliver, plan, automate, analy...Read more about Administrate Training Management

4.28 (39 reviews)

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LatitudeLearning© is a cloud-based LMS designed specifically to manage extended enterprise training programs. The learning platform makes it easier to deliver quality training across all channels of your extended network. Control ...Read more about LatitudeLearning

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Instancy Learning Management System

Instancy is a cloud-based solution designed to help organizations plan, design and manage online learning programs for classroom training, video tutorials and more. The platform enables enterprises to schedule webinars, assign ins...Read more about Instancy Learning Management System

4.57 (7 reviews)

PeopleFluent Learning

PeopleFluent Learning is a cloud-based learning management system suited for midsize and large organizations. It features content management, skills and compliance management, social learning, reports and e-commerce. PeopleFl...Read more about PeopleFluent Learning

3.88 (26 reviews)

2 recommendations

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Create eLearning LMS

Do you need an LMS that is insanely easy to use, quick to deploy and comes with the best pricing and customer service? Then CreateLMS should be on your list of vendors to consider. Easy means - Most clients are delivering trai...Read more about Create eLearning LMS

4.71 (7 reviews)

Axis LMS

Axis LMS is a cloud-based learning management solution that enables businesses of all sizes to create training materials and courses. Key features include content creation, reporting, group collaboration and internal messaging. ...Read more about Axis LMS

4.33 (3 reviews)


FrontRunners 2022

Canvas LMS from Instructure is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) specifically designed for K-5 on up through higher education institutions. Canvas LMS is a scalable platform that can be used by educational institution...Read more about CANVAS

4.54 (3564 reviews)

9 recommendations

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Buyers Guide

Last Updated: November 23, 2022

Let's be honest—a lot of us hated going to class when we were young. But now that we're out of the traditional school system, we recognize just how much we still have to learn. We may want to develop our career skills, take up a hobby or even delve deep into a scientific topic we've become interested in thanks to a late-night Wikipedia binge.

While it might be nice to take time off from work and go back to college or graduate school for a first or second degree, this isn't always feasible, and it's certainly not easy financially speaking. That's where online course platforms come in.

Like other learning management systems (LMSs), online course platforms facilitate learning, teaching and training programs for large groups of people. They automate the administration, testing, tracking and reporting of student progress through online courses.

LMS software is commonly used by educational institutions for academic purposes, and by businesses for training and compliance purposes. But, online course platforms can serve larger audiences, and they are frequently open to anybody who is interested in taking the course.

This buyer's guide will discuss the unique properties of online course platforms and explain how they may best be utilized by you and your business.

Here's our syllabus:

What Are Online Course Platforms?
Common Features of Online Course Platforms
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Key Considerations

What Are Online Course Platforms?


Online course platforms are a specific form of LMSs that provide access to massive open online courses, commonly known as "MOOCs." A variety of institutions, from universities to foundations to even the Smithsonian, provide MOOCs through online course platforms. They provide courses in science, engineering, mathematics, writing, business, project management and so on.

These courses are similar to traditional classes in many ways—a teacher provides a syllabus, complete with readings and assignments, posts weekly material for discussion (which may include a live-feed of a lecture, a pre-recorded lecture and/or a discussion board) and makes sure that assignments receive some form of grading or feedback, whether that grade is assigned by a person or a computer algorithm.

Some of these courses offer specific types of certification upon satisfactory completion of materials, while others will open up access to more advanced courses. Many of these classes are provided for free, while others charge a fee. This fee may be charged per class, as a monthly subscription with access to all the classes on a particular platform or as a specific charge in order to receive certification for a class.

Common Features of Online Course Platforms

Learning management The core function of course platforms, manages creating, storing, organizing and administering learning materials.
Certification/compliance management Tracks student progress in order to manage and monitor certification and compliance training and provide certification upon completion of the course.
Virtual classrooms Facilitates live, remote training sessions, typically led via video.
Proficiency reporting/testing Administers tests to gauge users' learning of the course material. Allows for reporting of test scores to identify proficiencies or gaps in learning.
Discussion board Provides a space for students and teachers to interact, whether via text or through the uploading and sharing of video or audio responses.
Dynamic calendar Allows teachers to release materials at specified times during the life of a course, as well as track the submission of assignments by students.

An example of a course calendar in online learning platform Canvas

An example of a course calendar in Canvas

What Type of Buyer Are You?

A wide variety of different types of people and organizations may find online course platforms useful. As a software buyer, you're likely to fall into one of the following categories:

  • Individual. If you are an expert in a particular subject that you wish to teach, you may want to create and self-publish your own online course(s). If this is the case, rather than purchasing software yourself, you should find an online course platform that will allow you to host a class. You may have to pay a fee for this, which you can recoup by charging tuition. The platform may also offer a per-student tuition profit-sharing plan.
  • Educational institution. Colleges, universities and even high schools are going to be the primary users of online course platforms, since they are institutions that are naturally structured around the provision of educational courses. Online course platforms are especially useful for schools providing distance learning, whether it's for a particular program or for every course offered, in the case of online universities. Systems that mimic tried-and-true educational methods through online recreation of classes, assignments and teacher/student interaction will likely prove the most effective for these institutions.
  • Nonprofit organization. Charities, foundations, hospitals, religious organizations and other nonprofits may also have a need for online courses. Some nonprofits, such as the United Way, offer classes on topics such as financial management, parenting and other life skills.
  • For-profit business. Larger businesses may use online course platforms for purposes of employee training, but general LMS software is usually more suited for this task. Online course platforms may be more useful for ongoing career development programs that are structured more like a traditional class.

Key Considerations

Other factors to take into consideration when picking the best online course platform for you or your organization may include:

  • Integration with other systems. If you are going to be hosting classes that pulls a great deal of information from elsewhere—perhaps from a digital media library, or from a business' policy documents—you'll want to be sure that the platform you choose is able to integrate with those other systems. A poor technical experience for students will reflect poorly on you, so you want to make sure they can smoothly access all course materials and can upload their assignments in a variety of different acceptable formats.
  • Cloud-based software vs. on-premise software. When researching and consulting with potential vendors, make sure you check how their software is hosted. On-premise software will, as the name suggests, be hosted on the premises of your business. This will require space for the hardware as well as an IT department (or consultant) to help you get the software set up and running, as well as to maintain it over time. It is more common today, however, to find cloud-based software, which is hosted by the vendor and delivered to your business online. This will cost less up front and require fewer IT resources, making it a favorable option for most smaller businesses. For online course platforms, it is extremely rare that you will have any need to host your own hardware, since the entire industry is structured around cloud-based access.