iSpring Learn won gold for Learning Management Technology for Small- and Medium-Sized Business in last year’s Brandon Hall Group’s Excellence Awards in Technology. Since then, iSpring has continued to enhance its LMS. Recently, I checked out the latest release.
iSpring Learn is a cloud-based LMS. Licensing is based on the total number of active users that log in to the system at least once during the payment period, which is typically monthly.
The system has learner and administrator portals. Your logo can appear at the top of the page and the color scheme can be set to match your website. Eleven languages are supported out of the box. You can change the text that appears on labels, tabs, and controls in both portals, and even translate the interface to a new language if needed. The LMS interface is not Section 508 or WCAG compliant.
In the learner portal, you can browse a catalog of self-paced courses, launch your active courses, and view your transcript. A separate tab lists upcoming webinars and classes assigned to you. Gamification features allow you to earn points and badges for coursework. Social features connect you with an administrator or course expert.
The LMS is preconfigured with roles and permissions and you can configure custom roles. Administrators can explore data in a dashboard and reports; configure online courses; schedule classes and webinars; manage user accounts, organizations, and jobs; message users; and configure system settings.
The LMS supports self-paced online programs, curricula, and scheduled learning events. iSpring Learn offers unlimited storage space for your content.
There are several options for self-paced eLearning programs. You can create basic lessons right in the LMS with text, images, video, and interactivity. You can also create assignments in the LMS with instructions and downloadable files. Students complete the assignments by submitting text or uploading files, which are reviewed and scored by the instructor. For more complex programs, assessments, and surveys you can use iSpring Suite authoring toolkit, which is bundled with the LMS. And of course, you can upload SCORM courses.
The LMS handles predefined xAPI statements generated by iSpring Suite, but it cannot be used as an LRS for custom xAPI statements or endpoint for other xAPI activity providers.
Zoom, a popular video conferencing platform, is integrated with the LMS. Event creation is synchronized. Students who register in the LMS automatically receive a Zoom event invitation. A record of their attendance is automatically transferred back to the LMS.
The LMS does not have typical instructor-led features, such as a calendar view, instructor and location management, self-registration for events, and wait lists. However, administrators can schedule classes and register students.
A curriculum can be created by specifying a collection of courses and setting the sequence in which they should be completed.
Registering for a course
Learners can access active courses in their To Do list, search for a course title, or browse the catalog, and then self-register for online courses. Synchronous courses must be assigned by an administrator. iSpring Learn is designed primarily for employee training and does not support eCommerce.
The catalog can be organized into categories, for example by topic or business function. Self-enrollment courses can be configured to require registration approval. Administrators can assign courses to specific people or groups created from profile data, such as department, position, and country.
Automatic email notifications confirm your registration, alert you to a course assignment, and remind you of due dates. Administrators are notified when registration approval is needed.
Completing a course
When questions come up, learners can message a course expert. Course experts are optional and can be assigned on a course by course basis; one expert per course.
Upon completion, learners can download and print a certificate. Administrators can style the certificate with a logo, custom layout, and dynamic LMS data fields.
The system tracks the time users spent in a course. Points and badges can be awarded for course completion, but the system does not support course credits, such as continuing education credits or credit hours.
Summary data appears in a dashboard. Reports provide more detailed information. Several predefined reports are available and you can configure your own. Reports can be exported to XML, CSV, and PDF. There is no scheduler to automatically generate and email reports to people, but you can export and email a PDF report.
For compliance training, administrators can assign courses to the appropriate user groups and run exception reports at any time to see who has completed it and who still needs the training.
iSpring Learn is responsive for optimal viewing in any device’s browser. For an even better mobile experience, free Android and iOS apps are available.
An offline course player allows learners to download courses to their mobile device for access in airplane mode or at a remote location without internet connectivity. Later, when an internet connection is available, results are uploaded to the LMS.
The system supports CSV imports and exports, so employee, organization structure, and job title data can be fed from your human resource system. Single sign-on is supported via popular standards, including Azure, Active Directory, and SAML 2.0.
iSpring Learn is relatively easy to implement without much support. A production LMS environment is provided. If needed, you can request a staging environment. Free administrator and user training is available on YouTube. Product support is included with the license. Administrators can call or chat with iSpring product support representatives, 24/7.
iSpring Learn is a cost-effective LMS with features designed for small and mid-sized businesses. It offers strong support for self-paced and video-conferenced online learning, and some support for classroom training. It is easy to use and offers some advanced capabilities, such as a mobile app, offline player, and multi-language support. Built-in content development features, seamless integration with iSpring Suite authoring toolkit, and SCORM support provide added value and flexibility. If your small or mid-sized business is in the market for an LMS, iSpring Learn is definitely worth checking out.
From the editor: Want more information?
Steve Foreman, Elizabeth Kohler, Robert Gadd, and Nicole Hilson will present CE01 LMS & Learning Platforms Forum on October 21 at The eLearning Guild's DevLearn Conference & Expo 2019. This is is a unique opportunity for learning leaders to get a handle on the evolving learning platform landscape. You will explore the unique characteristics, advantages, and risks of the various platforms so you can determine the right fit for your organization’s goals. You will explore the new roles, skills, and responsibilities needed so you can shape and develop your team. You will discover how to align your technology decisions with business and learning strategies so you can maximize the return on your capital investments.
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