LMS (Learning Management Systems) in Education: Types, Examples

16 min read
October 7, 2022

If you’ve ever worked or studied, you have probably used a Learning Management System (LMS). Virtually all corporations and educational institutions use them to manage the training and education delivered to their employees or students. 

In this blog post, we will delve into the world of Learning Management Systems (LMS). Discover their functionality, how to optimise their usage, and most importantly, explore the top LMS options for the year 2024.

Table of contents

  1. What are Learning Management Systems (LMS)?
  2. How do they work?
  3. What are the different types of LMS?
  4. What features should you look for in an LMS
  5. 7 benefits of an LMS
  6. Disadvantages of Learning Management Systems
  7. How to choose an LMS
  8. LMS examples
  9. The 7 best Learning Management Systems
  10. Wrap-up

Virtual learning is an important means of training for thousands of organisations. Virtual learning can be partly or fully virtual. If you have completed online training at your workplace, you will already be somewhat familiar with what a Learning Management System (LMS) does. 

We use education to keep ourselves ahead of new trends, technologies and practices in the workplace. All successful companies and institutions require a digital education strategy. A Learning Management System (LMS) is the best implementation method.


What is a learning management system?

An LMS is a software solution that handles every aspect of online learning. They are used to plan, organise, schedule, deliver and report educational content from one place. Virtually all corporate and institutional learning is conducted using an LMS.

Learning management systems simplify the online learning process for educators, administrators and students. They aren’t just used for delivering courses. They are also used for onboarding, data analysis, teaching and identifying skill gaps within your workforce.

LMS are not to be confused with LCMS (Learning Content Management Systems). LCMS are a type of software used to create and manage educational content. Typically content is prepared on an LCMS and delivered using an LMS. The two work in tangent to help businesses deliver their educational strategy.

Learning Management Systems (LMS) come in many shapes and sizes. The needs of a multinational corporation will be different to those of a small school or college. They also differ in being cloud-based or installed as software and locally hosted. Cloud-based Learning Management Systems (LMS) are more popular as they are easily updated, quicker to set up and require less administration.


How do learning management systems work?

An LMS can be compared to an online school or website where only users with a password can log in. All online learning tools used by the company are housed in a single location. From the student's perspective, the LMS interfaces them with all available e-learning courses.

From the administrator and educator’s perspective, the learning management system allows the curation and management of all educational materials. Administrators can receive reports from the Learning Management System (LMS) detailing completion rates, skill gaps, the % of users who have passed a given module, etc. 

There are two ways of interacting with students using an LMS, online and blended. Online learning is conducted remotely with no in-person contact. Programs designed for online education should be fully equipped to support every aspect of the learning process. Blended learning is when an online component is used to support physical learning. Most in-person courses are blended and utilise an online elearning solution in one way or another.

Learning management systems are sometimes mobile-friendly. One of the benefits of online learning is that it can be conducted remotely, so an LMS should support this. Mobiles and tablets are used more widely than desktop and laptop computers for online learning.

Types of learning management systems

Learning management programs are divided into four categories: SaaS LMS (cloud-based), Installed LMS (on-premise), Custom Built LMS and Open Source LMS.


lms_learning_management_systems_2022_2023_virtual_classroom_digital (4)

What features should you look for in an LMS

Learning Management Systems (LMS) vary in what they offer, with larger, more expensive ones providing more feature-rich packages. Here are a few LMS features that we think are essential:

  1. Messaging - an internal messaging system organises the communications of all parties. Teachers will benefit from accessing all of their correspondence in one place instead of tracking several email threads.
  2. Data tracking - allows educators to monitor results and evaluate where any skill gaps exist. Displaying educational data in graphs and charts makes it easy to spot trends and patterns as they appear. Filters and data grouping can give you full control over what you see.
  3. Mobile ready - a mobile-ready solution is essential in 2022. People want to work from home and flexibility is a must. The ability to learn from anywhere is a priority for many people.
  4. Automated alerts and reminders - an essential feature for learners and educators. Reminders can be automatically sent to students to remind them they need to complete a course or let them know that their results are in. Educators can be kept up to date on their students' pass and completion rates.
  5. Customisation - education is never one size fits all. Different job roles require different training. A customisable user experience can be used to identify weaknesses in users’ learning and respond appropriately. Customisation may also be possible in terms of altering the appearance of the Learning Management System (LMS). 
  6. Compliance - companies need to abide by policies, regulations and statutes. Online learning is one of the best ways to keep track of this. Add new modules when necessary and keep track of employees' compliance with policies. An LMS is a simple way to deliver training on compliance, such as GDPR, workplace codes of conduct, financial regulations, etc.

7 benefits of learning management systems


lms_learning_management_systems_2022_2023_virtual_classroom_digital (3)

Disadvantages of learning management systems (LMS)


How to choose an LMS 

There are a ton of Learning Management Systems (LMS) on the market. They vary in size, cost and functionality. How are you supposed to know the right solution for you and your business?

We have prepared a checklist that you can quickly run through to help you decide what you want from your system.

lms_learning_management_systems_2022_2023_virtual_classroom_digital (1)

Establish educational goals and objectives

The first step is to establish your goals and objectives. What do you want your educational strategy to achieve? Goals need to be measurable, realistic and time-limited.

For example, don’t just say you want to use training to “boost sales”. This is undefined and vague. Choose goals and objectives like “increase sales by 10% over the next three months”. 

Get to know your audience

  • What type of organisation are you? 

Are you a large marketing company or a small high school? A school may need an LMS with strict moderation options. A marketing company will want a flexible and consistent system that can be updated easily. To find a tailored solution that meets your unique needs, consider taking the time to visit Sortlist.

  • How tech-savvy are your employees? 

The less comfortable with technology your audience is, the more you should target an easy-to-use employee training platform with an intuitive UI and navigation system. 

  • Where does your audience work? 

Does your audience work from home or from the office? On a desktop PC/laptop or on a mobile device? Suppose your team work remotely from home or rely on mobile devices. In that case, you will want a mobile-friendly LMS that gives your employees the flexibility they are used to.

Here are some more questions you should ask to help narrow your search for the right LMS:

  1. How old is your audience?
  2. How much training will each participant require?
  3. How difficult is the educational material you will be offering?
  4. Will your educational content be “evergreen” or need frequent updates?
  5. Will you require administrators to handle the Learning Management Systems (LMS)?

Make a list of essential features

Now you have a clear understanding of your educational strategy and target audience. You should be able to identify a list of essential features. We recommend you include our list of essential features and add some of your own.

Here are some examples of organisational-dependent essential features:

  • A school choosing a Learning Management System (LMS) should prioritise additional moderation and security features.
  • A government body should choose a Learning Management System (LMS) that can be quickly or automatically updated in line with emerging and developing policies.
  • A higher education institution may want to use a virtual classroom alongside its LMS. They should include virtual classroom compatibility in their search criteria.

Make a list of “nice to have” features

“Nice to have” features are things you would like but don’t consider essential. Note down what features you would like to have and use them to aid you in selecting your Learning Management System (LMS).

Here are some examples of “nice to have” features:

  • Monetisation - do you intend on selling courses? Many Learning Management Systems (LMS) do not come with monetisation options, so ensure that you check your requirements before purchasing.
  • Virtual awards and certificates - some allow you to distribute virtual awards and certificates. Virtual certificates can be valued by participants and are potentially a tool to motivate.
  • Social features - communication within a learning management system can be anything from simple forums or one-to-one or group chats with interactive features like polling, Q&A and interactive games.
  • Customisation - are you happy to use default colour schemes, or do you want to use your logo, colours and branding? A system that allows you to use your own colours and themes can set you apart from competitors.

Learning management system  examples

Example 1 - Moodle

Moodle Pricing, Cost & Reviews - Capterra UK 2022

Moodle has been around for what seems like forever and is one of the most popular open-source learning management systems. Moodle is used by most European universities to host online educational content. Because it is open source, the setup process can be difficult. Configuring Moodle to your organisation's needs will require professional help.

Example 2 - Canvas LMS

Canvas Dashboard | Canvas learning management system, Canvas learning,  Learning management system

Canvas LMS is the favoured system of some of the world’s top universities. They have a huge market share in the USA and an excellent reputation. Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) is open source and markets itself as easier to use than other systems. Being cloud-based since its creation in 2011 has been a key factor in its rise to success.

Example 3 - Google Classroom

Google Classroom: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions - The Edvocate

Google Classroom is relatively new and incredibly popular amongst smaller educational institutions. The platform’s popularity has been boosted by being completely free and extremely simple to use. Small organisations needing simple, lightweight management systems would be wise to consider Google Classroom.

Example 4 - TalentLMS

TalentLMS - eLearning Industry

TalentLMS has positioned itself as one of the most user-friendly systems on the market. Limited setup is required and Talent LMS can be used “off-the-shelf”, meaning no coding or in-depth IT knowledge is required. TalentLMS is used by many enterprise clients, including Deliveroo.

List of the 7 best learning management systems

LMS Collaborator

LMS Collaborator - Corporate elearning platform

LMS Collaborator is a ready-made portal for the educational needs of organisations of all sizes. They offer API integration for seamless interoperability with your existing software systems.

Educators can upload and store course materials in PDF, PowerPoint, and Word formats. Students can experience high-level collaboration using one-to-one messaging, group chats and forums.

LMS collaborator starts at $200 per month for the basic version to $400 per month for the professional version. 


  • Easy to use
  • Excellent technical support
  • Easy to set up


  • Competency assessment according to job profile is still under development

Absorb LMS

Absorb LMS - eLearning Industry

Absorb LMS differentiates itself by offering many features, including gamification, mobile friendly, messaging, eCommerce functionality and a highly rated user-friendly UI. Absorb LMS caters to mid to large enterprise clients and is not open-source.

The company releases new updates weekly, and overall, the platform offers great value to its customers.

Hosted packages start from $14,500 yearly for up to 500 users to $95,580 yearly for up to 17,500 users.


  • Highly rated user interface
  • Intelligent filtering systems
  • Excellent mobile support


  • Smaller organisations are priced out by subscription costs

Moodle LMS

5 Free LMSs - A Comparison of the Best Picks by David Brandt

Moodle is one of the most successful LMS in history. It is open source and has been used by tens of millions in dozens of countries. For institutions that have the necessary personnel to administer their system, Moodle is a solid choice.

With the help of specialist IT support, you can configure Moodle in almost any way you want to suit your institution.

Moodle is free, assuming you host using your own servers. A hosted version is available at around $50 per month.


  • Excellent language support
  • Open-source/free
  • Add, remove or create new features


  • Setup can be difficult
  • Lacks the UX of paid LMS

Infrastructure Canvas LMS

CANVAS Reviews, Prices & Ratings | GetApp UK 2022

Canvas LMS is one of the most popular software solutions for corporate education purposes. They are making huge strides in the educational market, focusing on taking market share from popular platforms like Blackboard. Canvas offers an easy-to-use platform that gives users and creators the freedom to tailor their online learning environment.

Canvas offers an open-source, free version of their platform. Like other open-source solutions, this increases setup time and adds costs.

For a CanvasLMS price quote, you need to contact them directly.


  • Open API
  • Intuitive UX
  • Third-party integrations


  • Pricing could be more transparent.

Blackboard Learn LMS

Learning Management Systems (LMS) & Software | BlackboardBlackboard Learn is among the most popular systems used by many of the world's top higher education institutions. Many educators and students are familiar with its UI and functionality.

The platform was recently updated and the UI greatly improved. Blackboard is known for having a steep learning curve. Still, users are rewarded with a platform that affords educators and administrators a complete educational resource.

Blackboard Learn starts at $9,500 per year. 


  • Huge range of tools and add-on features
  • Large-scale videoconferencing
  • Partnered with many academic publishers


  • Legacy UI could be better
  • Cloud-based hosting is required for the best blackboard experience



Discover a seamless learning experience at GoSkills' Learning Management System (LMS). With a user-friendly interface and comprehensive course offerings, GoSkills empowers learners to achieve their full potential. Whether honing professional skills or delving into personal development, our platform caters to diverse learning needs. Elevate your knowledge with interactive lessons, expert instructors, and progress-tracking tools. Join GoSkills today and embark on a journey of continuous growth and success.


  1. Diverse courses, intuitive interface
  2. Comprehensive tracking tools


  1. Limited advanced topics
  2. Internet dependency


LMS play an integral role in institutional-level online training and education. They allow organisations to manage all of their educational materials in one place. Using these systems, we can save time and money using these systems compared to in-person training.


What is LMS an example of?

LMS (Learning Management System) is an example of e-learning technology designed to create, distribute, and manage educational content and courses online.

What is the LMS procedure?

LMS procedure involves setting up courses, enrolling students, tracking progress, and assessing performance through a digital platform.

Which type of LMS is best suited?

The best-suited type of LMS depends on the specific needs of the organisation, including cloud-based LMS for scalability and flexibility or open-source LMS for customisation.

What is the difference between LMS and MIS?

The difference between LMS and MIS (Management Information System) is that LMS is focused on educational processes, content delivery, and learning tracking, while MIS is used for managing an organisation's information and business operations.


Choosing the best one for your organisation can be difficult, but our checklist has made it simple. After reading this article, we hope you know everything you need to know about learning management systems and LMS trends for 2024.


Get Email Notifications