As good old SCORM gives way to Tin Can API, many learning management systems are jumping on the bandwagon. Check out this list of the top 10 Tin Can LMSs. Get familiar with great e-Learning features like in-depth reporting, grading, gamification, etc.

Tin Can API (xAPI) is the successor to the good old SCORM format (Sharable Content Object Reference Model). In many aspects, xAPI is surely a step forward since it offers a bunch of advantages over SCORM. For instance, both formats allow you to track test completion and time spent on an assignment. However, xAPI also provides an opportunity to see in-depth test results, use your content outside of a learning management system, and switch seamlessly between various LMSs. As a result, Tin Can API has proliferated within the e-Learning community recruiting more and more supporters among content authors and educators.

Here’s a brief overview of the top 10 learning management systems integrated with Tin Can API. Feel free to assess the key functionality and pick your best fit.

1. Moodle

Moodle is an open source module-based platform that lets you construct your own custom education solution and develop and manage online courses. The platform includes plugins for different kinds of content as well as collaborative tools, grading, tracking, reports, etc. Educators can use community-generated plugins for specific tasks. As a matter of fact, there is an ad hoc Tin Can plugin that ensures full compatibility with this format. Aside from the LMS, the Moodle brand encompasses forums, wiki-based Moodle Documentation, Moodle Tracker, the course-sharing Moodle.net site, Moodle Translation portal, etc.

Moodle is one of the most feature-packed offerings on the market.

Core features

  • Modern, intuitive interface for desktop and mobile devices.
  • Personalized Dashboard to organize courses and track current tasks
  • Collaborative tools and activities (forums, wikis, glossaries, database activities, etc.)
  • Comprehensive calendar that helps you meet course deadlines
  • Effective file manager (drag and drop files from cloud services like MS OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox)
  • Easy-to-use text editor that works smoothly on all major browsers and devices
  • Notifications for new assignments, deadlines or personal messages
  • Detailed reporting and logs of activity and participation
  • Multimedia integration for easy adoption of video and audio content into the courses
  • Peer and self-assessment (workshops and surveys that encourage peer work evaluation and feedback)
  • …and much more!

Pricing and availability

Moodle is a free-to-use open source system, yet you may need to pay for value-added services, such as hosting or support. Prices vary across Moodle partners in different regions, so feel free to check with your local service provider.

Target audience

Moodle is employed globally by dozens of educational institutions. A soft option since it’s usually free, easy-to-use, and can be easily customized for your specific needs in cooperation with the Moodle partner network. The solution appeals to individual educators, small and medium businesses, and non-profit organizations alike.

2. Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn is another popular e-Learning environment. Web-based software featuring course management, open architecture, integration with student information systems and authentication protocols. Blackboard Learn may be installed on local servers or hosted by Blackboard ASP Solutions. One of the first LMSs to adopt xAPI, Blackboard Learn ranks high on our list.

Core features

  • Announcements, chat, discussions and mail to ensure smooth communication
  • Course content feature that allows teachers to post articles, assignments, videos, etc.
  • Calendar to keep track of due dates for assignments and tests
  • Learning module for online classes allows professors to post different lessons for students to access
  • Assessments module to post web-based quizzes and exams
  • Grade Book: teachers may publish grades for students to view in the system
  • Media Library: allows educators to enliven their material with videos and other media

Pricing and availability

Blackboard offers variable pricing depending on institution size and requirements. Here are some of the most popular plans:

  • Blackboard 5 Level One (Course Manager): from $5,000 server/year
  • Blackboard 5 Level Two (Course and Portal Manager): from $25,000 server/year
  • Blackboard 5 Level Three (Advanced Course and Portal Manager): from $50,000 server/year

Target audience

Blackboard is definitely on the high end. Extended learning management functionality along with Blackboard Suite tools and services entail significant costs, yet Blackboard’s position on the market remains unshakable. Good fit for larger institutions with solid edu technology budgets.

3. Docebo

Docebo is another xAPI-compliant LMS, or rather an ecosystem of e-Learning features and modules delivered in the cloud. Docebo is available for global customers in 30+ languages.

Core features

  • Assessment and Reporting. A rich selection of pre-defined and custom reports to track student performance
  • Gamification. Teachers can create learner awards/badges for specific achievements and maintain student rankings
  • White labeling. Institutions may choose to white-label their Docebo by adding logos, new color schemes, special layouts, and a proprietary domain name
  • Web conferencing. Docebo Cloud LMS is compatible with Adobe Connect, BigBlueButton, Cisco WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting, etc.
  • Certification & Retraining. Students can get certificates for completing designated courses, study plans or external activities.
  • E-Commerce. You can sell your online courses using Docebo. Nice marketing featureslike using coupons for discounted pricing also come with the package

Pricing and availability

The solution offers a 14-day free trial and moderate commercial rates. SMB prices start at €170/month for 50 active users. Larger organizations requiring 500+ seats should contact Docebo directly for a quote.

Target audience

Docebo is a cloud-based solution that targets organizations regardless of size. Docebo allows institutions to implement a scalable solution and dramatically lower the total cost of ownership, since no extra deployment is required.

4. ProProfs

Next on our list comes ProProfs Training Maker, an online course creation and learning management system. As with its competitors, educational institutions and businesses can create web-based tests, surveys, polls and comprehensive educational programs. ProProfs Training Maker works with presentations, PDFs and videos. It’s bundled with elaborate tracking features such as compliance reports. ProProfs supports courses made in third-party e-Learning tools such as Articulate, Adobe and other Tin Can-based solutions.

Core features

  • Convenient training management and performance tracking: reports about individuals, groups, offices, branches, etc. Detailed statistics of completed, pending and ongoing attempts for each student/employee
  • Branding: host courses on ProProfs, customize, embed on your website
  • Security controls: secure courses with advanced password settings and privacy control
  • Scalable mobile-friendly content: works great on smartphones and tablets, easy to share on social media

Pricing and availability

ProProfs is free to try for 15 days. There are Basic, Professional and Business plans available for $79/month, $149/month and $199/month respectively. Subscriptions are paid annually. Licenses vary by the number of learners, groups and instructors.

Target audience

Like most competitor solutions, ProProfs targets businesses and educational organizations. HR departments get smart administrative controls for employee training, educators get a tool for course creation with automatic grading and other thrills. Considering the affordable pricing, ProProfs seems to place a stake on the SMB segment.

5. Talent LMS

Talent LMS is another cloud LMS to train employees, customers or students. Fully customizable, with granular analytics, notifications, embedded e-commerce, video conferencing, gamification and a bunch of other features. Talent LMS supports both SCORM and Tin Can. Works smoothly on mobile devices.

Core features

  • Easy-to-use, cloud-based system with no need to upgrade or back up data
  • Course creation with minimal effort. You can use your presentations, videos and other online material within the system
  • Customizable. As with pretty much everywhere else, you can add a custom domain, logo and color theme
  • Comprehensible analytics to track student/trainee performance
  • Enterprise-friendly features like branch management and Single Sign-On (unified access ID to multiple related systems). A secured encrypted channel for data transmission

Pricing and availability

Talent LMS is free for up to 5 users/10 courses. The paid packages with enhanced user pool, unlimited courses and extra features include Small ($29/month), Basic ($99/month), Plus ($199/month) and Premium ($349/month).

Target audience

With tailored features for enterprises and a focus on security, Talent LMS reaches out to a wide range of customers. The list on their website mentions:

  • Businesses of all sizes, from large multinational enterprises to small and medium businesses
  • Government agencies and non-governmental organizations
  • Traditional educational bodies
  • Online-based educational institutions

6. LearnDash

LearnDash is an LMS designed for the WordPress open-source platform. Effectively, LearnDash is a WordPress plug-in that can transform a WordPress-based website into a learning management system. This is, in fact, a combination of existing WordPress functionality and basic e-Learning course management.

Core features

  • Multi-tier courses. Break up courses into topics, tests and categories
  • Custom certificates and points for achievements
  • Assignment management. Comment on and approve submitted assignments.
  • E-commerce tools: one-time prices, subscriptions and shopping cart
  • Lesson timers to configure time limits per class
  • Convenient reports. Track user progress and quiz results
  • Extended compatibility: videos, Articulate & Adobe Captivate files, images, Google Docs, etc.
  • Group Management for effective user segmentation and targeting
  • Email notifications for easy communication and status updates
  • Works with any modern WordPress theme with no extra coding required

Pricing and availability

LearnDash offers three packages:

  • Basic (1 site license, basic functionality): $159/year
  • Plus (10 site licenses, more features): $189/year
  • Pro (unlimited sites, full feature set): $329/year

Target audience

Apparently, the solution is intended for WordPress users only. However, the price is a real bargain and the functionality covers all e-Learning essentials. All in all, a soft option for WordPress fans.

7. eFront Learning

eFrontPro is an xAPI-friendly learning management system for business and educational courses that works well for both online training and blended learning. eFront Learning seems to favor the business segment and positions eFront Pro as an HR-centric tool to ensure compliance, engage the workforce and support corporate goals.

Core features

  • Blended Learning. The system supports a combination of e-Learning and offline training
  • Gamification. Badges, points, leaderboards to keep the audience engaged
  • Certifications with varying validity period and skill improvement scenarios
  • Curriculums. Instructors may group courses into curriculums and maintain a consistent learning process
  • Enhanced collaboration tools: internal email, calendar, forums and video conferences included
  • E-commerce. Sell your courses via Paypal or Stripe

Pricing and availability

eFront is distributed as an open-source project. If you need a private cloud solution with tailored hosting and support, feel free to ask the eFront team for a quote.

Target audience

Budget-savvy enterprises that want to cut down on infrastructure costs are a perfect fit. The system has been built with employee training rather than educators in mind. Support for instructor-led activities is also a perk to consider.

8. Litmos

Litmos is yet another xAPI-enabled online training system. The LMS is fully extensible with an API and has been integrated with Salesforce.com, Okta and Box.com. Since 2007, Litmos has been operating in 130 countries and 22 languages.

Core features

  • Embedded Course Builder. Content creation tools supporting multiple formats
  • Assessment & Quizzes to review knowledge transfer and student performance
  • Survey & Feedback. Glean feedback from students with an embedded survey tool
  • Reports & Dashboards. Review learner performance and gain insight into training impact
  • Instructional Led Training (ILT). Schedule online or offline classroom trainings
  • E-commerce. Monetize your courses with built-in e-commerce features or use Litmos’s Shopify integration
  • Gamification. Motivate users with awarded achievements (points, badges, etc.)
  • Messages & Notifications. Ample notification system with reminders and messaging
  • Certifications. Issue completion and learner achievement certificates
  • Learning Paths. Put together multiple courses in a logical sequence to create a curriculum plan

Pricing and availability

Litmos comes with a standard 14-day free trial. The paid options encompass:

  • Silver package (100 active users): $299/month (annual billing) or $369/month (monthly billing)
  • Gold package (500 active users plus extra features): $699/month (annual billing), or $899/month (monthly billing)
  • Enterprise (ultimate functionality plus Salesforce integration): contact Litmos for business rates

Target audience

Litmos claims to have tailored its solutions for industry-specific challenges. The Litmos products focus on accessibility, security, and scalability and apply in a wide range of verticals. Digital marketing, education, energy, engineering, finance, healthcare, legal, non-profit, retail – just to name a few.

9. eLogic Learning

The eSSential LMS by eLogic delivers accurate tracking and reporting of training activity. Based on an agile development philosophy, eSSential adds new features and integrations at a lively pace. Both SCORM and Tin Can are supported for better compatibility with external environments.

Core features

  • Social & gamification. Contests and leaderboards to encourage competition
  • Audit-ready compliance reports, surveys, ratings and reviews
  • Certifications for employees/students/customers: auto-generate certificate, design custom templates
  • Notifications: due date reminders, email and in-system notifications
  • Integrated workflow management (HRIS, Payroll, Active Directory, CRM, Web Portal, etc.)
  • Single Sign On (SSO) integrations and support (Okta, OneLogin, ADFS, Custom Token)
  • Live training from the system (schedule events, book rooms/facilities, track attendance, etc.)
  • E-commerce. Generate revenue with e-Learning courses, instructor-led training, certification programs, or physical products.
  • Configurable design to use eSSential as a branded corporate solution
  • Robust reporting. Built-in standard reports and Ad Hoc report engine
  • Optimized for mobile training. A wide range of supported devices

Price and availability

Ranked among the Top 3 learning management systems in 2015 by E-Learning 24/7, eSSential is a pretty expensive product. The starting price is $12,000 a year, which makes it a more viable option for larger enterprises.

Target audience

Auspiciously inconsistent with its name, eSSential delivers way beyond basic education needs and includes quite a bunch of extras. Implementing advanced compliance reports, workflow management and SSO, the system seems to lean heavily towards the business sector. Besides, the usage rates will most likely steer away SMB customers and private educators.

10. Absorb LMS

Last but not least, Absorb LMS concludes our round-up of Tin Can-ready learning management systems. Feature-packed, scalable and visually attractive, Absorb runs neck and neck with the most sophisticated competitor products.

Core features

  • Mobile learning made easy. Accessible on all modern mobile devices
  • Highly scalable. Absorb claims to support gargantuan user bases of up to 350,000 learners within a single institution
  • Branding & Integrations. A customizable product that lets you follow your style guidelines, modify the language of system prompts, reflect your organizational culture and more
  • Complete software-as-a-service solution with no infrastructure hassles
  • Course creation tools as well as quiz, exam and survey features
  • Web content such as YouTube videos can be embedded into courses
  • Manages instructor-led training (ILT), supports popular platforms such as Adobe Connect
  • Provides students with a course curriculum consisting of self-learning and instructor-led events
  • Includes a content repository, allowing you to upload or insert any documents or relevant resources
  • Integrated with Citrix GoToMeeting/GoToWebinar, Cisco WebEx, etc.

Pricing and availability

Plans start at $1,250 per month with an extra $4,000 in one-time setup fees. In addition, many Absorb customers opt for the Mercury Module, a $425/month add-on that allows you to create billboards, release news/polls/surveys, manage leaderboards, and so forth.

Target audience

Absorb LMS is not labeled for any particular business size or industry, however, mid-to-large-size firms appear to fall in the right category. Whereas businesses with under 2,000 still comprise the majority of Absorb’s customers, the company has been making inroads into the Fortune 1000 market.

In conclusion

As you can see, this brief review touches upon the cream of the crop. We are mostly talking sophisticated feature-packed LMSs that stay on the cutting edge. Bringing together these different solutions, the Tin Can format enables:

  • E-learning outside of a web browser
  • E-learning in native mobile apps
  • Platform transition (start on a mobile device, finish it on a PC)
  • Tracking games and simulations
  • Tracking real-life performance

These are basically the prerequisites for a high-end LMS, and areas where SCORM falls behind. My lifespan forecast for SCORM is somewhere between 2 to 5 years from now, whereas Tin Can seems to lead the game and yield an increasing number of integrations. Let’s keep watching the scene for new performers and technologies as enterprises and educational institutions augment their stock of knowledge.

What's the best Tin Can API LMS for you?

As always, feel free to reciprocate with your thoughts and comments. Share your observations about these LMSs, contribute to the big picture and stay tuned for new blog postings.

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