Published On: July 21, 2015By
Crowd Wisdom LMS Review

(Updated 2021)

Does your organization want to sell high-end online content to individuals or businesses? If so, you’ll be interested in this Crowd Wisdom review. The Crowd Wisdom LMS by Community Brands is an established and well-known LMS with a strong focus on association learning and corporate extended enterprise verticals. Founded in 2006 and acquired by Community Brands in 2018, Crowd Wisdom has around 70 employees and over 200 clients using its SaaS solutions for continuing education, test preparation and certification.

Solution/Products Offered

The Crowd Wisdom LMS is the flagship learning product in the Community Brands portfolio, which largely focuses on solutions for any organization looking to deploy and sell learning as a business. In addition to the LMS, Crowd Wisdom provides a sophisticated testing and assessment engine, video learning tools, content authoring and world-class analytics.

Target Market

The Crowd Wisdom LMS is specifically designed to power the complexity of continuing education, certification and professional learning programs offered by associations and corporations. Particular aspects of this specialized approach include strong ecommerce, assessment, integration, robust management of continuing education (CE) credits and certification.

Crowd Wisdom LMS Strengths

Learn about the products many strengths in this Crowd Wisdom review, including:

Adaptive Learning

The Crowd Wisdom LMS emphasizes personalization and adaptive learning. The user interface is based on widgets, or tiles that are used to populate a user’s dashboard. These rules-based tiles are based on user demographics, languages, interests and actions taking place inside and outside the LMS that are all used to recommend content and automatically create a customized learning paths.

For example, based on what products and services a customer buys, as well as past content consumption, content can be assigned, recommended or even offered as a promotion.

The company has also gone beyond a catalog model that presents content based on member type. Now, conditional logic analyzes multiple learner parameters and can dynamically build a content catalog for an individual.

Assessment Engine

In addition to or in lieu of using a third-party assessment engine, Crowd Wisdom has its own robust test engine. This allows organizations to create categorized question banks that can be tied to competencies and content. Users can take a pre-test, rate their confidence level in their answers and then look at a dashboard and see where their strengths or weaknesses are across those competencies. Then, learners can pick areas of study focus or have the system recommend a study path. This is extremely useful for learners who are preparing for professional certification tests of any type.

The Crowd Wisdom LMS uses innovative learning strategies, like spaced repetition and question-of-the-day to rotate through the questions until a learner’s dashboard shows all green indicating they’ve achieved mastery. The assessment engine also shows peer benchmarks, so learners can see how they’re doing in comparison with others on particular questions or topics.

B2B eCommerce

The Crowd Wisdom LMS excels at B2B functionality with the ability to successfully manage multiple corporate extended enterprise use cases. It has very strong support for decentralized learning environments, such as when an organization wants to provide separate LMS instances for partner or customer organizations.

In this model, the parent company can share purchased or required content with sub-organizations, and each of the sub-organizations can upload their own content and assign or recommend both types to learners on a personalized basis. At every level, administrators can see dashboards and reports on enrollments, training progress and certifications on their own content and learners without crossover from other entities in the system.

Similarly, associations can set up learning environments for employees, members and non-members with segregated content. Crowd Wisdom manages the complexity of different pricing models for these audiences.

Mobile First

Finally, the Crowd Wisdom interface is modern, sharp and highly responsive to mobile devices. Even on smaller screens, like smart phones, everything is still accessible as the menu retracts to hamburger size.

Crowd Wisdom LMS Technical Strengths

The Crowd Wisdom LMS comes with enterprise-grade Restful APIs as well as many productized integrations making it easy and possible to snap into most ecosystems.

Additionally, the Crowd Wisdom LMS is one of the strongest “headless” LMSs in which they use their APIs to deliver all learner functionality through a buyer-developed custom front end tied to the Crowd Wisdom administrative back end.

Professional Services Offered

Crowd Wisdom provides complete implementation services, with an established playbook that includes activities like integrations, branding, configuration of functionality and content migration. The implementation team includes subject matter experts, project managers, learning technologists, project consultants, trainers, account executives, executive sponsors and data integration/migration specialists.

At each phase of the implementation, Crowd Wisdom asks key questions, highlights decision points and engages key stakeholders. They also help clients assess risks, stay on schedule and adhere to the budget.

In addition to system implementation consultants, Crowd Wisdom also has a team of experts who can help accelerate the pace of creating high-quality content and getting it online. They have UI/UX designers, instructional designers, content developers and live learning capture services to help clients deliver courses for various audiences.

Opportunities for Improvement

The administrative interface is functional but not very attractive or necessarily easy to use, but is a focus on their roadmap. Additionally, although the solution is idea for corporate partner and customer learning initiatives, and they have great example clients, in their marketing efforts they tend to defer to the association roots of Community Brands although this has been slowly changing in 2021.

My Assessment

The Crowd Wisdom LMS by Community Brands brings innovation, technology and services to help organizations succeed with corporate extended enterprise learning, continuing education and association learning.

We hope you enjoyed this Crowd Wisdom review. Learn more about Crowd Wisdom and many other learning systems by becoming a free basic member of the Talented Learning Center.


2019 Review

The Crowd Wisdom LMS by Community Brands is a pure extended enterprise LMS and is extremely cool.  They have left employee learning management behind with the other 599 LMS vendors and they focus on measurable learning technology solutions for extended enterprise audiences.

100% of research, development and associated professional services are dedicated to providing one of the world’s best solutions for channelcustomerassociations and training providers.

Crowd Wisdom is designed with the tools to attract voluntary learners, build a community of learners and facilitate training business growth.  The learner interface looks great and is as “non-LMS-sy” as any I have seen in my 88 reviews.  It is clean, easy-to-use with no hint of HR-speak for users to get confused by.

This LMS is mobile responsive, meaning that it can be accessed effectively on any device or computer browser from any corner of the world in 17 languages.  Crowd Wisdom has strong ecommerce features to support the selling of content to both individuals and organizations.

Social learning is germane to the Crowd Wisdom LMS strategy and they incorporate social features like forums, popular content, discussion groups, content recommendations, polling and surveys into all aspects of the application from LMS interface, MOOC content or any content assembled in the LMS.

Also, the user profile is the best I’ve seen yet in an LMS.  Users can edit and choose to share – piece by piece – their contact info, email accounts, blogs, social handles, tags they are interested in, about me write-ups, pictures and more.  All of which can be used administratively to group users, provide targeted recommendations, offer promotions, solicit and curate content.  It’s great for learners to network and truly find like-minded support, friends and help.

An extended enterprise specific feature that I like in Crowd Wisdom is “access codes.”  Access codes are keys that an administrator can create and distribute to any population of unknown users.  For example, an organization might sell 100 “seats” of an online course to one of their member organizations.  The buying organization can then print up cards with the access code to distribute freely to 100 qualified prospects they meet at a tradeshow.

After the show, when the learner goes to the website LMS and puts in the code, they are automatically prompted for profile information and directed to the content purchased for them.  There are a lot of different promotional ways to leverage access codes to build your customer base.

Another feature in Crowd Wisdom that is rarely seen in a corporate LMS is overt support for MOOCs – massive, open, online courses.  Think of MOOCs as a living class delivered over a period of time that includes recorded and live lectures, discussion, learner activities, reading assignment assessments, polling, sharing and certification.  Originating in academia, MOOCs have entered the extended enterprise market as a core prospect attraction tool.  Get users hooked on your free content and they will turn into paying customers over time.

Unlike most cloud-based LMS solutions and unlike all employee LMS solutions, Community Brands provides a wealth of professional service consulting help to facilitate success with a training business.  In addition to traditional software implementation and training services, Community Brands services include strategy and course design to help you attract users, grow sales and expand globally.

My Assessment:  If your organization is serious about training as a business, using extended enterprise learning technology as a competitive differentiator and developing ever-growing content revenue stream, you should seriously evaluate the Crowd Wisdom LMS by Community Brands.

Crowd Wisdom LMS Extended Enterprise Vitals

The features required to support extended enterprise learning are incremental to an employee LMS and include:

Content Support:

Deep content support making it easy for administrators to manage just about any type of asset and combine in packages or programs of study.

  • Web launch
  • AICC
  • SCORM
  • QTI
  • MOOC
  • Test
  • Book
  • Package
  • Event
  • Publication
  • Multimedia
  • Webinar (Adobe, WebEx, Goto Meeting)
  • Document
  • Classroom
  • 3rd party content libraries
  • Ability to easily add new types of learning to support anything

Continuing and Professional Education:

Crowd Wisdom is a powerful CE LMS with the ability to:

  • Track unlimited types of CE
  • Support of recording and management of external CE activities
  • Pre/post-test analysis and peer comparisons (psychometric)
  • Automatic credit reporting to accreditation bodies
  • Surveys and evaluations
  • Assign certificates for achievement, inserting CE/CME units, unique ID and learner info
  • Career paths
  • Competency groupings

Role Management:

  • There is a broad set of default predefined roles including admin, author, super author, catalog, email, delegated admin, instructor, learner, report, staff and survey manager
  • Custom roles can easily be created by modifying view, edit and see permissions on any of the above

User Experience: 

  • Totally integrated user interface that uniquely combines social, formal, informal and experiential learning into the main landing page
  • Customize Crowd Wisdom to blend with customer brand and web experience using our advanced CSS/HTML support capabilities
  • Clean, modern, easy to use
  • Widget based — Required Learning, Polls, Social, Recommended Content and many more to configure per audience
  • Section 508c interfaces available

Social Learning: 

With the name of Crowd Wisdom, you would expect to see some good social features and you do including:

  • User profiles, posting and sharing
  • Connect with other users
  • News feeds
  • Discussion groups that have users, polls, surveys, posting and notifications
  • Content curation via providing most viewed and most like content lists for users
  • Tag assets
  • Social forums, discussion and surveys integrated in MOOCs and any content assembled in Crowd Wisdom

Mobile:

  • Mobile responsive and works on any smartphone, tablet or desktop through a web browser
  • No iOS or Android downloadable apps

Gamification: 

  • None

Notification Management:

Keeping in contact with your users continually providing value with your growing audience is key.  Crowd Wisdom has highly configurable email templates including ecommerce, social notifications and core administrative notifications.

eCommerce:  

eCommerce is a major strength of the platform.  Designed with the sale of content in mind, there are a ton of features to support selling content to organizations or directly to individuals.  Many marketing features are also integrated.

  • Bulk purchase
  • Access codes
  • Shopping carts, secure checkouts
  • Promotions
  • Organization pricing, variable pricing
  • Subscription (timed access) to content
  • Recommend and pushed content
  • Featured content, ad support
  • AMS checkout
  • Paypal and integration with many other ecommerce gateways
  • Comments and ranking of content

Virtual Classroom Support:

Out-of-box integration with:

  • Adobe Connect
  • WebEx
  • Goto Meeting

Integration:

  • Open 2-way RESTful APIs
  • SAML Single Sign-On
  • Batch data feeds
  • Accreditation bodies
  • Association Management Systems (AMS)
  • Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • xAPI coming in 2015

Reporting and Analytics:

  • Real-time
  • Google analytic type reports for assessments, surveys, usage, grades, community activity, access and coupon code use
  • Custom client dashboards
  • Pre/post-test analysis and peer comparisons
  • Automatic credit reporting to accreditation bodies

Domain Management:  

  • Multi-tier organizational structure and custom field options, provides control of your different user populations and what they can see and do
  • Content management, security and reporting segmentation
  • Organizational access codes for extended enterprise applications

Globalization: 

Crowd Wisdom supports a host of localization features and also has many multilingual professionals that specialize in global extended enterprise deployments.

  • Support for 17 language locations including Thai, Russian, Chinese, Korean and Indonesian
  • Ability to upload additional localizations
  • Achieved 99.99% uptime over global hosting infrastructure over last 7 years

Thanks for reading!

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About Talented Learning LMS Reviews

Talented Learning LMS Reviews provide initial screening of vendors for extended enterprise suitability.  Vendors share lots of information on their websites — feature lists, video demos, case studies, position papers, press releases, free trials and more.  We review and analyze all of this information to determine a vendor’s mission, assess the platform’s strengths and weaknesses, and determine how effectively it serves extended enterprise learning needs.

As always, at Talented Learning, we’re not about making sweeping predictions or judging vendors.  Instead, we document the realities of today’s LMS landscape, and how learning technology is actually adding value.  We have only one goal — to help clients find appropriate LMS vendors based on their unique business requirements.

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About the Author: John Leh

John Leh is CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning and the Talented Learning Center. John is a fiercely independent consultant, blogger, podcaster, speaker and educator who helps organizations select and implement learning technology strategies, primarily for extended enterprise applications. His advice is based upon more than 25+years of learning-tech industry experience, serving as a trusted LMS selection and sales adviser to hundreds of learning organizations with a total technology spend of more than $100+ million and growing. John would love to connect with you on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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