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LMS Review: TalentLMS

LMS Review TalentLMS - by independent learning tech analyst John Leh

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We are kicking off the Talented Learning 2015 LMS Reviews with a review of the TalentLMS made by Epignosis.

The TalentLMS true is a multitenant cloud LMS meaning all TalentLMS clients access the same LMS via a web-browser and each client has its own secure area and sub-areas.   Like most LMSs born in the last 3 years, the TalentLMS is fully mobile responsive so that any type of user can access it from smartphones, tablets and laptops without plugins or downloads and without any panning, scrolling or zooming.

I started a free trial without a credit card, set up my own domain and gave it a whirl.  I wanted to know if I could –without any assistance – build my own extended enterprise LMS to house my recent webinar recordings.  I could and it was pretty straightforward to do so.

I had access to my own LMS within a minute and I was able to brand the site with my logo and favicon, choose an overall graphical theme, modify all colors, set my preferred language, time zone and currency, enable xAPI as well as single sign-on integrations.  Adding my recorded webinars was as simple as selecting my file and entering a title and description.

With the TalentLMS content assembly tools, I could add assessments and surveys to my course as well as turn that course into a program of study by adding in other learning modules of any media including SCORM and xAPI content. I could also apply prerequisite, content sequencing, completion and certification rules.  You can check out my sample Talented Learning TalentLMS domain I created here.

The TalentLMS is flexible enough to service internal employee learners and the volunteer learners of the extended enterprise.  Some key extended enterprise features include:

  • View course catalog before creating accounts or logging in
  • Using LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook credentials to create an account and populate profile data
  • Domains and “branches” allowing you to set up independent portals for your business-to-business clients or any large audience
  • LMS gamification of points, leaderboards and rewards to motivate and encourage users
  • Ability to add a cost to a course, program of study or a whole category in the catalog
  • Out-off-box integrations with Stripe and Paypal to integrate payment processing
  • Configurable reports and dashboards to monitor usage and progress

The TalentLMS provides the ability to upload a spreadsheet of users, issue certifications and share courses on popular social media sites.  It also provides each user with a “timeline” of actions they took in the system which was really handy from an administrative perspective and could be used in simple auditing scenarios.

I also like the integration strategy of the TalentLMS.   They support out-of-the-box APIs that allow you to easily hook up CRM, Single Sign On, xAPI, eCommerce, Content Management and other cloud systems to share data and content with the LMS. This feature transforms the TalentLMS from a “destination LMS” to learning portal with tentacles integrating websites, products, emails, social media and more but still always tracking and reporting on learner progress.

Finally, the TalentLMS pricing is public, flexible and very affordable.   There are tiers of pricing based either on overall registered users or unique monthly users making this very employee or extended enterprise license friendly.

From an improvement standpoint, the internal social features are limited to general threaded discussion groups and could use some enhancing.   I also wish I had more administrative control on how content is displayed to users, ability to assign courses to multiple categories and have the gamification more integrated into core workflow.  I also had some trouble getting the WordPress plug-in to work properly.

My assessment — The TalentLMS is a great choice for your first LMS and maybe even your second if you are a small or medium business.  There are no implementation fees and if your usage scenarios are straightforward, it is hard to beat the license price and ease of this system.  Below is a video I created demonstrating some of the administrative and learner features of the TalentLMS from my trial account.

 

TalentLMS Corporate and Social Profile

LMS Name: TalentLMS

Website: TalentLMS.com

Twitter: @TalentLMS

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/talentlms

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+Talentlmscloud/posts

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TalentLMS

Contact Information:   http://www.talentlms.com/contact

Extended Enterprise Ready:  Yes

Internal Employee Ready:  Yes

Types of Extended Enterprise Expertise Learning Supported:

  • Channel
  • Customer
  • Business to Business eCommerce

Differentiation:

  • Simple yet powerful
  • Affordable
  • Always evolving
  • High level of support

TalentLMS Extended Enterprise Vitals

Licensing and Certification Features:

  • Award a certificate based on a course completion
  • Basic certification expiration and reassignment support

Adaptive Learning Features:

  • Grouping of users and courses for business-to-business ecommerce
  • Ability to modify core roles of learning, instructor, admin and add custom roles
  • No ability to group users by fields
  • Join a group with a group ID created by administrators

eCommerce Features: 

  • Ability to add a price to a course
  • Timed coupons, discounts
  • Online invoices
  • Out of box integration with Stripe and Paypal to accept credit cards
  • Multi-currency support

State and Global Taxation Support:  None

Social Collaboration Features: 

  • Discussion forums to post a thread and comment that is not tied specifically to a course but rather topics
  • Learners can share content on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Account creation using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

Mobile Features:

  • 100% mobile responsive for all users
  • No mobile apps

Gamification Features:  

  • Points, levels, badges, leveling up, leaderboards
  • Configurable point allocation
  • Rewards in form of discounts on content
  • Badge integration with Mozilla’s Backpack

Virtual Classroom Features:

  • Integration with Big Blue Button

Globalization Features: 

  • Language translations include English, Spanish, Italian, German, Romanian, Greek, Croatian, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Chinese
  • Timezone support
  • Multi-currency support

Technology: 

  • 100% multi-tenant cloud

Integration:

  • REST APIs with documentation
  • Single Sign On via out-of-box SAML,  LDAP, ADFS, OneLogin and Okta
  • Stripe and Paypal for ecommerce
  • Badge integration with Mozilla’s Backpack
  • Tin Can (xAPI)
  • WordPress
  • The below TalentLMS video from TalentLMS YouTube channel shows the power of the REST APIs and ability to connect with 200+ cloud services via Zapier.  This is cool stuff.

 

Reporting:

    • Core reporting
    • Ad-hoc reporting
    • Progress dashboards for users and administrators
    • Auditing timeline of what a user has done view by the learner or administrator
    • The video below on TalentLMS reporting is from the TalentLMS YouTube channel:

 

Links to Case Studies on Extended Enterprise Learning:  

  • None

Links to Online Demos

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Need Help Selecting an LMS?

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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.

John Leh
About John Leh (161 Articles)
John Leh is CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning, LLC. Named among the “Top 20 Global Elearning Movers and Shakers” in 2018 and 2017, John is a fiercely independent LMS selection consultant, blogger and podcaster who helps organizations develop and implement learning technology strategies – primarily for extended enterprise applications. His advice is based on more than 20 years of industry experience, serving as a trusted LMS selection and sales adviser to more than 100 learning organizations with a total technology spend of more than $65 million. You can connect with John on Twitter at @JohnLeh or on LinkedIn.

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