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Online Learning Platform reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.

Best Online Learning Platform for Small Businesses

    Products classified in the overall Online Learning Platform category are similar in many regards and help companies of all sizes solve their business problems. However, small business features, pricing, setup, and installation differ from businesses of other sizes, which is why we match buyers to the right Small Business Online Learning Platform to fit their needs. Compare product ratings based on reviews from enterprise users or connect with one of G2's buying advisors to find the right solutions within the Small Business Online Learning Platform category.

    In addition to qualifying for inclusion in the Online Learning Platform category, to qualify for inclusion in the Small Business Online Learning Platform category, a product must have at least 10 reviews left by a reviewer from a small business.

    Top 10 Online Learning Platform for Small Businesses

    • Udemy
    • TalentLMS
    • LearnWorlds
    • Tovuti LMS
    • 360Learning
    • Kajabi
    • Thinkific
    • FreshLMS
    • WileyPLUS
    • Skillshare

    Compare Small Business Online Learning Platform

    G2 takes pride in showing unbiased reviews on user satisfaction in our ratings and reports. We do not allow paid placements in any of our ratings, rankings, or reports. Learn about our scoring methodologies.
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    (309)4.5 out of 5

    Udemy for Business helps companies stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing workplace by offering fresh, on-demand learning content through a powerful content marketplace. Our mission is to help employees do whatever comes next- whether that’s the next project to tackle, skill to learn or role to master. We do this by curating a collection of 2,500+ of Udemy’s top-rated courses taught by the world’s leading experts. Our content covers a variety of key business and technical topics ranging fr

    (420)4.6 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$0

    TalentLMS is a super-easy, award-winning LMS ideal for delivering engaging online training. Create courses in a few clicks in a platform suitable for sophisticated as well as inexperienced, aspiring trainers. Combines support for multiple file types and multimedia (presentations, videos, iFrame, SCORM, etc.) with simplicity, and an always eager-to-help support team. Be the driver of your team's potential.

    (75)4.6 out of 5

    An all-in-one platform to Create, Sell & Market your online courses and provide online training. LearnWorlds empowers online trainers, educators and enterprises to create unique, interactive and social learning experiences.

    (113)4.7 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response

    #1 Ranked Learning Management System. Tovuti's all in one cloud-based learning management system (LMS) gives you all the tools you need to create, deliver and track the effectiveness of your eLearning programs.

    (101)4.6 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response

    360Learning empowers Learning and Development teams to drive culture and growth through Collaborative Learning. Our learning platform combines collaborative tools with the power of an LMS, enabling high-growth companies to unlock learning based on collective expertise instead of top-down knowledge. 360Learning is the easiest way to onboard new employees, train customer-facing teams, and develop professional skills–all from one place. 360Learning powers the future of work at 1,200 organizations

    (27)4.4 out of 5

    Kajabi platform empowers thousands of users everyday to build life-changing businesses and create an online presence that reflects them.

    (19)4.5 out of 5

    Thinkific is an all-in-one online course platform that empowers anyone to quickly create and deliver stunning courses on their own branded site. Whether your goal is to educate your customers, to sell courses to earn revenue or to simply grow your brand and engage your audience, Thinkific makes it easy. Join thousands of consultants, experts, authors, speakers, trainers, teachers, coaches, professional associations, and companies, and start selling courses on Thinkific today.

    (27)4.7 out of 5

    FreshLMS is a learning management system helps a brand build and organize eLearning experiences, enhance product and industry knowledge. Create the Culture of Learning with FreshLMS Learning Experience Platform. Build Online School for yourself or a LMS for your organization in just few clicks.

    (52)4.1 out of 5

    WileyPLUS is an online teaching and learning platform that helps instructors and students achieve educational success.

    (29)3.7 out of 5

    Skillshare is a learning community for creators. Enroll in classes and complete projects that unlock your creativity.

    (26)4.1 out of 5

    Your skills and experiences are unique and valuable. Easily build a beautiful course website, share your knowledge, and be rewarded for it.

    (147)3.7 out of 5
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    McGraw-Hill Education Connect is a robust toolkit of learning resources designed with the flexibility instructors need, to unlock the potential of a diverse student population. Connect provides opportunities for both formative and summative assessment. Our adaptive technology provides students with a safe place to make mistakes encouraging deliberate practice and enabling them to move one step closer to mastery. AUTO-GRADING Your valuable time and expertise should be devoted to teaching—not gr

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    Check out the G2 Grid® for the top Online Learning Platform products. G2 scores products and sellers based on reviews gathered from our user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. Together, these scores are mapped on our proprietary G2 Grid®, which you can use to compare products, streamline the buying process, and quickly identify the best products based on the experiences of your peers.
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    McGraw-Hill
    Udemy
    Skillshare
    TalentLMS
    Thinkific
    WileyPLUS
    LearnWorlds
    Kajabi
    360Learning
    Tovuti LMS
    FreshLMS
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    Learn More About Online Learning Platform

    What is an Online Learning Platform?

    Online learning platforms, also referred to as eLearning platforms, are tools that allow users to create high-quality customized courses for people to take online. Using these tools, an instructor can build a course from scratch by adding elements like videos, presentation slides, documents, quizzes, and project assignments. The content of the course can vary widely, depending on the skills the instructor is trying to teach. Some online learning platforms have libraries with content that instructors can add to the course, or the instructor can use their content. The finished course can be published online, where students can find it and complete the lessons.

    What are the Common Features of an Online Learning Platform?

    Course structuring: Instructors can divide their online courses into smaller sections to better organize the course materials. Within each section, there might be a variety of elements like lectures, projects, and quizzes. Dividing up the course into smaller pieces makes it easier to keep students engaged and track their progress.

    File attachments: To create multimedia courses that are more engaging for students, online learning platforms typically allow instructors to upload a variety of file types into online courses. Depending on the platform, instructors can upload files like videos, documents, presentations, images, or courses previously created using course authoring software.

    Gamification: Awarding badges and points for completing lessons or mastering assessments can be an effective way to motivate students and make the learning experience more fun. Leaderboards display which users completed the most lessons or achieved the highest quiz scores. Adding gamified elements to courses created through online learning platforms gives students a sense of accomplishment and lets them share their progress with others using social media.

    Course marketplace: For solopreneurs selling online courses, some platforms come with built-in marketplaces that allow them to sell their content to students. Management features enable instructors to write course descriptions, upload images, and publish samples of the course.

    Discussion boards and peer communities: Learning is a social endeavor, so online learning platforms often host discussion forums where users can ask questions of other students taking the same course or talk about the course content. Instructors can create cohorts of students taking the same course, allowing learners to engage with each other and give each other feedback and encouragement.

    Mobile compatibility: Building mobile compatibility into courses allows students to access course content anywhere, giving them more flexibility to complete courses and assessments. Some platforms’ applications allow users to download content to their iOS or Android devices so it can be accessed even without an internet connection. Some products may also have a dedicated mobile app component to supplement the web-based platform.

    Reporting and analytics: Course administrators can access data about how many students are taking a course, how students are interacting with the content, and how they are performing on assessments, among other metrics. Students can also get information about how they have performed on quizzes and their usage patterns on the platform.

    Video hosting: Video lessons can be uploaded to online learning platforms and serve as the main method of delivering online classes, providing a more engaging learning experience compared to reading static slides or web pages. Some tools provide multiple methods of uploading video lectures, including grabbing videos from the cloud.

    What are the Benefits of an Online Learning Platform?

    Online learning platforms enable course administrators to create and deliver customized course experiences, no matter the audience. From entrepreneurs to corporate trainers to educators, users have access to a wide range of features that allow courses to be built in a way that meets the needs of their students.

    Customized learning experiences: There are thousands of prebuilt courses available for purchase through online course providers for developing skills in a variety of areas, from computer programming to business management to art history. Sometimes, there is no prebuilt course that works and a customized course must be created. For example, preexisting online courses don’t always meet the needs of a college professor who wants to teach a physics class using a specific curriculum, or a company that wants to create internal training about how to use administrative functions of their web application. With online learning platforms, instructors can build courses from the ground up that target the exact skills they have in mind and the needs of a specific group of students.

    Education content made more accessible: For instructors, online learning platforms offer a way to expand access to their course materials outside of a physical learning environment. This is important as online education continues to rise in popularity. Some of these tools allow instructors to upload presentation files from a lecture and display them as part of an online course. Students who missed a training session or are studying remotely can easily access videos and other course content. Courses can also be accessed by learners at their convenience, accommodating different schedules. Compatibility with mobile applications further extends the reach of courses built on online learning platforms.

    Who Uses an Online Learning Platform?

    Educators: Education industry professionals use online learning platforms to make the content they teach available online. Some platforms come with tools that enable instructors to upload files that teachers might already use in their lessons, such as videos, word documents, and presentation files. Educators can add customized homework assignments, projects, and quizzes to their online courses and grade students based on how well they demonstrate targeted skills. Publishing course material online also allows professors to make course content available to students outside of in-person sessions, allowing students to review material or catch up if they miss a class.

    HR trainers: Employee success departments use online learning platforms to create customized training experiences for employees and streamline the management of their onboarding content. New hire training materials can be crafted for the company’s overall training objectives as well as for new skills that specific employees need to build. Some lessons might be aimed at soft skills, like team management, while others could focus on hard skills, like how to program in Python. Publishing the training content online allows employees to complete training when it’s convenient for them. Customizing courses for specific roles maximizes the efficiency of training programs, so employees aren’t sitting through irrelevant lessons.

    Technical trainers: Businesses use online learning platforms to train customers or clients on their products. This is especially beneficial for software trainers, who are often tasked with educating customers on how to get the most value out of the company’s software. While there will always be a need for live trainings, the ability to publish a custom online tutorial for a product’s most commonly used features allows users of that product to get most of the information they need, potentially cutting down the necessity for in-person trainings.

    Solopreneurs: For an entrepreneur who is running their business without any other employees, online learning platforms provide a structure for creating online courses or webinars for in-demand skills and selling them online. Some tools provide marketplaces where course creators can list their courses for sale, or offer tiered models that mix free courses and paid courses to entice subscribers. Depending on how dedicated the solopreneur is to their online teaching business, publishing courses through online learning platforms could be a side hustle that generates passive income or a full-fledged small business that they run full time.

    What are the Alternatives to an Online Learning Platform?

    Course authoring software: Course authoring software is used to develop training courses and content that can be consumed in either a corporate or more traditional educational setting. These products may be appealing to companies looking to create internal training programs for onboarding and ongoing professional development, especially if they don’t need all the additional features that an online learning platform provides.

    Learning management system: Online learning platforms and learning management systems (LMS) are often seen as the same, but an online learning platform serves as a foundation for eLearning and will often be used in conjunction with other supporting software tools. Online learning platforms are occasionally sold as an integration within a larger LMS product too. 

    An LMS helps instructors deliver and manage online learning by creating a streamlined communication channel between instructors and students. These software applications manage all types of content, including video, courses, and documents, and allow students to access all course content from any device. Instructors can use an LMS to manage rubrics, student discussion boards, and course syllabi, and they provide key features for reporting, progress tracking, and assignments and assessments.

    Challenges with an Online Learning Platform

    Effectively marketing a course: Online learning has become an increasingly crowded and competitive business segment. Solopreneurs trying to create a course on an online learning platform are competing with thousands of courses already on the market on any imaginable topic. Users of online learning providers must consider how their marketing will set their course content apart from others that already exist. Then, they must determine how to best market their course, including what kinds of students it will target, what topics it will cover, how they will advertise it, and how they will write a course description that catches attention. Without thinking through how to make a course stand out through effective marketing, it is bound to get lost in the virtual ocean of educational content already available online.

    Creating engaging courses: Designing informative, interesting, and attention-grabbing courses is a challenging task. While the ability to create a customized course unlocks many potential benefits, it also requires creators to be thoughtful at the outset about how they want to build a course that will deliver on their key learning objectives. For corporate trainers writing a course about topics that employees may consider less than exciting, they must leverage their creativity to deliver the content engagingly.

    Which Companies Should Buy an Online Learning Platform?

    Colleges and universities: Any educational institution, but especially higher education, that needs to make course content accessible online should consider an online learning platform. These tools give educators tremendous flexibility in building comprehensive course content and making it available to students on their own schedule. Online learning platforms are particularly crucial for universities that offer online degree programs and nanodegree programs, notably in the areas of computer science, data science, and business.

    Massive open online course (MOOC) providers: MOOCs are courses available online to anyone with the proper hardware and internet connection, offering a more relaxed structure and either no or minimal cost to take. They are often seen as alternatives for individuals looking to learn for fun, as MOOCs typically do not confer a degree or certification upon completion if they’re free. MOOC providers need an online learning platform to build and host their content library.

    Standard businesses: Businesses looking to manage their onboarding and employee development programs better should consider an online learning platform. These tools can allow businesses to customize training content to fit their branding and unique needs, and group employees by cohort and department to organize specific trainings more easily.

    Training and development businesses: For businesses that sell training courses to companies that outsource professional development, online learning platforms are a useful tool to organize all their course content and make it accessible to companies even after the training sessions. These tools can also allow training and development businesses to scale up their training content and make them accessible to a wider clientele.

    How to Buy an Online Learning Platform

    Requirements Gathering (RFI/RFP) for an Online Learning Platform

    There are an incredible amount of online learning platforms available today, which can make the buying decision stressful. Before beginning vendor conversations, schools and companies looking to purchase an online learning platform should identify what their goals and objectives are, both currently and in the future. Selecting the wrong platform could lead to a large problem down the road.

    Buyers should determine what types of eLearning content they intend to deliver through an online learning platform, and how that training content supports their larger organizational goals. Compliance training may be better achieved through cheaper alternatives, for example. Companies that have a geographically scattered workforce will need to determine the mobile capabilities of each platform they consider purchasing. Additionally, companies with large workforces and large educational institutions will need to consider the pricing model for products; a flat fee will save more money as opposed to per-user priced platforms.

    Scalability and adaptability are both important factors to consider as well, which is why buyers need to know their current and future needs before making a final decision. An online learning platform should be able to grow as an organization grows, without leading to a lot of surprise costs and technical difficulties to accommodate. Online learning platforms should offer the right level of customization for users to build courses that meet their specific needs.

    Compare Online Learning Platform Products

    Create a long list

    Long lists are created by eliminating the options that do not provide critical functionality. For example, schools should seek out online learning platforms that are optimized for the education sector, rather than platforms that favor corporate eLearning. A typical long list should not include more than 10 products unless there are many options that are very similar. In this case, additional details like the geographical presence of the company or its reputation can be used to eliminate vendors.

    Create a short list

    Short lists are created by reviewing the RFI information received from vendors. Some vendors may decline to participate and respond to RFIs. These vendors are usually eliminated from the selection process. From there, this short list steers the buying decision closer to completion, leaving only a couple of vendors to choose between based on small, key factors that fulfill all the requirements and considerations a school or company has for implementing an online learning platform.

    Conduct demos

    Demos are a great opportunity for buyers to see how the online learning platform works. Only the shortlisted vendors are invited to demonstrate their solutions. Demos should be performed live, using the system, and not through slide decks and screenshots. All vendors should follow a predetermined scenario that simulates the business processes of the buyer. Buyers should request to see a walkthrough from the perspective of a course creator and a student to understand how the interface looks for both sides. Additionally, request to see a sample course created from start to finish to understand what tools can assist in developing eLearning content.

    Selection of Online Learning Platform

    Choose a selection team

    To choose a selection team, decision makers need to involve subject matter experts from all teams that will use the system. For schools, this will likely involve the principal or dean, as well as a select number of teachers who represent the larger faculty's needs. For businesses, this may involve the HR team, CFO, and other roles related to recruiting and employee management.

    Negotiation

    Negotiation happens between the buyer and the short list of vendors. In some cases, there are only two vendors that make it to this stage, which means that they offer similar products. At this point, the dealbreaker is the price of the product, which can vary based on the discounts offered by each vendor. Buyers should consider upfront costs, price per user costs, and any associated content hosting costs with the online learning platform.

    The final decision should be based on all the information gathered previously.

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