7 Blackboard competitors with online learning solutions

Blackboard dominates the Learning Management System (LMS) market, reaching into both the academic and professional sectors. The company provides an online educational interface to millions of users worldwide. That being said, LMS startups are constantly coming up with new ways to compete and set themselves apart.

A closer look at Blackboard's competitors shows range and diversity. Some companies, such as Moodle and Sakai, provide all-in-one online interfaces similar to Blackboard. Other companies focus on more specific aspects of education. Lore, for example, is a service specifically for course management. To further explore these options, Education Dive has compiled a list briefly summarizing seven LMS companies competing with Blackboard.

1. PEARSON ECOLLEGE: http://www.ecollege.com/ 

What it offers: Various services, including Pearson LearningStudio, which offers a learning management system and cloud computing for educators.
Who it’s for: Higher education and K-12 schools internationally.
Selling points: Customization options, social learning and options for distance learning.

2. MOODLE: http://moodle.org

What it offers: Open source software for online courses and websites. It was originally an acronym for “Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment.”
Who it’s for: Teachers and institutions with the ability to host their own installation of the service.
Selling points: Free and customizable. Moodle has attracted its own ecosystem of developers, users and Moodle-based services.

3. SAKAI: http://www.sakaiproject.org/

What it offers: Two software products: The Collaboration and Learning Environment and the Open Academic Environment. These products support online communities of shared education and research.
Who it’s for: Academic institutions and individuals.
Selling points: Emphasis on personalization and connectivity. Over 350 educational institutions worldwide use the Collaboration and Learning Environment for managing education and research. 

4. LORE: http://lore.com/

What it offers: An online platform for school courses allowing teachers and students to manage their work and share information.
Who it’s for: Primarily teachers and students but open to professional use as well.
Selling points: Ease of use and further student engagement with the course material.

5. MYEDU: http://www.myedu.com/

What it offers: Web applications for educational purposes. These applications include class schedules, a GPA calculator and a degree timeline among many other things.
Who it’s for: College students.
Selling points: A free service that integrates many educational services into a single system. Myedu helps students plan out their academic career and is available at 800 colleges.

6. GOINGON.COM: http://www.goingon.com/

What it offers: An online academic interface to support teacher-student networks. Provides services such as online classrooms, forums and research sharing.
Who it’s for: Anyone in the sphere of education.
Selling points: The simple interface allows easy engagement and connectivity with school resources and peers.

7. INSTRUCTURE CANVAS: http://www.instructure.com/

What it offers: Canvas is a learning management system that provides many services to track student progress within one interface. Examples of these services include SpeedGrader, online quizzes and assignment submission.
Who it’s for: Mainly for teachers and administrators but open to students.
Selling points: Free for teachers. Canvas provides a time saving way to keep classrooms organized. 

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