Not long ago I wrote about the 8 Essential Features any modern LMS should have. I recently came across JoomlaLMS, a Learning Management System that has been around for ten years and is used in more than 30 countries around the world. I decided to give it a check against the 8 features that I had outlined in my post and see how it fares.
JoomlaLMS is a high-end Learning Management System designed on the basis of Open Source content management system Joomla CMS. Joomla CMS is one of the most secure open-source CMS systems, which makes JoomlaLMS one of the most secure platforms for keeping confidential data. It is packed with tools and functions that are usually found in much more expensive solutions. Having said that, let’s take the 8 Essential Features one by one:
A well designed LMS lets users find their way around the platform easily from the very beginning, without having to resort to help or manuals. JoomlaLMS has a clear interface that needs little explanation. I was able to navigate the platform without any help, and could build a course easily within minutes. Thanks to its embedded Course Builder you can create an interactive course and adjust its settings without any technical or Joomla experience.
A multi-leveled LMS should be able to combine, classify, filter and synthesize. JoomlaLMS’s advanced reporting system gives you a number of reports (on learner progress, course completion, materials access), but it can also configure criteria and filters for reports.
When designing the course, you have 3 course patterns to choose from: webinar-based, materials-based, or learning-path-based. Depending on the future course format, you select the relevant pattern and a draft course with a set of corresponding modules is available for editing and publishing.
The commercial side has also been given proper attention with multiple e-commerce tools at the hands of the user. Auto-subscription plugin, different native payment methods, multiple subscriptions checkout, automatic invoice configuration, coupon codes, detailed payments statistics are just a few.
With more and more users reaching the platform from their mobile devices, it goes without saying that any new system should be optimized for desktops, smartphones, and tablets. JoomlaLMS is mobile friendly, with a responsive layout. What is more, it lets you play around with the interface to make it even clearer. And of course it comes with its own mobile app.
Be it student or teacher, the user should be able to adapt the platform to their needs. Great LMSs give users this customization functionality. In JoomlaLMS everything is customizable. Starting with the interface. It is possible to configure the JoomlaLMS interface to make it more convenient to work with and change the look of the course home page (show/hide the announcements, assignments, mailbox, certificates tabs). You are also free to upload your logo, change the template and background colours, fonts and titles. Most importantly, you can have a multi-language user interface with the Language Switcher plugin.
The courses themselves are completely customizable. From course completion to availability, from attendee number to even waiting lists, everything is customizable. Teachers can toggle between student and teacher mode (one feature that I am always looking for). The Pro edition also lets you create custom user roles (e.g. supervisor).
Finally, 8000 extensions available in the Joomla Extensions Directory allow the integration with any other system using open source code, making the platform not only highly customizable but scalable as well.
The LMS should be able to produce tangible deliverables to all users. JoomlaLMS includes several types of reports that can help you to learn more about your learners and their performance. You can assign homework, create surveys and quizzes, configure question categories, set number of attempts, view quiz statistics, and create custom certificates.
Finally, learners’ performance and grades can be tracked in the gradebook section. Learners can be sorted by groups. You configure criteria and filters, and export data in different formats.
Repetitive processes should be automated or just skipped, as the user becomes more familiar with the system. With JoomlaLMS it is not necessary to add unique questions to each new quiz manually: the system allows you to pull questions out of the Question Pool automatically.
But the beauty of JoomlaLMS is when it comes to e-commerce, where practically all functions are automated: from the Auto-Subscriptions plugin to handling different types of native subscriptions, payment methods and free trials. And from the automatic invoice configuration to coupon codes and the ability to view detailed payments statistics.
Who said LMSs should be boring? Using gaming elements boosts motivation and engagement. The creators of JoomlaLMS have certainly worked hard on this aspect. They have made the courses engaging by using real-life scenarios and simulations to improve real time performance, giving rewards, applying storytelling technique, diversifying the course with visual elements, creating social communities for the students to learn from one another.
What is more, social collaboration evokes the effect of competition and leads to more active participation in studying. JoomlaLMS + JomSocial integration allows students to display personal information connected with LMS training on the JomSocial profile page (My courses, My certificates etc.). The information on other students’ achievements motivates students to work harder and use applied knowledge to gain higher results.
One final feature is the ability of different users to interact, share data, communicate and collaborate. With JoomlaLMS teachers can make Announcements to their classes as a whole. But there is also the Mailbox tool that allows users to exchange emails inside the system. For example, a teacher can send an email to any of his/her students and the student will get a notification as soon as they enters the LMS. For communication purposes between students, teacher or course assistants you can also enable the course Chat.
Last but not least, the File library. This section is a file repository beyond a certain course. It is accessible for any user registered on the site. Users who register as Teachers can add any document there and later use it for any course they create. This is collaboration and sharing at its finest.
By now it is more than evident that JoomlaLMS not only ticks all the boxes, but passes the test with flying colours. Some additional characteristics like the excellent support, their innovative training options, the SEO-friendly URLs (a must if you want your audience to find you), and the affordable price make JoomlaLMS one of the best value-for-money online solutions out there.