Gone are the Days of the Million Dollar Learning Management System (LMS)!


I started my career as a Grade 2 teacher and very quickly discovered that teaching kids was not for me! After being broken by seven years old and deciding that teaching adults was more for me, I began my corporate career in the training department of Rogers Communication. At that time classroom training was still considered the best (and quite frankly the only way) to teach adults. Also at this time, eLearning and Learning Management Systems (LMS), were just starting to make their debut.

At Rogers, we decided to implement an LMS to offer eLearning courses to employees across the country. It was not uncommon to get quotes well in excess of $1,000,000 from vendors interested in this work. This price did not include the costs to customize the LMS, in order to ensure that it could be offered in both official Canadian languages, English and French.

Last week, I was speaking to a client about creating and implementing an LMS for their organization. I was surprised to learn about what they expected to pay for this service. As LMSs have become more common in the workplace, the opportunity to get more cost affordable solutions have increased also. With the advent of open source code LMSs, there are a wide range of low-cost options available to organizations.

One open source code LMS, which is increasingly gain popularity is called Moodle. Moodle allows you to create a completely customizable LMS that meets the requirements of an organization. For example, you can:

  • Brand it with an organization’s “look and feel” using colours, imagery and icons.

  • Customize reports to exactly what you need to know.

  • Create learning paths.

  • Create custom dashboards that allow you to see learning trends and eLearning utilization rates and pass/fail grades.

Although some of the big vendors in the LMS market, may still have you believe that going with a “big box” solution is the right thing for your organization, I am not convinced. Given that you can get a cheaper option that still be customized to your exact needs, why would an organization pick a million-dollar solution?

Here are some examples of low-cost LMS solutions Pathways has created for happy clients using Moodle!




According to Moodle there are over 100 million users using Moodle and there are 97,000 registered LMS sites. The country with the highest number of Moodle users is the U.S.

All this leads me to believe that gone are the days of the million dollars LMSs, and low-cost LMS solutions are here to stay!

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