nline learning is the sizzling new sensation shaking up the world. It's like the IT food of education -- everyone has to have it! Reports show that by 2023, it'll be worth an estimated $166 billion and could even skyrocket to $237 billion by 2027. But with this level of popularity comes a great sense of responsibility. That's where Learning Management Systems (LMS) step in!
You know how technology keeps getting better and better? Well, the same goes for Learning Management Systems (LMS). Over the years, they've become super sophisticated, and a big part of that is thanks to all the different apps and software that can be integrated with them. These LMS integration tools are like a digital toolbox that makes the LMS even better. You might have heard of some of them, like Zoom, Trello, and PayPal.
But here's the thing, even though these tools are out there, it can be challenging to know which ones are the most important. That's where EducateMe comes in. We've done the research and looked at all the different tools available. Our goal is to provide clear guidance to companies, academies, and individual tutors on the tools they should use. We've even narrowed it down to the 18 most effective tools that will take your e-learning experience to the next level.
And we don't just stop there. We also dive deeper into what LMS integration means, its benefits, and the standard that should be considered. We want to make sure you have a complete understanding of this crucial aspect of modern e-learning.
What Is LMS Integration?
LMS integration is all about connecting your learning platform to other web apps or software to make things run more smoothly and efficiently.
Think of it like a puzzle, each piece is a different app or software, and when they all connect seamlessly, the final picture is a well-oiled machine. This connection is made possible through an API, which is a fancy way of saying that it allows data to flow between the different systems.
Now, why is this important? Automating certain areas of the system makes the overall LMS software work more effectively and efficiently. It streamlines various processes, making them faster and easier to use. With integration, your learning platform will likely operate faster, with many tasks requiring manual intervention.
For example, integrating your LMS with a payment platform like Stripe means that payment for courses and training is automated and seamless, eliminating the need for manual processing of financial transactions. In short, LMS integration is key to making your e-learning experience run more smoothly and efficiently.
Benefits of Integrating Your LMS with Other Platforms
LMS integration is something to be noticed. It has many benefits that can streamline the process, save time, and provide a better learning experience. It's a win-win situation! But if you're on the fence about integrating your LMS with other platforms, let us lay out the benefits for you:
Frees up Time
First off, it saves you so much time. Can you imagine manually compiling data, creating graphs, and analyzing figures by hand? Yikes. Integrating your LMS with other apps automates that process for you so that you can focus on the important stuff. Plus, all that saved time means you can put more attention into creating and delivering great courses for your students. And the data you collect can help you determine which courses need a revamp or should be scrapped altogether.
Enhanced User Experience
It's not just about the LMS administrator; the students benefit too! Integrations like video conferencing tools make Learning Management Systems more personal and interactive, providing a variety of learning methods. And with collaboration tools, you can bring team members together and boost team spirit.
LMS integrations also make it possible to get a global audience for your courses and training by integrating with video-sharing platforms like YouTube or webinars with zoom. And by integrating with time scheduling apps, you can ensure that the learning experience is convenient for everyone regardless of their time zone.
Reduced Human Error
Another benefit to have your LMS integrated is that it helps reduce human error by automating tasks; with less human intervention, you'll have better accuracy and reliability in your system. For example, you can set automatic reminders for your students for important classes.
18 Absolutely Essential Integrations for LMS
The ideal training tools that fit into your Learning Management System (LMS) are important for its success. Let's look at which ones you should include.
Integrations that Streamline Team Communication
These tools make it easy for students and tutors to communicate with each other. Here are a few nifty choices:
- Microsoft Teams
Ever heard of Slack? It's a messaging app that's all about team engagement and communication. The idea is to bring everyone together in one place to share ideas and work towards common goals. You can talk to each other through channels or direct messaging. Plus, channels are like an online meeting point for your team.
The cool thing about Slack is that it serves an onboarding integration LMS for new team members because they can see older messages and get up to speed with what's happening. It has video and audio calling features and screen sharing, so you can easily share snippets of your work with others. Slack organizes your communication with different channels, which is perfect for institutions with different categories of students and courses. And file sharing is a breeze with Slack's drag-and-drop feature.
You might have also heard of Microsoft Teams or simply Teams. It's part of the Microsoft Office suite, a workspace communication tool great for remote meetings and collaboration. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, it offered companies the platform to reach employees remotely and to keep them informed of company visions and goals. And it supports video calling, file sharing, and messaging.
Microsoft Teams is great for webinars, as it can simultaneously accommodate up to 10000 participants and has embedded calendar features that help participants keep track of meetings and appointments. It also enables file sharing, which helps tutors share learning resources easily with students. And Outsiders can participate and collaborate with existing team members on the platform.
Integrations for Live Sessions
As for live sessions, Zoom, Google Meet, and Jitsi are good options for one-on-one interactions between tutors and learners; and each has unique features and benefits. Check out these awesome alternatives.
- Google Meet
Zoom is a virtual meeting software great for video or audio conferencing and a cheap alternative to physical conferences and meetings. It's suited for small-scale LMSs because it can handle a large audience and host up to 100 attendees for free. Plus, you only need to enter the meeting ID and a passcode to attend meetings, making it easy for anyone to join.
Google Meet is Google's version of a virtual meeting space, and it works in sync with other Google apps like Google Calendar and Google Docs. It's suitable for large organizations as it can host meetings for up to 100,000 people. Plus, it's integrated with other Google tools, meaning you don't have to download extra apps to enjoy the platform, and it has a well-defined security infrastructure to keep your files and videos safe.
Jitsi also works better for small enterprises. It can accommodate up to 75 people, but a maximum of 35 people is recommended for better quality. And it's encrypted at every stage using hop-by-hop encryption, making it secure. Tutors can live stream training to a wider audience, and it's possible to blur your background on Jitsi calls for confidentiality reasons.
Integrations for Project Management
When working on a project, it's important to have tools that help you coordinate and keep track of everything. Here are some good picks for you.
Miro is an online whiteboard that allows remote teams to work together, even in different locations. It's great for LMS integration because it encourages collaboration between team members. You can create notes and designs and use templates to organize your projects. Plus, it has video, chat, and voice-calling features.
Airtable is great for keeping track of data and collaborating with team members. It's perfect for organizing data you've gathered on your LMS and creating an easily accessible database. It has a spreadsheet feature that makes it easy to organize the information and allows you to collaborate with your team. You can create Kanban boards, custom views, and share files.
Notion is a productivity tool that helps you take notes and plan, and manage projects. Students can use it to organize their schedules and ensure they meet deadlines. It's also great for research because you can save and organize relevant information. Notion has many features, like text editing and organization, to help you stay productive. You can reference notes and export or import data from other sources.
Trello is a digital workspace that helps teams collaborate on projects. It uses boards and cards to assign tasks and keep track of deadlines. The Trello app makes it easy for team members to leave comments and notes on tasks, so everyone is always on the same page. Plus, it's mobile-friendly and has Kanban-styled tools that make it easy to manage tasks.
Emailing integrations help you stay in touch with customers, clients, and team members. Some popular options include:
MailChimp is a platform focused on marketing campaigns and building email lists. You can create professional-looking newsletters and use MailChimp's survey maker and landing page builder to gather feedback and improve your business. It's also free for businesses with fewer than 500 subscribers.
Gmail, like Google Meet, is a part of the Google Office Suite. With Gmail, you can easily organize meetings, classify emails, and quickly locate messages with its conversational thread feature. It also offers 15GB of free cloud storage, great security features, and works well across multiple platforms. The integration with other Google apps offers a wholesome experience for you to use in your LMS.
Integrations for Video Recording & Creation
Video content is a must-have for making your LMS more appealing. Two great options for creating and sharing videos are:
Loom provides an incredibly simple way to record your screen and share videos. It's perfect for LMS tutors who want to quickly make short videos to explain a concept or point more clearly. The free version of Loom allows you to upload 25 videos, each up to 5 minutes long. You'll need to upgrade to a paid plan to record longer videos.
Why use Loom? It's super easy to use - just one click to start recording and another to share. It also supports unlimited storage and has a file manager to organize your videos. You can add comments and notes while recording for an even more engaging experience.
YouTube is the king of video platforms. It's the second most visited website in the world and has top-notch video creation tools. With an average of 3.7 million videos uploaded daily, it's a great way to reach a global audience.
Why use it? It's free and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. It also allows creators to make an unlimited amount of video content. Videos on YouTube are discoverable through search engines and accessible on almost every device. YouTube also provides storage for your content as a video database, optimizing for mobile and desktop devices.
Payment gateways simplify the process of getting money for your courses. These platforms should be able to accept several forms of currency, be user-friendly, and link up with your LMS without difficulty. Here are some of the biggest names in the business for you to integrate.
Stripe is the bee's knees of payment processing services, easily linking customers and merchants. It's adjustable, global, and ideal for building into your LMS system. Plus, Stripe is loaded with top-notch features like Stripe Radar anti-fraud security and data encryption. Transactions on Stripe are as secure as can be. Setting up is a cinch, and developers are provided with the tools to tweak this bad boy to their special needs.
Paypal is your one-stop online payment shop! Sign up, link it to your accounts, and you're ready to rock 'n' roll. Their state-of-the-art encryption will keep your data safe, and the fact that it's available in almost every country means you can expand your customer base in an instant. The domestic fund's transfer is free, so you don't have to worry about breaking the bank. And if something goes south, Paypal will be there with their cash refund feature to save the day!
Creative Design Integration
Creative design tools make it easy to develop attractive graphics, logos, photos, and videos, and they can help lift your LMS content by making it look great. So, if you're looking for jazz to spruce up your LMS, Figma and Canva is the way to go!
In a survey by UXtools.com, 37% of designers were using Figma in 2019, and in 2020, that number jumped to a whopping 66%!
Why the sudden surge in love for Figma? Well, for starters, it's a frictionless way to share files with stakeholders and work in real-time with your team. Plus, it's an all-in-one web-based tool, so you can say goodbye to multiple software platforms and hello to cost savings.
And let's talk about how fast it is, uploading, dragging, zooming, downloading, editing... you name it, Figma does it with ease. Not to mention, the community is 🔥 with templates, plugins, and files for design systems, illustrations, icons, and more.
FigJam, a component of Figma, is like an online whiteboard (think Miro) where your team can brainstorm, develop workflows, and plan your design sprints all in one place.
Canva is a user-friendly design tool for people with zero design skills and is packed with pre-set templates to create beautiful graphics, logos, photos, videos, and more. Whether you're making posters, presentations, or perfecting videos, Canva makes it so easy! If you upgrade to the paid version, you'll get access to even more templates and the ability to tackle more complex designs.
Appointment Management Tools
Appointment management can be made significantly easier with the help of certain tools. Two of the most commonly used are
- Google Calendar
Google Calendar is all about simplifying the scheduling and management of your time. It's recommended for anyone with a busy schedule. You can easily sync it with your LMS and organize your meetings and schedules like a pro.
With Google Calendar, you can schedule team meetings and set reminders for everyone to stay on top of their appointments. You can keep things private by setting your events to "private" mode.
Why use it? It's easy to attach files from your drive for meetings, schedule remote sessions with students, and keep everyone on time with reminders. Plus, since it syncs with all your devices, it's seamless to set up recurring events.
Calendly is a scheduling tool that makes planning events and appointments a breeze. One of its standout features is sharing your schedule and highlighting your free time. This way, you can easily find a mutually convenient time to meet with anyone.
It's especially useful for tutors who need to schedule one-on-one meetings with learners. New learners can see the tutor's schedule and book an appointment during their free time.
Why use it? It integrates with other video conferencing apps, allows for custom events and details, and makes scheduling super easy for tutors and students. You can schedule appointments on the go with the mobile version.
LMS integration Standards: What Do They Mean?
So you want to take your e-learning game to the next level, but what standards do you need to meet? Here's the lowdown on all the must-have standards for LMS integration. This is serious stuff, but we'll break it down in a way that's easy to understand, so don't sweat it.
SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model)
SCORM consists of standards that outline how LMS, integrated with other platforms, should operate. The main aim of SCORM is the interoperability of contents with LMS.
This standard checks content imported into the e-learning platform to ensure compatibility. SCORM has three components: Content packaging specifies how content is described and modeled. Run Time specifies how to launch courses, the interaction of data with the learning platform, and which data model to use. Sequencing looks at how students go through a course.
XAPI (Experience API)
XAPI is a standard that tracks and collects data on users' interaction with an LMS platform. The data collected is stored in the LMS Record Store for future reference. XAPI takes information in statements in the following order: actor+verb+object. Many organizations are utilizing XAPI standards due to the opportunity for data analytics.
IMS Global Stack
IMS Global Stack is a charitable organization that aims to improve digital learning standards. The organization has released different standards to focus on the interoperability of edtech software. One such standard is QTI (Question and Test Interoperability), which checks if questions set on one platform are answerable on another. Another is LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) which allows the connection of an LMS with third-party software such as integration tools. With this standard, the course outline and curriculum are easily modified. OneRoster collects student data in a centralized form, easily accessible to check performance and grades.
Cmi5 (Content Management Interoperability Services)
Cmi5 combines the best of SCORM and XAPI and improves on both. Cmi5 further tracks what happens offline. Activities such as social media use of participants. Cmi5 provides structure to the kind of data collected by XAPI and streamlines it to relevant use. It improves SCORM by making it easy to import course outlines on the LMS while the course materials are hosted on a different domain.
Launch Your Course on EducateMe with Fully Integrated LMS Tools
Our LMS provides crucial integrations with tools like Zoom, Notion, Loom, and Stripe that make online learning seamless and efficient. By integrating these tools, our platform provides learners with a comprehensive and intuitive experience, allowing them to easily access course materials, collaborate with peers, and pay for courses.
Zoom provides a reliable and secure video conferencing platform, while Notion provides a powerful and versatile workspace for learners to store notes, tasks, and documents. Loom provides a simple way to record and share videos, and Stripe provides a secure and reliable payment platform. With these integrated tools, your learners can quickly and easily access the resources they need to succeed in their online learning journey.