14 of the Best Online Learning Platforms: Transforming Education Virtually
August 1, 2023
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Online learning platforms have revolutionized education and workplace learning and redefined how we acquire skills and insights.
Online learning platforms offer various benefits and features that cater to students and professionals. However, not all platforms are created equal, and it’s essential to understand the features and functionality you need to choose the right option for your organization.
Join us in getting to know the most popular options and navigating the dynamic realm of online learning platforms.
In this post:
What is an online learning platform?
An online learning platform, or eLearning system, is a tool that combines interactive learning resources for trainers, learners, employees, and teams.
The best online learning platforms are centralized hubs where users can create and access learning content. Online learning platforms can be web-based or cloud-based so users can access materials on-demand and don’t need to be in the same physical space or logged in simultaneously.
Discover the benefits of online learning platforms and what to consider when choosing the right solution for your organization.
Online learning platforms vs. online course platforms
The terms online learning platform or learning management system (LMS) and online course platform may sometimes be used interchangeably.
While an online learning platform encompasses all these tools, some nuances exist between features and use cases.
Traditionally, online course platforms refer to web-based platforms like Teachable and Coursera, where you can create and access a selection of courses through a website. Online learning platforms can also include marketplaces where users can access prebuilt content.
A traditional learning management system (LMS) is an application that lets you manage learning in real-time or as self-paced courses. You can build, deliver, and update training content and track learner progress and learning and development (L&D) metrics all in a single platform.
An LMS is generally the best and most robust option for organizations since it allows you to deliver, build, track, and update learning resources. For example, an all-in-one learning platform like the Learning Cloud from WorkRamp is especially useful since you can streamline employee, customer, and partner learning all in one place. The Learning Cloud also offers additional features like generative AI and prebuilt content to leverage subject matter expertise to enhance learning content.
What do online learning platforms do?
Online learning platforms help individuals and organizations pursue learning opportunities. In addition, some options, like learning management systems, streamline learning in a central location.
Below, we’ll look at some specific use cases for online learning platforms.
Online learning platforms can be an effective way for students to learn new skills or complete coursework or a degree program.
Options like Coursera and edX offer a library of courses from universities and other providers, and users can earn certificates or degrees.
From onboarding to ongoing development, effective employee training helps workers perform their best. Employee upskilling and reskilling are vital for organizations to attract and retain talent, maintain a competitive edge, and continue to innovate to reach business goals and succeed.
Using an online learning platform for employee training lets L&D teams create centralized employee learning and maximize training with the right tools and resources.
An effective online learning platform empowers admins to develop and curate learning content and take a blended learning approach, combining multiple modalities like microlearning, virtual instructor-led training, asynchronous learning, and various content formats like videos, live training, and more.
Combining multiple learning styles and content formats helps employees maximize their learning since every individual absorbs and retains information in a different way.
The best online learning platforms for employee training are cloud-based or provide on-demand access to let employees learn independently.
Revenue enablement plays a pivotal role in driving business growth and success. It encompasses strategies and tools that empower sales and marketing teams with the knowledge, skills, and resources to engage customers and close deals.
An online learning platform helps you deliver scalable, comprehensive training. Through interactive courses, webinars, and on-demand resources, an online learning platform equips sales and marketing professionals with customer insights, product information, competitive analysis, and persuasive communication techniques.
Compliance training ensures employees are well-versed in industry regulations, company policies, and ethical standards. It also protects your organization from penalties and fines.
An online learning platform can help you create and deliver effective compliance training. By providing a centralized hub for courses, simulations, and assessments, this platform facilitates consistent and standardized training across the organization. It enables employees to engage with interactive modules that cover topics such as data security, anti-discrimination policies, and industry-specific regulations.
Customer onboarding is crucial to customer success. Effective customer onboarding helps users get up to speed on your product or service, decreases time to value, and equips users with the tools and resources they need to get the most out of your product.
An online learning platform for customers should let you do the following:
- Onboard customers at scale
- Develop and curate customer training
- Create customer education academies
- Certify customers on your product or platform
- Measure training ROI
An online learning platform is a cost-effective solution for partner training to equip them with the necessary training.
You can save money by bringing classes online, eliminating travel and venue costs. You can also create instructor-led or asynchronous training to make learning more scalable and accessible.
When your partners better understand your product, they can sell your solutions more effectively.
Best online learning platforms
The best online learning platform is the one that has the right features, integrations, and capabilities for your organization’s needs.
For example, if your primary use case is team-member training and you don’t need to create your own courses or easily track engagement, an online course platform may be your best bet.
If you want to be able to create your own content and consolidate employee and customer training in a single platform, consider an all-in-one learning platform.
Below, we’ll look at different online learning platforms and compare their features so you can choose the best option for your needs.
The Learning Cloud from WorkRamp is an all-in-one platform for employee and customer learning. With WorkRamp, you can also train sales reps to improve product knowledge and understand customer pain points.
The Learning Cloud offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for admins and learners to implement and use.
- Teams looking for a centralized, all-in-one solution for internal and external training
- Revenue Enablement
- Talent development and employee upskilling
- Compliance Training
- Customer and Partner training
- An easy-to-use UI/UX for admins and learners
- A comprehensive Content offering including simple course authoring with a drag-and-drop editor, plus prebuilt content from subject matter experts
- Comprehensive learning tools like quizzes, assessments, and interactive content to engage learners
- Customization. Tailor learning to your needs, create role-specific training content or brand, and customize your academy on the customer and partner training side.
- Platform integrations. WorkRamp seamlessly integrates with your existing tech stack, including sales tools like Gong, Zendesk, and Salesforce, HR tools like BambooHR and Rippling, and more
- Create certification programs for customers to increase product knowledge and help them get the most out of your solutions
- Reporting and analytics. Track learner progress and measure program effectiveness
LinkedIn Learning is an online course platform with more than 5,000 video courses. Individual users can access courses for free with a LinkedIn Premium subscription.
Businesses and L&D teams can also use LinkedIn Learning for skill development for teams.
- Individuals or teams who want to develop professional skills, upskill, or reskill
- Professionals seeking continuing education units, like project managers, accountants, and HR professionals
- Visual learners who prefer to be taught through videos or scrolling transcripts
- Video courses created by industry experts
- Learning paths. Playlists on a specific skill or topic
- Interactive features like quizzes and assessments
- Learners can access courses from a computer or mobile device
- Completion certificates. Users can display certifications on their profiles
- Users can learn on the go and switch between a computer or mobile device
Price varies for teams and individuals.
- Courses are free with a LinkedIn Premium membership
- For teams: 2 – 20 licenses for $279.99 per license/year, after a one-month free trial
Skillshare is an online course platform with classes taught by industry leaders.
Many courses are geared towards creative skills, with classes in subjects like drawing and painting, animation, graphic design, photography, creative writing, and more.
- Creative professionals and entrepreneurs
- Users interested in learning niche skills like crafts, music, UI/U design, photography, video, and more
- Collaboration and social learning: Users can post assignments on the platform for other learners to interact with
- Curated learning paths
- Options for single users and teams
- Users can get unlimited access to a large selection of online courses
- Learn on the go with the mobile app
- Individuals: $168/year
- Teams: $159 per user annually
Coursera is an online education platform with a library of open courses from universities and industry providers.
While Coursera is a very popular platform for students and individual learners, it also offers a business option for teams.
- Students, individual learners, and teams
- Users interested in business-related topics or specific sciences like computer science and data science
- Employee upskilling
- Extensive catalog of courses for individual learners (more than 35K online courses)
- Offers online degree programs and certificates
- Videos and transcript-style learning
- Mobile apps (iOS and Android), users can download courses to learn offline
- Analtyics for teams for skills, proficiency, and time to mastery, plus learner usage and progress tracking tools
- Coursera Plus subscription: $399 per year
- Team: $399 per user for 5 – 125 users
- Enterprise options available
Teachable is an online course creator platform where instructors can create, market, and sell courses to individuals or businesses.
Unlike the other options in this list, Teachable is more geared towards instructors and course creators vs. learners.
- Instructors and course creators
- Individuals or organizations who want to sell courses
- Easy to create courses with features like the drag-and-drop editor and course design templates
- Customization options
- Mobile accessibility
- Excellent customer support
Teachable offers various pricing options depending on your needs.
- Basic $39/month
- Professional: $199/month
- Business: $299/month
Udacity is an online learning platform with courses in digital skills like programming, data science, product design, software development, and more.
- Digital upskilling and talent development
- Individuals and teams who want to advance in business and tech fields
- Nanodegrees. Paid programs in technology and business
- Built-in course authoring
- Project-based learning. Enables learners to apply knowledge to real-world scenarios
- Certification management
- Specialized technical content for training on in-demand skills like data science, AI, and web development
- Offers various learning methods, including interactive content, blended learning, mobile learning, and asynchronous learning
Pricing varies based on the course or program.
LearnUpon is a cloud-based LMS that lets teams create, manage, and track employee, customer, and partner training.
- Internal and external training
- Talent development, upskilling, and reskilling
- Customer and partner education
- Platform integrations with applications like Zapier, Zoom, and Stripe
- Customization. Tailor learning experience for your needs
- Comprehensive training features, including content authoring, course management, assessments, certifications, and reporting
- Interactive features
- Easy-to-use UI
- Reporting capabilities to track learner progress
LearnUpon offers three pricing options but does not have specific costs on its website.
- Essential: 50 – 150 users
- Premium: 150 – 500 users
- Enterprise: 500+ users
Docebo is a cloud-based LMS that lets you create and manage content for employee, partner, and customer training.
- Enterprise teams
- Organizations that provide training for internal teams, customers, and partners
- Create and manage learning content
- Learning insights and analytics
- Video conference support
- Certification management
- Supports prebuilt content and different content formats like AICC/SCORM
- Integrates with common tools and platforms
- Robust reporting. Admins can measure learning impact
- Mobile accessibility
Docebo does not offer pricing info on their website, but sources report plans start at $900/month for up to 300 active users to $2,500/month for larger companies.
Talent LMS is a cloud-based online learning platform organizations can use to deliver and manage training.
Teams can use the platform to create and manage internal training and customer and partner training.
- Course creation and management
- Talent development and upskilling
- Partner training
- Personalized learning experience
- Drag-and-drop course creation
- Integration options with HR tools and webinar platforms
- User-friendly interface
- Can incorporate multiple content formats, including multimedia and interactive elements like quizzes and assessments
- Can auto-assign courses and send reminders for upcoming training
Talent LMS offers tiered pricing options that vary based on the number of users and various features.
- Starter: $69/month
- Basic: $149/month
- Plus: $279/month
- Premium: $459/month
- Enterprise (no pricing listed on website)
edX and Open edX
The difference is that edX is best for student education with free courses, paid certificates, and programs and degrees, whereas Open edX is best for organizations since it offers course management, authoring, and tracking.
edX does offer a business option organizations can use to upskill teams using the eLearning courses on the platform.
- Individual learners (edX)
- Teams who want to upskill employees (edX Business or Open edX for teams that want to create their own learning content)
- Skills-based training (both)
- Course authoring and management (Open edX)
- Admin and learner dashboards (Open edX)
- LMS integration (edX, Open edX is its own LMS)
- High-quality courses from universities (edX)
- Free courses available (edX)
- Flexible plans and subscriptions for different types of business
- Analytics and insights to track learning progress (Open edX)
- Open edX courses are free, except for Professional Education, Boot Camps, and Executive Education courses
- There are fees to earn certificates
- Open edX doesn’t have pricing info on its website but sources report $165/month or $330/month with additional features
iSpring Learn is an LMS that you can use for internal employee training, sales training, product training, and customer and partner training.
iSpring offers two additional tools, including iSpringlib, an eLearning Library with prebuilt course assets, ready-to-use courses, and templates, and iSpringsuite, an eLearning authoring toolkit.
- Creating slide or video presentations
- Talent development and upskilling
- Sales and product training
- Customer training
- Direct integration with PowerPoint
- Course authoring
- Upload ready-made materials (presentations, webinar recordings, etc.)
- Create reports to track learner progress
- Supports different types of learning, including mobile, microlearning, social learning, and video
- Interactive options
- Learning reporting and analytics
iSpring offers tiered pricing options:
- iSpring Suite (eLearning authoring toolkit) – $770 per author/year
- iSpring Suite Max (eLearning authoring toolkit + Content Library) – $970 per author/year
- iSpring Suite Premium (eLearning authoring toolkit + Content Libary + Online collaborating tool) – $1,970 per author/year
Users can build courses that integrate with HR software.
- Student training
- Blackboard also offers Anthology, an online learning platform for business. This is a newer platform and there is not as much information available
- Learner registration and management for course registrations, reporting, and user and data management
- Implementation and consulting services
- Reporting features to track progress
- Platform integrations
No pricing information available online
Udemy Business is an online content marketplace with courses for employee development, leadership, project management, and more.
- Employee training and development
- Enterprise and small-team solutions
- Self-paced learning. Learners can complete courses at their convenience
- Course library plus curated courses, learning paths, and custom course creation
- Offers educational content for various categories, including L&D, HR, engineering, IT, data science, leaders and managers, and more
- Offers on-demand learning
- Diverse content formats for different learning styles
- Reporting and analytics to track learner progress and completion
Kajabi is an online platform for creating courses, podcasts, coaching programs, and more.
- Course creators
- Easy-to-use course creation tools
- Customizable product templates
- Robust resources and training for content creators, including Kajabi University, which offers detailed training to help you use the platform
- Offers tools to market courses and grow following
- Users can create various resources: courses, newsletters, podcasts, etc.
Kajabi offers tiered pricing options based on the number of users and features.
- Basic: $149/month
- Growth: $199/month
- Pro: $399/month
Choose the best online learning platform for your organization
There’s no shortage of options when it comes to online learning platforms, online course platforms, and learning management systems. We have included various options for you to compare based on your business goals and needs.
But before you begin comparing features and pricing, remember to identify your training needs and goals.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you need a platform for internal training, customer training, sales training, or all three?
- Is your team in-office or remote?
- Team size and plans for growth?
- Do you have an Instructional Design Team? Will you create courses in-house, or would you prefer to use prebuilt content? (You can also do a mix of both, depending on the platform)
- What is your budget for a learning platform?
Connecting with leadership and internal stakeholders is crucial to determining your training goals and needs and how L&D aligns with your business strategy.
The Learning Cloud: a single platform for employee and customer training
The Learning Cloud from WorkRamp is the all-in-one learning platform to create efficient, centralized training for internal and external teams and empower your employees and customers to maximize their potential.
The Learning Cloud lets you combine the power of easy, efficient course authoring with prebuilt content from subject matter experts and supports the entire employee and customer lifecycle, from onboarding to professional development, customer and partner training, and more.
Learn more about the extensive, easy-to-use features for employee and customer training. Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo.
Complete the form for a custom demo.
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Maile TimonContent Strategist, WorkRamp
Maile Timon is WorkRamp’s Content Strategist. She has over 10 years of experience in content marketing and SEO and has written for several publications and industries, including B2B, marketing, lifestyle, health, and more. When she’s not writing or developing content strategies, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her family.
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