Whether you’re an edupreneur or small-to-medium-sized business interested in delivering employee training, setting up e-learning courses is no small feat. The first step is usually the most daunting: determining which among the numerous LMS platforms is right for you. If you’re looking for a simple, sophisticated, yet affordable way to develop and sell e-learning courses, then this TalentLMS review is definitely for you.
What is TalentLMS?
TalentLMS is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that allows you to deliver attractive, interactive e-learning content to customers, channel partners, or employees. It is award-winning software that is loaded with valuable capabilities that go beyond creating, delivering, and managing courses. These include:
- E-commerce selling
- Email communications
- Web conferencing
- Reporting and analytics
Because it is cloud-based, TalentLMS takes care of many of the technical aspects of the course creation and selling process by providing an efficient and user-friendly interface that allows you to focus on what matters most – providing e-learning content that delivers value and maximizes sales.
So, now, on with the TalentLMS review.
Is TalentLMS right for you?
If you’re on the hunt for a platform that does much of the heavy lifting when it comes to creating, selling, and managing courses, then TalentLMS is worth serious consideration. This LMS caters to both sides of the equation – the course creator and the students. So not only is it easy for you to use, but it makes the learning process appealing and convenient for students. It’s an ideal option if you’re new to the e-learning industry and would like a simple yet modern solution. Yet, at the same time, it’s still rich in customizable features for more seasoned e-learning experts.
Either way, you have nothing to lose! TalentLMS offers a free plan that gives you access to all of its features (but with a 5-user and 10-course limitation)! Sign up commitment and credit-card free to see for yourself!
TalentLMS Review: Main Features
TalentLMS is jam-packed with a comprehensive collection of impressive features, including:
- Course authoring
- Content uploads/downloads
- Assessments and polling
- Engagement and interactivity
- Blended learning
- Ecommerce marketplace
- White-labeling/Custom branding
- Mobile responsiveness
- Email communication
- Registration forms
- Progress tracking
- Detailed analytics
- Customer support
One of the most outstanding and distinguishing aspects of TalentLMS’ platform is its highly intuitive course authoring capabilities. Regardless of the size of your business, no one has time to navigate clunky and confusing interfaces. One of the ways the platform avoids this is with its minimalist design. TalentLMS delivers everything you need without overkill. Once you log into the backend, you’ll enter administrator mode. All you have to do is click “Administrator” up top then select “Add Course”.
Then, you’ll be prompted to name, describe, and categorize your course, as shown below:
At this point, you’re well on your way to creating and organizing your e-content! Unlike some cloud-based LMSes like Podia, which only lets you upload pre-existing content, TalentLMS lets you both upload pre-existing content and create new content from scratch!
Ultimately, the success of your course will depend on how much you supplement it with student engagement and interactivity. While TalentLMS is minimalist and easy to use, it is simultaneously abundant in game-changing instructional design elements, such as gamification, whereby students can earn points, unlock levels, and earn achievement badges based on their progress. Another gamification element included is leaderboards, where students can see each other’s progress and compete for first place.
Also, borrowing from instructional design, TalentLMS virtually places no limitation on the types of multimedia you can upload and integrate. The list below barely scratches the surface of TalentLMS’ multimedia offerings:
TalentLMS knows that to make your courses appealing and cater to a diverse range of learners, you need to vary the way you present your content. The best part is that you don’t need any coding or specialized knowledge. For example, you can search for YouTube or SlideShare content directly on the platform.
In addition, all the content that you create, source, or upload can be assembled into knowledge libraries for your students to either guide or supplement their learning. And for ultimate interactivity, you can have your students submit assignments and test their knowledge with various quiz types. As an extra nudge of encouragement, TalentLMS lets you harness these assessments for the purpose of drip-feeding, prerequisites, and distributing completion certificates.
Moreover, a feature they’ve added to enhance assignments and assessments is grade weighting, such that certain tests or assignments can be “heavier” or worth more than others in terms of its influence on a learner’s final score. In other words, you can “grade” grades to ensure that the most important concepts are being mastered and accounted for, more so than any extraneous or “non-essential” concepts.
And for those overachievers who passed but didn’t quite excel to their point of preference, TalentLMS’ 2021 update allows test retakes for learners to improve their initial scores and/or reinforce learning. Moreover, from an administrative standpoint, if you’d like to administer retests to one or more learners, then you can leverage TalentLMS’ brand-new bulk action feature to reset progress. That way, learners can improve their scores with minimal administrative burden.
You can also create surveys and polls to receive constructivel feedback about your courses and improve upon them accordingly. Another way of receiving valuable feedback is through TalentLMS’ extensive reporting and data analytics, which provides insightful data based on real-time tracking, data visualizations, and student progress.
Additionally, no TalentLMS review would be complete with mentioning a capability that is rare among LMSes: social/collaborative learning. Without any time and space constraints, students can use any type of device to interact with each other and instructors on the discussion forums. And to accommodate learner diversity, TalentLMS boasts flexibility with learning types by allowing you to create online courses with varying degrees of instructor-led training or involvement (i.e., blended learning), as well as in-classroom/physical training.
Speaking of creating a learning environment that closely mimics the way we naturally learn, TalentLMS works with our hardwiring by incorporating both interactivity and social learning. For example, a blended learning course that incorporates synchronous instruction – either through webinars, video conferences, or online workshops – involves “live learning”, which simulates real-life learning.
Moreover, the 2021 update eases the load on instructors/admins by enabling email notifications and mass messaging to keep learners in the loop. And if you’re hoping to get more insight into your instructor-led training (ILT) sessions, the process has never been easier! TalentLMS now lets you include past training events to get highly-targeted ILT data analytics reports.
Another TalentLMS feature that speaks to how were wired to learn is discussions, one of their most prized features in terms of social learning. The instructor can begin discussions or alter permissions so that learners can initiate discussions too. This enables them to ask the instructor questions directly or discuss concepts amongst themselves, similar to a forum. This ability to engage with the instructor and peers, as well as viewing others’ responses, is indispensable.
Not only can learners stay informed by subscribing to discussions via email notifications, but they can more easily sort discussions (e.g., by alphabetical order) for a more user-friendly learning experience.
But TalentLMS doesn’t just account for the learner’s experience. It also prioritizes the admin’s experience by way of automated email notifications that you can “set and forget”. For example, to ensure that learners complete the course in time for a compliance audit, or simply before the course expires, then you might need to remind them periodically, perhaps more frequently as they near the deadline. Doing this manually and keeping track, especially if you’re hosting multiple courses, can be cumbersome. This also includes multiple reminders for multiple ILT sessions.
TalentLMS Review: Ecommerce and Marketing
From an e-learning and instructional perspective, TalentLMS positions itself as a jack of all trades without watering down the quality of any component. This positioning also applies to its e-commerce features, which are just as comprehensive yet rich, making TalentLMS a true one-stop-shop solution for creating and selling online courses.
First, TalentLMS does the bulk of the work in truly turning your e-learning website into a marketplace where you can sell your courses! It enhances the value of your lessons while maximizing accessibility! By creating many gateways to your products, you can attract and convert both one-off and long-term customers. For example, they can do one-click registrations through social media engines like Twitter and Facebook. Not only does this capability boost customer conversion rates, but the information that gets collected as part of your learners’ social media profiles leave you with valuable data for future marketing purposes.
You’ll also have access to promotional tools to further incentivize customers. For example, you can add a call to action in virtually any section of your website/homepage (e.g., banner, text, media, etc.). You can also try nudging prospective customers with coupon codes, bundling products with purchases, offering free courses or teasers, or rewarding loyal customers with discounted offerings!
You can also create a sense of urgency by instilling expiration dates, regardless of when learners joined your course. This is particularly useful for compliance courses, especially where government-mandated deadlines are concerned. Not only does this rescue you from unprepared audits, but it also eases the administrative burden of manually checking deadlines.
Finally, TalentLMS also enables you to sell courses as memberships or monthly/annual subscriptions, which pairs nicely with its promotional tools. You can essentially “upsell” to already-paying customers with promotional offerings. These incentives are far more persuasive than fixed-price offerings.
Another handy and cost-effective feature of TalentLMS is its wide integration capabilities, which makes for a powerful e-commerce platform! Here’s partial list of the types of integrations offered:
- Videoconferencing (e.g., GotoMeeting, Zoom.us, and BigBlueButton)
- Zapier web apps (e.g., Slack, Trello, Mailchimp)
- E-commerce (e.g., PayPal, Stripe, WooCommerce)
- E-learning standards (e.g., SCORM, cmi5, Tin Can (xAPI))
And there are many more!
But in keeping with a strong focus on user experience , one of the most convenient plug-ins Talent LMS has added to its arsenal of integrations is Azure AD. Let’s say you’re juggling multiple accounts that you’d like to automatically sync with TalentLMS. That’s now made possible by virtue of their perfectly-synced integration with Azure AD. You can now automatically:
- Add new users created in Azure AD to TalentLMS;
- Sync updates to user profiles in Azure AD with TalentLMS; and
- Revoke user access/deactivate users in Azure AD and apply it to your TalentLMS roster.
Given how robust the platform is, TalentLMS pricing is surprisingly affordable and flexible – something I think other TalentLMS reviews don’t emphasize nearly enough. First, you can sign up for a free plan which gives you a fully-functional LMS minus a few advanced e-commerce options. That said, you are restricted to just 10 courses and 5 users. Still, it’s great for small businesses or just trying things out (again, credit-card and commitment-free!).
The paid plans are split into “standard” and “active” plans, both of which are offered as monthly or annual subscriptions. Though standard plans cap the number of users you can host, creating courses is unlimited! It all depends on the size of your business. If it grows, then it’s easy to upgrade to a higher plan.
In contrast, active plans have zero course or registered user restrictions AND they include more specialized e-commerce features! However, there are still limitations to the number of active users you can have per month. Again, you can always upgrade on an as-need basis.
It’s handy that TalentLMS offers so many different pricing options! Other LMSes hardly come close to this level of pricing flexibility and value! But don’t worry about making a commitment just yet. Set up your free account; you can always decide to upgrade after! All the paid plans offer a substantial 25% discount if you go for the annual, instead of monthly subscription.
TalentLMS Review: Final Thoughts
TalentLMS has everything you need to create and sell high-quality e-learning content. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to overcome the learning hurdle. Its interface is minimalist, intuitive, and pleasant to use both as the course creator and learner! It’s saturated with wide multimedia capabilities and instructional tools to maximize engagement and student interactivity.
And, TalentLMS’s e-commerce platform is equally decked with functionality, from the wide number of selling gateways to its promotional tools and vast integrations. And even though TalentLMS does much of the heavy lifting for you, boosting your business from newbie to professional in no time, you can still customize the look and feel of your courses and e-commerce marketplace with white-labelling and personal branding, just like a seasoned pro.
You’ve made it this far. So what are you waiting for? There’s no credit cards or commitments. Register for a free account to start exploring TalentLMS today!
Written by Sydney Mansaray for Learning Revolution