What is it all about?
TalentLMS is a cloud based eLearning platform aimed at small and medium sized businesses. TalentLMS offers a great balance between functionality and ease of use and high interface responsiveness. You can create your TalentLMS site in less than 30 seconds and customize it to totally reflect your corporate identity.
Typically used for:
Video & screenshots
Who is it for?
Some of the main key features are: Content Reusability: You can consume directly content from Wikipedia, Youtube, Vimeo, Scribed, Slideshare, Prezi etc or your own Documents and Videos Embedded course marketplace where everyone can buy and sell courses to other domain owners Internal support for video conferencing and Instructor-led Training Integration with 300+ services through Zapier Single-Sign-On support through LDAP, SAML2, ActiveDirectory Ad-hoc reporting Multi-organization Structure (Branches) Native mobile apps for iOS and Android
TalentLMS offers a great balance between functionality and ease of use and high interface responsiveness. You can create your TalentLMS site in less than 30 seconds and customize it to totally reflect your corporate identity.
Free Trial : Available
Starting At $39 Per Month.
You can upgrade, downgrade or cancel at any time.
Learning Management System leading tools
TalentLMS Review: A Fast Path to Awesome Learning
A well-trained workforce is one of the best investments a company can make in their own future. Skilled and knowledgeable employees have a major influence on a business’s chance of success, so education and training are key.
But how can large organizations make sure everyone is getting the information they need to do their jobs well? And how can growing organizations make sure to train their employees without wasting tons of precious man hours sitting with a new employee going over each and every minute detail?
Launched in 2012, TalentLMS enables organizations, enterprises and individuals to educate others or to promote their skills on a single, easy-to-use platform. TalentLMS has honed in on how to organize and scale educational material so that it is not only well suited to larger organizations like Shopify and cPanel, but also small businesses and even individuals, like teachers, entrepreneurs and coaches.
We’ve all seen those corny orientation videos on our first day of work, and we all know that there must be a better way. TalentLMS has taken the idea of a “Learning Management System” and made it more accessible via an entirely cloud-based platform, while adding a plethora of new capabilities including statistics and reporting, web conferencing, email communications, an ecommerce aspect and more.
TalentLMS simplifies and strengthens training processes, and allows for continual optimization with the powerful two-way feedback systems that are in place.
So let’s get right to it and see what TalentLMS is capable of.
Getting Started With The Platform
Sign up couldn’t be simpler, you just register with your name and email address to create a TalentLMS account. While you can use your own domain if you prefer, you can also use a subdomain (YourURL.talentlms.com) which makes it easy to direct people to your courses in the future.
Account Structures & User Types
What the TalentLMS platform excels at is providing an intuitive, structured, but highly customizable framework. Perhaps one of the most useful places you encounter this is when you explore the user types and functionalities.
There are 3 main user types available:
The names are pretty self-explanatory, but what’s behind the scenes is worth pointing out. If you click on the edit button under operations for any user type, like in the screenshot below:
you’re then given access to an extensively customizable menu of what each user’s system-granted permissions are.
An SMB has different needs than the training department of an international corporation, and this is just one way that you can tailor the course experience to your needs. Take a look at how the system shows you what the suggested settings are for a “Learner” and how easy it is to adjust them to your needs:
Building a Course
When you first log in you’ll see this page:
I have to admit it’s not actually the most intuitive layout to begin with, but the platform overall is clear and simple so we’ll call it an exception.
You want to click on “Go to admin” to get to your main panel, but it seems like it’s missing a simple “home” button. In any case, it’s easy enough to figure out, and once you get to your admin page then you can really get started building courses.
I definitely recommend at least checking out the sample courses to get a feel for some of the different capabilities of the platform, but if you just want to jump right in then it’s easy enough to figure out.
You can do so from the homepage menu or from the “Courses” page. Either way will bring you to the page below:
By clicking on any of the small icons, such as ‘Price’ or ‘Time Limit,’ you can adjust the background settings for the course. Add an image to customize your course and you’re all set to add content!
It’s not immediately apparent what all of your choices are, you have to click on the little arrow next to the “Save and select users” button in order to see all of your options:
Choose “Save course and add content” to move on and actually create the ‘meat’ of the course.
This is where TalentLMS’s really shines. Not only is their platform super simple to use, but it also makes it totally seamless to use and repurpose content you already have, regardless of the media type. Word documents, Powerpoint presentations, YouTube videos, they all integrate nicely onto TalentLMS’s platform.
The platform parses the content for you and places it neatly into your course.
I tried it out with the Wikipedia page for First Aid, and you can see the results in the screenshot below. I chose not to, but if you wanted to you can edit the parsed content before converting it into a slide:
The content is then accessible across all devices and platforms.
Keep in mind: TalentLMS does not handle any copyright issues; the responsibility is on you to make sure you are using content that you’re authorized to use.
Making Tests & Quizzes
What would a course be without tests?
Check out the different ways that the platform allows you to tweak your tests to suit exactly what you want to evaluate:
A standout, unique feature is the “learner snapshot” tool: under ‘Test’ options, you can choose to require a snapshot of the learner to be taken via webcam to ensure that the person who is supposed to be learning the material is really the person completing the test.
While we all hope everyone in our organization has the honesty and integrity to do things right, you can ensure accountability by letting participants know that Big Brother is watching.
As every enterprise will have its own specific goals in using the platform to train or educate their employees or clients, so too will they have different requirements for their “Learners.”
A notable application to integrate rules into one’s LMS would be for organizations that are teaching skills which build atop one another.
This feature lets you determine what percentage (if any) of the course units must be viewed, whether or not the order viewed is important, or if there are any prerequisites for the course.
Organizations must be able to tell whether or not the people they’re educating are obtaining the knowledge and skills they need in order to achieve goals and objectives. If an employee is not absorbing the information they need to do their job well it could have huge repercussions.
But it’s impossible to improve how you teach if you can’t tell whether or not your courses are actually effective and why.
The ‘Reports’ feature collects and organizes all feedback related to your courses, materials, tests, and users, displaying it in a format that’s vaguely reminiscent of a business intelligence platform.
If all you want is to see everybody’s test score, you can do that…but the TalentLMS reports function is capable of much more. You can get a basic sense of the report capabilities from the screenshot below:
These powerful analysis tools allow the instructor to see exactly what each student has done on their tests and to view in-depth analyses of tests, users, and course stats over time. You can view reports on learner assignments, on the timeline of a course (including when exactly students completed what units), and even get custom reports made including for inactive users.
Such a thorough reporting mechanism has obvious benefits for organizations.
In Australia, for example, a country which requires hard evidence (by law) that employees are properly trained and prepared to handle various situations – such a reporting mechanism is key.
Not only does TalentLMS provide that proof, but it allows for an instantaneous assessment of trainee progress, enabling immediate remediation of any issues or gaps.
A good notifications system is a key element of any SaaS solution.
If your users are unaware of what’s going on in, they are liable to forget about the solution altogether. Likewise, if they are too overwhelmed with notifications, they may decide it’s not worth the annoyance.
TalentLMS enables you to walk this thin-line by offering a plethora of notification customizations for essentially every capability that the platform offers:
The actual notification content is completely customizable via the HTML editor, including fillable fields.
This makes it easy to cater to a variety of students and courses even without having to edit notification content for every group.
In addition to easily sending customized emails to the class, you can message participants directly, or if you want to foster class communication you can open a discussion for everybody to join.
The ability to add gamification is a sweet feature for companies that want to motivate their employees to complete various courses or even for individual teachers that want to create a bit of an incentive for their students and simply make it a bit more fun.
While you do have the ability to add an element of gamification to your courses, by no means do you have to and it’s really not the focus of the product.
However, with that said, the fact that you can add this aspect again showcases that the creators of the program understand that every organization or industry has their own methods of training and their own goals.
The gamification section allows you to award participants points, badges (up to 64 different badges) or both:
There are quite a lot of badges available, in the screenshot below you can see the badges for 3 different categories, earned badges are colored and unearned badges are grey.
In addition, you can define levels so that different amounts of points or badges allow participants to unlock new courses or get discounts on future courses as a reward for reaching different points, badges, or levels. You can also turn on the leaderboard function – great for fostering a sense of healthy competition among participants.
For large-scale organizations or individuals who might be creating courses with markedly distinct content to be sold in different places, an important aspect of the TalentLMS service is the ability to differentiate between departments.
For example, if a company is using TalentLMS for their marketing, sales, and development departments, each department needs a certain amount of autonomy. Each department has its own set of training materials, and therefore each training department on TalentLMS should be managed differently (and probably by different people).
Basically a branch acts as a department-specific portal within a single Talent LMS account, thereby enabling each department’s autonomy while maintaining the company’s overall organization and infrastructure. Every branch has its own URL, making it simple to direct people straight to the right branch.
You can adjust each branch by language, time zone, theme, etc., so it’s a great tool for companies which have employees in different countries.
Likewise, it’s ideal for those who are selling courses and materials to different markets, allowing you to tailor your product even more to your customer’s needs.
There are a few additional assessment options that are worth mentioning: “Surveys” and “Assignments.” Now, these aren’t assessments in the same way that tests are, but they do allow for useful feedback on student progress and the courses themselves.
Surveys could be used in a variety of ways, such as to get a sense of participant satisfaction with the courses, the materials, and so on.
One thing missing is an option for a ‘sliding scale’. This would allow learners to rate the course materials from 1 to 5, and could be really useful for instructors and admins.
For now though, the survey is still very handy and you can get even more out of them by using the reports feature to gather results. The screenshot below shows what a survey looks like from an admin’s perspective, and as you can see from the highlight, the multiple choice vs free text types of questions are nicely differentiated:
The other assessment tool that course instructors have available, known as ‘Assignments,’ is also useful for evaluating participant progress throughout the course. However, one should keep in mind that assignments are only available with free/open text answers.
There is also an option to upload a file so an instructor could easily ask students to create a Powerpoint, a .jpeg, or various other formats with their assignment responses which basically solves the ‘free text’ issue mentioned above.
The reports allow instructors not only to see how many submissions they’ve received for each task, but also the number of participants who pass and the average grade that was received.
For those who are interested in selling their courses, whether to individual clients or even to businesses who might need specific training materials, the eCommerce aspect of TalentLMS is especially important. The platform is flexible and allows for each person to price and sell their courses in several customizable ways. As you can see in the screenshot, not only can you choose your processor (either PayPal or Stripe) but you can offer monthly subscriptions, discounts and even coupons.
The integrated invoicing feature makes it simple to bill clients and keep everything organized.
Oh, and TalentLMS doesn’t take any commissions from the courses that you offer.
Even though you’re free to promote and sell your course however you like, the Marketplace makes it really easy to connect with people who might be searching for exactly the kind of course you’ve created.
On the flip side, it also makes it easy for you to find a course that suits what you’re looking for if you don’t have the resources to create your own course from scratch. In the marketplace you can find everything from first aid guidelines to communication skills. If you do decide to sell or buy a course in the marketplace, TalentLMS actually handles all of the licensing issues for you.
Once you buy a course it’s available immediately in your portal. And if you sell a course, you’ll get paid 75% of all revenues generated, with the remaining 25% being a commission charged by TalentLMS.
And if you think something is missing from the marketplace you can suggest that it be added, and if the TalentLMS team thinks it’d be valuable (or if there’s enough demand), they’ll add it.
These days almost everybody has experienced the pain and annoyance of trying to conference in everybody on a 3rd party platform. You have to get everyone to download and run the program correctly and then half of the people can’t figure out how to get the program and the other half can’t figure out how to use it.
TalentLMS has figured out a way to avoid all of that by creating their own conferencing platform directly configured and embedded in the TalentLMS portal. No downloads, no technical difficulties, and no struggling to coordinate everybody. Set the time and date, name the conference, and you’re good to go.
Pricing for the system is based on subscription plans. Plans start at completely free (limited functionality, unlimited time) and go up in price depending on how many courses and users you want. There are two types of plan structures: standard and unlimited. The basic difference between the two plans boils down to how many users you actually get to incorporate.
With a standard plan you have a “hard” limit for how many users can register. This is better for organizations that have a consistent number of people needing training or education at any given time or who have no time constraints on training.
An unlimited plan gives you a “soft” limit of users and enables you to increase that count to a certain number specified in the plan you buy, with users beyond that number coming at an additional cost. This plan is ideal for organizations or individuals with fluctuating numbers of trainees at any given time.
TalentLMS also offers custom-tailored campaigns that are guaranteed to fit your needs. So if you need to, reach out to them and see what they can offer you.
Full-Service Organizational Education Solutions
If knowledge is power then TalentLMS is really a great source of fuel. They’ve taken a holistic approach to education management and created a platform that allows organizations the structure to easily implement training programs and the autonomy to allow each institution to tailor their courses exactly to their needs.
There’s a lot of features so it may take some time to realize all of the things available to take advantage of, but I think the more you discover the more impressed you’ll be.
If you do test it out, let us know what you think in the comments!