We wanted eFront LMS to be good. We really wanted it to stand up to the kind of scrutiny and testing we put all our eLearning platforms through. However, during our eFront LMS review, we came to the conclusion that it’s just not quite as comprehensive or intuitive a system as the others we’ve tried.
The eFront LMS eLearning platform does have a very nice comprehensive supply of products, and tends to back them up well. However, compared to some of the other comprehensive academic solutions we’ve tried for eLearning management, they’re simply not quite standing up to the task. It’s a good company, but for ease of use and comprehensive features, eFront LMS is outshined by some of the other companies, like BlackBoard and even DigitalChalk.
- eFront LMS eLearning Tool: Summary Overview?
eFront LMS is built on three prongs, and it offers a wide range of services for each. This is a decently comprehensive eLearning tool. The website is easy to use, intuitive, and cleanly streamlined. If the product itself had delivered on that promise well enough, this product probably would have been at the top of our list (or close to it).
When we had students try out courses through eFront LMS, they struggled a bit with the concepts. It took them longer to complete entire modules. They still reported learning quite a bit, and we were satisfied overall. However, the courses weren’t as intuitive as they could have been, and our students struggled to complete courses on time. There were usability issues with dead links, though not so many of them as to make the experience unpleasant, just slightly frustrating.
Our students did enjoy using eFront LMS. They just didn’t enjoy using it as much as they enjoyed using some of the others systems we had them try, and they weren’t able to complete their work as quickly or efficiently. Unfortunately for eFront LMS, quick and comprehensive is kind of the name of the game when it comes to eLearning tools for academia.
- eFront LMS: Who It’s For
eFront LMS comes in three distinct prongs. The first, Enterprise, is a business solution. eFront LMS has obviously put a hat is available lot of thought and effort into this solution, and offers a fairly comprehensive, business-based package available to an organization or company that could really benefit from some organization like this. We like the business solutions offered by eFront LMS, and would use them again.
The second prong, Educational, is less totally impressive to us. It has fewer options for the students, fewer options for the teachers, and is clearly mostly imported from business solutions. While schools are businesses in many ways, treating them as one and the same is not exactly a recipe for success as far as we’re concerned.
The third prong, Open-Source, is for those who want to create or take courses without integrating the entire system. This can be done with just about any organization, and is far cheaper than the other plans available from eFront LMS.
- eFront LMS: Core eLearning Features
Enterprise: Enterprise by eFront LMS is for businesses. It offers branch management, job management, a skills-lessons correlation, a reports generator, employee placements, file sharing, Enterprise-wide communication, notifications, an archive, skill gap tests, social extensions, certifications, SCORM, training records, a skill management section, and a detailed record of each trainee in the system.
Educational: This is the college-oriented branch of eFront LMS. It includes most of the same tools as Enterprise, though Enterprise offers 45 “items” and Educational offers only 31.
Open-Source: Open-Source offers 18 items in its package. This does include SCORM and course content editing, but it is definitely a more bare-bones approach to the offerings listed.
- eFront LMS Review: What’s Great About eFront LMS
eFront LMS is a system that offers a lot of hands-on work for teachers and business owners who want to break into the eLearning marketplace. They offer a wide variety of packages and services, and a few of them are very outstanding in execution.
In particular, we really like Enterprise by eFront LMS. The Educational module is good, but not as good as the other eLearning platforms we’ve reviewed. Enterprise, however, is one of the better eLearning tools we’ve seen specifically targeted towards “medium-sized” businesses, and the expertise they’re bringing to the table shows through very obviously.
- eFront LMS Review: What’s Not So Great About eFront LMS
While we love Enterprise, the branch of eFront LMS that is specifically designed for businesses, we’re not too crazy about the Educational branch. Put simply, it seems to us like the Educational module of eFront LMS is just the Enterprise branch with features removed.
There are so many good companies that offer fantastic service to academia, making it a priority and making sure always to have educational problems and solutions at the forefront of each innovation. It just seems as if Education were an afterthought to eFront LMS, rather than the goal.
- eFront LMS Pricing / Cost Explained
Unlike many companies such as DigitalChalk, eFront LMS charges both for initial set-up and monthly as a subscription fee. The cheapest package, which it refers to as the “Tiny” package, comes with up to 100 users, unlimited bandwidth, support, upgrades, branding, and backups, and costs $85 a month for schools, $140 a month for businesses. This is another hint, by the way, that the focus of eFront LMS is on businesses, not on schools; a plan for schools should be just as comprehensive as those for businesses.
The largest package available from eFront LMS is called “Teras.” It comes with an unlimited number of users, dedicated servers, unlimited bandwidth, support, upgrades, branding, backups, and web conferencing. It costs a whopping $1200 a month for schools, and $1990 a month for business.
While small businesses may like the lack of a lump sum, such as they’d have to pay with DigitalChalk, the fees associated with eFront LMS might be enough to put others off. Besides, a lump sum of $399 for a company like DigitalChalk, which is more effective for educational surroundings, pales in comparison to working out that a year with eFront LMS at the most basic package would cost over $1,000.
If your school or business has the money to put into eFront LMS, consider going with BlackBoard instead, as a more comprehensive, educationally-focused solution.
- The Final Word: eFront LMS Conclusion
eFront LMS is a good company. However, it’s just not quite as good as its competition, and is not as comprehensive as well.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive solution as an eLearning platform for a small business, eFront LMS might be a good fit. However, for academia in particular, steer clear.