iSpring is an established elearning company with two separate products; iSpring Learn LMS and iSpring Suite elearning authoring toolkit. Their LMS is cloud-based, with mobile applications for iOS and Android, and unlimited storage. iSpring has been running since 2001 and now has over 200 employees and over 59,000 customers worldwide. The company is US-based, and the main focus of their software is corporate training and development programmes, with a comprehensive support network for customers that includes weekly webinars and live support. There is also the option to become an iSpring partner and to monetise courses.
Content creation possibilities – iSpring Suite
Content creation with iSpring takes place in two forms; uploading original content, or using the iSpring Suite authoring toolkit to create new material and develop a course. Most file types are compatible for upload and integration, including:
- FLV / MP4 videos
- Audio (MP3, WAV)
- Documents (PDF, DOC, XLS)
Learning features – iSpring Learn
Courses created with iSpring Suite can be uploaded directly to iSpring Learn LMS. Courses and sections can be assigned by group or individually, and asynchronous, group and blended learning approaches are all accommodated. The mobile learning feature works well with the iOS and Android apps, with the only option not available being downloadable software, as the entire system is cloud-based. There is also an automatic certification process, either for gamified sections, progress to different levels or courses, or successful course completion. This allows for better monitoring of the on-boarding training process for new employees. There are also several gamification options, using points, rewards, badges and certification-based incentives for students.
With iSpring Learn, students are able to contact course creators / administrators, or designated subject matter experts, to ask questions about the course or have an open dialogue for ongoing consultations or tutoring. As iSpring also offer group learning capabilities within their software, it is also possible for learners to contact each other, either in a structured, controlled way, or as an impromptu facility to enable peer-to-peer support.
Tracking and reporting
The iSpring LMS administrator platform allows for group or individual progress reports, arranged by content, learner, or quiz / exam results. Within this, analysis is available on a more micro level, with answer-by-answer reports and average scores also easily accessible. All reports can be automated to produce at certain times or at certain completion milestones for each student, and can be generated and delivered by email to designated addresses.
Costs and fees
There is a 30-day free trial available for iSpring, but no permanent free option. Unlike many of its competitors, the charge is based on a per user basis, with $2.99 USD per user/month for Business Plan and $3.14 USD per user/month for Enterprise Plan. They also offer customised pricing on request. For iSpring Suite course development, the pricing is:
$770 per user per year: toolkit
$970 per user per year: toolkit, course templates, cloud servicing and support.
Both prices are available on a decreasing per-user scale as the number of users increases. There are also several available add-ons at different prices, including iSpring Cam Pro for video tutorials, at $227 per year.
What is special about iSpring?
Being a cloud-based LMS and offering unlimited storage can be beneficial to larger employers who are looking to offer training as a standard to all employees. The support offered from iSpring is also comprehensive and available 24/7. There are also several add-ons that allow courses to be developed and administered entirely using the iSpring Suite.
iSpring offers one of the most established LMS systems. The offering includes unlimited cloud storage available and, for the most part, in-house tools available for the majority of applications, such as video, SCORM flip-books, and HTML5 conversion. While there is no free option, the possibility of paying on a per-user basis means that smaller companies shouldn’t struggle with a low head count, and there are various concessions for larger companies who want to add several courses or high number of users. The customer support is possibly the most comprehensive of any major LMS with 24-hour support and a high success rate.