LMS.org's Absorb Learning Management System Review
Absorb LMS is a platform that has something for everyone. It offers impressive scalability that can cater to 100 users or 100,000. The system is intuitive to navigate yet includes advanced features that allow admins to dig deep into customization and audience targeting. Incorporate offline learning activities, generate automatic reports, and save time with the help of sophisticated artificial intelligence that is built into the system. Let’s explore how Absorb LMS can help grow your business.
Absorb LMS is the Training Powerhouse Today’s Businesses Need
Absorb LMS is an award-winning, cloud-based learning management system designed for businesses. According to the team behind the platform, it was established in 2003 and is still in “expansion mode.” They have global offices around the world, including locations in the United States, Canada, Ireland, England, and Australia.
The official about us page makes many promises, pointing to attention to detail, fast implementation, great customer service, and a desire to do things “fanatically well.”. Making good on all these things takes a serious commitment. It requires time, resources, and the ability to hear, interpret, and respond to the needs of users.
It’s something that many teams strive for but often fall short. Absorb, on the other hand, claims to meet these challenges head-on across all areas of its platform. Does having a committed learning partner like Absorb live up to expectations? Let’s see.
What Do You Get with Absorb LMS?
Absorb LMS says it goes “deep where it matters.” And features are one area where going deep can make all the difference. The platform utilizes a lot of automation and claims to reduce training and administrative time by 30% to 50%. Learners become proficient faster, allowing them to join the workforce and start producing for the organization sooner.
What features should you check out when test driving Absorb LMS?
Custom Administrator Dashboards with Widgets
Give admins the information they need as soon as they log in. Dashboards can be customized using clearly labeled widgets. Show course enrollment, logins, reports, competency counter, or display a custom plain text or HTML message. Admins can choose their display using an easy drag and drop system. Set up dashboard templates and assign them to users by group, department, or admin level.
Unique User Portals with Custom Designs
Today’s LMS platforms must look just as good as they perform. Absorb LMS excels in this way. Admins can create highly customized portals that look and feel unique. Give learners an authentic experience that fits right into your corporate branding and culture.
Absorb breaks away from cookie-cutter, basic designs to give organizations more control over their training environments. Add video clips, images, calendars, leaderboards, social media feeds, transcripts, hyperlinks, course catalogs, and more.
Intelligent Assist Searches with Natural Language
Intelligent assist is a feature you never knew you needed but will be so happy to have in your LMS. Admins can search for anything using natural language. Simply type in a basic or complex request and the system will decipher what you want and retrieve it for you. It’s intuitive, smart, and makes it easy for users of all skill levels to work efficiently.
Social Learning with Better Control
Social learning is known to increase engagement in eLearning. Absorb LMS lets users create profiles that their peers can view. They can rate courses and interact with others. Everything is controlled so the organization can decide how much or how little social learning they want to include. Simply enable or disable features to create an experience that matches your business training needs.
Targeted Course Catalog with Multiple Views
The courses presented to a user can be targeted based on their job role, department, or other factors. Users can see courses that they purchased, were enrolled in or manually selected. Catalogs can be browsed in card view for a general overview, detailed view for more information, or calendar view to see sessions by date.
Self-Report External Training for Comprehensive Tracking
Absorb LMS supports blended learning by allowing learners to report external training activities. Learners can add external training with a name, completion date, vendor name, and upload a file if proof of completion is needed. This is a helpful addition for businesses that want to include in-person or offline activities in their program and require a centralized hub for all learning.
Reward Success with Certificates and Badges
When it comes to training, a little recognition can go a long way. Absorb LMS includes certificate features as well as badges. Admins can create custom certificates with their wording and branding that can be downloaded or printed upon completion of a course. All rewards are accessible through the learner’s transcript as well. Badges can be displayed on profiles, helping the community identify high achievers and subject matter experts.
Build Motivation with Leaderboards
Along with certificates and badges, trainers can encourage learners to improve with leaderboards. Learners are displayed with names and profile images as well as rank and total points earned. The learner can see their status highlighted so they can easily compare with their peers. This instills a sense of friendly competition and gives learners something to work towards as they train.
Visibility can be restricted so that each learner can only see the people that they should on their leaderboard. Each user group can access its own leaderboards. Admins can click through to view the learner’s profile and see their badges, certificates, course completions, and more.
Collaboration Spaces for User Groups
Learners can gather in virtual collaboration spaces within Absorb LMS. Have a conversation with multiple people, share files, or like comments. Anyone that has been authorized to view a particular collaboration space or spaces can join and participate. It’s ideal for study sessions, projects, and other activities that require input from multiple people within an organization. No third-party social app downloads are required.
Fully Integrated eCommerce Shopping Cart
Absorb LMS lets clients turn their eLearning content into revenue. A fully integrated shopping cart is included as a standard feature. Organizations can choose from over 70 payment gateways. Courses can be sold to individuals or as bulk deals with multiple seats purchased by a single buyer.
Clients can also choose flat-rate prices or use the system’s smart pricing. Smart pricing gives clients more options if they want to charge a member less than a non-member or display additional courses to a specific audience.
Observation Checklists Expands Training
Observation Checklists are another unique feature that makes Absorb LMS compatible with blended training programs. The checklist lets a trainer record competency as they observe a learner completing a task. The observer checks off each item that the trainee completed correctly and then provides a rating or gives a pass or fail grade.
This feature is very mobile-friendly so it can be done at a job site. The results are compiled into a report to show strengths, weaknesses, and to recommend courses to the learner.
Guide Trainees with Curricula
Curricula are Absorb LMS’s version of learning paths. Admins or trainers can build curricula using any available courses, including self-paced and instructor-led sessions. Other material can be included as well like documents and videos. These can be presented in a specific order or no order so that the learner can decide which to work through first. Courses can be assigned as elective or mandatory.
Built-in Automatic Video Transcription
One of the newer features added to Absorb LMS in the past year is automatic video transcription. The system will transcribe an uploaded video and add the transcription as subtitles. It also appears as text with time stamps and links so that learners can search for key topics, click on a line of the related transcription, and jump directly to that part of the video.
Train Users in 28 Languages
Absorb LMS is currently available in 28 languages. These include English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Polish, Swedish, Danish, Portuguese, Hungarian, Finnish, Japanese, and many others. It’s beneficial for organizations that operate or plan to move into other countries.
Integrate Off-the-Shelf Courses into Your LMS
Organizations can build their own content or save time by bringing in material from other existing content libraries. Absorb LMS supports seamless integration with several popular third-party content providers. Clients can buy classes from sites like LinkedIn Learning, Skillsoft, Traliant, Ryley Learning, SkillPill, Whil, and BizLibrary,
Stay Compliant with eSignatures
Make it easy for your team to stay compliant with eSignatures. Learners can sign off on completed activities or requirements that they met. Absorb LMS records this information and stores it for quick reference. Businesses can prove compliance to avoid legal issues or fines. eSignatures integrate into lessons so that they aren’t overlooked and don’t cause a disruption to the learning process.
Highly Configurable and Customizable Reports
Just about everything that is done in Absorb LMS is recorded. Admins can easily access this data through the system’s reports. Show or hide columns of data or reorder them to suit your needs. Apply custom fields or choose dynamic date filters. Reports can be shared as scheduled emails that are sent to targeted groups of admins or other key stakeholders. Templates can be created and saved to cut down on prep time later.
Embed Courses with Absorb Infuse
Absorb Infuse lets clients pull content from the LMS and put it into other software applications. Courses in Absorb can be launched in the organization’s mobile app or can be imported into a virtual reality simulation. Rather than forcing learners to go to the LMS, Absorb brings the LMS to the learner even when they are using other devices and software.
Absorb LMS’s Strengths Lie in All the Right Places
Absorb LMS does it all and does it well. The system includes administrative time-savers that utilize automation. It supplies a standard shopping cart and nearly limitless customization options. Clients can create portals for different groups of people, ranging from their customers or vendors to internal employees and affiliates. Dashboards can be tailored to the needs and expectations of each group.
The team behind Absorb seems to have thought two steps ahead in most areas. Even simple features include a deeper level of control and customization. Leaderboards can be viewed by anyone or set to only show profiles relevant to the admin or managerial user based on their role. Admins can turn features on and off to meet business needs.
Availability settings make it possible to select a highly refined group of individuals to view specialized content or admins can send messages to the entire organization at once. Reports are extremely configurable with the ability to save templates and schedule recurring emails. It’s clear that the Absorb team listens to the needs of its clients and delivers a product that meets them.
Absorb LMS’s Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t a new concept in eLearning, but it is still growing in popularity. It’s worth noting that Absorb LMS is equipped with its Absorb Intelligence system.
As mentioned above, admins can use natural language to find what they need within the LMS. The AI system will adapt accordingly, making it even easier to locate information, profiles, and more.
The platform also includes intelligent recommendations. AI assesses learner data and predicts which new content is likely to interest a user based on their past behavior.
Dashboards show a Trending Ribbon to display popular content as well as a Recommendation Ribbon. The Recommendation Ribbon displays an AI-curated list of courses to create a unique experience that encourages further training and skill development.
This is a must-have feature for organizations that want to make continuous learning a part of their corporate culture.
Online Course Authoring with Absorb Create LI
Absorb Create LI gives anyone the power to build professional, interactive courses with ease. The “LI” part stands for “LMS Integrated,” which means that it works seamlessly within the platform. Users can access it online and get the same functionality as using a desktop solution with no limitations.
Create courses that include animated slides, branching scenarios, interactive videos, assessments, feedback, and quizzes. Absorb’s course authoring tool uses a drag and drop interface with templates for faster creation. Choose a template and add an interaction type, like a tooltip, hotspot, button, or question.
The cloud-based approach makes it possible for multiple people to collaborate no matter where they are in the world. Courses can be published directly to Absorb LMS, so no additional logins are needed. Reuse content through shared libraries, manage workflow and give learners content that’s consistent and memorable.
Absorb LMS Accessibility
Absorb LMS lists a series of features for accessibility. The platform supports WCAG 2.0 for both admins and learners. It also includes additional features and a UX design that accommodates diverse accessibility scenarios, including accessible multiselect lists, use of high-contrast colors, consistent UI and icons, screen reader-accessible instruction information, and more. Those who are interested in finding out more should click the link for a detailed overview of Absorb LMS accessibility features and guidelines.
The Absorb LMS Environment
Absorb LMS manages to create a feature-packed platform with impressive customization and configuration yet stays true to the needs of users in its interface and design. The learning environment is easy to navigate. Everything is labeled and well-defined. Organizations can add their own colors and visual elements. And at its core, the system remains intuitive even for technology novices. It’s a balance that many other platforms struggle to achieve yet Absorb LMS does it well.
Absorb LMS Integration
Absorb LMS can do just about anything and everything and still leaves room for more through its integrations. Users can continue utilizing related third-party systems they are familiar with or add ones with features that they like. The system plays nice with many popular platforms, including Salesforce, Zoom, Namely, BambooHR, ADP, Workday, MS Active Directory, Skillsoft, Oracle, OneLogin, G Suite, and more. Custom integrations can also be built for Absorb LMS using APIs.
Who Uses Absorb LMS?
Absorb LMS caters to a broad range of organizations. It is intended for professionals rather than students. However, some learning institutions use it to train their staff or to sell courses to industry learners.
On the low end, the system is best suited to operations of around 100 users. The sky is the limit on the higher end. Some accounts include hundreds of thousands of users. Absorb is trusted by corporations like Johnson & Johnson, which uses the platform to train six separate divisions.
If you are a company that expects growth, Absorb LMS can handle it no matter how rapidly you expand.
Supported Devices & Platforms
Absorb LMS is cloud-based, so any device that has an internet connection can access it. The system is also available as a mobile app that supports offline access.
The app is currently intended for learners to take their training on the go, so features are limited. Admins cannot create new courses in the mobile app at this time. The app supports a variety of content including SCORM, xAPI (Tin Can), PDFs, MP4 video, and Microsoft Office documents.
Absorb LMS Customer Service
The Absorb LMS team has created a support ecosystem for clients that’s managed entirely in-house with no outsourcing.
Users can work through Absorb Academy. This certification teaches them how to fully utilize the platform. They can work through content tailored to five default roles, including system admin, admin, reporter, instructor, and business intelligence reporter. LMS administrators can access Absorb Academy at any time.
Three different levels of LMS support are available, including Premium, Elite, and Enterprise. Premium includes onboarding as well as phone, email, and ticket support and access to self-serve resources like the knowledgebase and in-platform chat.
Elite upgrades to include a dedicated Client Success representative that provides regular business reviews.
Enterprise builds onto the Elite level and includes extra features such as on-site training, RESTful API integration setup, and more.
All clients have access to 24-hour support. Organizations should consult the Absorb LMS team to determine which support level is best for their business and budget.
The Industry Recognizes Absorb LMS
Clients aren’t the only ones recognizing what Absorb LMS brings to the industry. The platform has earned several awards.
Absorb LMS received several accolades in G2’s seasonal Report for Corporate Learning including Momentum Leader, Leader Enterprise Corporate, Leader LXP Category, and High Performer Enterprise LXP.
The system was also labeled a PCMag.com Editors’ Choice with a 4.5 Excellent rating.
Absorb LMS was placed on the Training Industry Top 20 Learning Portal/LMS Companies list every year since 2010. Their other rewards also include 2020 Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards and a Fosway Group 9-Grid Core Challenger 2021 award.
The Future of Absorb LMS
One thing is obvious when reviewing Absorb LMS’s features and history. The platform doesn’t stagnate. It is constantly evolving to give users a better experience. The company announced record growth by the end of 2020 with new sales increased by 30% and plans to continue to push that stat higher in 2021.
Absorb LMS is well-established. It has spent 18 years in the industry, spans 34 countries, serves more than 23.5 million users, and boasts over 1,500 clients across multiple industries. The platform will likely continue to impress organizations that utilize learning as a key growth lever. Absorb has plans to continue its own growth and evolution in the coming years and beyond.
Absorb LMS Has Something for Every Business
Absorb LMS truly has something for every business. Its scalability is impressive. It is a proven platform that serves millions of learners. The features list digs deep, providing all the must-haves, plus high-tech extras that are intuitive and easy to use.
The team behind the system has managed to continuously increase the capability and customization of the LMS without making it so complex that it is out of reach for those who are not tech-savvy.
Businesses that want to take corporate learning to the next level should see what Absorb LMS can do for their training programs.