Low-Cost, No Frills, Easy-to-Use LMS
Our budget is very limited when it comes to paying for an LMS. We can't afford the typical $10,000-$20,000 startup cost and monthly hosting fees that a traditional LMS requires. We are currently moving our online learning from live webinars to on-demand courses and don't have the revenue to justify spending much on the transition. We looked for an online platform that could host our programs in an interactive, easy-to-use format and wasn't too expensive. We were paying for GotoWebinar and wanted an LMS that could host webinars and provide on-demand courses for around the same cost. Ruzuku seemed to fit the bill, and so far we've been pleased with it.
Keep in mind the following as you see why this system works for us:
- We have a staff member who processes certificates and creates them using Word/PDFs. A platform that did this automatically for us would have been nice, but it wasn't a deal breaker since we currently have someone on staff who does this.
- We already have content (recorded webinars, recorded programs, articles) that convert easily to an on-demand format, and we have a staff member who is familiar with rudimentary video editing and other technologies. She has a background in adult education is able to build the courses herself, so we didn't need an LMS that provided support for this either.
PROS OF RUZUKU:
- The backend of Ruzuku is easy to use. It has a clean interface and is easy to navigate.
- Their customer service responses are immediate and professional.
- The student experience is wonderful. It's easy to navigate the course and work through the material.
- It offers a live webinar component.
- It's inexpensive -- it costs around the same as what we were paying for GotoWebinar. We started with Ruzuku's Up-and-Comer plan and will most likely move to the University plan soon.
- Ruzuku's quiz feature (available with University and Up-and-Comer plans) is helpful, but if students answer a question incorrectly, they can still move through the course. - Our workaround is that our staff member goes into the system after a course has been completed and confirms students have answered questions correctly. We include 10 quiz questions in every course and require students to answer 8 of the 10 questions correctly. Since we have a low number of student taking courses, this is a feasible workaround for now.
- Ruzuku doesn't support creating or awarding certificates - our workaround has been that we tell students we'll send them their certificate once we've confirmed they pass. The same staff member reads through their responses, grades their quizzes, and then creates their certificates
- There's no way to customize the look of Ruzuku inside the app. - this isn't important to us at this point.
- If you want to pull detailed reports, you need the University plan. - this wasn't clear on Ruzuku's website. We purchased the Up-and-Comer plan and started building courses, only to realize we couldn't pull detailed reports for each student with that plan. We contact support and they quickly provided us with this PDF on what the University plan would include.
- It doesn't integrate with most AMS software, so this can be problematic if you want everything to go through your website. - Again, not a dealbreaker for us.
If you have a large budget, thousands of students taking classes, or no one on staff to process certificates or build courses, Ruzuku isn't for you. If budget is a primary concern and you're just getting started with the LMS world, have staff who process certificates anyway, and are agile and able to find workarounds with technology, give Ruzuku a try. It's scrappy, easy-to-use, and has a nice interface.