Life after the Covid-19 pandemic has already confirmed it: online learning is here to stay.
While remote learning trends were present even before the pandemic hit, now, after almost two years in it, we're sure that digitalization is here to stay.
We can say goodbye to dusty chalkboards, heavy photocopies of lectures, and tedious commutes to the classroom and welcome a whole new era where convenience and learning experience takes the primate.
That said, we decided to take a look at the most recent trends in the learning management industry and show how you can improve your LMS app by working smarter, not harder.
The Future of Online Learning: 6 Trends to Watch for
The online learning industry is changing fast, to that extent it's getting harder and harder to keep up with the latest trends. We list a few of these here:
1. Adaptive Learning
One of the most prominent trends is an increase in adaptive learning where resources, projects, and assignments are tailored to each student's individual needs.
Due to the complexity of implementation, many companies started introducing small changes that will provide a more customized experience to students, and many of them are offering adaptive online learning services.
2. Social Learning
Another trend we see in the online learning industry is a tendency to include social learning components. This includes the implementation of online forums, chats, file-sharing features, online collaboration tools, and so on, that allow students to interact, collaborate, and share knowledge, regardless of their location.
3. Video Learning
Video learning is something that will continue to be at the center of attention in the eLearning industry in the future, as well. Learning management software (LMS) will strive to incorporate and improve video-learning capabilities to attract and satisfy customers' needs in the future.
4. AI Usage
Furthermore, we can expect to see an increase in the use of AI when it comes to making learning management software. Its use would be primarily to guide students through courses, help personalize selections to attend to different types of learning styles.
5. Micro Learning
Microlearning is yet another thing that will be very important in the online learning industry. Many students have a hard time approaching big projects and having something that can help them break up those big projects, lessons, and learning materials might come in handy.
Lastly, gamification is yet another big trend in online learning. Gamification comes in handy in helping students maintain their attention levels in check by making the learning process fun.
What are LMS APIs?
Online learning is rapidly growing with the aforementioned new trends. To stay on top of these trends and keep up with the market’s demands, developers working on learning management software need to act fast. This is where a variety of APIs come in handy.
APIs allow developers to improve their existing software, and add many useful features without losing too much time and energy. Since APIs already give them solutions to their needs, they don’t have to build features from scratch. The bottom line is APIs allow them to work smarter, not harder.
We wanted to help developers in their search for the most useful APIs for LMS, and present them with 12 APIs they should try this year.
13 Best APIs for LMS Integration
After explaining this year’s eLearning trends, let’s see how developers working on LMS apps can work smarter, not harder by using various APIs to improve the online learning experience for users.
1. Search API
Search APIs allow developers to integrate search capabilities into their LMS solutions, enabling users to browse and display relevant information.
We can find a wide array of different search APIs in the market. We decided to use Google Search API as an example since it's the most useful for developers and end-users.
Google Search API is a great API for online learning. It allows developers to add a search box to their LMS application, enabling users to find information quickly and seamlessly. The biggest benefit of this API is the fact it gives developers full control over all aspects of managing information retrieval. Because of this, developers can control the search and ranking of the search results.
The Google Search API comes with a free plan that can carry 100 search queries a day. The paid plan includes 1000 search queries for $5, and the price of limitless search is via pricing requests only.
This API is easy to integrate, given its extensive documentation and active community of developers who're ready to provide their insights on how to overcome challenges during LMS integration. It supports Java, Perl, PHP, Python, and C#. The LMS platform that uses Google Search API is, logically, their Google Classroom LMS.
2. SCORM API
Produced by ADL, we can describe SCORM API as a set of technical standards for LMS apps. This API ensures that different online learning CMS and LMS platforms can seamlessly work together. SCORM controls how online learning content and LMS platforms communicate and guides developers on how to write code that will work seamlessly with other eLearning software.
The biggest perk of SCROM API hides in its interoperability, and the fact it allows eLearning content that is compatible with different LMS solutions. Furthermore, it makes sure that LMS applications can import, launch and track this content.
The biggest benefit of this API is the fact it protects the makers of LMS solutions from future headaches. Since it's an eLearning standard, LMS with APIs won't have problems with uploading, managing, and tracking different learning content in the future.
3. Poodll API
Produced by Poodll Co. Ltd, Poodll API allows developers to use audio and video recording within their LMS apps.
This API essentially allows users to record themselves and send their recordings back to the LMS application. With the help of Poodll API, users record their content which is further formatted, stored, and ready to be reviewed.
Poodll API is most suitable for apps focused on learning languages since students often need to record their progress to be reviewed by teachers.
Moodle is one of the LMS platforms that has ready integrations for the Poodll API.
4. Stripe API
Made by the same-named company, Stripe API is considered to be an industry-standard payment gateway. This API allows developers to access the methods for receiving payments, managing subscriptions. sending invoices, and tracking user accounts.
We love it because it allows developers to build trial periods in their pricing plans, share coupons and other incentives related to payment.
5. Badgr API
The Badgr API, developed by Open Badges, allows developers to introduce the gamification process to their LMS application by allowing teachers (or managers) to recognize students and employees for good work.
This API is free and open source, partnering with Microsoft, Surf Net, University of Texas at Austin, and Proversity.
6. ShepHertz App42 Cloud API
ShepHertz App42 Cloud API was created by ShepHertz Technologies and allows developers to integrate leaderboards within their LMS application.
This API allows developers to create gamification features such as top ranking, social ranking, as well to build scoreboard management within the app. ShepHertz provides pay-as-you-grow pricing plans with this API, starting with a free plan going up to $300 monthly for 50 million API calls.
By integrating this API, developers can also extract the average or highest score for users for a game (or a subject/lesson) and enable users to be rewarded for their achievements or redeem points.
7. WizIQ API
WizIQ API allows developers to add a rich set of intuitive features that make the LMS application stand out including virtual classroom features, recruitment tools, and payment collection features.
This online learning API, with a concise one-page overview, allows developers to incorporate live classes to multiple users within their LMS, track attendance, upload and manage eLearning content.
The API’s LMS integration services are seamless and its prices are available per request. The API uses RESTful calls, and XML types reply. Some of the LMS platforms that use it include Moodle.
BizLibrary is an online course library. It provides off the shelf e-learning content on various topics such as compliance, safety, sales, leadership, etc. It offers APIs that allow developers to integrate select courses into their own LMS so their learners get access to ready-made content through any LMS. The Stevens Institute of Technology used this API to overcome their own challenges with online learning. Although developers can find its API documentation here, its pricing is not publicly available at this time.
The Vimeo API is an automated programming interface that gives its users access to uploading video files to the Vimeo platform through their own applications. Furthermore, this functionality also allows developers to manage videos and embed them into their web resources.
The Vimeo API is a great API for online learning that helps developers create a system for managing videos used for lessons or student submissions within the LMS application. The Vimeo API enables developers to streamline the process of uploading videos, getting metadata of a video, editing a video's privacy settings, and organizing video materials.
The API pricing depends on the rate limits based on your pricing plan, between a free Basic plan, a $7 monthly Plus plan, $20/month Pro plan, a $75/monthly Premium plan with live streaming included, and an enterprise plan with custom pricing. The rate limits represent the number of API requests per minute your plan allows.
The LMS integration with the Vimeo API takes minutes to make, which is something most developers will be grateful for.
10. ClassMaker API
Classmarker's API provides real-time test results from the Classmarker.com account to the customer's internal systems, without revealing usernames and passwords. Classmark provides secure online testing systems for many types of classroom or individual tests and the data is kept safely available at all times.
This API supports the PHP programming language. ClassMaker API comes with a free plan that supports 1200 graded tests per year, and the cheapest paid plan starts at $19.95 which can hold up to 4800 graded tests per year.
11. Veracity LRS API
Veracity Learning’s learning record store is made to help developers create functionality to collect and record online learning data from an LMS, which can then be presented via dashboard analytics and reports within the learning record store.
This API allows developers to create custom visualizations and reporting dashboards that measure learning performance. The LRS serves as an extension of an LMS by maintaining records of learning data of all users.
They have a variety of pricing plans in which there are limited and unlimited API calls. They start with a free plan with 10,000 API calls per day up to a $400/monthly plan with 100,000 API calls per day. Beyond those plans, they have higher tier plans with unlimited API calls at custom pricing.
This online learning API is useful when it comes to automating and streamlining bureaucratic processes that are usually done manually.
The H5P API, created by Joubel, allows developers to integrate an authoring tool for instructors to create interactive and rich e-learning content on HTML5. This makes it easy even for non-designers to build browser-based course content on any LMS platforms.
H5P is supported and therefore can be integrated with LMS systems such as Brightspace, Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, even Wordpress and Drupal.
Although H5P is free and open-source, H5P.com also provides a paid SaaS service to support LMS integrations. After an initial 30-day free trial, they have highly granular pricing plans, making it easy for LMS administrators to select a plan that fits them and allows them to essentially pay as they grow.
13. CometChat API
Communication is crucial in the online learning environment since it helps students understand their subjects better, and share knowledge. This is why every LMS should have a built-in chat and that’s where CometChat comes to play.
CometChat's APIs and SDK allows developers to add text, voice, and video chat options to their LMS, enabling students and teachers to exchange information in real-time.
The best thing with the CometChat API is the fact it’s fairly easy to set up, which saves precious time and energy developers need. What’s best, numerous CometChat’s tutorials and resources make the problem-solving process much easier, and the development experience much more enjoyable.
CometChat is free for up to 25 users. The paid plan that can host up to 1,000 users starts at $149 a month. This API provides cross-platform support for React, Angular, Vue, Swift, Java, Kotlin, Ionic, React Native, PHP, Laravel, and WordPress.
Start by signing up today to test how the CometChat API works!
Building a successful LMS application takes a lot of time, energy, and strategic thinking with user experience and engagement in mind.
Given the rapid growth of the eLearning industry, keeping up with the latest trends is a challenge for many LMS developers.
Luckily, the various LMS APIs can speed up the development process, allowing companies to stay competitive and focus their resources where they’re needed the most, and at the same time, build a working LMS with diverse features that keep users engaged.
About the Author
Nabeel Keblawi, a deaf entrepreneur, runs a Content Marketing and SEO agency that helps B2B SaaS companies grow organically in their industries around the world. His previous work experience involved software development, renewable energy, and cloud computing. In his personal life, Nabeel loves to go hiking with his family, and dust off his skis to hit the slopes given the chance. He is also an avid reader of fictional history.