CYPHER LEARNING and the Reinvention of Learning Management Systems
By Aniqah Majid
November 02, 2021
From universities to corporate offices, learning management systems (LMS) have become an essential tool for people who want to share and distribute information online. CYPHER LEARNING, a leading provider of learning platforms across multiple mediums, has re-invented the way we use LMS, prioritizing user accessibility and retention.
Early last month, CYPHER LEARNING launched a range of new features for its suite of learning management systems, this includes its new graphical dashboard system for administrators, teachers, and students, the dark mode feature, and their site-wide surveys feature. These additions came fresh from their previous LMS updates, one of which is their integration with the popular payment service YooMoney.
We caught up with the CEO of CYPHER LEARNING, Graham Glass, to discuss the new developments of the company’s LMS.
“A lot of the learning management systems are pretty clunky, they’ve got tons of features, but when you log into them, it’s like 1980 or something,” said Glass. “We wanted to build something that was like the Apple of LMS […] we wanted to do a consumer product, but at the same time a very deep, very rich feature set. So we spent a lot of time on the user interface design of our product.”
CYPHER LEARNING’s LMS operates beyond the education sector. They provide LMS to universities and schools with NEO LMS, businesses with MATRIX LMS, and most uniquely, entrepreneurs with INDIE LMS, which the company is planning to invest more into in 2022. When discussing the different LMS, Glass explained how users across all sectors are looking for more accessible ways to share, and that even though NEO, MATRIX, and INDIE cater to different audiences, what attracts them to LMS are many of the same features.
“I was predicting that K-12 would love gamification the most followed by higher education followed by business and it’s actually the opposite way round,” said Glass when discussing which demographic responded most vehemently toward the LMS user interface.
Gamification is becoming an important factor in learning management systems, and online learning as a whole. Systems like Blackboard and, most recently Microsoft SharePoint have taken further measures the embed game mechanics into their products, as it has shown to drive user engagement. A report from Fortune Business Insights, which forecasts the trends in the LMS market for the next seven years, highlights the driving force for success in LMS is with platforms that give users the ability to “administer, report, track and automate the process of online learning courses.” This is why many organizations and companies, as the report lays out, have adopted LMS platforms to implement online learning methods.
MATRIX LMS has been adopted by businesses across America, from retail chain COSTCO to personal care brand Dermologica. Earlier this year, CYPHER LEARNING managed to secure a $40 million growth equity round from Invictus Growth Partners, marking their first outside financing.
Talking further on the mechanics of the LMS and their appeal, Glass explained, “if you use automation and gamification and some of the other features that are built into our platform, it’s almost like you are a moviemaker, you can script out the adventure that your students are going to have with your course, and you can make it so your course really surprises and delights. It’s not a boring thing anymore.”
According to a recent report by Adroit Market Research, CYPHER LEARNING is a key player in the international Corporate Learning Management System marketplace
The learning provider currently hosts over a million users across 20,000 organizations, their LMS specifically, supports 40 languages. The worldwide reach of CYPHER LEARNING is due in part to their focus on giving users a sense of community. As Glass puts it, by expanding to 25 offices around the world and providing an automatic translation feature for all LMS, users “in Poland or Malaysia or the Philippines if they want to select a learning platform, the fact that we actually have an office in their country, we speak their language, we know their customs, we adapt to their local pricing, all that kind of stuff, it’s really appealing to them.”
This push in international reach and scope in features are CYPHER LEARNING’s effort at creating an LMS which can operate on all levels, so users do not have to work outside the system to carry out necessary tasks. LMS which do not adapt to the needs of users in terms of accessibility and ease, rarely fair well with their audience. It is with this incentive that CYPHER LEARNING has developed the features it has, from their survey feature, or their in-system report card feature, a new NEO feature more typical of student information systems (SIS). Glass has mentioned this new addition will be launching in the coming weeks. The inclusion of adaptable features is important for LMS, especially at the height of remote and hybrid learning, as it eliminates the need of using different tools to complete an otherwise simple task, like filing report cards.
LMS as a Learning Companion
Developing LMS with multi-functionality and an acute focus on personalization pushes toward CYPHER LEARNING’s biggest goal for 2022.
“So one of the things we’re doing with NEO is that we’re incorporating matching learning and artificial intelligence so that NEO is going to become an active learning assistant. So if you are a student and you learning biology at school, or you’re in a large company and you are in technical support, and you’re doing various courses, our site is going to give you recommendations on how to improve your learning goals. We’re are also going to allow students to include their own learning goals, and we’re going to allow tutors and teachers to include learning goals on behalf of the students. Our learning platforms are going to be like this intelligence platform which is going to start helping people proactively on their learning journey.”
CYPHER LEARNING, much like its competitors, is in a constant state of innovation and improvement. The push toward an AI-backed system is a new development in the EdTech sector and one which proves most in line with the LMS 2021-2028 market report. Whether it be synchronous in-person learning or asynchronous remote learning, CYPHER LEARNING is leading a growing trend among LMS providers, in making learning management systems the first point of directory for learning and working online.
Featured Image: Van Tay Media, Unsplash