Acorn vs Androgogic: An LMS Comparison
We’d like to preface this article with a disclaimer: Androgogic has a vast suite of eLearning products, and they’re the only other LMS in Australia with government clients. But you’re here because you want to know if what they’re doing is comparable to our services, and which eLearning solution is ultimately the right choice for you.
So, what is the difference between Acorn and Androgogic?
Quite literally, who we are. Androgogic is a partnered reseller of Totara Learn, an open-source enterprise LMS itself based on Moodle. While inspired by Moodle, the founding team behind Acorn built our cloud-based platform from the ground up.
At Acorn, we view eLearning as the key to strategic workforce planning, providing opportunities for employees to upskill while spotlighting those primed for succession, highlighting secure and insecure job roles and bolstering talent management within the organisation.
So, really, the difference is between eLearning for the sake of eLearning, and eLearning that fortifies future personal and organisational success. But for the sake of posterity, let us get into the nuances that really define the line between Acorn and Androgogic.
Androgogic vs Acorn: User interface
UI should be user-friendly, otherwise what’s the point of it being called the ‘user interface’? The beauty of having control of Acorn’s source code is that we’ve designed a UI with a low learning curve. Acorn is white-labelled because we know it’s important for users outside the education sector to have a familiar learning environment. It means we inject a certain je ne sais quoi that’s unique to our clients’ brands and recognisable to their users.
Proprietary products like Totara Learn serve traditional educational purposes—so while they offer different themes, there’s less emphasis on sprucing the place up with a brand identity. The onus is on admin to tinker around the system and set the theme, upload logos and make sure it’s consistent across devices. A third party point of contact like Androgogic can help alleviate this somewhat, though they can’t really do more than change the look (not functionality) of the platform.
Androgogic vs Acorn: Ease of use
One limitation of Androgogic being a reseller is their support. Sure, they offer 24/5 support—but there’s three degrees of separation between them and the source code (first Androgogic, then Totara, and finally, Moodle). If you’re looking for custom enhancements, the most Androgogic can do is customise the front-end of the platform. The trap then with resellers is in their haste to prioritise client values, technical debt can be accrued and ultimately amount to fees for customisation.
Our support team combines the expertise of a dedicated Customer Relationship Manager, Product Manager and Development Team, so if our clients need a tech fix, it’s done within the day. Support is accessible via our clients’ medium of choice (ticket system, phone, email, but sadly not carrier pigeon), and we’ve got a wiki with a glossary of terms so we’re all speaking the same language.
Androgogic vs Acorn: Features & integrations
Because Acorn is built for government, nonprofits and private businesses, we understand the importance of syncing people data across various systems. Existing HR and payroll systems and third party content providers like LinkedIn Learning and Skillsoft can be seamlessly integrated with both Acorn and Androgogic.
Internal organisational processes like onboarding, offboarding, performance management and workforce planning are available (at no extra cost) within Acorn. Whilst Androgogic does service some Australian Government agencies and tease many of their own similar branded integrations, you’ll need to opt for those modules to be added into Totara Learn before you can access them in your Androgogic instance of the platform.
Androgogic vs Acorn: Pricing
Our pricing is simple, transparent and based on a monthly fee per user. We don’t penalise you for growing—we want you to! You can see our pricing here, but if you need a custom scope we’ll happily sit down and work that out with you (before a demo)
Androgogic are less forthcoming with their pricing plans, which may be because, as a premium Totara partner, they’re subject to pricing Totara sets for them and other partners like Kineo. And while at first they may seem like a cost-effective option, you’ll typically have to pay a reseller for the service to customise the platform, implementation, hosting and ongoing tech support on top of the platform itself—which are all included in the fee you pay for Acorn. Androgogic are making commission. We want you to grow without blowing your budget.
Bonus: Take home
Here’s a closer look at some of the finer points of difference between Acorn and Androgogic.
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