• Introduction
  • User interface
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Cost
  • Summary

MATRIX vs. Absorb LMS

Introduction

This page is a detailed comparison between MATRIX and Absorb LMS, taking into consideration the features, functionality, and cost of each platform.

MATRIX is a learning management system (LMS) for use by small and medium-sized businesses, as well as large corporations. MATRIX helps companies manage all training activities, such as creating and delivering training content, evaluating employee performance, training clients and partners, and selling online courses. MATRIX is a product of CYPHER LEARNING, a company that specializes in providing learning platforms for organizations around the world.

Absorb LMS is a cloud-hosted learning management system for medium and large-sized businesses.

MATRIX Business portal

User interface

The MATRIX interface has a modern, responsive design that automatically adjusts based on the type of device. It provides attractive tile-based dashboards for learners, instructors, and administrators, a graphical course catalog, as well as a users and resources catalog.

Absorb LMS has a modern interface that is also tile-based, but lacks a graphical users and resources catalog.

Our platform was designed to ensure easy navigation. It provides a pop-out navigation system and shortcuts that allow users to quickly add items such as courses, and go to any area of the site through a single click.

Absorb LMS is relatively easy to navigate for “end” users such as learners, but on the administrative side, it is more complicated to configure the website. For example, to add a new course, a user must: open the main right menu, click on Admin, go to the admin area, go to the Courses tab in the left menu, and then choose Add new course from the right side of the screen. In MATRIX, all these steps are avoided by hovering over the left menu directly from the dashboard and selecting the Add course button.

At the same time, the MATRIX course layout offers an attractive and easy way to access modules via a tile or row view. Each module has its own description, progress and mastery wheel for learners and information such as which courses award badges and points, or certificates.

The Absorb LMS course layout offers a row view of the modules and shows the progress, but no individual description for each module. At the same time, Absorb LMS doesn’t provide quick access to important course areas such as assessments, the list of learners enrolled in the course, chat, or upcoming events.

MATRIX offers support for more than 40 languages, including RTL languages. Absorb LMS has support for 25 languages, but does not adapt its user interface to suite RTL languages.

Our platform also has branded mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows, while Absorb does not offer native apps for its users.

Absorb LMS doesn’t have accessibility features such as a high contrast theme, underlined links and screen reader support as MATRIX does.

MATRIX Learner dashboard

Ease of use

MATRIX is very intuitive and easy to use. In addition, it includes an online help center with videos, getting started guides, and searchable help content. MATRIX also has a rapid response support forum where staff members typically respond to questions within 15-30 minutes during business hours 24/5.

Absorb LMS is easy to use, offering tutorials, training and a help center. Customer support is available through a forum, live support, email support 24/7, and regular support by phone during business hours.

MATRIX Help center

Features

MATRIX offers a larger feature set than Absorb LMS, including support for more advanced assessment, collaboration, and learner engagement options.

Creating courses

MATRIX offers a wide range of course options to help companies deliver instructor-led, self-paced, blended or micro learning. Instructors can easily create beautiful courses using the built-in authoring tool that allows them to add content pages, SCORM content, and more. In addition, MATRIX has a learning paths feature, through which learners can complete learning goals such as courses, learning paths and certificates to master one skill.

Using Absorb LMS, instructors can add instructor-led and self-paced courses. A major inconvenience for companies can be the lack of a built-in authoring tool that allows you to add HTML-based content pages. Instead, users can create learning objects such as SCORM and upload files. Absorb LMS does not have a learning paths feature.

Evaluating performance

MATRIX has 12 types of assessment options, including quizzes, essays, surveys, offline, SCORM, discussion, and team assessments. Instructors can easily see a centralized view of learners’ scores, quickly add results, and make changes through the Scores tab.

Absorb LMS offers only 4 assessment types, such as a survey, SCORM, and tasks.

Collaboration and communication

MATRIX helps users communicate and collaborate through a diverse set of tools, including chat, messages, forums, groups, news feeds, and more. Users can also find relevant course or learning resources in a graphical resources catalog, that is easy to organize into categories and subcategories.

Absorb LMS has a smaller set of communication features, most notably missing a graphical resources catalog, social networking, chat, forum, wiki, and a blog feature. To access more advanced communication features such as billboards and polls, companies have to purchase the Mercury Module, whereas MATRIX has everything included in its pricing plans.

Personalization

The automation feature makes training and learning more flexible by allowing MATRIX users to trigger actions in courses, modules, sections, score, assessments, learning paths, goals, groups, game levels, accounts, mastery, and e-commerce.

Absorb LMS has an automation feature, but it is harder to configure and use. For example, the platform has availability rules for automatic enrollment in courses, and accounts, but does not have automation for e-commerce. In addition, it is harder to add actions since users have to define “and/or” rules, which is a complicated process and generally takes more time.

MATRIX also has a powerful gamification feature, which is based on automation, complete with game levels, a points and badges system, leaderboards, and team games. Users can add site-wide, course, and learning path games.

Absorb LMS has a gamification feature as part of an add-on called the Mercury Module, but only has a site-wide game option and no badges, levels or team games.

In MATRIX, instructors can use the adaptive learning feature to dynamically personalize what content learners see in courses depending on their performance. Absorb does not have a similar feature.

Customization

MATRIX allows you to create a branded visitor portal in which companies can showcase their courses through a public course catalog, add an about, contact or even public blog page. They also have a wide array of customization options such as adding an image carousel and custom HTML.

The Absorb LMS visitor portal does not have a public catalog or as many customization options as MATRIX does.

Selling courses

MATRIX has integrated e-commerce functionality, allowing users to sell courses, learning paths, bundles, subscriptions, and digital media. MATRIX also provides a wide range of options for marketing learning content, such as course ratings and reviews, MailChimp integration, a special affiliates account, and SEO features.

Absorb LMS has a separate add-on for e-commerce and users have fewer options when it comes to selling learning content. For example, there is no option for selling subscriptions, learning paths, or digital media. There are no advanced marketing tools such as course ratings and reviews, SEO, affiliates, or MailChimp integration.

Here is a list of some of the features included with MATRIX that are not supported by Absorb LMS:

User interface

  • Full-screen customizable visitor portal
  • Graphical resources catalog
  • Graphical users catalog
  • Automatic translation of messages and forum posts
  • Native mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows
  • Support for more than 40 languages, including RTL languages

Content

  • Micro learning
  • Built-in authoring tool with HTML content page creation
  • Drip content
  • Adaptive learning
  • Learning paths
  • Complex gamification feature with badges, game levels, and different game types
  • Assessment features such as quiz, essay, debate, team, and discussions

Collaboration

  • Social networking
  • Forums
  • Chat
  • Wiki
  • Blog

E-commerce

  • PayUbiz and PayU Latam payment gateways
  • Integrated with the automation system
  • Sell learning paths
  • Subscriptions
  • Digital media
  • SEO features
  • Affiliate marketing
  • MailChimp integration
  • Course ratings and reviews

Integrations

  • Integration with 1,000+ apps via Zapier
  • Skype for Business web conferencing
  • OneDrive and OneDrive for Business
  • Panopto
  • Turnitin
  • Unicheck
  • Equella
  • CometChat
  • MathJax

MATRIX Course catalog

Cost

MATRIX LMS plans range from $279/month (monthly billing) for 50 active learners, to $3,299/month for 3,500 active learners. There is a discount for yearly billing. There are no setup fees, cancellation fees, storage fees, bandwidth fees, support fees, or other hidden costs. MATRIX offers advanced features, such as full e-commerce functionality in each of the pricing plans.

The Absorb LMS basic package starts at around $400/month and can reach approximately $1,200/month for 500 users. Plus, there are additional costs such as a one-time setup fee and subscription to add-ons for advanced reporting, communication and e-commerce features. The Mercury Module, for example, is around $440/month.

MATRIX Course page

Summary

This was a comparison of the most important features between MATRIX and Absorb LMS.

MATRIX LMS is a more attractive and easier to use solution than Absorb LMS. It is suited for small, medium and large sized companies and offers a larger set of features at a lower price.

If you require additional information on MATRIX, please contact us.

Disclaimer

This comparison paper was written in February 2019 based on publicly available documentation on both vendors' sites. It was prepared as a guide and is not intended to be exhaustive. The comparison information is for guidance only and does not constitute any contractual representation, warranty or obligation on our part. Liability for errors, omissions or consequential loss is expressly disclaimed.

Since pricing and features can change rapidly, we do not represent that this information is up-to-date, and we encourage you to get the latest information directly from the vendor's web site. If you find any information in this comparison guide to be inaccurate, please contact us with details and we will correct the information within 72hrs.