This is a detailed comparison between MATRIX and Skilljar, taking into consideration the features, functionality, and cost of each platform.
MATRIX is a learning management system (LMS) for use by businesses, corporations, organizations. 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.
Skilljar is a platform that focuses mainly on customer education. Companies use Skilljar to accelerate product adoption and increase customer retention. They help customer education teams in their efforts to engage and educate users.
MATRIX has an intuitive, responsive design that looks sharp and automatically adjusts based on the type of device. It is easily customizable to match the company’s image, brand, and identity. Skilljar also offers the possibility to customize the portal, but it has fewer options compared to MATRIX. The visitor portal can contain a header with links to the most important areas of the platform, a carousel with images and call-to-action buttons. It can also have a tile-based section showing the available courses, and panels with company news.
Skilljar has a visitor and a paying customer view of the portal. After login, the users will see the same portal page with more information tailored to their account and needs. In MATRIX, when users log in, they are redirected to the user dashboard that contains welcome banners, information about their courses, and multiple widgets that offer an overview of the learning platform. The class and main dashboard can be customized with built-in widgets, ad-hoc reporting widgets, and custom HTML widgets.
The Skilljar user dashboard, although it has a tile-based layout and a banner or carousel, is not as visually attractive as the MATRIX one. The tiles offer just a few course-related details such as an image, the name of the course, a short description, duration, and a call to action.
MATRIX also has a unique “activity display” feature that indicates the level of activity within courses and groups using a pulsing indicator on their tiles together with real-time widgets that scroll through the latest activities.
MATRIX provides an attractive tile-based user dashboard, graphical users, resources, and course catalog. The course catalog is organized into categories and subcategories where users and visitors can browse and purchase the published courses, subscription plans, digital media, and more. Besides the image and course information, the course catalog tiles also contain learner ratings.
Skilljar also has a tile-based course catalog layout with tiles that contain images, the title of the courses, optional short descriptions, and the number of sections. Catalog Pages can be nested or displayed on other pages.
On MATRIX it is also possible to add third party courses to the catalog using the integrations with Go1, Udemy, or LinkedIn Learning.
MATRIX has a simple and intuitive pop-out navigation that makes it easy for users to go to any area of the platform.
On Skilljar, the navigation is quite simple, and it's done via just a few tabs and dropdown menus in the header. Administrators also have access to a navigation bar on the left side, where they can access the most important areas of the site.
MATRIX makes it easy to create beautiful courses and organize content, allowing users to display a row or tile layout. There is also a quick tile editor to change the image and color for each module. Each module can have a description and displays important information such as badges and certificates awarded, which modules are locked, and progress icons for each module.
On Skilljar, the course tiles look simple compared to MATRIX and display less information about the course. When visiting a course, the content is displayed on the Overview page, which is similar to a table of contents for the course. Modules don’t have tiles, images, and they only have a title. When taking the sections of the course, the table of contents is displayed in the right bar, similar to MATRIX, and it allows users to jump between the sections.
Skilljar supports 19 languages, but there is no support for right-to-left languages. It is possible to expand the available language set based on customer needs.
In comparison, MATRIX offers support for 50+ languages, including right-to-left languages, and also has mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Ease of use
MATRIX is very intuitive and easy to use. It also offers accessibility features and integrates with MS Immersive Reader that can increase the readability of content pages.
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.
Skilljar is simple and straightforward to use and it can also offer accessible content for users with disabilities. The platform has an online help center, searchable help content, the Skilljar academy, and a community forum.
MATRIX provides a more extensive feature set than Skilljar. Compared to MATRIX, Skilljar is missing some powerful features such as adaptive learning, gamification, activity display, advanced automation, and more.
MATRIX offers a wide range of course options to help companies deliver the type of training that they need, whether it’s instructor-led, self-paced, blended, or micro learning.
Skilljar has a similar course structure to MATRIX. The courses are composed of lessons, and each lesson can have multiple sections. When it comes to creating courses, Skilljar has no option to select between different styles, such as instructor-led or self-paced.
Both MATRIX and Skilljar allow instructors to require learners to complete modules sequentially one after the other. With MATRIX, instructors can also schedule learners’ access to the modules using the drip content feature.
MATRIX also allows instructors to create courses from templates or copy existing courses, this way reducing the time needed for repetitive tasks. It is also possible to define the default course settings so when a course is created, it will have the most used features already enabled.
MATRIX offers 16 types of assessments, including quizzes, surveys, Dropbox, LTI, discussions, essays, and more. There is also a possibility to add question banks that can be reused in multiple quizzes and surveys. These questions can be tagged and used with additional completion requirements for quizzes. Instructors can easily see a centralized view of learners’ scores, quickly add results, and make changes through the Scores tab.
Skilljar instructors can only evaluate learners’ understanding of a course through a quiz-type assessment where they can add multiple choice, multiple responses, fill in the blanks, and free form questions. Although learners can receive scores when submitting quizzes, there is no equivalent to the Scores table in Skilljar.
In MATRIX, analytics allows instructors to view useful information such as the overall progress of learners and the progress of individual learners through modules, assessments, mastery, and more. The ad-hoc reporting feature allows users to select the data that they want to report on, such as users, classes, paths, organizations, awards, and more. These reports can be customized further by selecting a variety of fields, using filtering options, sorting and grouping data based on different parameters, and choosing multiple chart outputs.
With Skilljar, you have access to course, learners, quiz, and SCORM analytics and charts such as active learners, monthly active users, completion rate, and total session time, and more. The platform has a comprehensive analytics set, but it is missing customization options that are available in MATRIX.
Collaboration and communication
MATRIX makes it easy for learners and instructors to communicate, encouraging collaboration between users with tools such as chat, built-in messaging with bidirectional email integration, the option to add users as friends, forums, groups, social networking, and blogs.
With MATRIX, it is easy to schedule and host online meetings, and web conferences since our platform integrates with tools such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, GoToWebinar, Webex, Kaltura, MS Teams, Google Meet, and more.
Compared to this, Skilljar is missing the Kaltura, MS Teams, and Google Meet integrations. For communication purposes between users, Skilljar lacks important features such as a built-in chat, an online display of users, social networking, and more. It offers the possibility to add chat widgets using API integration with Intercom and Zendesk’s chat feature.
MATRIX makes learning more engaging through features such as automation, gamification, and adaptive learning. Skilljar has no gamification feature or adaptive learning. Its automation feature offers the option to automate messages, course completion actions, re-enrollment, and more. These are very limited options considering that in MATRIX users can add rules to many areas of the platform, such as courses, groups, e-commerce, mastery, accounts, and more.
MATRIX has built-in badges in the gallery and also offers an interactive badge builder. Skilljar only offers the possibility to award Credly’s Acclaim Badges to learners when they complete courses. There is no built-in badge gallery and creation tool.
MATRIX users can enable public profiles where they can show their contact details, learning achievements, game points and badges, their certificates, friends list, and more. The profile pages in Skilljar display user information and badges, but there is no option to make them public.
The MATRIX automation feature makes training and learning more flexible by allowing users to trigger actions in courses, modules, sections, scores, assessments, learning paths, goals, groups, game levels, accounts, mastery, and e-commerce.
Skilljar supports a basic form of automation. You can add rules that re-enroll learners in courses, rules that award completion certificates, and third party badges when learners finish the course.
For example, in MATRIX, when a learner completes a course or a learning path, you can choose a rule to add them to a group by going to Course configuration. You can also use the adaptive learning feature, which is based on automation, to dynamically personalize what content and assessments learners see in courses depending on their performance. Skilljar doesn’t have an adaptive learning feature.
MATRIX offers integrated e-commerce functionality and allows 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 reviews, Mailchimp integration, and SEO features.
Skilljar also has an e-commerce feature and integrates with payment gateways such as Stripe, PayPal, Payflow Pro, CyberSource, and Merchant eSolutions. Compared to this, MATRIX offers a greater variety of payment gateways.
Here are the features included in MATRIX that are not supported by Skilljar:
- Graphical resources catalog
- Automatic translation of messages and forum posts
- Scores tab
- Customizable Dashboard widgets
- Activity display
- Dark mode
- Debate, Team, Dropbox, LTI, Discussion, Attendance, Google Assignments, Essay, and Offline assignment types
- Adaptive learning
- Drip content
- Peer-reviewed assignments
- Tagging resources, users, and groups
- Graphical badge builder and gallery
- Ratings and reviews
- Social networking
- Built-in messaging with bidirectional email integration
- Course forum
- Course and public blog
- Content sync
E-commerce and marketing tools
- Selling digital media
- Selling subscriptions
- Course reviews
- Purchase orders
- Integration with your own email server
- CCF and QTI standards
- Google Workspace SSO
- Microsoft 365
- Google Drive
- MS OneNote
- LinkedIn Learning
- MS Immersive Reader
Web conferencing tools
- MS Teams
- Google Meet
- PayPal Payments Pro
- PayU Latam
- Trash can for restoring deleted items
- Archiving learners
- Resell under your own brand
- Branded mobile apps
MATRIX LMS plans are based on the number of active learners. There are no standard 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 pricing structure of Skilljar is quite unique and contains four main elements, the implementation fee, the platform fee, the user seats, and the customer success fee.
The implementation typically includes three phases, and it can be a lengthy process with an approximate duration of 60-90 days. The implementation costs $10,000 that includes various services that help clients get started. The platform fee varies based on the customer’s needs. For example, the growth plan costs $25,000/year. The customer success fee is an additional $5,000/year.
Clients need to prepay the user seats for a year, for example, 1,200/users at the cost of $4,200/year. If they use up all the seats, they will need to buy additional ones. The unused seats will be lost at the end of the period. This approach needs a lot of planning to approximate the number of seats needed, and it is less flexible than other pricing structures.
There are also other add-ons that are not included in the basic pricing such as, data connector ($20,000), data migration ($5,000), REST APIs ($10,000), additional custom domains ($5,000), and more.
This was a comparison of the most important feature differences between MATRIX and Skilljar.
MATRIX is a better alternative to Skilljar and a more cost-effective solution for training employees, clients, and partners, and it also offers the possibility of selling online courses to external audiences.
If you require additional information on MATRIX, please contact us.
This comparison paper was written in October 2021 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.