MATRIX by CYPHER LEARNING Review

CYPHER LEARNING
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
MATRIX
CYPHER LEARNING
2009
San Francisco, CA
Ownership:
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Private
20,000+
Cloud
Yes
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MATRIX At A Glance

Good: Highly intuitive design and easy-to-use course authoring tools.
Bad: Out-of-the-box courses from the course catalog are only available at an additional cost.
Bottom Line: Well-designed LMS that's accessible to any organization that wants to create its own training content..

Product Overview

CYPHER LEARNING offers three LMS products: NEO for schools and universities, MATRIX for businesses and INDIE for entrpreneurs. This review focuses on MATRIX; users interested in learning more about NEO can check out our review here.

MATRIX is a well-designed learning management system (LMS) for creating and accessing eLearning material. The software is hosted in the cloud, with a responsive user interface and mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows. The vendor maintains all data storage at no extra cost.

The system is highly intuitive and can be customized through a dedicated portal to fit an organization’s branding with colors, logos, pictures and fonts.

Administrators can create a curriculum, courses and materials within the solution in no time. The platform includes content authoring tools that allow users to design engaging content and upload any type of file, such as videos, images, Google docs, audio and more. The content can be saved and reused to train future employees as well.

Features

The following is a list of the five strongest features of MATRIX:

1. Accessibility and mobile features

The solution is available on any type of device and can be customized to fit an organization’s branding. It’s available in 40+ languages and integrates with over 1,000 applications via Zapier, such as Zapier, Salesforce, GoToMeeting, PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Office 365, OneDrive, Google Apps, Google Drive and more. Administrators are easily able to create rules within the solution to deliver the most relevant training content to employees, and they can design custom learning paths so learners are led to each module.

2. Course authoring features

Courses can either be entirely online, instructor-led or blended to include an in-person instructor. Instructors can also create micro-learning courses. Features are available to support all training types: tools for tracking training attendance and creating materials to hand out in-person, or tools for designing interactive media. A course catalog is offered through the solution to purchase content as well.

3. Learner assessment features

Instructors are able to track a number of metrics about each individual learner, such as time spent on a page, overall module progress, missing coursework and more. Instructors can design quizzes to test learners throughout the course, compare all learners on a group table, thoroughly detail training competencies through skill rubrics and track attendance.

4. Social features

Gamification features, such as leaderboards, badges and points, allow learners to compete head-to-head individually or as a team. These features use social learning techniques as a form of motivation throughout the system. Other social features include collaboration tools for learners to share ideas through chats, discussions, wikis, blogs, groups, team and more. Badges, points and certifications are awarded as modules, assessments and other tasks are completed.

5. Reporting features

Charts and dashboards can be customized to easily display a range of data. These dashboards can be used by individual learners to track their own progress, or by an administrator to track a range of metrics based on the program’s success. A centralized calendar allows administrators and instructors to stay on top of all ongoing events and modules. Portfolios allow learners to compile their greatest achievements in one place. MATRIX also offers custom reports.

6. Selling online courses

MATRIX offers all the e-commerce tools companies need to sell online courses, learning paths, digital media items, and more. It integrates with the most popular payment gateways, such as PayPal, PayPal Payments Pro, Stripe, Authorize.net, PayUbiz, and PayU Latam. MATRIX also offer support for multiple currencies, subscription plans, bundles, and discount codes. In addition, MATRIX users can help companies promote their learning content through marketing tools such as ratings and reviews, affiliates and email marketing.

7. Automation

Automation helps instructors save time on training tasks and replaces a lot of rigorous manual work. With automation users can trigger actions throughout the platform when certain tasks are performed. For example, when a new employee joins the platform, they’re automatically enrolled in a course based on their job title. At the end of a course, users can trigger an action that awards certificates of completion to learners. Using automation users can also decide what content learners see in courses based on their performance or define actions that happen when visitors purchase courses.

8. Adaptive learning

Adaptive learning can help companies deliver a highly personalized experience and close knowledge gaps for their learners. With adaptive learning, administrators can dynamically personalize what content and assessments learners see in courses and learning paths based on their performance. Using automation, instructors can create rules that when triggered show or hide specific courses, content sections or assessments.

  • Asynchronous Learning?
  • Employee Training?
  • Gamification?
  • Content Library?
  • Mobile Learning?
  • SCORM Compliance?
  • Synchronous Learning?
  • Testing & Assessments?

Target Market

MATRIX is a match for organizations of any size.

The following is a list of 10 sample customers:

  • ROCK Insurance Group
  • NASPA
  • Sciforma
  • NeuroLeadership Institute
  • Awesim Academy
  • Early Learning Innovations
  • Game Institute
  • Fundacion Capital
  • Pivotal Education
  • BARBRI - Law School Programs

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Implementation/Integration

As a cloud-based solution, getting started with MATRIX is a fast and simple process for new clients. Most new customers are able to configure their portal within just a few hours.

Here are the typical implementation steps:

  • Signing up for an account on the site
  • Customizing the site with organization’s logo and other branded materials
  • Creating accounts for administrators and instructors
  • Configuring the course catalog
  • Configuring e-commerce catalog and single-sign-on (both are optional)
  • Creating an outline and curriculum for each course
  • Creating materials and assignments for each course
  • Creating an optional learning path
  • Testing the platform
  • Adding learner accounts

Customer Service & Support

MATRIX offers support during U.S. business hours through its support forum, where users can communicate with MATRIX’s support staff on questions or issues, and the answers are shared with other users. Staff tends to respond to queries within 15 to 30 minutes.

There’s a built-in Help Center where users can access guides and videos on MATRIX, as well as product news and a roadmap. They can also offer suggestions on product improvements.

MATRIX provides consulting services in areas such as account setup and customization, design, application program interface (API) integration, content creation and migration.

Pricing

MATRIX is available to organizations of any size, and its pricing structure has eight tiers based on the number of users:

  • Starter (20 active learners): $149 a month 
  • Bronze (50 active learners): $229 a month 
  • Silver (100 active learners): $359 a month 
  • Gold (250 active learners): $629 a month 
  • Platinum (500 active learners): $899 a month 
  • Ruby (1,000 active learners): $1,399 a month 
  • Sapphire (2,000 active learners): $1,799 a month 
  • Quartz (3,500 active learners): $2,699 a month 

Companies with over 3,500 active learners can contact Cypher Learning directly for a quote.

Shortcomings

One downside is that users can only obtain premade content from the course catalog at an additional cost. This should be kept in mind if administrators don’t intend on creating each course themselves. (Pricing structures vary for LMS solutions in general – here’s a rundown of some of their costs.)

Screenshots

CYPHER LEARNING Screenshot 1
CYPHER LEARNING Screenshot 2
CYPHER LEARNING Screenshot 3

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About

CYPHER LEARNING was founded in 2009 by Graham Glass, an entrepreneur with a background in teaching computer science. The company debuted with its flagship LMS platform NEO (then known as EDU 2.0 for School) that’s targeted to the education sector. MATRIX, its LMS intended for small businesses, was released in 2010. In 2018, it debuted INDIE, an LMS that’s targeted to entrepreneurs.

CYPHER has received numerous accolades for both NEO and MATRIX, including #1 LMS for Higher Ed by the Craig Weiss Group, The 2018 Tech Edvocate Award for Best Learning Management System, GESS Education Awards Finalist 2019 (for NEO) Talented Learning’s Best Learning System Finalist 2019 and SoftwareSuggest Great User Experience Award 2018 (for MATRIX).

CYPHER’s platforms are used by over 20,000 organizations and over 1 million users. The platforms support at least 40 languages.

In addition to its San Francisco headquarters, CYPHER has offices in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Romania, South Africa, India, and The Philippines.

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