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

NEO vs. CourseNetworking


NEO is a world-class, award-winning LMS for use by schools and universities. The platform is known for its easy-to-use and beautiful user interface, comprehensive set of innovative features, and pricing that provides great value for money. With NEO it's easy to create great classes that students will enjoy anytime, everywhere.

NEO is a product of CYPHER LEARNING, which also provides a similar LMS for use by businesses called MATRIX. Both NEO and MATRIX are used by over 20,000 organizations, support 40+ languages, and have millions of users.

CourseNetworking (CN) is an open source LMS for classroom learning and MOOC courses.

NEO School portal

User interface

The NEO interface is a modern, responsive design that looks sharp and automatically adjusts based on the type of device. It provides attractive tile-based dashboards for students, teachers and administrators, a graphical class catalog, as well as simple pop-out navigation. Many features can be enabled or disabled to suit young children through to college students. It provides rich content authoring as well as a visually attractive way to create and organize lesson material.

The CourseNetworking interface is not as intuitive and lacks many of the graphical and visual elements that are expected in a modern LMS. The user interface resembles Facebook, especially its main page newsfeed, user profiles, left navigation bar and top bar. The user interface is not customizable, and you can’t choose your own theme, color scheme, fonts, or terminology. CourseNetworking does not offer a customizable visitor portal where schools can display their classes, school information, and a calendar.

Organizations have the option to get a private CourseNetworking Channel in order to access customization options (logo, public page, billboard postings) for a subscription fee. There is no graphical catalog for displaying courses and no graphical dashboards for users. CourseNetworking has mobile apps for iOS and Android.

NEO Student dashboard

Ease of use

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

CourseNetworking is easy to use and has 24/7 help desk support and tutorials. It also offers user training and content creation services for CN channels (paid subscriptions).

NEO Help center


NEO provides the range of functionality you'd expect in a modern LMS, such as support for classes (instructor led, blended, and self-paced), twelve kinds of assignments, full-featured gradebook, content authoring, beautiful lesson layouts, gamification, rules engine, learning paths, drip content, curricula and proficiencies (including US common core standards and Next Generation Science Standards), question banks, class templates, rubrics, chat rooms, resources catalog, blogs, wikis, a customizable portal, e-portfolios, and more.

NEO supports many important industry standards such as SCORM, Common Cartridge Format, LTI, QTI and LDAP. We also integrate with a wide variety of systems, including Google Drive, G Suite, Single sign-on with Office 365, OneDrive, Calendars (iCal), PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Turnitin, Zapier, GoToMeeting, Zoom, WebEx, SIS, Equella, and SMTP/POP3.

CourseNetworking offers a smaller feature set and has a social media-based philosophy in almost everything. Their courses are mostly built around “tasks” and don’t have a typical layout of sequences of lessons with content and assessments. The configuration options per course are quite limited and there are many essential classroom functionalities missing.

Here is a list of the features included with NEO that are not supported by CourseNetworking:

User Interface

  • Customizable visitor portal
  • Graphical dashboards
  • Graphical class catalog
  • Graphical resources catalog
  • Graphical lessons tiles
  • Windows Native App
  • Branded mobile apps
  • Availability of the platform in 40+ languages


  • Learning paths
  • Automation
  • Drip content
  • Mastery and competencies
  • Printing PDF certificates
  • Class templates
  • Waitlists
  • Class ratings and reviews
  • E-commerce

Assessment and analytics

  • Assessments such as debates, team, and attendance
  • Rubrics
  • Attendance tracking
  • Ad-hoc reporting
  • Scheduled reports


  • Wikis
  • Forums
  • Live chat
  • Blogs
  • Built-in Skype video conferencing
  • Integration with Zoom.us, GoToMeeting, and WebEx
  • Integration with CometChat


  • Google Drive
  • OneDrive
  • G Suite
  • Office 365
  • Zapier
  • SIS
  • Common Cartridge Format
  • iCal
  • Equella
  • Unicheck plagiarism detection
  • LDAP
  • Integration with your own email server
  • PayPal
  • PayPal Payments Pro
  • Authorize.net
  • Stripe
  • PayUbiz
  • PayU Latam
  • App center


  • Seating charts
  • Trash Can
  • Terms and conditions

NEO Class catalog


NEO has a free plan and costs about $6 per student per year for its Small school plan and around $7 per student per year for its Enterprise plan. There are no setup fees, cancellation fees, storage fees, bandwidth fees, support fees, or other hidden costs.

CourseNetworking offers a free version of their platform, but for most essential features that schools need, there is a paid license. The paid private channel for licensed institutions offers full control over user account creation, campus wide analytics, the campus social network, and other functionalities.

NEO Class page


NEO is a more attractive, easier-to-use LMS than CourseNetworking, offering a larger set of features suitable for both K-12 and Higher Education clients. In addition, it has a better user interface and more options for class creation and assignments.

Schools that don't need LMS "power" features can choose the NEO free plan, which is beautiful, easy-to-use, and includes the core functionality of a modern LMS. Note that CourseNetworking does not provide a free plan for entire universities.

Institutions that want LMS "power" features can upgrade from the NEO free plan to a NEO premium plan at any time, which includes a larger set of features than CourseNetworking.

This was a comparison of the most important features of NEO and CourseNetworking. If you require additional information on NEO, please contact us.


This comparison paper was written in November 2017 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.