Educational institutions across the world are increasingly shifting to online teaching as an essential means to support both classroom and distance teaching. The current lockdown worldwide, necessitated by the spread of the coronavirus, has fast-tracked the transition to online teaching with many educational institutions now searching for appropriate online course platforms to continue delivering their lessons. The lockdown, notwithstanding, the trend for online teaching is here to stay, primarily due to the easy access to the Internet, smartphones and digital resources; and also the evolving mindset of the current generation.
Also Read: Learning in the Times of COVID-19 – How to Develop Your Online Learning Material
Here are some benefits that online course platforms offer educational institutions:
- Organize Your Courses: You can organize your courses on a cloud-based central repository and provide access to your students wherever they are based geographically. Online course platforms also allow you to create and modify courses, set and take assessments, notify students about the schedules or any change in the course, and communicate via emails, chat rooms, forums, and messenger apps. In other words, an online course platform is a natural extension of the physical classroom, but with several added features and benefits.
- Supplement Teaching with Online Resources: Online course platforms also allow you to leverage digital resources to add value to your classroom lessons. No matter what you are teaching, you will be able to find both free and paid online resources which you can use to make your teaching more effective, interesting, and engaging. As a case point, students may find it difficult to grasp abstract concepts in geometry or algebra. You can access 3D diagrams, images, and infographics online to simplify these complex concepts. You can also use various tools and features to create your own teaching resources.
- Tap into a Larger Community: An online course platform also provides access to external and internal communities and social media. Students can debate, share thoughts and exchange knowledge and ideas on these channels. These discussions and sharing of ideas and thoughts make the subject under study more relevant and interesting. Besides, it also provides the users an opportunity to sharpen their reasoning abilities and analytical skills.
- Take Online Classes: This has become all the more beneficial during these times of lockdown that we all are witnessing. Both the teachers and students can log on to the online course platform at a scheduled time and have a ‘physical class’ in virtual settings. Both students and teachers can use tools for communication to interact, for instance, students can raise a hand virtually and ask a question, either in audio form or via chat.
Now that you are familiar with the benefits, we will look at the top online course platforms for educational institutions.
- Kitaboo College: Kitaboo College is a cloud-based online platform that allows educators to create, manage and deliver online education. The solution is compatible with all devices and enables users to access and authorize content. It includes a content management system to create and deliver courses, and performance tracking and assessments to track students’ performance on pre-defined metrics. Using Kitaboo College, educators can upload text, images, audio-video files, presentations, SCORM content and other media types to create online courses. They can also design lessons, assessments and quizzes using built-in templates. Kitaboo College includes tools to analyze content performance through live analytics and receive real-time feedback on content delivery. It also provides reports based on key metrics, which teachers can use to analyze students’ performance. This online course platform also allows integration with third-party applications.
- SAP Litmos: This cloud-based continuous learning platform is based on open API architecture and has pre-packaged connectors that allow you to connect SAP Litmus into your existing ecosystem. The user interface provides a consistent experience across devices, which means students can access the course content and lessons on the device of their choice. Teachers can import content into the application, build and assign courses and also track the progress of the students. This online course platform has a content management system to manage pre-packaged content.
- Itslearning: This is a cloud-based online course platform that offers complete course management and delivery to students of all classes. Teachers can use resources generated by content providers or their own resources to create customized lessons and assessments, which can then be accessed by students and parents on a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Teachers can also collaborate with colleagues and other professionals to share learning ideas. They can also use reporting and analytical tools to see the results of in-class assessments in real-time. Students can also turn in their homework and projects for the teachers to assess. The software also provides testing reports which can be used to improve teaching and learning.
- LoveMySkool: This school learning management system simplifies collaboration between teachers, students, educators and parents. Some of its more interesting features include communication tools, online tests, students’ projects, multi-campus support and more. The schools can communicate with the students using the announcement feature. Besides, they can also provide information regarding school timings, events, transport updates and assignment reminders. Besides, the software also provides tools to create content in the form of text, audio and video. Teachers can create assignments, students can upload them when they are done, and the system can grade them automatically. The platform also provides multi-campus support, which means the administration can manage campuses in separate locations from a single account.
- Moodle: This is a cloud-based open-source platform that provides educational institutions the tools they need to design custom teaching courses. It has a centralized dashboard that teachers can use to track course completion and monitor students’ progress using reporting and analytical tools. Other interesting features include data back-up, in-built calendar and activity tracking. Students can utilize the messaging functionality to post their queries. This online course platform also incorporates mobile apps for Android and iOS devices to enable students to receive notifications and access offline courses.
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These were some of the best online course platforms that educational institutions can leverage to deliver online education to their students. Considering the benefits that these tools offer in terms of effectively creating, managing and delivering the courses, and the current times when online learning is the need of the hour, institutions must quickly decide upon a platform to ensure quality delivery of education. If you need more information on online learning platforms, one of our learning specialists would be happy to help. Just get in touch with us and we will get back to you.
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