The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many digital possibilities – including eLearning, which hitherto was largely overlooked but has become an essential addition for the blended learning and teaching now being proposed.
The eLearning platform is mostly a part of the larger Learning Management System (LMS) deployed by an institution for school management. In choosing your solution, some key features need to be considered to ensure an effective eLearning adoption. For those of you familiar with eLearning solutions, names like Moodle and Blackboard are common brands to you.
Irrespective of which eLearning solution you decide to choose from the market, you should be looking at one with the necessary tools which can meet the following needs when it comes to training:
- It should be able to properly deliver content to the learner.
- It should be able to record and store the various interactive activities on the platform.
- It should have the ability to track a learner’s level of competence at any given time.
One of the key requirements you should consider is the end-user’s ability to easily access and engage with your solution. A hosted service that can be accessed at any time and from anywhere is highly recommended.
With access via the Internet, the learner should not be required to perform any software installation. In some cases, however, certain basic plug-ins might be needed to enable certain content deliveries. The learner should be able to access the solution using a desktop, laptop, tablet or even a phone.
Your target audience’s ability to engage effectively with your eLearning platform cannot be overlooked.
As noted above, the means of delivering content on an eLearning platform is an essential consideration when choosing and setting up.
Rich Media Presentation
Your solution should support power-point presentation, along with the ability to handle at least the basic transition effects. The content should also be possible to convert into HTML and Flash media for rendering on various devices. And it should render well at least in common browsers. For better insight, the solution should also allow for character integration with content.
Multi Media Presentation
The solution you choose should enable you to construct content with video presentation. Thus, the ability to include recorded lecture sections which might be imbedded into, for example, slide presentations. There should also be the ability to include links which automatically redirect learners to pubic video-sharing sites, such as YouTube.
To test the level of learners’ understanding while interacting with content, your choice of eLearning solution should have the ability to construct quizzes from a possible question bank. The quizzes or assignments should look interactive enough to get the best out of an end user.
Safeguarding online content
A common concern that trainers have had with eLearning implementation has to do with how they can secure their content when they put them online. Your choice of solution should also have the necessary security features to protect your content from unauthorised access.
These measures may include but are not limited to password-protecting your content, so that only students who have the necessary token are able to access it.
Aside from access, you should also have the ability to protect use of the content – making it difficult for unauthorised usage.
The solution chosen should enable you to access graphical presentation that tracks learners’ progress. This can be done by class/group base and individual subject base. To have this intelligence, you should be able to select the necessary parameters and have the result you want. This should quickly aid in knowing who needs help, so as to give it in good time to enhance learning.
If you are a corporate institution and looking to set up an eLearning platform, then get one that will help you effectively evaluate staff skills. HR officers should be able to set competence levels within the organisation which match the skill-sets/roles. You should be able to easily identify skill gaps, and schedule training using your chosen solution.
Learners and tutors community
The learner should be able to join chatrooms on the platform where he/she can chat with tutors or other learners using the platform. It should also be possible for learners to join communities and forums on the platform. This allows for knowledge-sharing among members about specific courses as well as general topics. It also offers a very good opportunity for feedback-gathering from learners to help tutors improve upon content-making and delivery.
There’s no doubt that the eLearning has become an essential discussion item on the agenda of innovative teaching and learning in this time.