Best online learning platforms

In the midst of Coronavirus pandemic, one of the most affected fields is education. As an effort to contain the spread of the virus, education sectors like schools and universities are being closed and the staffs and students are encouraged to stay indoors. Doing this ensures limitation on their interaction with others, containing the spread and ultimately helping the healthcare system to cope with the virus. But since there is no fixed date as to when everything goes back to normal, schools and colleges are leaning towards online means to continue their curriculum. This article lists out and briefly reviews several Learning Management System (LMS) and Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Here are the best Learning Management System and video conferencing tools.

Best online learning platforms

Google Classroom

Included as a part of G-Suit for Education, Google Classroom has become quite a common name in schools, largely due to the fact that it offers a great way for teachers and students to connect. It also offers a more direct way to teach as it provides teaching materials which are tremendously helpful for students who are unable to attend classes as they will still be provided with important notes and other necessary materials. With the current situation that has forced students and teachers to stay at home, Google Classroom can make a real impact.

As Google Classroom is included in the standard G Suite tools, the users also have access to Google Docs, spreadsheet, presentation tools, audio and video conferencing tools and Google Drive for free online storage. Furthermore, to make it easier for teachers to manage their classes, there are additional administrative tools included in the suite.

While you can use all the aforementioned tools for free, there is a paid alternative which includes features such as accommodation for larger meetings, increased streaming capacity, and a couple of additional administrative features. With the ongoing worldwide threat from the pandemic and increase in demand for such tools, the price for G Suite for Education is reduced to $24 per year from $48 per year. This is for each staff using it and is only necessary if you need the extra feature that the free version doesn’t include. Sign up for Google Classroom. 

Google classroom, online learning platform

Docebo

Docebo is another LMS that lets you manage and distribute courses primarily for employees and client, but can also be used for students and staffs. Unlike most of the LMS out there, Docebo eliminates the one-way communication by enabling students to ask questions and receive answers. The students can also share their opinions and knowledge to the group which can be validated by peer review and can be shared across other groups if there is any.

One thing that is absolutely essential for a good LMS is the ability administrator or teachers to effectively manage the skill and knowledge gaps between students. Docebo does this through a function called Docebo Perform which enables the administrator to assign formal and informal study and training sessions for those who need it. The UI is intuitive and supports wide verity of 3rd party integrations. Sign up for Docebo.

Docebo - online learning platform

Adobe Captivate

It may not come as a surprise that Adobe has an LMS too as there aren’t many fields that are untouched by Adobe. Primarily designed for enterprise, Adobe Captivate is also perfect for school, colleges and universities to make studying convenient and enjoyable. As ensured by Adobe, courses can be deployed within 90 minutes with the help of its suite of tools. With its online help centre with 40/7 support and tutorial videos, the administrator and staffs will have little to no difficulties setting up everything. The automation features are also included to make the work even easies by auto assigning teaching and learning plan, schedules reports and also synchronize students and teachers.

After the courses are setup, the in-built tracking tools allow the administrator and staffs to effectively track the progress of each individual users and see how they are doing in their learning objectives. The UI is intuitive features the ability to customize the learning experience for individual users, has leaderboard and achievement badges to encourage students. Sign up for Adobe Captivate.

Adobe Captivate - online learning platform

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a video conferencing software that can be used to conduct lecture sessions for colleges and schools. Whether the lecture is conducted by an individual or a team, Teams can handle up to 10,000 participants. With the full integration of Microsoft 365, the sessions can be easily conducted and invites can be shared among the class. The external guests do not even need to download the software to join – they can do it via a web browser.

Being a bigshot in the field of technology, Microsoft lives up to its name with this software. Teams feature screen sharing, call recording, live captions, background blur and chat features. No matter that hardware you use and wherever you are, you can join from almost anywhere. The software is primarily designed for business and webinars, it is also ideal for conducting online lecture sessions by schools and colleges. Sign up for Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft team - Learning Management System

Google Meet

Another video conferencing product from a well-recognized and trusted tech giant is Google Meet (formerly known as Hangouts). It is a part of Google’s G Suit office productivity platform but it can be used for organizing study and lecture session by college and schools. As it is primarily designed for office needs, it can support a large number of users at once and reduces the need to wait.

Google Meets offer a web-based platform along with dedicated software for all popular platform to suit your needs. Meets is easy to use and can use data from other application like Google Calendar to schedule sessions. Unlike most of the video conferencing tools, Google Meets do not require up-front costs for additional hardware and to sign up, which makes it ideal for schools and colleges. Sign up for Google Meets.

Google Meet - Online Learning Management System

Zoom

Zoom - Online learning systemZoom is the name that you might be hearing a lot amidst this pandemic. It is a video conferencing tool designed for business with features such as user management, cloud recording and around the clock support. It can be used by schools and college to organize online lecture sessions. In spite of a recent hack, Zoom has been steadily improving its security to provide the best video conferencing experience.

The free plan includes everything a teaching establishment need to organize an online learning session such as no limits of users, ability to join the session through a phone line, up to 720p resolution and virtual backgrounds to ensure privacy and professional environment. Multiple users can easily share screens and use whiteboard functions. It is available for all the popular platforms, including Chrome. Paid plans add additional features including cloud recording, user grouping and other management functionality. Sign up for Zoom.

 


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