Ironically, it’s the pandemic we have to thank for the incredible boost educational platforms received in the last 6 months. With the safety measures introduced in several countries, majority of university and school programs were bound to transfer to online platforms. Thankfully, educational platforms, like a learning management system, which make education and blended-learning available even in the most challenging times. The statistics also show that elearning doesn’t come short concerning the quality of experience, as compared to classroom education. According to this research, majority of graduate college students are of an opinion, that online learning gives them either better (52%) or about the same (38%) level of satisfaction as classroom learning.
In Germany alone, the online learning market is growing at a rate of 8.5% annually, while the country’s economy continues to grow at around 1.9% (Michel, 2018). This is not to say, that online learning platforms are there to replace the traditional face-to-face educational experience. The goal is to improve the quality of learning and revise long-standing teaching methods through the possibilities offered by modern technologies.
The transformation of the education sector is imminent and it’s up to us to make the most of it. Below we present 10 examples of top educational platforms that will help you and your company or institution make the most of what elearning has to offer.
Leading LMS system used worldwide by big and small institutions equally. EdApp is a top-notch award-winning educational platform which is available for free for all users, private or corporate. It offers simple design solutions and templates, to make creating and sharing courses and quizzes as simple and efficient as possible. EdApp also offers ready-to-learn courses designed by world’s top specialists, which you can simply add to your curriculum. EdApp’s priority lies in microlearning – they design their software so that it works best with mobile devices, making it possible to learn any time, anywhere. On top of a staggering variety of courses, EdApp offers a data-driven Authoring tool, allowing you to create your own well-organized and effective courses for digital learning. You can also make them as visually appealing as possible: EdApp is integrated with Canva powerful design tools and allows for indefinite customization.
The educational tool proposed by the software giant is more than a decent solution for schools, which suddenly had to switch to online learning. Although not entirely free, it offers a fully functional free tier, which allows for conducting distant teaching and giving assingments. Google Classroom uses well-known G Suite tools, such as Google Docs, calculations’ sheets, online presentation tools and video call tool (Google Hangouts). Its simple and well-known design, basic functionalities available for free and high accessibility rates, all make Google Classroom a straightforward choice for school and university courses, where there’s no need for high-end supplementary options and tools.
While it’s dedicated to traditional classroom learning rather than professional training and development, this LMS platform allows teachers to create their own unique, instructor-led training online courses. WizIQ is an award-winning educational platform, which delivers interactive learning experience. Online courses created with WizIQ can also be offered for sale and with the possibility to turn them into MOOCs (massive open online courses), they can easily be made into a source of revenue. WizIQ also offers digital tutoring software for those interested in giving personal instruction on a chosen subject. WizIQ doesn’t have a very transparent pricing policy – for every potential client is given an individual quota after contacting the sales team.
Together with Coursera, edX are two holy grails among the LMS focused on delivering college-quality of education. Created by a Harvard and MIT graduates, edX is a higher-education oriented platform hosting online courses from different universities. While it isn’t quite suited for professional training in the workplace, you can attend a Yale business program or Harvard physics class for free. EdX’s interest lies in improving the global accessibility to top-class resources and educators. The choice offered by edX is however way smaller than on other platforms and limited to very specialized fields. EdX also doesn’t support microlearning and its policy still advocated traditional teaching methods, with listening to lectures and writing essays. Its focus is chiefly on natural sciences, leaving humanities and arts on the last position. It’s therefore clear, that not necessarily everyone will be satisfied with what they’ll find on this platform.
BlackBoard learn is aimed at higher-education teachers and students, who need to be able to store and share the materials in the cloud or a course management system. Apart from teaching, it can be used for corporate and governmental training programs, although there are other LMS that offer more built-in features for less. It’s mobile-friendly, which caters to the younger users’ habits, as it enables then to attend classes anywhere. Blackboard delivers content without fuss but takes away some of the fun other LMS provide along with great functionality. Blackboard is not free, however, there’s no clear pricing on their website and one has to request for a quote.
Coursera is an educational platform, which like edX, aims at delivering college-level education and quality training globally. It offers online degrees, specialized courses, and one-off activities, delivered by renowned partner universities from all over the world. Most of the courses at Coursera require active participation, feedback, writing tasks and attending lectures. The effort pays off, as after completing a course, one can apply for a certificate with a relevant stamp on it. Coursera is free for university students (except for degree courses) but requires admission fee from everyone else.
Skillshare counts among well-known educational platforms focused on delivering practical skill-oriented courses for its dynamic range of students. It is primarily limited as an educational video platform, where teachers and educators explain the topic in a series of clips. Skillshare is a community-based platform, meaning everyone can potentially become a teacher and it’s easy to gain feedback and support at the community forum. Contrary to EdX or Coursera, Skillshare focuses on teaching pragmatic skills helping with building an online presence (useful in the era of social media marketing), supporting small businesses or simply for entertainment purposes. Skillshare offers free two-month trial and after the access is based on a monthly subscription.