Information can be relayed in a variety of ways.

But increasingly, businesses, organisations, and educational institutions everywhere are turning to eLearning solutions to meet their learning needs.

eLearning isn’t just for adults – it’s also for kids who are in the early stages of their cognitive development. eLearning programs can make learning fun, engaging, and collaborative. Furthermore, it can cater to a variety of learning styles, making it easier for students to absorb information in a manner that suits them best.

Why is eLearning significant for K12 education? Read on.

eLearning Allows You To Vary Your Approach

In classroom settings, students are guided by the instructor, who is considered an authority on the subject they are teaching.

There are many skilled and experienced teachers who are competent and even exceptional at what they do. But most teachers do encounter students they have trouble connecting with.

Students are also different from one another. They each have different strengths and learning styles. A cookie-cutter approach to instruction doesn’t always work for everyone, because it only allows the student to see things from one perspective.

A blended approach to education allows students to consume information in many ways, and gather insights from multiple viewpoints. eLearning can be gamified, visual, and fun. It gives your students a fresh way to absorb the course material and reinforce important concepts.

eLearning Reduces Barriers To Learning

The goal of any training material or course is to leave the student better educated than they were before starting the course.

Increasingly, studies are showing that eLearning can help students achieve more, learn better, and have a better attitude towards what they are being taught.

With eLearning, students can take things at their own pace. In a classroom setting, instructors are under some pressure to relay course information quickly to prepare students for upcoming assignments, quizzes, and examinations. This can leave some students frazzled and unable to keep up with their studies.

This isn’t to suggest that there isn’t value in classroom based instruction. But a blended approach can help your students grasp ideas with more clarity and engage in their work more readily.

eLearning Meets Your Students Where They’re At

Increasingly, we live in a tech heavy world. To not embrace trends towards technology, new media, the internet, and computers is to do your students a major disservice. Many young students are already comfortable with the latest technology and learning on a computer. Giving them the opportunity to extend

their knowledge and ability on computers and mobile devices will better prepare them for their future as a college student, or even as an employee in the workplace.

Again, this isn’t to suggest that your students should spend all their time on computers. Rather, technology should enhance their learning experience, giving them more ways to connect with the course material.

eLearning Is Cost-Effective

eLearning initiatives can take time to develop. You need to choose and implement a learning management system, author courses, determine how you’re going to measure the progress of your students, and when you’re ready, deploy the initiative.

The good news is that much of the information you want to teach your students is already out there. Oftentimes, there is little need to reinvent the wheel during the course development process. Once courses are fully developed, they only need to be updated periodically.

Overall, eLearning can be a cost-effective solution in education.

Conclusion

eLearning isn’t about digitising the entire K12 experience. It’s about enhancing it.

Instructor-led, classroom learning is – and will continue to be – an important part of the learning process for students everywhere. But the use of technology can help your students achieve more, helping them get better grades and better results as they transition into post-secondary education and eventually careers in a field of their choosing.


How Built In Authoring Tools Are Increasing Engagement

Learning management systems (or LMS platforms) come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the needs of your enterprise or organisation.

The LMS you choose for your e-learning needs will dictate how you go about creating your courses and the features available to enhance the learning experience.

Having more features than you need is not a bad thing, because you may end up using them later. But having too few could make your course authoring efforts unscaleable. This makes choosing an LMS an important step in setting up your e-learning program.

Here are several ways in which built-in authoring tools can help you boost student engagement, and features to look out for.

Gamification

People love playing games. The great thing about e-learning is that it offers the opportunity for you to turn learning programs into game-like experiences.

You can take advantage of people’s natural inclination to drive towards achieving specific goals, competing, and collaborating with each other by utilizing built-in gamification features.

Walls of texts, long training videos, and repetitive summaries may be necessary at times, but they can slow down learning and bore your students. Take advantage of leaderboards, point accumulation, competitions, and other gamification elements to make learning more fun.

Forums/Discussion Boards

People love to learn together in a safe and inclusive environment. Forums allow your students to talk to each other, ask and answer questions, learn from each other, and deepen their understanding of the training material.

Discussion boards can also encourage more collaboration between team members. It’s easy for people to isolate and to become self-dependent, but given the opportunity, many would willingly participate in discussions, especially if the platform itself encourages it.

For some learners, it can also be beneficial to gain the perspective of multiple people. Everyone has different learning and teaching styles, so when a concept is explained in more than one way, it can improve their understanding of it.

Progress Indicators

Let’s say a student is working their way through a course. They’re about 70% of the way through, but they’re starting to get bored. If they had known they were close to finishing, they may have powered through, but because they were disengaged, they stopped and didn’t come back to the course until much later. That’s not great for learning or retention.

But what if there was a progress bar showing how far they had come in the module or course? People like to feel like they are working towards something. They feel a sense of accomplishment as they complete each step in the program.

This is also a good reason to keep your modules short and digestible. Your students will feel like they are making progress and learning a lot when they can see exactly how far into the course they are.

Sharing

Maybe one of your students is enjoying a specific course. Giving them the ability to quickly and easily share this content with other learners is an easy way to boost engagement.

If the courses are paid, then you could offer a discount or a coupon for those who choose to share the training program with others. There are many incentives you could offer for sharing, but the point is to create a valuable learner-driven experience.

Final Thoughts

How familiar are you with your LMS and its built-in authoring features? Are you taking advantage of them?

When your courses are informative and engaging, course completion rates will go up, and your learners will retain more of the information they consume. Building an effective course requires intentionality on your part, but the results will be worth the effort.

Unlock the full potential of your LMS to create better learning experiences.


Every organisation with an e-learning initiative needs a learning management system (or LMS).

From authoring courses to tracking the progress of your students or employees, choosing the right LMS for your purposes is essential to your training program’s success.

There are many criteria to consider, from scalability and community-building tools to reporting and course management. The LMS you use doesn’t just affect your ability to create and manage your courses, but it also has an impact on the end user’s experience.

Plus, once you’ve committed to the use of a specific platform, you will probably continue to use it over the long haul. Switching from one to the other could prove to be more trouble than it’s worth. It stands to reason you’d want the best tool at your fingertips.

What’s the best LMS for 2017? Here are several questions you should ask to find the right solution for you.

What Are Your E-Learning Goals?

What are you looking to achieve with your training programs? What are the learning needs of your students? What are the short- and long-term objectives for your e-learning initiative?

Finding the right LMS begins with assessing your goals and what you hope to accomplish. This will help you determine what platform best matches your developers’ – and students’ – needs.

What Skills Or Technical Experience Does Your Development Team Bring To The Table?

Are your course authors and developers knowledgeable and skilled at a variety of programming languages, LMS and content management platforms, plugins, and so on? Or, are they, beginners, when it comes to computer software and applications?

If your developers aren’t comfortable with the platform they’re using, they will find it a frustrating process to create courses, develop themes, track results, and so on. This will create bottlenecks in your training. It’s best to find an LMS that serves the needs of both your developers and learners.

What Limitations Does The LMS Have?

There is no one LMS that’s a comprehensive solution. Some will have more features than you need. Some will have fewer. Some will make reporting easy – others won’t. The important thing is to know what you need and what you’re looking for in a LMS.

Buying more LMS than you need isn’t necessarily a problem unless price point is a major consideration. The ability to scale up later is something you may end up appreciating as your organisation grows. There are features you may not need now but find a need for later.

What Support Does The LMS Offer?

Is the LMS updated regularly? Is there sufficient documentation covering how to use and customise it? Are there plugins you can install to extend its functionality? Is there a number you can call if everything goes awry?

If there is no support for a specific LMS, there’s probably a good reason for it. It may have been abandoned by its developers. Its users may have found it too difficult to use, or it may have many bugs that need to be worked out. You don’t want to be left with a solution that is no longer maintained and isn’t ready for use within a business or organisation.

Conclusion: The Best LMS For 2017

Moodle LMS is still considered one of the most feature-rich, powerful, and recommended LMS tools on the market. It’s free, open-source, and has amazing language support to boot.

In the end, you’ll still want to choose your LMS based on what’s right for your business or organisation. You may prefer the interface or feature set of other platforms. You may prefer an industry-specific platform that’s tailored to your exact course development needs.

Use the criteria above to find a platform that allows you to put your e-learning program into place without friction.