Types of eLearning platforms
Classification of e-learning platforms depends on criteria that will be taken into account. Modern systems that are alternatives to traditional classrooms may imply one-on-one or group learning with wide use of video-based content, microlearning, and other instruments.
Specific categories of e-learning platforms are online courses with no time restriction, training for employees, and platforms for teachers. Let’s overview all factors of classification and main types of e-learning platforms.
All existing e-learning platforms are classified on free and commercial. As usual, free platforms can fit your requirements if you need to conduct any simple training one time. This software can be open-source. It allows the user working with it in any way. The number of functions depends on the platform. At the same time, commercial e-learning products are better customized and suitable for long-term use.
There are seven main types of e-learning platforms:
A simple commercial LMS has basic functions that are needed for developing, conducting, and hosting online courses. There is a wide set of functions in learning management systems. Basic opportunities include tools that help to store and manage courses, assess students’ progress.
Most learning management systems are web-based and fully fit the needs of any educational institute or company that conducts training for newcomers or employees. The main advantages of learning management systems are:
- Ability to build motivating and exciting courses adding gamification elements and combining different types of content.
- Reducing of costs and time that are spent on the processes of learning and development.
- Quick adding of any new compliance regulation.
- Possibility to integrate tools related to social media education.
- Availability of various types and formats of learning.
- Opportunity to generate additional profit (commercial courses via company’s LMS system can be used for sales).
2) Online training for employees or job candidates
Companies use these tools to check the knowledge of employees and potential candidates who want to work in the organization. It enables business owners and management to check whether all workers are on the same page and have the needed expertise. The learning programs can be prepared individually according to the position, experience, and preferable learning pace of each worker.
Massive Open Online Courses based on existing e-learning platforms is another to acquire new knowledge and skills. These courses are free of charge or fee-based. In most cases the payment depends on the type of the certificate that will be received after the completion of the courses. As usual, there is no time restriction in MOOCS. This flexibility allows involving more students who can combine learning with their current occupation. Video based content and webinars simplify studying of the new material.
4) Destination site for learning
It’s another type of e-learning platform. Destination site consists of articles, guides, video content, and checking tools. This combination aims to the comfortable learning of new materials by students from all over the world. With the literate approach, such sites can help to learn a new direction or deepen professional skills.
Learning experience system is the new direction of development of the LMS. It’s becoming more and more popular nowadays because digital learning shows high efficiency, improves user experience, and involves students in the learning process by making it more visible. Learning experience systems are user-friendly, intuitively clear, and simple in using.
6) Custom e-learning platform built from scratch
This solution can be developed in accordance with customer needs and requirements. As usual, it should be created from scratch paying attention to business goals and peculiarities, type of company, and the average learner’s portrait. If you compare this solution with previous, it’s more expensive and requires the client’s participation in the process of the development. A good example of the custom e-learning platform built from scratch is HBX by Harvard Business School. This platform serves for conducting business courses.
Applications for education accessible on the go are in high demand nowadays. There is no doubt that this tendency will continue in the future because microlearning is gaining momentum.
ELearning platforms — where it all goes
It’s obvious that e-learning platforms must be task-oriented, personalized, user-friendly, and adapted to the customer needs. In the coming years, their development will be directly related to VR/AR and ML tools. These instruments help to make LMS platforms for education better. Cloud storage will be used for them in connection with a large amount of data. At the same time, gamification elements can help to engage more users with increasing levels of motivation and interest. Quests combined with badges and other awards for successful passing of any stage will be the keys to success.