eLearning platform features important for great user experience

08 May 2020
Kate, copywriter
In this fast-paced world, people want to minimize administrative burdens and focus on learning.
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What is an online learning platform?

2020 has shown us that it’s always good to have an alternative, and education is no exception. eLearning saved much time and provided learners from the entire world with the possibility to gain knowledge here and now. An eLearning platform is a software that creates a virtual learning environment for delivering the training courses to the audience of learners. It also monitors their activity and arranges their work. However, the major challenge of such type of education is whether we can integrate students in the learning process as much as during the offline activities. That’s why eLearning is somehow doubted by the people with a conventional mindset. “I perceive information better when the teacher is nearby”, “It’s hard for me to adapt and I feel overwhelmed while doing the tasks”, “The system may work slowly and I lose the desire to learn this way”, “I don’t know how to manage the timing and end up spending too much time on the task”.

eLearning is constantly developing and SapientPro has the answers to the most common concerns: 

  • “You’ll feel the presence of a teacher with the high-quality video conferencing tool and implemented chat”;
  • “The adapting period will pass faster if you understand everything in the system — using clear navigation and friendly e-learning platform design”;
  • “Tech problems can be solved by modern solutions offered by our devs and 24/7 customer support”;
  • “With the timing features, like deadline setting, focus tracking, to-do lists, it becomes easier to save your precious moments”.

There most reoccurring trends in society are TIME-EFFICIENCY, AFFORDABILITY, and CONVENIENCE. I don’t want to waste too much time figuring out how the learning management system works because it’s complicated. I don’t want to spend half of my monthly earnings just to be able to use it. I don’t want to get confused by redundant images and buttons. In this fast-paced world, I want to minimize administrative burdens and focus on learning. These basic society’s trends decide how the eLearning industry develops.  

TOP 7 Elearning platform Features in 2020

Self Registration and Signing in

Each e-learning website has a registration option. It goes without sayings. However, the registration process differs everywhere. The simpler and more secure it is, the better. Usually, the user has to include personal info like the name and surname, phone number and email, course name, and university ID. However, it is possible to improve the process by allowing them to enter via Facebook or Gmail. This process must be as smooth as possible – not just to improve the usability and reputation of a platform but to display your care about the learners. Educational process, especially on the Internet, is deadlines-based, helping to implement better time management both on the teachers’ and students’ side. Many people may have no time to do tasks beforehand and enter the system 4-2 hours before the span’s over. Imagine, the signing in the process does not work — you cannot enter, the website displays errors, although you fill in everything correctly. You end up being irritated and missing the deadline. It may seem a minor issue, however, when the eLearning was implemented in my [the author’s] university, most issues were tied to the registration and sign in. Just to be clear: students wasted 3 hours just figuring out how it works. Are these the first experience you want your audience to get from using your product?

Virtual Class

Dashboards: Teachers and Students

Each participant in the learning process must get a different level of access to the program. The students mustn’t be allowed to change the deadlines or delete the tasks. Teachers should not be allowed to view the drafts of the students’ works without permission. It’s a way to arrange a seamless transition to trustworthy eLearning relationships. 

A standard set of functions for instructors:

  • create a course;
  • attach the material;
  • share the information;
  • add task;
  • set the deadlines;
  • put a score;
  • connect with each student;
  • create a video conference or refer to a video conference app;
  • set reminders for the whole group.

A standard set of functions for students:

  • download the materials;
  • attach the documents;
  • connect with the teacher;
  • check the completed tasks;
  • evaluate the lesson.

Virtual Classrooms

These are the environments close to the usual classrooms in the contextual meaning. Here, you can communicate with your groupmates, arrange your materials in one place, view your schedule, and communicate with the teacher. Virtual classrooms’ most required features are breakout rooms (to divide the group if there is a final assessment), videoconferencing, and constant feedback chatting. Basically, it’s like you sit in the class, only online. It’s important to create a collaborative setting and psychologically safe environment here because studying online with a group of people is harder than offline. It’s all because of our need to scan the nonverbal behavior of the participants of the class. It’s hard to do online. Thus, there should be a personal feedback function. This way, if the teacher needs to criticize a student, he or she can do it privately without awkward moments. Virtual classrooms also require sessions recording — for the students who missed the class to catch up; whiteboard and screen sharing – to illustrate the examples; option to raise a hand — to avoid havoc on your videoconference. 

Integrations 

To get the best out of the learning activities, universities, schools, and organizations integrate their eLearning platform with other tools that enhance the personalized paths of their students. For example, downloading videos to YouTube private channels and give the reference to it may be more beneficial to your system’s performance than loading them on your system. Kindle and other online libraries may provide your class with necessary material, Slack integration allows you to chat. If you don’t have a conference call function, integrate with Google Meet or Zoom. 

Personalized learning paths

It allows students to choose the most convenient way of studying. For example, they can choose when they visit the course and how they participate there. For some, it is easier to read the text, for some to listen to the lecture, for others — to discuss them with others. Usually, the learning process combines all that. However, if you know that, let’s say, Jack will not remember anything from the video — get him the script. The personalized learning paths also get the analytics information about the number of met and not met deadlines, scores, progress. Overall, a personalized learning path involves the acceptance of diversity in the methods of studying. What suits one, does not suit another. 

Community support (chats and chatbots)

That’s necessary to avoid tech issues. If the educational process management is good but is occurring in an environment with design inconsistencies and loading problems — it won’t work. To find out about any type of errors that may emerge — create a separate chat for both teachers and learners to inform you about their concerns. Usually, students, especially youngsters, do not tell about the tech problems they encounter, which makes it difficult to study.

Social learning and interaction

This is a prerequisite of the teachers because it is their job to create a soothing learning environment. Our task is to provide them with a platform for the development of this environment. Learning = interaction with instructors + interaction with peers + interaction with content. To fulfill this function, you need to implement tools that will enhance communication, material viewing, downloading, and feedback sharing. If everything works smoothly on the tech side, instructors will feel more at ease while setting a climate in the group, selecting content, and supporting discourse. 

Common trends in e-learning platform development

Mobile learning. As there is a need to save time, there is a way to do it by bringing the entire educational process to the phone. It creates a possibility to connect with your teachers whenever it’s suitable for you and them. You can more easily meet deadlines by submitting the task while riding on the bus or waiting for a meeting in the café. 

Personalized learning has always been a hit because students remember the info better when the teacher targets them individually on the lesson. It’s easier to explain the material in 30 minutes to 1 student than to 10. Also, there’s always a way of making sure everything is understood. However, in the digital world personalization is about choosing convenient ways of studying. For example, you may learn better by listening, thus, your instructor may target your auditory perception and send videos instead of texts. Your level of the source language may be low so they can provide you with the adaptive texts or translations, etc. 

Social learning includes the process of acquiring knowledge by observing and imitating. You watch a video of how your teacher knits a stitch or does fitness exercises. In real life, you will have to grasp the moves fast because the instructor is not a robot, and it’s hard for him to show you the same basics all over again. With eLearning, the videos of the whole process are recorded and loaded to the system where you can watch it 100 times and re-watch later in case you forget something. 

Gamification creates an impression of utter participation. You learn, but you also play. You remember the info and you enjoy it. That’s what Duolingo, as well as other language-learning apps, chose for their teaching strategies. They divided the process into different categories. Finishing each task you get bonuses and can enhance your avatar and, what’s most important, learn how to speak the most famous languages in the world. In all types of world, Duolingo has the Valyrian language from the Game of Thrones. 

Online education cannot 100% replace the traditional means of teaching and learning, however, it will become an important part of the future. You don’t have to travel the world to take the courses from the best Universities — there is a Coursera. You don’t have to spend tons of time figuring out the marketing strategies from the lousy lessons available in your city – connect with the best professionals in that field via Future Learn.

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