The era of E-learning – 5 great platforms which can teach us what works
The quarantine measures implemented during the spread of COVID-19 have included the closure of schools in a number of countries. In many places, parents have welcomed the provision of online classes by their children’s teachers. Where these haven’t been available, some have researched independent eLearning providers to keep their children occupied and learning. Others have looked into platforms for adult e-Learning, using the time spent indoors as a chance to learn a new language or skills. Below, we take a look at five platforms which we think are worth exploring if you’re looking to build an e-Learning or online training product.
1.ETS – 10Clouds is proud to have worked with ETS, a not-for-profit passionate about advancing quality and equality for learners worldwide. ETS conducts research and develops assessment programs for schools and businesses. It also provides a number of instructional products and services which take eLearning to the next level.
- With ETS’s Criterion Online Writing Evaluation Service, students work independently to develop their writing skills and receive instant holistic scores and diagnostic feedback on their writing. The e-rater scoring engine provides feedback in different categories including grammar, usage, style, and more.
- ETS’s English Language Learning and Assessment program provides research-based products and services that support nonnative speakers of English by encouraging learning, assessing progress and measuring proficiency.
Biggest takeaway: Testing engines go a long way in eLearning and if you’re able to combine high quality online teaching materials with reliable methods of testing, you’ll do well. Consider machine learning solutions to add extra depth to the analysis of students’ answers.
2. Udemy– One of the top U.S. online learning platforms, Udemy offers users access to the world’s largest selection of courses, in everything from IT and software development through to marketing and photography. Udemy also offers the possibility of selecting the topics users are interested in, rather than committing to a rigorous lesson plan. Finally, there are multiple discounts on offer and even some free courses during the quarantine period. Business owners are able to select business accounts, which will provide the relevant courses to their team members.
Biggest takeaway: Adapting your content to your target audience is important with eLearning, as is flexibility which can significantly improve the user experience, and is more likely to lead to repeat purchases. Consider offering free tasters of your content as means of a trial for users before they commit to an extended learning plan.
3. LinkedIn Learning – LinkedIn learning is available on every LinkedIn Premium subscription and is aimed at supporting users to improve their career prospects. Courses range from short, beginner-level to in-depth specialist training. The Premium subscription offers users unlimited access to the Premium Learning Library, and enables an easy transition from a computer to a mobile device. For longer courses, there are Learning Paths – a step by step guide to helping users to specialise in certain fields, such as for instance ‘Mastering WordPress’ or ‘Become a Manager’. Finally, users are encouraged to use completed course certifications in their LinkedIn profiles in order to impress employers.
Biggest takeaway: Creating digestible content is important so it’s worth conducting workshops on different formats of content and testing them on a sample of your target audience to find out which is most well-received. You might also take a leaf out of LinkedIn’s book and consider your own course certifications or accreditations which can be used on CVs.
4. BrainPop – This one is for children and their parents. BrainPop has been around since 1999, and is a trusted learning resource supporting core and supplemental subjects, reaching millions of learners worldwide. BrainPop encourages kids to keep asking questions, to think creatively and to come up with their own ideas. A feature that makes it unique among children’s learning platforms is its focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). The service is paid-for, but there are some courses being offered for free, so that parents and carers can get a flavour of the content on offer.
Biggest takeaway: It’s a given that interactive features are essential when it comes to designing eLearning for children. Parental buy-in is also a must, which is why free demo sessions are always recommended. As this market is becoming highly saturated, it’s worth finding a niche, be it in the subjects that your offer, or the method of delivery.
5. Duolingo – A great resource for adults and children alike, Duolingo is one of the biggest online language learning platforms. Duolingo lessons adapt to your learning style and exercises are tailored to help you learn and review vocabulary effectively. You can also instantly see which answers you get correct. When you miss a challenge, you’ll be shown quickly how to improve. A study has shown that 34 hours of Duolingo are equal to 1 university semester of language courses. More recently, the platform has launched new resources specifically designed for schools, and many of these have already been put to use in classrooms across the world.
Biggest takeaway: Having in-built user customisation will make your product stand out, so it’s worth considering a machine learning solution which analyses not just the method, but also the speed at which a user learns (building on learning from ETS above). A motivating user experience is key, so learning prompts, such as those used by DuoLingo can help keep users engaged and ultimately to retain them.
We hope the above examples have given you some useful food for thought.
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