Elearning has firmly established itself as a credible and valuable method of learning. In the last twenty years elearning has increased by more than 900% demonstrating its validity within the education sector.
An important component of the elearning revolution has been the system of management that allows course and training providers to create, implement and track participant’s progress and learning. This system is known as the Learning Management System (LMS).
But, not all course content providers will need to employ the services of a LMS. There are other options out there, all of which we will explore in our article. At Real Projects, we know that one size doesn’t fit all, and knowing what is going to work for you takes a bit of knowledge and foresight. We’re here to help deliver both of those things so you can decide whether your learning pathways can thrive without an LMS.
Knowing where to host your online learning courses and training can be daunting. Choosing the right place can be a contributing factor in the success of your online learning business.
A self-hosted website is a popular way of delivering elearning. Owning a self-hosted website is pretty much what it sounds like-you own, install, run and maintain the hardware yourself, rather than rent server space from a web-hosting service.
Because of this, you have complete autonomy over the design, content and branding of your product. Whilst the idea of building your own website might feel overwhelming, it’s actually quite easy to do. You don’t have to have a background in web-design and it shouldn’t take too long.
For those who find the possibility of developing their own website single-handedly more than they can face, there are website builders available. Web Builders leave the content and design to you website owner, but offer templates or drag and drop interfaces to simplify the process.
In much the same way, Content Management Systems (CMS) are software tools that can be used to simply build websites. A CMS provides software with an easy-to-use interface that allows you to build, manage, revise and publish content.
Using a self-hosted website can lead to great control over your finances too, because you can control your own value-pricing. When self-hosting sites you’re able to set up bundles, subscriptions, team plans or lifetime plans-a great option for elearning publishers and providers.
An alternative to a self-hosted website could be using the services of a third-party elearning platform. There are a number of third-party websites available as an alternative to using an LMS. Third-party platforms mediate exchanges between content providers and users. Course sellers upload their course materials, texts, videos, simulations and videos onto the third-party platforms.
Platforms such as Udemy, Open Sesame, Go 1 and Course Source are examples of third-party elearning platforms, often called online course marketplaces. Given the name marketplaces because there are more than two professional tutors available, some of these platforms offer thousands of courses. Marketplace platforms allow users to sell their own courses that are housed on the learning platform. These platforms are some of the best out there and fully equipped to build and deliver easy to use, high quality content. Marketplace platforms such as these allow you to retain a percentage of revenue taken per student as a fee. Their management software deals with payments, so you don’t have to.
These platforms offer advantages to course sellers. Course content is turned around and produced at speed, can be updated instantly and learning is dhttps://www.realprojects.co.uk/the-importance-of-elearning-courses/eveloped to suit the needs of all learners. Because these platforms are such huge hitters in the education industry, they have access to a big share of the market and massive pre-existing user bases. In much the same way, they have an established marketing strategy, that’s helped them create such a large portion of the elearning market for themselves. And, if you use these platforms, these advantages become your advantages too.
Course producers and sellers use these platforms to reach a wider audience and help them to deliver high quality products that are easy to use and accessible to an incredibly large section of the education industry. They also eliminate the need for you to use an LMS, enabling your business to thrive.
Blended learning is another way of delivering high quality course content without requiring the use of an LMS. Blended learning is the method of teaching skills or qualifications using both traditional face-to-face interaction with a teacher/instructor and, in addition, incorporating the use of one or more technologies to enhance learning.
Blended learning is a cost effective method of running corporate training and academia. It reduces the need for an in-person presence, accommodation or travel expenses and enables you to train large groups of people at any one time.
Blended learning is also built on a model of flexibility so learners can work at their own pace to complete assignments. Engagement comes through the use of online learning technologies to garner interest and stimulate motivation within learners. These are mixed with webinars that can be pre-recorded in order to teach concepts and set assignments.
Collaborative learning, peer to peer interaction and video conferencing tools are all features that create successful blended learning. These technologies can be accessed through various elearning platforms, without the need to incorporate an LMS.
Without an LMS it’s much harder to track the progress of students, grade assignments and evaluate engagement and interaction with materials. But it can be done.
Elearning is a growing phenomenon, in part because there’s so much high quality content out there. Online courses are now offered by well-known universities and often qualifications are recognised with the same status as those gained in traditional classrooms or lecture theatres. Because of this, those once reluctant to try online learning are now much more open minded and elearning continues to grow and thrive.
Those selling online learning often lean towards the use of an LMS, but perhaps they are not always sure whether it will benefit them. What we’ve shown in this article is that whilst an LMS can offer you serious advantages, it’s not always necessary. There are choices out there, self-hosted websites, third-party platforms and blended learning are equally effective options.
Knowing what you want out of your elearning ultimately impacts on what you need to execute your goals. At Real Projects, we encourage you to establish exactly what you hope to achieve and then look into the options that will best help you succeed.