Recent events exposed an educational system that takes a while to evolve. From common student areas that became makeshift classrooms, parents turned to part-time teachers and tech support, to the heightened role of the internet as the lifeline for learning. With continuous technological development in the academe, custom LMS options for distance learning are becoming widely available.
In a world suddenly thrown from face-to-face classes to distance learning as the primary educational delivery tool, the successful transition from these two completely different learning instructions would require an effective Learning Management System – more commonly known as LMS.
First Off, What Is an LMS?
Known as the most common option for distance learning, LMS or Learning Management System functions like an online classroom where teachers can conduct discussions, upload announcements, audio files, videos, and readings, hold learning activities, and evaluate student work.
Although LMS has multiple options for connectivity (either via local hosting or “in the cloud”) and supports synchronous and asynchronous interaction among students and faculty, it also demands a strong bandwidth and high-speed connectivity.
A Review on LMS Platforms for Distance Learning
Here are seven examples of LMS platforms available right now:
If you’ve been familiar with computers and the internet for a while, “Adobe” is probably among the most frequent software you’ll encounter. With only a few corners of the software world left untouched, Adobe’s very own LMS platform – the Adobe Captivate, claims to roll out courses in less than 90 minutes, thanks to its variety of tools for setting up, an online help center, in-product videos, 24/7 tech support, and automation features that enable users to schedule reports, auto-assign learning plans, and synchronize users.
For students and instructors who prefer a mobile-based interface, Articulate 360 lets users create visual and highly-interactive courses compatible with any device – even without tweaking anything. By simply clicking “Publish,” Articulate 360 through its Storyline and Rise features automatically makes each course mobile-ready. It also supports touchscreen gestures, a built-in player that hides sidebar menus, and even an accessible library of themes.
Blackboard Learn markets itself to higher education institutions, featuring a cloud-based system that promises to be responsive in all kinds of devices. It can also work with third-party providers for additional content. Aside from student-teacher engagements, Blackboard Learn is also used by businesses and government institutions to provide online learning and training.
More ideal in a workplace setting, Docebo is a collaborative learning platform that helps users to arrange, monitor, and distribute online modules for formal learning. Instead of a one-way broadcast, Docebo welcomes collaboration by encouraging employees to ask questions and receive answers from experts in their organization themselves. Learners can also share and confirm their knowledge through shared discussions and peer reviews across various teams.
Aside from offering teachers a medium of directly teaching students, Google Classroom also allows students who are unable to attend real-time classes to catch up with additional notes and homework. Google Classroom utilizes the same G Suite office software tools including Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, among others – making it an excellent choice for teachers and students who are just starting out with LMS for distance learning. It is also notable that the majority of its functions are accessible free-of-charge, with additional features such as an increased capacity for meetings and streaming accessible at a nominal cost.
More specifically designed for teachers rather than students, WizIQ works as an LMS software and a virtual classroom where users can actively create and sell digital courses that can be either delivered as live classes or as modules that students can remotely study at their own pace. To globally maximize student enrollment and increase revenue streams, these classes can also be converted into MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses.
Choosing the right LMS
Although there are lots of LMSs available in the market today, some of them can be too similar that choosing one would be hard. To filter which platform would suit your needs the best, here are seven factors to consider:
- Compatibility with Other Platforms
- Look and Feel
- Presence and Maturity
- Special Features
- Suite of Supports
- User Interface and Accessibility
Regardless of the time, place, and available technological resources, LMS platforms such as the ones mentioned above ensure students and teachers alike that quality yet flexible education through distance learning is possible.