eLearning is education, learning or training given online via a computer or any digital tool. The technology enables someone to learn or train anytime, anywhere he or she is located. eLearning is applicable to any industry and any type of training. Originally, the system was called electronic learning.
While it can be delivered online to users with access to the Internet, eLearning can also be accessed through a network, especially for large companies that employ hundreds or thousands of workers that they have to train individually or simultaneously.
Origin of the term
The term ''eLearning'' was coined in 1999 by Elliot Masie, the renowned leader in the industry of online learning. He is an expert in educational technology. In 2017, he was named #1 in the list of movers and shakers of the eLearning industry.
Twenty years from the day the term was coined, eLearning has provided countless benefits to companies, individuals and organizations. Since then it's been educating and training thousands of individuals who are busy at work, cannot attend a physical educational institution or do not have the means to get the training or education otherwise.
Online education is becoming a popular empowering tool to a growing number of corporations, enabling them to set up more headquarters and offices in many parts of the world. Their eLearning platforms allow them to reach other businesses, professionals and students worldwide who want to learn, improve themselves, and carve a better career path to attain their future goals.
Delivery of eLearning
If you have created an eLearning content, how do you deliver it to your intended users?
eLearning content is delivered using an eLearning platform. The program has come a long way and many tools and software have been developed in the 20 years of existence of modern eLearning technologies. Today, user engagement and enhanced learning
experience are priorities when delivering eLearning. Intuitive eLearning software have provided learners with engaging, fun and interactive experience that is not always preset in traditional learning methods.
Several eLearning platforms are available to provide an interactive set of several online services. Your choice will depend on your intended audience and your ultimate goal for creating an eLearning course. An eLearning platform provides creators, trainers and learners with the information, resources and tools necessary to aid and enhance the delivery and management of online education. The platform is called a learning management system, which is popularly shortened to LMS.
With the variety of eLearning platforms to choose from, it might be difficult to pick the one with the right options suitable to your needs. Here are some things that could help you make the right decision.
A good eLearning platform creates a rich learning experience that could simulate a classroom environment where the student and instructor can interact, have questions and answers, discussion, play educational games, have quizzes and do collaborative projects. The delivery of the lessons could be done online or installed on a device such as a computer, mobile phone or tablet.
The tools and features of the eLearning platform create the degree of engagement and interaction that the students require.
You can select an eLearning platform that fits the learning style of your intended users. You can use different content formats, such as videos, simulations, PowerPoint presentations, charts, webinars or interviews. What is more vital is that the learning platform you choose is capable of hosting communication modules and evaluation modules aside from the learning and content modules.
All the modules allow the eLearning program to integrate various teaching styles for the users and let the learners to enhance the level of their training performance and the retention level of what they have learned.
Building Your eLearning Platform
You've done your homework and now understand the eLearning industry. You have decided on the course content you want to host in your eLearning platform and have created a strategy to find the students who will take your eLearning course. And you have decided to build your own LMS despite the availability of several open source learning management systems such as Moodle.
You have to learn the pros and cons of building an LMS.
Constraints of Building Your Own LMS
First thing you have to know is that developing software is not only complicated but also costly. But if you have the financial and human resources and you understand the process, then this fact is immaterial.
But still, you need to ask yourself why you have to build an LMS when there are several open source systems that are already robust and quite popular among eLearning providers.
The initial cost of building your own LMS is between $30,000 and $120,000. The figure does not include the cost of maintenance and further enhancement of the program.
2. In-house or freelance developer
You have to consider to have an in-house developer or hire a freelancer to develop the software. If the developer is your employee, you are assured that the developer is focused on the work and that it is given top priority. Of course you have to pay the salary and benefits of your employee. But you have to think of the time when you do not need a full time developer in your employ.
Using a freelance developer may be convenient because you pay him or her on a per project basis. However, the freelancer may have other jobs that require his or her attention as well, so the focus on the development of your software is divided.
3. Recurring costs
Aside from the initial development cost, you also have to think about the costs involved in maintaining your LMS. Recurring costs include payment of the server, trouble shooting, upgrades and integration of third party tools into your system that should be developed further.
4. Technological advancements
Software development technology is constantly evolving, which means that it is possible that before your eLearning platform is ready to be used, it is no longer the newest available platform.
Advantages of Building an In-house LMS
One advantage of building a proprietary LMS is that you are not encumbered by the limitations of a platform that has the same features as the rest and may not have what you
need for the course you are going to offer and the type of user experience you want to provide. Here are the other advantages.
1. Full customization of the LMS
You can fully customize your LMS to the extent you want it to be if you build in-house. You can enhance its reporting capabilities, and improve the authoring tools and the means of deployment. You can add more features and enhance existing layouts.
2. Improve the platform's functionality
Additional customization of your LMS equals better functionality. You can integrate more tools and features to the LMS to provide your organization with the most benefits, which could be lacking in a pre-built LMS. You can choose the specific components that will make the learning management system fit the users' learning capability, level of experience and their skills. Users can make changes in the user interface so that it will be more intuitive according to their needs.
3. Integration of your own brand
With your proprietary learning management system, you will be able to use your own color scheme and use your own company logo, which can be a very powerful branding tool. The integration of your brand begins from the time the development of the software starts. With the integration your entire eLearning program is going to reflect the image of your company on the front and backend of the software development.
4. Targeted payments
Creating your own LMS means that you only pay for the features that you actually need, instead of settling for a pre-built learning management system that may have several other features that you are not going to use. Instead, you can have all the essential functionalities you require, meaning the software becomes more streamlined and lighter. As such, your expense for the development of the software is better allocated.
Tips for building a learning management system
Building an in-house LMS allows you to maximize your LMS investment by omitting unnecessary expenses. See to it that your objectives for creating your own learning platform are very clear. Keep in mind as well that the focus should be on the learners. Ensure that the eLearning course is intuitive and interactive and that the content is well planned. If you are not an educator yourself, seek the help of renowned educators who can give you expert help in the creation of the course. Lastly, ensure that the user interface is simple but very engaging.
Reach a wider audience with localized eLearning
Ensure that you're reaching more learners by localizing your eLearning content. Making it available in other languages and adapted to the targeted cultures enhances the credibility and profitability of your eLearning content. You can learn more by reading our eLearning localization guide. With so many things involved in the localization of eLearning materials, you need help from professional linguistic experts who have the right experience and extensive background in eLearning. You do not have to search further as you can immediately give Day Translations, Inc. a call at 1-800-969-6853 or send us an email at Contact us. We are available 24/7, each day of the year.