Details of E-learning Solutions and Learning Management Systems

E-learning solutions have emerged as the most reliable way of propagating content for educating a group of distantly located learners. This solution can be used for teaching the same course material to infinite number of learners via the Internet, corporate or college intranet and CD ROMs or DVDs. E-learning services are divided into two major categories, namely asynchronous learning and synchronous learning. While the former is a self paced learning programme, wherein the students themselves go through the content, the other is a group learning programme, which involves being taught the same material alongside others in a collaborative manner.

Asynchronous learning is further bifurcated into Self Paced Courses and Discussion Boards. A self paced course is a convenient mode of learning, as the learner can choose the time and place to go through the content. In this category of e-learning solutions, students choose the modules that will equip them with the skills needed to carry out a task optimally in the least amount of time. Developed using e-learning authoring tools, a self paced course has features like multimedia, interactivity, bookmarking and tracking.

Self paced learning uses a combination of text, graphics, animation, audio and video to create captivating content for the learners. On the other hand, bookmarking allows users to mark the point where they conclude the lesson for the day and start from the same point next time. Other features of self paced learning include simulation, online assistance, multiple bookmarking, searches, and notes and highlights. On the other hand, a discussion group, the other type of asynchronous learning, is centred on discussion forums, bulletin boards and message boards for interactive learning among students enrolled in the course.

Synchronous e-learning services involve multiple channels of disseminating content, such as a virtual classroom, audio and video conferencing, instant messaging, shared whiteboards and applications and chats. Each mode of communication and learning is vastly different from the other, yet ensures that learners grasp the concept being taught optimally and learn to apply it in real-world setting conveniently.

A Learning Management System (LMS) is crucial for enrolling learners in the course, allocating the content to them and evaluating them upon completion of any module. These can also be used for preparing reports that clearly state the progress of the students or a team. The training management component of the product involves scheduling a virtual class, developing blended learning content, defining requirements from the programme and authoring. Likewise, the employee management part of a LMS takes care of skill evaluation, division of training modules on basis of skills, performance reviews, hiring and succession management.

Gireesh Sharma is a journalist an author specializing in topics related to E-learning services, Learning Management System and e-learning solutions.