An online education platform is meant for delivery of educational content to students. The platform, unlike a textbook is an interactive medium where students can engage with the content. And therefore, these platforms are in high demand in schools and universities across the globe. Because every institute wants their students to understand the concepts and its implications in the real world.
This high demand has resulted in the production and availability of many such online education platforms in the market, putting educational institutions in a dilemma. How do they decide which platform works best for their students? Every vendor claims to have the best learning platform which benefits students and teachers. They all have multiple features are more or less similar to one another.
What then, is the differentiating factor which you should look for while selecting an online learning platform?
Here in this blog, we will highlight some of the features that must be present in a learning platform. Having a concise list will help you determine and compare among multiple tools and make the right choice for your students.
So, here are the must-have features of an online education platform.
1. Easy-to-use interface
First of all, we need an interface that is easy to use. The icons and text should be clear and legible. Teachers and students must be able to navigate through the app smoothly. A lot of teachers are still getting used to the idea of using eBooks and online content delivery platforms in classrooms.
As instructors are required to design courseware, they must be comfortable in using the platform efficiently. The tool should be designed in such a way that someone who does not know coding must be able to use and operate it without difficulty. As for students, they will appreciate a platform which allows them to navigate easily and functions smoothly.
2. Custom Branding
An institution would want a platform which offers a touch of personalization. Just like all the learning resources provided by an institute has their logo over it, similarly, the learning platform must also incorporate their brand image/logo and color palette.
It will give the students a sense of belonging, rather than using a third-party tool. Therefore, you must look for a vendor who can provide a white-label platform, which you can customize as per your liking.
3. Offline Reading
Though it’s an online education platform, it must also be accessible offline. Students might want to download some content and read later. And in case there’s no internet connectivity, students should not be deprived of the chance to study. So, there must be an option for users to download content and read it offline.
4. Cloud-hosted Platform
Ensure that it is a cloud-based platform. Meaning, all the data is saved on the cloud. With a cloud-based tool, you can be assured that your content is always accessible from anywhere and anytime. Moreover, it can be updated as and when required, and the changes would be reflected in all students’ eBooks.
5. Interactive Elements
You should be able to add interactive elements to the platform. Online interactivities include quizzes, audio files, videos, simulations, gamification etc. The tool must also allow students to make notes and share with their peers or teachers, bookmark pages, search for information, highlight texts, etc. Including interactive elements increases student engagement with the courseware. Hence, look for all the interactivities that the platform offers.
How To Create An Interactive eBook
6. Assessment Tools
Quizzes and assessments are an important part of education. Ensure that the tool lets you create different types of quizzes to keep the students engaged and interested in the course. You can have various styles of quizzes, such as drag and drop, match the pairs, answer in brief, labeling, multiple choice questions, fill in the blanks etc.
The platform must enable teachers to add quizzes anywhere in the course module- at the end of each chapter or in between chapters. Teachers must be able to review the assessments and provide feedback online.
An analytic tool helps measure the effectiveness of the learning program as well as the teaching effectiveness. It will provide detailed insights into the learning pattern of each student. Teachers need this report to get actionable information.
They can get insights into content consumed by each student, percentage of the course completed etc. This information helps them improve their teaching approach, redesign the course content or pay more attention to a student who needs help.
8. Licenses, Access and Validity
Find out whether the tool allows teachers to give individual license to each student or create a group license. Based on the license type, access codes are generated, with which students can access the eBooks. Also enquire about the validity of the licenses.
Some platforms allow teachers to set the validity of the course for every student, post which the students won’t be able to view the course. Licenses and access codes gives the educators control over who can view the content.
9. Device Agnostic
The online education platform must be device agnostic. Since it is an application, it must be readable on most of the devices and operating systems. Students might have different devices with different operating systems- Windows, iOS or Android.
The learning platform that you select must be able to deliver content on all devices and operating systems. This will save the students and their parents from the trouble to buy a new device that’s compatible with the learning platform.
10. Content Security/DRM Protection
The platform should give you complete control over the content. In order to protect your content from unauthorized use and download, you can encrypt the eBook with DRM protection. This will ensure that only those users with the access codes can view the courses.
These were some of the main features of a archetypal online education platform that you must look for while selecting one. Kitaboo is one such digital publishing platform that global publishers and educational institutes have been using to create publish and deliver mobile-first interactive content online.
With a range of features and functionalities, it is the perfect study partner for the digital natives. Before investing in a learning tool, try out the tool once to see if it is feasible and if it suits your requirements as well as the learning requirements of your students. A lot of these platforms offer a free demo and login on request.
Based on the above-mentioned points, you can select a tool that perfectly matches your requirements and provides an enhanced learning experience to the students.