With the digital mode of learning becoming popular among the students and corporate organizations, the demand for eLearning platforms is also booming. If you are a business organization and looking to adopt corporate eLearning for your employees, you have an array of software solutions to choose from. However, not all the platforms are suitable for every kind of eLearning implementation.

For instance, by selecting a good eLearning solution for the company, businesses save around $13.5 million each year. This saving is because of by-passing the physical classroom training and using eLearning software to create and share corporate training courses.

If you know the benefits of corporate eLearning and willing to implement an e-learning platform in your company too, you are not alone. You are among that 77 % of wise U.S. organizations who are using online courses to train their employees

Today, there is an abundance of software solutions available for implementing eLearning methodologies in an organization. As a result, it becomes very tough to decide which solution fits best to your kind of organization. Adoption of an inefficient solution can lead to severe setbacks as it is a time taking process.

Hence to help you go through an effortless transition from physical classroom training to eLearning platforms, we researched and analyzed some popular eLearning and online teaching platforms in the market. We settled on the following factors that you should necessarily consider while choosing a good online learning and training solution.

There are four ways of choosing an e-learning platform

1) Self-hosted e-learning platform

Such platforms are developed by a third party and then hosted on your web-server under a separate or sub-domain. These are well suited for all those organizations who want to implement online training for their employees, and also have absolute control over the platform.

Benefits
  • Absolute control
  • Open-source
  • Free-from recurring charges
  • Fully customizable
Downsides
  • Time
  • Require significant technical knowledge
  • Require a dedicated team of developers and site admins.
  • Not all tutors possess technical knowledge.

Examples: WordPress CMS, JoomlaLMS

2) Third party hosted e-learning platform

These solutions are developed, hosted and managed by the software vendor itself. We can also call them SaaS-based solutions. These are suitable for companies and individuals who do not want to handle the technical parts by themselves and can afford the cost of recurring charges for SaaS-based subscriptions.

Benefits
  • No technical knowledge required.
  • Managed by the software vendor itself.
  • Receives regular updates.
  • Faster to implement
Downsides
  • No control over codes.
  • Closed source
  • No control over customization
  • No white-label branding.
  • Recurring subscription charges.
  • Limited features

Examples: Udutu LMS

3) E-learning marketplace platforms

There are dedicated websites which sell courses online. Corporate managers can upload the courses on these websites and employees can access them from anywhere.

Depending on policies, these websites can be free or premium as well. These are suitable for all those companies who do not want to invest in a dedicated online teaching platform and can afford to purchase already developed courses by third-parties. 

Benefits
  • No need to build your own
  • Access to the millions of already developed courses.
  • Zero cost of development, implementation, and management cost.
  • Created courses can also be hosted for selling on these platforms.
Downsides
  • Third-party website
  • Limited features
  • Need separate eLearning authoring tool for course creation
  • Can only host courses, cannot author one.
  • Have to purchase courses to access them.

Examples: Open Sesame, Udemy.

4) Ready-made self-hosted eLearning software

Popularly known as an eLearning authoring tool, a turnkey software offers all that you need to create, upload and share online courses. This software is highly suitable for implementing a dedicated eLearning platform within your organization and having full control over it. You can call them a combination of all three above solutions. 

Benefits
  • Absolute control
  • Both Open-source and SaaS
  • Offers tools for course creation
  • Separate tools for course sharing
  • Faster to implement
  • Easy workflow and collaboration management with access control.
  • Easier to set up, manage and update.
  • Integrated LMS.
  • No technical knowledge required for management and course creation.
  • Comes with supported mobile apps.
Downsides
  • Many solutions in the market, it is tough to choose one.
  • Some of them are not easy to use. g., Windows-based applications are tricky.
  • Availability of both SaaS and self-hosted options make selection complicated.
  • Recurring charges may occur in SaaS-based software
  • Customization charges may occur in self-hosted solutions.

Examples: Articulate Storyline, PinLearn

Consider following features as necessary in an eLearning platform

  • Tools to design a course: Audio editing, video editing, image editing.
  • Tools to Share the courses: Cloud hosting and CDN.
  • Tools to track a course: Integration with Google analytic
  • Tools to track learning: integrated Learning management system.
  • Supports multiple formats: text, video, audio, PPT, PD, HTML.
  • Allows monetization of courses: options to sell courses and receive online payments.
  • Supports Paywall: Integrated payment gateways like PayPal.
  • Allow user collaboration: multiple users with different level of access such as learners, tutors, and admins.
  • Supports gamification: interactive games and quizzes.
  • Supports learning assessments: Quizzes, MCQ tests.
  • Supports learning report generation: Generate learners’ progress report.
  • Generate reports in different formats: Certificates, Grades, Progress report card.

Choosing an eLearning platform is a tough job without proper research on all the option you have in the market. It is always a wise move to first research about all the free and paid options, and then test out as many options based on your requirements.

Consider, pros, cons, and necessities of a useful eLearning platform mentioned in this article, selecting an efficient one would not be a tough job for you. 

Written By
Katie Taylor is a professional blogger, guest writer and Influencer. Currently associated with PinLearn as a content marketing strategist.

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