Over the past few years, online courses and distance learning colleges have grown significantly. Almost all courses available involve some element of online learning and with some of the world’s oldest largest universities turning to e-learning, (like Harvard and Yale), it is clear online courses are the way of the future. Online courses offer huge advantages, including increased flexibility, wide variety of courses offered and the lower costs involved.
Check out our Top 6 Online Learning ‘Hangout’ Tools!
Online Courses Hangout 1: Blackboard Collaborate
Blackboard online collaboration focuses solely on improving the online learning environment and provides a collaborate platform accessible by primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, as well as professional corporate and government organisations (meaning it will suit you – whatever your training needs!).
Blackboard collaborate includes a range of features like real time chat, recording function, file sharing, whiteboard, two-way audio, web conferencing, and interactive capabilities like hand raising.
Trainers can also engage their students through mobile collaboration, blended and online learning. To find out about pricing and licensing or get a Blackboard Collaborate 30 day trial, click here.
Design with remote students in mind, the Big Blue Button aims to deliver a high quality learning experience… for FREE! The BBB allows trainers to upload and share files and engage through audio and video conference with multiple participants. Sessions can also be recorded and played back at a later date and both public and private chat functions are available during presentations.
Trainers can also upload and share documents throughout the presentation and to ensure all participants are in sync, can elaborate and call out key parts on the BBB whiteboard. Try out this distance learning platform Big Blue Button.
Online Courses Hangout 3: Google Hangout
The main draw card to Google+ Hangouts is the free online learning platforms ease of use and simplicity. Up to ten trainers and students can communicate through chat and webcam, and with hangouts integration with Google Docs, online collaboration of files is streamlined.
Users also have the capability to add in ‘applications’ to the group, as well as other activities. Google+ Hangouts was designed with a larger audience in mind and because of this; the hangouts do not offer the educational functions of some of the earlier mentioned paid online learning programs.
Hangouts can be held anywhere in the world, at any time, on your laptop/PC, tablet device or mobile phone. To read about distance learning classrooms in Hangout, visit Google+.
Online Courses Hangout 4: Skype Classroom
Skype Classroom is a free online learning tool which allows both trainers and students to connect to the outside world (one of the biggest benefits!). Skype can be used to reach national and international connections (perfect for business and TESOL courses!). Skype can also be used to bring in experts to the classroom through the online learning functions of video and call chat.
Like Google+ Hangouts, Skype is a FREE program and is not designed to be a stand-alone program in delivering online learning training courses. Check it out at education.skype.com.
Online Courses Hangout 5: Saba Classroom
Saba classroom is designed to take over the distance learning (virtual education) sector of vocational training. Trainers have the ability to create the content available to students, set-up enrolment procedures and drag and drop online presentation materials, create evaluation forms and manage the virtual training classes through the online learning programs calendar.
Access to Saba is super simple and students only need a computer and internet connection. While ‘in class’ students can view the real-time updated whiteboard, instant polling and breakout rooms as well as have access to sharing desktop files and applications. To trial Saba, up to 4 attendees and 1 host may be present, beyond this pricing is around $15 per month for up to 20 attendees (with increased storage and access to HD video). Saba Classroom is great for online courses due to its interactive design, check it out by clicking here.
Online Courses Hangout 6: GoToWebinar
If you’re after a webinar and conference program, GoToWebinar allows trainers to conduct a ‘do-it-yourself’ online learning session in minutes! Trainers can present to up to 1000 people and GoToWebinar has tools for pre-conference, conference and post-conference stages.
Trainers can engage in practice sessions before the webinar, set up reminder messages for participants and share files. During conference trainers can chat through audio and visual conference capabilities, ask questions, view polls and enable the ‘hand raising’ function.
GoToWebinar is designed as a ‘one off’ learning environment, so if you are after a program that will have functionality to perform on-going online courses, perhaps one of the above options is your best bet! You can trial the distance learning platform by clicking here.
Are you a trainer or student? Do you take part in online learning courses? We’d love to hear what your favourite online course/online learning platform is?
Topics: Online Learning, Distance Learning, Online Course, Online Universities, Free Courses Online
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