Over the last five years, e-learning platforms have gained popularity and notoriety for alleviating some of the strain caused by our education problems. Namely, for helping bring resources and materials to classrooms and countries that can't afford the proprietary and closed options.
For those looking to launch their own e-learning platform, the landscape has only recently been mature enough for almost anyone to jump in and start their own. In the early days, the way in which one would operate an e-learning platform was similar to document management as a means to knowledge management, rather than true e-learning. What I mean by that is, many people may use an e-learning platform as a Document Management System (DMS) to simply store their presentations and other documents. Others use it for storing rich HTML content (animations, dynamic slides, etc) and other educational materials, like quizzes and tests. To me, though, this is not what an e-learning platform is truly meant to do; it should offer a wide range of tools that:
- publish knowledge
- assess how the knowledge is assimilated by the learners
- generate curiosity and collaboration among learners
- teach concepts through constructive and playful interactions and self-experiences
There was a desire for a more active way to deliver content, for tools that could deliver things like a quiz, video conference, wiki, or forum. But very few of them succeeded in building a true e-learning platform.