In this article, you’ll learn about instructional designer software that will help you educate your students online and improve your teaching experience. These solutions enable you to boost engagement in both physical and virtual classrooms, save time preparing lessons, and adjust to remote learning practices more effectively.
Types of software we’ll cover:
- Authoring tools
- Learning management systems
- Video conferencing and virtual classroom software
Table of Contents
Authoring tools are software that teachers and instructors can use to create online learning content: courses, quizzes, dialogue simulations, tutorial videos, etc. They range in learning curves and don’t necessarily require strong tech skills or complex IT implementation. Some only need the Windows operating system and function in the PowerPoint interface, which makes them suitable even for low-end PCs.
For example, iSpring Suite is such a PowerPoint-based authoring tool that’s completely user friendly. The tool will enable you to create a course on any topic under the sun from existing PPT slides, or convert a PDF file into an HTML5 ebook. To assess learners’ knowledge and engage them better, you can choose from 14 types of interactive quizzes. Learners will be able to take courses and quizzes in a self-paced manner asynchronously, and quiz results will be emailed to you immediately, thus avoiding the tedious task of grading.
You can also supplement your course with a picture-in-picture video or a screencast that you can record and edit right in iSpring Suite. Whichever learning content you plan to make with the tool, it will display perfectly in all browsers and on all devices. Plus, it’s easy to update and revise the content at any time. As well, iSpring Suite is available for teachers at a great academic discount.
Learning Management Systems
When you build courses with an authoring tool, the most convenient way to deliver them to learners is through an LMS. An LMS is an online platform where instructors can upload online courses, build specific learning programs, enroll learners, and track their progress in detail. In an LMS, all needed materials are stored in a single place, and learners can access them anytime, anywhere, both on computers and mobile devices.
There are different types of LMS, but cloud-based systems are the most accessible and easy to implement in an organization of any size. For example, setting up iSpring Learn LMS, uploading your materials here, and enrolling learners take only a couple of hours.
iSpring Learn fits both business and education institutions with any number of learners. It’s SCORM compliant and has a powerful reporting engine that tracks the way learners interact with courses, quizzes, and assignments precisely. For example, you’ll be able to monitor who takes which courses, how much time they spend taking them, and how many attempts they make to pass a given quiz – all in real time.
iSpring Learn is also a perfect match for blended learning. You can host Zoom training sessions right from the LMS and schedule both online events and classroom training in the calendar.
Video Conferencing and Virtual Classroom Software
Speaking of Zoom, scheduling a live training session there or on Skype has become a daily routine for many teachers and instructors. Video-based learning has come to stay, and it’s never too late to explore it in greater depth and increase the level of learner engagement when training in Zoom, Skype, Google Classroom, etc. Given that a virtual session or virtual classroom prompts learners and tutors to interact with each other in many productive ways, don’t hesitate to squeeze more out of whichever software you use.
For example, you can supplement the learning process with some brainstorming in built-in chats, lively discussions in breakout rooms, and quizzes in interactive polls. Virtual sessions allow you to continue holding instructor-led training and gain rapid feedback from learners.
Are you surprised to see messengers on this list? Well, you shouldn’t be, because they’ve become another medium and one more collaboration tool that can greatly assist you in the teaching process. Take the one you most prefer (Microsoft Teams, Telegram, WhatsApp, etc.) and use it for learner-generated content.
For example, you can create a thematic channel on a special discipline or class and prompt learners to leave reviews, share helpful links and readings, post creative assignments, and discuss topics. Such activities bring a live aspect to online learning or can facilitate post-training, as they serve to accumulate knowledge and expand learners’ understanding of a subject.