The last 18 months have shown us how organizations have had to adapt and continue to run their business despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. When we talk about businesses and organizations; we must also consider schools, colleges, and universities that have had to adapt to varying stages of lockdowns in different parts of the USA and ensure that their students do not miss their classes. In this blog post, we will examine the importance of community colleges in the American academic and economic system. Then we will offer inputs on how they can ensure continuous education for their students in these troubled times with eLearning.
Community Colleges a Cornerstone of the American Educational System
In America, student-debt is a big concern and we often see news snippets of graduates struggling to repay the loans that they took to fund their education. Typically, universities in the USA are considered to be quite expensive. It is very difficult for someone from a middle-class or lower-income group family to join a premier university without funding or scholarships. Community colleges offer an affordable alternative to a regular university education. Instead of starting away directly with a four-year long undergraduate university-program; students can earn post-secondary credits at a community college, learn a new skill or trade, and decide what to do in the future. Do read this article from the AACU website to learn more about how community colleges impact the economy and offer students a pathway to a better job and life.
Covid-19 – The Impact on Regular Education
As stated in the introductory paragraph, Covid-19 has impacted schools and colleges too with a disruption in day-to-day classes and student-teacher interaction. The larger universities have the infrastructure in place to conduct virtual classes and provide students with learning platforms to ensure continuous learning. But how do smaller community colleges tackle this challenge? Do smaller community colleges have the requisite budget to deploy a large-scale learning platform to run eLearning programs for their students? Not all community colleges would have the luxury of deep-pockets and ample funding. So what can they do to ensure continuous learning for their students?
Open Source Learning Management Systems
When one uses the term “learning management system” or LMS; one imagines an expensive tech product with a steep learning curve. This is not necessarily always true. There are several open source products available that allow institutions to deploy their eLearning content with some amount of guidance and support.
This is the most basic and popular open source LMS that is used by academic institutions around the world to deploy their eLearning training. Over the years, Moodle has undergone several refinements and the product offers a fair bit of features and customizations.
Totara Learn is another feature-rich LMS that is being rapidly adopted by both academic institutions and corporate organizations to run their eLearning programs. Totara offers more features and with a dedicated Totara administrator; you can easily deploy and run your academic programs online.
Proprietary Learning Management Systems
This is a really powerful and intuitive learning platform designed to take learning outside the traditional classroom. It offers all the features and integration capabilities needed to function as a dedicated learning platform.
Brightspace by D2L
D2L’s online learning platform – Brightspace is one of the most commonly used proprietary learning platforms in North America. With a focus on higher education, the product has undergone several changes in the last few years by incorporating feedback from teachers and students to offer a robust and pleasant learning experience.
S4Carlisle – Your Dedicated Learning Technology Solutions Partner
At S4Carlisle, our dedicated team of learning technology solutions architects provide need-based support to help your academic institution deploy an LMS of your choice and run eLearning programs on it. Be it migration from an existing LMS to a new LMS or just support to manage your current LMS; we offer attractive plans that will not make a dent in your technology budget.
eLearning Academic Content Services
Do you already have an LMS to deploy eLearning content and are looking to convert your existing classroom training content or instructor-led training to self-paced eLearning courses? Or are you looking to overhaul your entire eLearning content and update it to match the demands of a new generation of students? Whatever be your academic eLearning content requirement, our team of skilled instructional designers and academic content writers will work closely with your faculty members to design impactful and result-driven eLearning.
How eLearning Ensures Continuous Learning in Community Colleges?
eLearning ensures that students and faculty members don’t need to take unnecessary risks of traveling to the college. Teachers can record videos and share them with their students via the LMS. They can also deploy relevant eLearning content and clarify student queries via the LMS itself or by email, Skype, or other conferencing tools. In developing countries in Asia and Africa; WhatsApp has turned out to be a powerful tool that connects students and teachers together.
A complete eLearning experience takes into consideration the platform used to deploy learning, accessibility of the platform, its robust nature, and the actual learning content. All these factors go into determining the success of the eLearning program and drive learner engagement. A great learning platform and poor eLearning content or vice-versa will not help anyone.
Community colleges burdened by cost factors can sign up for an open source LMS and use S4Carlisle’s tech support to manage the learning experience. Provide your students and academic faculty a memorable learning experience that drives retention of learning and helps students achieve their academic goals with ease.
Keen to learn how S4Carlisle can help you build your eLearning strategy or deploy an LMS of your choice in your community college? Fill in this form and our team will get in touch with you to understand your requirements and offer a demo of our capabilities.