The teaching platforms is a virtual learning environment that reproduces, in a digital way, the already known educational structure. Recently, distance learning has gained even more prominence in the market, consolidating itself as a safe and viable option for education even in times of crisis. Whether you are a student, tutor or investor in the segment, understanding what a teaching platform is can keep you on top of the trend.
According to the Census of Higher Education, carried out by Inep/MEC , since 2016 the demand for distance learning courses has grown by more than 5% per year , while enrollment in on-site courses has been declining.
In order not to miss the chance to get to know this fundamental tool for the distance learning modality, keep reading this article. We will talk about what a teaching platform is, what it is for and how to recognize the best platforms on the market.
What is a teaching platform?
Teaching platforms are virtual learning environments . They were created to offer distance learning students and tutors an educational environment similar to that of classrooms.
Teaching platforms work on the basis of an LMS , or Learning Management System. In Portuguese, this means a Learning Management System, or a space where the tutor and the course administrator have all the necessary information to manage the course of their students in the course or module taught.
It is common to associate teaching platforms with free courses or with educational institutions that teach exclusively through distance learning. However, the recent pandemic of the new coronavirus has changed this way of thinking.
The context showed that having a teaching platform as an ally of face-to-face education can help ensure the continuity of the pedagogical process even in situations where social distancing prevents physical classes from taking place.
In Brazil, however, many schools and educational institutions were not prepared for the demand, and had to readapt. According to data from the 2019 ICT Education survey , only 28% of schools located in urban areas already had a virtual learning environment or platform .
What are the functions of teaching platforms?
Knowing what a teaching platform is and what its main functions are helps to master EAD in more depth. Thus, both distance learning students and tutors understand what they can expect from a virtual learning environment and what they can charge from these platforms.
To help you with this, we have separated a list of the main functions of a teaching platform. If you want to go deeper, continue reading to the next topic. There, we will also talk about some differentials of the best educational platforms.
Provide educational content to students
When you discover what a teaching platform is, you understand that the main objective of the tool is to make it possible to carry out online classes. Therefore, we can say that the main function of the teaching platform is to provide educational content to students. And this can happen in different ways.
The most traditional way (and also the most used by distance learning institutions, according to the latest Abed Census ), is through video classes . In this format, tutors record exposures of content and use teaching platforms to make the material available.
In addition to the material available in class, educational content can also be offered via the virtual library, as supplementary material.
Establish communication channels between distance learning students and tutors
The second function of the teaching platform is as strategic as the first. After all, to know what a teaching platform is, it is necessary to know the effort to transpose, to the digital environment, the interactions and exchanges of the physical classroom.
In this way, we can say that providing different interaction tools is one of the most strategic functions of the teaching platform.
This interaction can occur between students and with tutors, in the form of:
- EAD forum ;
- email exchanges;
- live online classes ;
- video calls;
- audio calls;
- online chat.
Allow management of the learning path by tutors
In addition to enabling the transmission of content and providing an environment for exchanging information between students and tutors, the teaching platform also has managerial functions.
It offers tools that help administrators and tutors follow the student’s learning path.
This means that, through the LMS platform, tutors are able to monitor achievement rates (based on the proportion of students who consume the materials available x their performance in the tests) and offer pedagogical support to those who have difficulties.
carry out evaluations
Finally, the last basic function of a teaching platform is to make it possible to evaluate the performance of students after fulfilling the distance learning lesson plan .
For this, teaching platforms offer assessment modules, which allow the application of tests and exams and the submission of articles and works developed by students.
What good teaching platforms can offer for distance learning students and tutors?
Now, you know what a teaching platform is and what to expect from its base structure. However, distance learning tutors and students who are looking for different opportunities to learn and teach are also looking for different platforms.
And how to know how to differentiate a “teaching platform” from a “GOOD teaching platform”? We give the tips!
Good LMS platforms go beyond their core functions and rely on complementary tools such as:
- administrative function to monitor the performance of teachers, students and income;
- customization and personalization possibilities, ensuring that your course or teaching module has the desired look;
- differentiated plans for creating courses and managing students;
- commercial platform for selling courses to the final public;
- possibility to generate personalized course certificates ;
- platform for registration, enrollment and monitoring of enrollments of new students;
- virtual library for storing study material;
- automatic generation of reports;
- built-in functions and tools.
Examples of teaching platforms
Knowing what a teaching platform is in theory is a great start. But how about understanding, in practice, how these environments work?
We have separated 3 popular teaching platforms to help you understand, once and for all, what a teaching platform is and what it can do for you.
1. Google Classroom
Remember what we said about the challenge for schools to adapt to the situation of the new coronavirus pandemic without their own teaching platforms? Well then!
In this case, the solution found in the Federal District , for example, was to adopt the Google Sala de Aula platform as an ally in the educational path. In May 2020 alone , the program accounted for more than 20,000 content stored in the system by teachers from the region’s public elementary school network.
Adopted by universities and educational institutions around the world, Moodle is a popular teaching platform used by over 235 countries.
The platform, known for being “open source”, allows tutors to customize the entire tool, from design to content.
3. EAD Platform
Finally, we couldn’t stop talking about our EAD Platform! After all, it’s impossible to know what a teaching platform is and not know our solution, which has already surpassed the 2 million users mark , isn’t it?
A number like this reflects the quality of the product offered: in addition to being an intuitive and customizable platform, EAD Plataforma offers a complete LMS system, which allows for didactic and complete educational management.
In the EAD Platform, students and tutors find
- live classes with chat;
- various interaction tools;
- EAD library;
- responsive system, adaptable to different supports;
- commercial and corporate platforms, with customized features for each type of audience;
- issuance of certificates;
- customized payment options;
- API to integrate the platform with other tools.
What’s up? Are you convinced of the importance of understanding what a teaching platform is and what they can do for you? How about taking a step forward and understanding, in practice, how they work?