Isn’t life just getting simpler by the day with technology that’s advancing at lightning speed? Like, if you cannot (or don’t want to) go to a real-time classroom to study a particular course or subject, you can stay put at the comfort of your home and still take a virtual class! It really is that simple these days. E-Learning and online education is said to be one of the fastest growing industries today and continues to grow as I blog. Studies also predict that by the year 2019, 50% of all college students will take on e-learning.
However, recreating all the elements of a real-time classroom and turning it into a virtual learning center is pretty challenging. But challenges are what Drupal loves! Drupal is not only the best because of its amazing features like its scalability, flexibility, security, etc. but also because Drupal community has contributed to so many modules that are specifically designed to suit the needs of e-learning websites. In addition to that, Drupal also integrates beautifully with external modules to enhance the capabilities of your educational websites.
Broad Classification of Online Education or E-learning
- Synchronous Learning – which means learning and teaching takes place simultaneously. This is a virtual or real-time classroom where students and instructors interact with each other at the same time through audio or video conferencing, chats etc.
- Asynchronous Learning – which means that students can take a course at their own pace by accessing course material that’s managed by instructors or admins.
This Drupal module integrates with BigBlueButton which is an open-source platform for web-conferencing especially designed for instructors and students. Sharing of PDF and PPT files, voice and video chats, creation of users and scheduling meetings (by the moderators) are some of the many functionalities BgBlueButton can do.
Opigno Webex App
Opigno is an open-source e-learning platform that allows online training and this module implements Webex video conferencing as an additional learning tool for the Opigno framework. The instructors can schedule a class meeting and send invites to the students for them to join.
This is a full featured Drupal distribution that is meant specifically for colleges and universities. It provides functionalities to manage courses, events, news, users (professors, moderators, students) and publications.
Opigno LMS is an open source Drupal distribution Learning Management System that can help you to set up your e-learning website quickly. It is based on Drupal itself and allows you to manage training paths, assess students based on quizzes, sell courses online etc. It integrates with H5P technology which allows it to create rich and interactive training material.
The e-Learning Drupal module lets you create your own online education website and integrates with other Drupal modules (Views, Translation, Entity and Rules) to provide a feature-rich experience. It allows instructors to create interactive courses, training material, questionnaires etc. and lets students take the course and quizzes. It allows site builders to give exact feedback to the participants based on the questions asked and an offer courses specific to the students answers. You can also integrate Drupal Commerce with this module to be able to sell those courses online.
The above external modules and distributions are all fully equipped and integrates with other modules and APIs to enable you to quickly and easily set up an e-learning portal with Drupal. However, there are many Drupal core modules that you can pick and choose which will let you build your online education website tailored to your needs and requirements, like – Views, Panels, Features, Media, Display Suite, Simplenews, Insert etc.