3 things you should know before building an online learning platform
In the post-pandemic era, we see a staggering rise in the e-Learning market in Asia. According to Allied Market Research, compared to an estimated $38.25 billion market size in 2020, the number is expected to hit $162.15 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 15.7% from 2021 to 2030.
Especially in the Southeast Asia region, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam, remote education has been considered an inevitable part not only in the education sector but also in the local workforce requiring upskilling and reskilling.
However, digital transformation was not built in a day. For institutions or service providers building an online learning platform or even a blended learning platform, the key element not only lies in teaching methods and course quality but also in the streaming experience. So when offering online courses, which one is better: live online or pre-recorded classes? Besides, is there any other option besides video conferencing software? Which option is the best deal?
In this article, we will dive into 3 sections: Knowledge of e-Learning, 2 major online teaching methods, and the difference between live streaming and video conferencing software, from the perspective of an online learning platform provider.
1. What Is Online Learning And Its Pros & Cons
1-1 What is online learning?
Online learning, or e-Learning, refers to the teaching method in which teachers and students access the course from different places by connecting electronic devices like PCs, tablets, or smartphones to the internet.
Since the 1980s, online education has been frequently applied to cram schools or reading groups of working adults; among these, the most representative example is the e-Learning of cram school branches.
Common applications of online education/e-Learning now:
- K12 education
- Cram schools (further studies or skills like foreign language and software training)
- Internal corporate training
- Vocational and alternative education for working adults, etc.
1-2 Pros & cons of online education
As online education uses no classroom, it can save the fixed expenses for teachers of general subjects. But for subjects requiring practice, such as physical education or chemistry, it would be difficult to teach the knowledge through the video.
For students, the advantage of e-Learning is they don’t need to go to a specific classroom; however, course quality will be affected if the internet connection is slow or unstable.
The best thing about online education is that it allows the user to access anywhere at any time and thus expands the opportunities of the education industry and fields like study and seminars. Yet, compared to learning in a physical classroom, online education also makes it difficult to evaluate students’ willingness to participate or assess how much they understand. To solve this, educational institutions conducting online courses can assess each student’s progress through post-class surveys, homework, reading group, or online Q&A time.
2. How To Conduct An Online Course?
There are two main ways to broadcast your content through the internet: upload a pre-recorded class or conduct a live class.
2-1. Upload a pre-recorded course
Uploading a pre-recorded course means recording the online course video in advance and then upload to the platform for the user to view. The viewer (student) only needs to access the course at anytime through a connected device like a computer or smartphone; of course, repeated studies are possible.
Advantage: Allows the broadcaster (platform provider/teacher) to check the content in advance and the student to manage the progress according to their own pace.
Disadvantage: The broadcaster (platform provider/teacher) cannot learn students’ reactions in real-time and self-discipline is a must for students to manage their own progress.
2-2. A live streaming course
Compared to uploading a pre-recorded course, a live streaming course allows the teacher to teach in real-time. The viewer needs to attend the class through a connected device like a computer or smartphone at a specific time. In a live class, students can express their thoughts, communicate with others or complete the survey.
Advantage: Allows the teacher to manage the progress according to students’ pace and students to share or exchange thoughts in real-time, creating an experience similar to a physical classroom.
Disadvantage: Like courses in a physical classroom, the teacher cannot repeatedly modify the content or expressions and students are required to attend the class at a specific time.
The two-way communication in a live class is similar to the scenario in a physical classroom. As this remote teaching method is getting more and more popular, it has been massively applied to different fields.
For students, the biggest restriction of a live class is class time. To solve this, remote learning is usually complemented by “replay after live online class”, or on the contrary, “simulive class”, to make up for the deficiency of the aforementioned methods.
“Replay after live online class” means to upload a video to web space for playback after the class. The repetitive use of video can also lighten the economic burden of educational institutions. This method enables students to check and review the content they miss in the live class and that’s why it is popular among cram schools for students or institutions focusing on adult education.
On the other hand, a “simulive class”, meaning broadcasting the pre-recorded class at a specific time, was commonly used in cram school branches in the past. The advantage is to provide sufficient flexibility in recording for the broadcaster.
Of course, for those who look for an experience similar to a physical classroom, we recommend live online classes. Students’ satisfaction can also be improved when combined with “reply after live online class”.
There are many options for implementing a professional online education platform available in the market now. To achieve the optimal quality of online education, readers can decide the most suitable solution after realizing how these videos are broadcast.
3. The Difference Between Video Conferencing Tools And Professional Live Streaming Services
As we mentioned earlier, live online classes are particularly popular in educational applications now. Many educational institutions also use video conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet to conduct live online classes.
Then, what is the difference between professional live streaming services and video conferencing tools? First of all, though the low cost of video conferencing tools may be more attractive to users, disadvantages like participant limits and lagging resulting from multi-windows should also be considered.
If your online courses are only open for specific users, video conferencing tools can also impose security risks such as meeting room URLs or password leaks. If you are offering paid courses and the user needs to pay for viewing the video, the content without protection equals the damage to your business value. This is what an education platform provider needs to consider.
Compared to the aforementioned disadvantages, a professional live streaming tool usually allows lots of participants (up to thousands). Additionally, a stricter quality check also enables a low-latency and high-quality streaming service without being affected by the number of participants. Thirdly, a professional online education service provides a more comprehensive and higher security level than general video conferencing tools. For example, the application of DRM (digital rights management) with screen capture protection and strict access control features can provide comprehensive security protection to participants.
BlendVision provides the most professional support for online education platform implementation
As the Asia-Pacific leading B2B streaming solutions provider, BlendVision offers an extensive lineup of streaming services to meet your online education demands. Whether you need a platform that allows you to centrally manage massive videos and display the content in a simple way, or a professional remote education service incorporating content protection and high video resolution, BlendVision can tailor one that best fits your needs. If you are considering providing content through an e-Learning platform, Contact us for a free consultation.
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