Learning works best when teachers have a complete arsenal of tools available — teaching tools that increase flexibility, interactivity, and understanding. For the physical classroom, those tools have evolved, from the chalkboard and mimeograph to magnetic whiteboards and mobile tablets.
eLearning may be in its infancy, but this notion holds true for anyone teaching in the virtual classroom. It’s more than simple content management, and at ProProfs, one of our goals was to look at what teachers needed to best engage students online. Some of it was obvious – teaching tools such as quizzes and flashcards – but much of it required a new media spin on traditional teaching methods. And, because the Internet allows anyone to be a teacher or a student, that level of incentive and flexibility also has to be built in. For ProProfs, the resulting benefits could be drilled down to three avenues: teaching tools, accessibility and distribution, and teacher benefits.
Teaching tools are important ways to engage students, and ProProfs’ features were created to do just that. The Quiz Maker is a comprehensive means to create tests and quizzes. Similarly, polls provide quick engagement with students and can be used for a wide range of feedback purposes. ProProf’s Flashcards give teachers the ability provide interactive study aids, while the Training Maker feature offers more detailed content generation through a Learning Management System. Also, a perk to ProProfs is that it emphasizes simplicity and has the ability to import existing verified content you already have access to, such as PowerPoint, Word, etc.
One of the most unique elements of ProProfs is our platform’s ability to make courses private. This enables a wide range of eLearning purposes, anything from traditional courses such as math and writing to highly specified internal corporate training. By creating privacy options, quizzes, courses, and other materials can work with proprietary information, as well as limiting the student quantity for teachers that prefer a controlled classroom size.
Of course, the best tools in the world don’t amount to much if you can’t use them. At ProProfs, accessibility and distribution were just as important as our platform’s actual features. That’s why ProProfs is free to use for both teachers and students. After all, learning is a right, not a privilege, and by providing free eLearning courses, we feel we’re doing our part in trying to make the world a better place.
Free access is one thing, but the technology must be there to support the classes. With the wide range of web browsers used across the world, it was critical that ProProfs be compatible to offer as many browser options as possible. Similarly, ProProfs was designed to work across a wide range of mobile devices – Android or iOS, tablet or smartphone.
The people who drive all of this are the teachers themselves. While students are the end-users, teachers are the ones who put in their time and energy into passing on knowledge through technology. That’s why ProProfs spent countless hours looking at how to make a platform that teachers would want to use. Teachers love the time we’ve put into designing features and developing cross-platform accessibility, but there are other areas that offer further benefits. One of the constant themes you’ll hear in the education field is that teachers should earn much more money than they’re paid. This is even more so for eLearning, where most platforms are free across the board. However, at ProProfs, we’ve integrated revenue models for teachers wishing to opt-in – in short, ProProfs merges ecommerce with it’s eLearning authoring tool to create a truly viable way for teachers to earn revenue.
In a perfect world, every lesson would be customized for every student. While that’s not totally possible yet, teachers that use ProProfs can customize learning paths for students. Integrated analytics give teachers detailed metrics regarding how students use their courses: what’s popular, what’s effective, and what’s in demand. Because of ProProfs’ intuitive management system – including course management across mobile devices – this allows teachers to make updates or respond to requests in real time. In addition, ProProfs content is easily embeddable into blogs and other websites, whatever a teacher prefers.
Our goal was to give teachers the greatest level of flexibility possible. The good news is that we believe ProProfs has delivered this. The better news is that our team is hard at work on all sorts of new features and updates. In short, eLearning has matured to a truly viable platform – and with ProProfs, the sky’s the limit.
Sameer Bhatia is founder & CEO of ProProfs.com, which is a provider of eLearning tools for building, testing, and applying knowledge. Through its learning management software and assessment tools, ProProfs offers educators powerful-but-simple tools to teach online. Sameer has a background in technology with a Masters in Computer Science from USC and is an EdTech industry veteran.