Top 5 Open-Source Learning Management Systems to Look Out For

There is no doubt that eLearning has completely revolutionized how we acquire education and skills. Consequently, the hype behind learning management systems (LMS) to systematically impart and manage eLearning is on the rise. There are over a thousand learning system management vendors and learning management systems to choose from, and before choosing the one that’s best for you and your online learners, you must consider a few details and features.

How to Choose a Learning Management System that’s Best for You

After deciding the type of license (cloud-based or open) you’re going to go for, consider the following: pricing models, customer type, specification support and additional features. Here’s a comprehensive list of the top 5 open-source learning management systems that are available in the market today.

1. MOODLE

Moodle is a widely known open-source learning management system. It provides detailed guidelines on how to set up your very own LMS, along with tips on creating online training courses and teaching with Moodle. Moreover, it features a platform for large communities of Moodle users to interact with each other on various topics and is completely free of charge.

Moodle comes with extensive tutorials on many different aspects of LMS, such as installation, setting up courses, quick guides for administrators and teachers, activity setup, learner progress tracking, and mobile application guidelines. Moodle also features a forum that provides tips on a variety of topics, from installation and upgrades to teaching, along with a comprehensive list of terms users may not be familiar with. The download section also offers extensive plugins, and interactive themes and activities.

2. ELIADEMY

Eliademy features a sophisticated interface and many features that are also found in cloud-based learning management system solutions, along with a free version that showcases amazing tools to help you in developing your eLearning course. All this highly automated open-source LMS requires is for you to provide online training material; ready-made material can also be uploaded, along with online training content from websites such as Slideshare or Prezi, and YouTube videos from 160 other sources.

Eliademy also comes with an entire section dedicated to pre-existing courses. Some of these are free while others entail an enrolment fee. Another attractive aspect is that online learners can obtain a certificate upon completing the course, either online or in printed form, which they can share on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.

3. FORMA.LMS

Unlike other learning management systems that focus on academic training, Forma.LMS is a free open-source LMS that mainly targets online training. It hence allows online facilitators to control each and every feature of a course, such as attendance, locations for every online training meeting, and an online calendar for scheduling meetings.

Forma.LMS enables users to make online reports on learner performance and course statistics, which can directly be exported to Excel or sent to the desired online learners. Moreover, users can also create ‘skills gap analysis’ to supervise and evaluate the skills of online learners.

4. ILIAS

Usually applauded for its versatility, scalability, customization options and responsive designs on various devices, Ilias was the first open-source learning management system to be SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004 compliant. It is considerably customizable in terms of its eLearning features, themes and the parameters users can specify for online learners to modify.Also, Ilias offers major flexibility when considering the number of users that can be supported, ranging from a small number to a few thousand.

5. OPIGNO

Opignois a SCORM 2004 and Tin Can (xAPI) compliant open-source LMS that offers immense efficiency with regards to course and role management, collaborative and integrative tools, and e-Commerce features. The collaborative features provided by Opigno include chat, to-do lists, learner workspaces, a personal messaging system, screen and file sharing, and recording. The list of integrative features is equally long – SCORM 2004, Tin Can (xAPI), Apache Solr, LDAP (Active Directory) and CAS, H5P integration is also provided by Opigno.

When talking about course management, Opigno is among the best and most appealing open-source LMS. It provides users with many lucrative features, such as private and public course catalogues, in-house meetings management and automatic certificate creation.

With the immense number of learning management systems available, choosing the one that is just perfect for you can be quite daunting and difficult. We hope this list of the top 5 open-source learning management system available in the market will help you make your decision. When used correctly, a LMS can significantly help you in tending to the particular requirements of your online learners.

Tips to Select Top Nursing Schools

World Report and US News remain the ideal standards when it comes to checking out rankings of top nursing schools within the US. These two sources base their rankings and reports by asking administrators, deans as well as faculty members of various nursing programs to assess other schools based on the educational quality and the preparedness of students who want to pursue a nursing career. The employers hiring new nursing graduates are also surveyed to keep a tab on the best schools for nursing.

Two Nursing Levels

There are two common levels when it comes to nursing. One is the associate level and is called the ADN or Associate Degree Nurse, which is a two year course and the other is the bachelor level called BSN or Bachelor of Science Nurses, which has duration of four years. You can easily get access to accelerated programs for both the levels if you have a degree in another segment or have credits in your college. If you have a bachelor degree, you can certainly expect to earn much more income. On an average, a BSN gets around 52000 USD while also being able to get promotions to managerial or supervisory posts quicker compared to an ADN.

Reputation And Rankings

One way to ascertain if a school is one of the top nursing schools is to check the reputation of the institution. You can check online for various customer opinions as well as reviews of students who have already studied at this institution. You should also check with students who have passed out from the school about the placement success and how well the course prepared them for the workplace. These factors are crucial because you do not want to invest in a school, which does not offer you quality education as that would be a waste of time, money and resources on your part.

Accreditation

One other aspect you need to consider is if the school is accredited to any state nursing authority or not. Accreditation is important because it assures you that the certification received will be recognized by the state nursing bodies. In addition, if a school has accreditation, it will also ensure that at a later stage if you want to pursue continuing education in the same niche, you can do so.

Online And Offline

The third and perhaps most important way to assess if the school is one of the top nursing schools is to check if they provide a combination of online and offline classroom modes. While offline modes of study can help students pick up practical lessons, most universities these days provide online education to help students manage hectic work schedules and study time. With online courses, students can choose a suitable time for study, schedule clinical experience sessions as well as balance out their work schedule, family commitments and academic pursuits thus leading to a faster and easier way to become a nurse.

Top 10 Tips For Buying Cheap Textbooks Online

Short of money? (Dumb question, I know). Trying to figure out how are you going to afford all the textbooks for your next term? Are you creating new economic theories to balance your scarce budget?

Then you are probably not taking advantage of the very best, more efficient way to get your textbooks cheap, and I mean really cheap.

Search and buy online. That’s it. That’s the secret. And to make sure you get the best value out of it, I’m giving you below the Top 10 Tips for buying textbooks online.

1. Buy early. Don’t wait for the first day of classes to go and find the books you need. That’s the moment when demand increases and, inevitably, prices increase with it. Textbooks sell fast and furiously over that short period of time and the effort required to get the best offers then is far greater than the effort necessary just a couple of weeks before.

If your college or university doesn’t supply the textbook lists in advance, don’t despair, contact former students from the course you want to take, or even the professors themselves, and ask them for the books you should buy. That little extra effort will certainly be worth your while.

2. Buy used. Secondhand textbooks are cheaper. That’s an undeniable fact. It is not unusual to find savings in excess of $50 against list prices.

3. Consider older editions. Often times, books on classical physics, chemistry or biology remain virtually the same for years. If you are willing to use older editions you could find books for as little as $1. Not sure if the International Edition will cut it? Contact your course tutor and ask. Chances are he’ll even recommend an older book.

4. International Editions. An International Edition is a textbook that has been published outside the US and Canada and is meant to be purchased and used outside the US and Canada. International Editions are generally drastically cheaper than their American/Canadian counterparts. Here’s the catch, the publishers of International Editions generally do not authorize the sale and distribution of International Editions in the United States and Canada and such sale or distribution may violate copyrights and trademarks of the publishers of such works.

5. Use the ISBN number to boost the effectiveness of your searches. Every book published since 1970 has a unique ISBN, using it instead of the author and/or title will make your searches faster and 100% accurate.

6. Free shipping. Look for free shipping sellers when you are shopping around. Even though shipping within the US is generally under $4, or perhaps because of it, more and more sellers are keen to offer free shipping to potential customers in order to convert them into customers. This translates approximately as an additional 10% discount off a $40 book or 5% discount off an $80 one.

7. Shop around. I know you know that already, anyway, let me say it again, just in case you just landed on Earth from another planet 10 minutes ago. Compare prices from, at least, three different sellers before you make up your mind. If you want to compare online booksellers, you can go to Bookfinder.com. In order to compare thousands of booksellers around the world you can go to Abebooks.com the world’s largest marketplace for books.

8. Buy local. Check where the bookseller you are buying from is located before closing the deal. The nearer the better as shipping cost goes down, the planet is happier and greener and your community will certainly appreciate the extra business.

9. Sell back your old textbooks after you are finished with them. Chances are the same online bookseller that you bought your books from is willing to buy them back, just go to their site and look for their buyback program. Generally, shipping the books is free and payment is immediate upon reception. This one sells itself, doesn’t it?

10. Treat your textbooks well. Don’t use them as umbrellas or to kill that gigantic spider that appeared from nowhere inside the bathtub. Don’t write the name of your love interest all over it alongside little hearts and don’t use it as a canvas when you feel that artistic urge. Remember, you might want to sell them later and the better the condition of the book the more money you receive for it.

Follow these tips and I guarantee you will find more money in your pockets, more time in your hands and, of course, the satisfaction of having joined the 21st century, at last.

Buy online, you’ll never go back.

Top Four Tips to Succeed in an Online Class

Enrollment in online education is at an all-time high. More students are going back to school to complete their degree or pursue higher education than ever before. Adult learners love online classes due to their convenience, flexibility, and cost savings. One of the main concerns a new student has is if they can handle an accelerated online class along with work and their family obligations. In this article we are going to discuss four tips to help a new online student succeed in a course.

First and foremost, make sure you have enough time set aside per week to complete your assignments. Many students are overwhelmed in their first couple of classes because they are not prepared. Students should ask their advisor how much time an average students spend per week in a class. If you are a new online student you should add 5-10 hours on top of that. Make sure to have a set schedule of when you will be studying and completing your assignments each week.

Second, students should have the support of their family and friends. Things will come up when you will have to ask for some help from loved ones. You may need a babysitter so you can concentrate on a big paper or just a friend to talk to. Make sure your family and friends know about your online classes and will support you throughout the program.

Before classes begin make sure to have all of the reading materials you need for the class. If you need to purchase a book, make sure you have it shipped well before the first day of class. If you need access to online lectures, videos, or articles make sure you know how to access them prior to the first day of class. Also, make sure you have all of the up to date computer software you need to be successful. If you have a MAC make sure the online course is compatible. If you have a PC make sure you have updated windows and Microsoft Office.

Once classes begin you should have easy access to important contact information. You want to be able to call or email your professor, academic advisor, and classmates. You also want the number to the IT helpdesk in case you experience any issues.

As you can see online courses are very popular but can be a very daunting experience if you are not prepared for them. Each class is a little different, but hopefully these tips help you along your journey.