The term delivery platform refers to a product that includes an integrated set of tools by which content can be developed, stored, and delivered to learners. Read more about the hallmarks of a learning platform.
At Vanderbilt, Brightspace is the campus-wide learning platform. These are also often referred to as a learning management system (LMS), but delivery platforms can be any number web-based products students use to collaborate with each other, engage with course materials, or generate content. In this section, we’ll cover delivery platforms you might consider using in addition to, or instead of, an LMS.
A simple web page is easy to create and update efficiently, it can be used to inform students of class requirements, to post handouts, notices, and homework assignments, or to act as a question and answer board.
A blog can provide a space where students can work to further develop writing or other skills with the advantage of an instant audience. Students can practice and benefit from peer review and also make online mentoring possible. Students can also participate in cooperative learning activities that require them to relay research findings, ideas, or suggestions.
Students can present, organize, and store student work as digital portfolios by uploading work to a web site. As older entries are archived, developing skills and progress may be analyzed more conveniently. Additionally, as students realize their efforts will be published, they are typically more motivated to produce better writing.
Some course content lends itself to the file structure and user interface that a learning management system (LMS) like Brightspace provides, but in some cases, you may want the student experience to look and feel more like traditional web pages students are used to navigating. One of the main benefits of building your own web page for a course is that you can customize its look and feel.
With an LMS like Brightsapce or Coursera, the components for grades, calendars, announcements, rosters, etc. are built in. When using a product like WP, adding functionality to the site is accomplished by adding plugins or using a third party application to create and administer quizzes. Visit the quizzing tools page for more information. Therefore, it means that you’ll do more manual manipulation of grades than you might if you used the gradebook/roster functions in an LMS. If you or your students use the WordPress installation (my.vanderbilt.edu), you will have to work with Vanderbilt Web Communications office to have the plug-ins installed into your WP site, as users don’t have access to the server folders that store them. Many plugins are free but some can cost money. In addition, the plugins do need updating from time to time so there is some maintenance required that you would not be responsible for if you were to use an LMS like Brightspace.
WordPress is an open source blog and web page design software package can work as a content management system. It makes it easy for anyone to set up, manage and maintain a website.
Vanderbilt has it’s own installation of WordPress. You and your students can create your own site by filling out the request form on the Web Communications web site. Free hosting is also available directly from the company at wordpress.com.
Because WordPress is so widely used, helpful tutorials for almost any function or process can be found online. Visit the WordPress site for more WordPress help. Learn how to use WordPress to create a learning environment.
Google Classroom is a free suite of tools that includes email, documents, and storage. Classroom was designed collaboratively with teachers to help them save time, keep classes organized, and improve communication with students.
Google has a suite of products you can bundle in a variety of ways to customize your own content delivery platform. Google Docs stored in Google Drive allow for collaborative work among students. Features like email and calendaring can help with course management. Google Photos and YouTube allow for you or your students to create and upload multimedia and Google Forms can be used to create assessments.
Read more at 10 Reasons Why You Should Use Google Classroom.
Watch this video on getting started with Google Classroom to learn more.