The rise of the internet has brought about an academic revolution by the name of online education or distance learning. In current times, nearly 75% of well-known colleges & universities are offering online degree programmes in various subjects which have with time evolved to the point that there is no difference between the online education experience and traditional studying.
In an online degree programme, students receive the same curriculum, comprehension and writing projects, can also interact with their tutors and virtual class-fellows, and eventually, take the same exam to complete the program and attain an online degree.
So how does it all happen over the net? How do students access their course material and communicate with their teachers and class-fellows all across the world? The answer is through Course Management Systems! There are several Course Management Systems (CMS's) that are basically web-based software used by colleges and universities to deliver online programmes.
Through this software, students can access synchronous and asynchronous formats of course material as well as online libraries, chat rooms, discussion boards etc. that makes the online education experience as interactive as a conventional classroom experience.
The most popular CMS's used by most of the online colleges and universities are:
In the world of online and distance education, the most popular name is that of Blackboard. The Blackboard Academic Suite was developed by Blackboard Inc. to help online institutions manage their e-learning programmes and deliver online degrees. This web-portal presents a number of instructive tools for institutions to provide online education in an interactive manner.
For those enrolled in online degree programs, all that is needed is an internet connection to log on to Blackboard; after logging on they would be able to access:
- Discussion boards
- Online degree program courses
- Exams that are to be completed and submitted online to acquire an online degree
- Contact information of online tutors and class-fellows
This online platform basically allows teachers to provide digital copies of the course of study so that students can download and then print it if they wish to. Along with all the aforementioned features, an online grade book is also provided by Blackboard, making it easier for students to access their grades. All online teachers need to do is revise the evaluation of the student after each new quiz, test or project completion and the revised grades are accessible by students. With this feature, students always know their ranking all through the academic session.
ANGEL Learning Management System (LMS) is the second most-popular name in the online education industry. ANGEL is a very user-friendly web-portal which is used by a vast number of online colleges and universities to deliver their online degree programs. The web-based portal creates an interactive virtual learning environment where students can easily learn and interact with teachers and class-fellows at the same time.
Like Blackboard, ANGEL also allows students to access synchronous and asynchronous formats of online programs. Through ANGEL, students can access:
- Text notes
- PowerPoint presentations
- Audio and video lectures
- Online libraries
- Contact information of online tutors
- Online grade book
The best part is that there is no chance that a student would lose the syllabus or other important documents as they can access them online. Between classes, homework, extracurricular activities, and road trips, students can't always find a time to meet on campus and study or work on group projects. With online discussion boards, forums, chat rooms provided by ANGEL, the online learning experience becomes more realistic and easily accessible.
Why online colleges and universities prefer Blackboard and ANGEL?
The answer is very simple. Blackboard and ANGEL are preferred by online colleges and universities as they are the simplest, most user-friendly portals. The features provided by these platforms are very easy to access which makes the learning easy for online students.
Distance education programs are available at various online degree levels. Students aspiring to acquire online degrees turn to online institutions hoping that the learning process would not be time-consuming or stressing. This is where the use of platforms such as Blackboard and ANGEL comes in. These platforms have revolutionized the online learning experience providing easy access to online degree programmes.