What’s an E-Learning Portal?

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An e-learning portal allows companies, schools, and training centers to provide course materials, assignments, and interaction for students and instructors. It includes modules for tests, assignments, discussion boards, and multimedia course materials. Additional features may include social networking integration and reporting tools.

A company, school, or training center that offers online training can implement an e-learning portal to make course materials and assignments available to students and instructors and provide a place for interaction. An e-learning portal usually consists of several modules that allow users to take tests, submit assignments, post messages on a discussion board or via email, and view user profiles and written and multimedia course materials. While instructors have access to many of the same functions as students, they can often also edit course materials, grade assignments, and post announcements and student grades in an online gradebook.

The main function of an e-learning portal is to make course materials available to all users, and the materials are usually stored in a database. Each portal has a different way of organizing items for student access, with some portals having all downloadable items stored in a special lectures module and others using weekly modules which contain a mixture of audio lectures, video supplements and lessons by written. Students usually do not need to download all of the course materials because instructors often use video and audio streaming technologies and embed this content on a page.

Students also use an e-learning portal to take tests and submit assignments, and the portals contain specialized modules or mix tests and assessments with other module material. Multiple-choice tests are usually automatically graded upon submission, but writing exams usually need to be graded by the instructor. To submit a project or essay to a portal, the student typically uploads the file from their computer to the portal so that the instructor can manually grade it.

Students and instructors often interact using a portal’s discussion board, which allows users to create threads and post responses to existing topics. The discussion forum usually has its own module on the portal and contains separate areas for posting about each module’s topics. An e-learning portal also usually implements a private messaging system that allows students to email each other and the instructor.

An e-learning portal often offers additional features that can be included in the portal software or installed as extensions. Some of these features include integration with social networking sites and collaborative software, personalized student profiles, videoconferencing software for live lectures, and integration with third-party textbook publisher sites. Instructors can also take advantage of special features, such as various reporting tools, to measure student progress.

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