Look for these features to find the best online learning platform

It is no secret that there are plenty of online learning tools. But do we know which one is right for you?

That’s a question a tutor was forced to answer just before schools in Australia were shut down. The tutor was a genial and intelligent man who was looking for a way to continue teaching his students physics and chemistry.

The problem? He had no idea which one was right for him.

“There are so many options to pick from,” he explained. “A simple Google search gives me dozens of options, but how do I know which one is right of me?” I understood where the tutor was coming from.

It is so easy to think that an online learning platform has everything you need, only to later discover that it lacked a vital feature that could have made your work so much easier.

My advice to the tutor was to assess his needs. After that, translate his needs into a list of features that will serve as a barometer in his search for the right learning platform.

He was not the only tutor to speak to me. Several other teachers have spoken to me, expressing their confusion about the sheer number of choices online. These teachers have given me insight into the type of features that would be very useful when teaching online.

Here are just some of these features.

Key features that can help you with online learning

First, let me preface this by saying that this list of features may not cover all your needs. So, I highly recommend using this tool as a starting point in your research process.


One of the best ways for students to learn is to discuss their material. So, if you are looking for a way to test how well students have grasped their material or incorporate class participation in your classes, then forums could be what you are looking for.

Some of the best online learning platforms even give you tools to track what each student is saying, which could be useful when grading progress.

A smooth interface with plenty of help guides

It might sound a little silly to say this, but an interface that is easy to grasp is something you should definitely consider (this goes for both desktop and mobile). It might not seem like a huge deal now, but it makes a big difference when you need to assess your students’ coursework.

If you are not a tech-savvy person, then you need to find an online learning platform that offers plenty of guides to help you navigate the interface. It can be amazing how frustrating it feels to pull off simple functions without the right support.

Analytics tools to help with feedback

If you want to provide better feedback to your students, then you are going to need the proper tools. Some of the best online learning platforms offer a variety of analytics tools that can help you assess a student’s progress.

I am not just referring to the grading system, but also analytics tools that can help you chart the progress of your students over time and compare their response to different learning styles.

Some of the best analytics tools even allow you to assess your own effectiveness as a teacher, helping you set a blueprint for your improvement. 

Chat and social features to build a community

If you are looking to build a community where your students can interact with you and each other, then you need an online learning platform that can support that. So it is best to look for a virtual learning environment with social features that support communication and video integration.

Building an online community is a great way to get students to learn in different ways, especially those who don’t respond well to sitting at a desk by themselves staring at a digital rendition of their textbook.

Key features that can help you with online learning

With so many online education platforms to choose from, it can be very difficult to select the best online learning platform for our needs. But if you consider these features (or at least start from here), you can find an online learning platform that works for you.



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