An Internet Learning Platform, as the name suggests, is a virtual meeting space where those who need knowledge of a particular field and those who can provide that knowledge meet and learning takes place. It combines the features of a classroom with the facilities and contact networks of the social media. A typical learning platform is a learner and learning centric.
It has study material and resources for learners and direct tutorial help for their homework and assignments. In addition to that, it creates a network of learners who may pool resources to help one another. Thus a learner may also act as a resource provider for other learners.
Assistance for the Learner
These platforms empower learners by providing them direct assistance through customizable flash cards, study material in the form of class notes and study guides, video lectures, discussion forums, groups, chat rooms, quizzes and also by answering the direct questions asked. Questions can be asked as and when the need arises, and there are many platforms that ensure the availability of expert tutors at all times. They expand the array of available assistance options by providing power point templates, worksheets, and workbooks.
In addition to providing students assistance for success in their courses, these platforms also give them advice regarding choice of classes and also on how to achieve success in those courses that come from real learners who had taken those courses. Many of these platforms have their own blog, in addition to their website. They provide counseling and assistance through their blog too. Access to the learning
resources are either by paying money or by performing tutorial functions at the platform.
Assistance for the Tutor
These platforms provide support to both students and teachers. They help teachers in setting up their virtual classrooms free of cost, in starting their websites with the course content and other resources on them. They keep the tutors connected with their students at all times and get real time reviews for them.
Tutors can communicate with their students either individually or at group level using facilities on the platform. In addition to assisting tutors in creating courses, these platforms help them market those courses and maximize their profit.
Advantages and Disadvantages
These platforms have democratized and decentralized the whole learning-teaching system. It’s not circumscribed by space or by time. It is learner driven, and a tutor’s earnings arise directly from client’s, i.e. learner’s, satisfaction. They give feedback directly by rating the answers. These platforms are interactive and user-friendly. Most of these platforms keep an up to date database of benefits and payments made to their tutors at their website.
They use the services of PayPal to pay the tutors. So, they are transparent and user-friendly in all ways. In addition to many positive features with advantages, these platforms also have some disadvantages. It has been said that they encourage plagiarism and cheating by making course content and homework available. They have sometimes been blamed for violating the intellectual property rights and have been in controversies for that.
There are many popular internet learning platforms like Course Hero, etc. and you can check them at the Course Hero Wikipedia page. They have many of the features and resources mentioned above, although it’s difficult to find all the facilities and resources at one place; still, they provide a wide range of options to the learners. To sum it up, it can be said that the internet learning platforms are here to stay, and their
advantages far outnumber their disadvantages.