Distance Learning Tools


This comprehensive resource breaks down the types of distance learning tools that programs are (or could potentially be) using across the spectrum of training activities. Each section listed below includes information about the software, tools, platforms, etc. which support that specific functionality, such as: ease of use, typical costs, reported use by LEND programs, and accesibility features.





Room-to-Room Videoconferencing

Room-to-room videoconferencing systems offer real time and robust video connections; they typically include additional high-definition cameras, speakers, flat screen monitors, and advanced conference phones. High speed and stand-alone internet connections are preferable for transmitting this type of data and assuring performance. These setups may be available through the University / Agency, as the initial investment can be expensive. 

pdf File  Room-to-Room Videoconferencing (200KB) [download]

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Web Conferencing

Web Conferencing systems provide real time video conferencing using software that is often available online and easily downloaded to a user desktop. These programs also use the monitor screen "real estate" to allow sharing presentations, live video connections, simultaneous chatting from respondents, polling, sharing files, and archiving. Many offer free trials and have limited user packages that are completely free.

pdf File  Web Conferencing (202KB) [download]

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Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Learning Management Systems (LMS) provide an online location for course creation and storage. These tools are typically purchased by licensing agreements with Universities and connected to the student registration/ assignment to courses. These tools offer a range of features for building course modules, posting files, integrating rubrics and posting grades, integrating discussion forums and blogs as well as linking to library resources. Open source programs have grown and also offer some free options with limited features. 

pdf File  Learning Management Systems (LMS) (207KB) [download]

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Audio Conferencing

Audio conferencing refers to systems that provide opportunities to conduct audio/telephone conference calls. These programs may be web-based or involve connectivity through a telephone system. Web based programs offer additional features to share files and live chatting if needed. 

pdf File  Audio Conferencing (232KB) [download]

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Social Media

Social media includes a broad array of websites and applications that allow users to create a web location, profile, or group to share information. Features range across products and may allow the design of full-featured websites to large social networks where multiple users connect with one another and follow or share information. Many are free and costs are incurred with advertising or expanded features. 

pdf File  Social Media (208KB) [download]

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Web-Based Resources

Web-Based Resources include spaces where video, audio, websites, webinars and online modules are housed, created, repurposed and shared. These resources are typically freely available but can include additional features to allow users the ability to store favorites, add their own content or customize for their own use. 

pdf File  Web-Based Resources (202KB) [download]

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