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What Is an E-Learning Portal?

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  • Written By: Gabriele Sturmer
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A company, school or training center that offers online training may implement an e-learning portal to make course materials and assignments available to students and instructors and to provide a place for interaction. An e-learning portal typically consists of various modules that let users take tests, submit assignments, post messages on a discussion board or via email, and view user profiles and written and multimedia course materials. Although instructors have access to many of the same functions as students, they also usually can edit course materials, score assignments, and post announcements and student grades in an online grade book.

The core function of an e-learning portal is to make course materials available to all users, and materials usually are 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 lessons module and others using weekly modules that contain a mix of audio lectures, video supplements and written lessons. Students usually don't need to download all course materials, because instructors often make use of streaming video and audio technologies and embed this content within a page.

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

Both students and instructors often interact using a portal's discussion board, which allows users to create threads and post replies to existing topics. The discussion board usually has its own module in the portal and contains separate areas to post about each module's topics. An e-learning portal also often implements a private messaging system that lets students send emails to one another and to the instructor.

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

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bear78
Post 3

@donasmrs-- We have the same e-learning portal system at my school. We also have a forum on our portal where we answer weekly discussion questions.

I love this aspect because I'm kind of shy when it comes to speaking out in class. But I express myself very well in writing. So it's great that we can have classroom discussion right there on the portal.

donasmrs
Post 2

@ysmina-- Online courses aren't the only ones that use e-learning portals. All of my college courses have e-learning portals assigned to them. Our instructors post the syllabus, class presentations, reading materials and assignments there. So we basically have everything we need right there and can access it regardless of where we are.

Two of my instructors make available the reading materials through the portal. We didn't have to buy a book. He posts the reading there in PDF format and we just download it, print it and read it.

I wish more instructors made use of e-learning portals this way. Students would save a lot of money.

ysmina
Post 1

I've never used an e-learning portal before. I might take an online course next year though. So I guess I will use an e-learning portal then. I think it's a great idea to teach and learn online.

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