No matter if you are a big enterprise or a small business representative you can use free online learning or training tools to improve the competences of your employees, to effectively onboard new team members, and to update your staff on new routines and procedures.
Online training and learning tools have many advantages over traditional training:
- Make learning accessible. Staff can engage with courses from anywhere, the only thing necessary for them is an internet connection.
- Save time. Your employees will start working or will get back to work with new competencies faster.
- Reduce costs. The right online training or learning software will reduce such costs as travel, venue and instructor costs. You need to create the training once and then will be able to reuse it as many times as you need.
- Automate processes. Many of the repeatable processes are automated e.g. online systems can automatically grade tests and assignments.
You can use different online tools to make learning and training processes in your company more efficient. Below you will find an overview of free learning management systems, video training tools, and communication tools.
Learning management software (LMS)
LMS is a platform that helps to create, manage and analyze educational courses. It usually includes:
- learners registration;
- curriculum management;
- skill and competences management;
- reporting possibilities.
LMS can be complemented by other learning technologies such as a training management system to manage instructor-led training, or a learning record store to store and track learning data.
Here are the most popular free LMS that can suit both small businesses and enterprises.
Moodle — an open-source platform with no licensing fees.
Open-source LMS means that this software is flexible and can be used for specific companies’ needs. It is free to use without any additional costs.
The tool offers simple drag-and-drop features and well-documented resources. Generally, it is easy to learn and use. Moodle supports multiple languages, so there are no linguistic limitations to learning online.
ATutor — a platform for course-creation with social networking features.
Learners can develop a network of contacts, create and join interest groups. They can collaborate with others, communicate as a group through the forums, share resources using the File Storage utility, and work together under the same project. Exercises or assignments can be submitted to a group leader or course instructor.
Blackboard — another free platform for creating an online learning course.
It can boast of the efficient storage of information and its flexible representation. It also allows keeping learners up to date on their assignment grades and progress.
Desire2learn — software that allows creating learning activities that help learners to practice.
This includes video-assignments, role-plays through simulations, game-based learning, and capturing retrospectives on actual projects.
LearnPress — WordPress LMS plugin.
If your company already runs a website on the WordPress platform, you can use a free WordPress plugin to create an online course located on your website. It works with any WordPress theme even with the pre-installed one, that appears when you launch your website. With this plugin you can create and manage multiple online courses, communicate with your students, add more features through add-ons (available on premium plans).
Check out this video tutorial that will help you to create your first online training course on WordPress.
Video training tools
You can bring even more value to your online training if you provide some live support from an expert. In case you train employees remotely, you may use video and audio conferencing tools. These training tools will live stream via a platform that allows learners to connect. Learners will be able to hear, see (if it’s video conferencing) the instructor, and interact with them to share their opinions. Try out Zoom or Google Hangouts — these tools offer both screen sharing and recording functions.
Moreover, you can use special platforms to create learning videos. The most important part here is that the videos you make are interactive so that the explanations you provide on the subject matter become clear to the learner.
Screencast-O-Matic is an online tool that can help you create screen-recordings for free. It provides the option for both screencast recordings and webcam recordings. Besides, it offers the possibility to record your voice.
Ezvid is a similar tool that captures any software running on your computer for free.
Apart from voice records, you can add stamps, record face-camera, and immediately upload your video to YouTube. It is possible to choose a brush or a stamp from a drawing palette and draw directly on your screen.
One of the most important soft skills in any workplace is communication. In teaching and training communication plays a key role. Supervisors and instructors need to communicate with the learners to provide them guidance, answer their questions, and offer support. Besides, often learners need to communicate and collaborate with each other as well.
Here are the training tools for employees to connect and communicate apart from the good old email:
- Corporate messengers, such as Slack (a communication and collaboration hub which you can try out with your team for free). It is simple, quick, and can adapt to your company’s needs in no time.
If Slack does not suit you, check out 27 Slack alternatives that may be a better fit.
- Social media, for example, LinkedIn groups, Facebook pages, or even Facebook Workplace.