During the COVID-19 pandemic, the reliance on eLearning platforms exploded.
As the years pass, relying on online learning programs remains steady. A shift in how people learn continues, and the academic and professional world sees it.
Of course, the quality of educational materials and their availability matters. Not every digital learning platform is equal, nor does every student have access. It’s essential to find eLearning Software that helps educators around the world develop the academic materials needed for learners to achieve.
For more information on how online learning is transforming education standards globally, we spoke with Mr. Nam Nguyen, Technology Strategy Manager & Transformation at Atomi Systems Inc. – an eLearning Authoring Tool helping educators design and produce professional-grade educational material.
Tell us more about your story. What inspired you to create Atomi?
The story of Atomi is the fruitful result of predicting exactly what the market needs.
What the market needs:
In 2007-2008 with saw a rising wave, the explosion of social media, i.e. YouTube, Facebook, etc... We could see it meant showtime for individuals who wanted to build their online social media presence. That is, the growth of social media is not only a playground for big firms and companies. It's also the sweet cake for individuals who want to build their social footprint. They are likely to spread online over many platforms to build and share knowledge.
At that time, we made a brave prediction. That the need for screen recording, video editing, online training, and education courses would blossom. It turns out, we were right.
Can you introduce us to your eLearning Authoring Software? What are its key features?
The term “Authoring tool” might not be widely known by people outside the eLearning industry. But, to those who attach themselves to the education and training industry, this term is common.
What is an eLearning authoring tool exactly?
An eLearning authoring tool enables users to produce educational materials such as classes, videos, and interactive activities.
Regarding our eLearning authoring tool, the exquisiteness of our ActivePresenter doesn't belong to any specific features. It belongs to itself overall. In other words, providing complete solutions for eLearning needs is our prominent strength.
Usually, it's broken down into many pieces of tools that satisfy every single demand. A tool to record the screen, a tool to edit video, one to add annotations, and a tool to make the courses interactive, set score conditions, and track learners’ performances. With all that, you will end up with a massive demand for tools, but our ActivePresenter has solutions.
We tout ActivePresenter as an all-in-one authoring tool with 3 key sets of features. To create interactive eLearning courses, record screens, and edit videos. Simplifying the eLearning design experience is our working motto. We aim to help course builders design professional-level eLearning projects quickly.
Online learning can often seem boring and time-consuming. What tips do you have for making online learning content more attractive and engaging?
There are two principles and key elements to apply when designing engaging online learning content.
Dynamic learning content: Online learning content can't maximize its effectiveness if it’s solely a one-way teaching method. Teaching, listening, note-taking, and forgetting. We encourage educators and trainers to think creatively and to present knowledge in diverse and flexible formats. For example, change the long wall of text into interactive infographics. Or, instead of only talking, incorporate illustrations and random quizzes. And, one could bring learners into solving case studies.
Bite-sized learning content: Loading students with hours of video may harm students' willingness to learn. Overwhelming students with unorganized teaching content may confuse their learning experience. So, it's crucial to divide the information into smaller chunks. To present those smaller bits in a planned and systematic manner.
This can assist students in maintaining focus and preventing knowledge overload. Breaking down knowledge into pieces of learning content encourages learners to complete even more. It grants them a sense of small wins that add up to meeting their goals.
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest mistakes teachers and institutions make when it comes to online learning?
We saw a trend. When the world's traditional learning methods gradually shifted to the online learning environment, there were unforeseen results. That shift also digitized the existing shortcomings of traditional learning to online learning. Two noticeable issues are (1) One-way teaching method and (2) Ordinary assessment.
As the name says, in traditional learning, one-way teaching expresses the way the teacher imparts knowledge to the class with little involvement or contact from the student. When switching to online education, this issue still exists, but in another way.
Most teachers will record their lessons, package them, then upload them as videos. They'll send students documents to review and revise. This method doesn't raise any students’ interest and engagement in wanting to learn. It lessens their interest.
Online learning is born not to lengthen the inconvenience of traditional learning, but to make a breakthrough. That’s why, we, as the eLearning solution developers, would like to contribute our dedication to making an innovative move in teaching and learning activities. We want to make sure that the teaching effort put in by teachers helps to maximize the quality of learning.
The second mistake is ordinary assessment. Quizzes and exams are often produced in the same format for general learners. Then quiz creator tools are unsystematically applied to test students' cumulative knowledge.
Online learning is not limited to uploading pre-recorded videos, docs, and files. It's also more than a simple tool to create quizzes. It comes with a deeper understanding. Online learning can go the extra mile to tailor the test questions for individualized or personalized learning. It's not only for public lecture delivery.
Furthermore, teachers can track learners' performance. That includes learning content’s percentage completion, viewed slides, total duration spent on questions, and the results of every question. Teachers can export reports of all participants throughout the whole course, not in a single exam. No manual work for assessing requirements anymore.
What would you consider to be the biggest challenges surrounding online learning nowadays?
Based on what we have immersed in this market, the biggest challenge is there are too many eLearning tools needed. It's causing confusion for educators.
We described the challenges of using available tools for different eLearning demands above. The situation with eLearning tools is inflation and it’s causing confusion for educators. They're trying to decide what platforms are best-suited educational tools for them. In the market, you will see there are many available tools that can solve each different need.
For example, direct screen recording, video editing, annotation, and adding pre-made questions. Your projects have to jump from one tool to another. Not to mention the quality reduction and unsupported file types.
As an educator or learner, you will have many choices for resources at your disposal. It seems like we have many options to choose from. But for the long term, we believe, it’s inevitable to demand comprehensive eLearning solutions packaged into a single online learning tool. And, we are dedicating our efforts to achieving this. To solve important eLearning demands by using one unified eLearning platform.
Since the education sector is your main field of focus, how do you think this industry is going to evolve in the upcoming years?
There are two things we predict:
(1) Inflation of learning resources
The future of education - it's granted to everyone. That means everyone is about to have equal opportunities to pursue their learning paths. Education is no longer, and shouldn’t be, packaged in brick-and-mortar classrooms, schools, universities, and institutions. Knowledge shouldn't have limits and restrictions. It should always be within everyone's reach.
Imagine, a student in Africa can get lessons from famous professors working at top universities in America. And, students can still earn degrees without physical attendance. With online learning development, there's no doubt that learners are going to have better and better learning opportunities.
(2) Personalized roadmap for every single student
After digitizing learning content to the online environment, the next stage of growth is creating engaging learning content. For example, adding interactivity and personalizing students’ learning experience. Learning content gets personalized in this way. It's based on learners’ interests. That may include various topics, preferred learning methods, performance from entrance tests, quizzes, and exams.
From there, students' learning data gets collected, analyzed, and summarized. Then, it's all designed into a corresponding curriculum suitable for each student. Another approach to personalization is that students are allowed to learn at their own pace. They can schedule their own learning goals based on their needs and preferences.
What do you think are the biggest benefits of online learning?
Knowledge decentralization does have noticeable benefits. We could see that firsthand. We can sit at home and absorb valuable knowledge from top-notch professors. Whether learning from scratch, as a beginner, or an expert - courses can be fine-tuned from a distance.
With all the applications of online learning platforms, students can enroll in classes taught by professors from all over the world. This gives them access to a wide variety of world-class lectures. We can see that learning opportunities are divided equally among everyone. Now it's only a matter of individuals staying ahead of this learning opportunity.
In this age of ever-evolving technology, what do you think are the key security measures everyone should implement on their devices?
We always highly recommend using licensed software and two-factor authentication. Don’t try to save a few bucks by using untrustworthy software. You risk exposure of personal data to unauthorized third parties.
Once more, all accounts that support it should have two-factor authentication enabled. Requiring a second factor, like a code sent to your phone or a biometric scan adds a higher degree of security.
And finally, would you like to share what’s next for Atomi?
We are aiming high. We want to improve everybody’s eLearning course design experience. That is, whoever is in need of building their own courses - whether they're training executives, instructional designers, or course builders - we would make sure they're all beyond satisfied with our eLearning authoring software.
With a good authoring tool, they're able to streamline the eLearning building course process, and easily achieve their goals in a timely manner.