Designing Your Own Cost-effective Open Online Learning Platform

Due to Covid-19 outbreak, education tends to be run over video-conferencing application. Have you ever calculated your monthly expenses? What about your students? Has there any study been conducted that measured students expenses and how they feel about that?

The total of 144 6th semester students recruited as participants of my previous study reveal that most of courses they followed during Covid-19 pandemic were conducted thorugh online conferencing application. The most significant platforms applied were Google Meet and Zoom Meeting.

In short, the students treat learning through video-conferencing application positively. However, from my point of view who handle the classrooms, it is not. I have addressed this point in my previous publication. When conducting research to fulfil my graduate thesis, I found that teacher presence is crucial that it psychologically leads students' focus in learning and in achieving the course objectives.

During my study in posgraduate program, I proposed the application of cost-effective online learning platform to my academic promotor. In this post, I reveal some media that were in my list including how to use it. The discussion is restricted to the application of platforms for foreign language learning purposes. However, idea revealed in this post can also be applied to teach other subjects.

#1 Website (Approx. $90)

Nowadays, creating a website is super simple. It does not require special knowledge on website coding or web programming language. If it is required, Google has provided everything by just typing some keywords and hit enter. There are a lot of free services to deal with HTML, PHP, and CSS - the most basic web programming language. In addition, free books are also available on the internet.

Somewhere in this blog, list of web engines has been provided to help you choose what web engine that best suit your teaching needs and purposes (read: Lightweight Web Engine for Web-based Learning Portal). Information I provided in that post is worth reading in case you are interested to build your own language learning web portal.

Website is superior because it is accessible anywhere 24/7. It is also cost-effective because it does not cost a lot of internet data to access information hosted on the web. In addition, it does not require any special specification of internet-connected device used to access the website. It is a bit different with Android-, iOS-, or HarmonyOS-based application which requires users (web visitors) to provide certain amount of spaces on their internet-connected devices to run the application.

Based on my experiences in conducting studies on the use of website for foreign language learning, website is best applied for young-adult students and/or students who have good self-regulation in learning. When it is opted, analysis on students' self-regulation in learning is suggested to be conducted.

#2 Podcast (Totally Free)

While majority of podcast hosting services are paid service, Anchor (available at anchor.fm') is totally free. This is a good news for educators who prefer to deliver audible learning content and material for students.

Creating a podcast channel is also super easy. If you prefer to record your instructional material and activity through smartphone, you just need to get an application so called Anchor, install it through Google Play (for Android user) or Apple Store (for iPhone/iPad user), create account, record your episodes and seasons, and upload it to Anchor.

Once your episode is published, your students may listen it on Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, Spotify, and many other podcast applications. Everything is free on Anchor.

#3 Youtube (Totally Free)

Delivering learning instruction in front of the camera could be challenging, and sometimes be stressful, since it requires technical knowledge and skill on how to deal with instructional learning without the physical presence of the students. You might have to take and retake your video, edit it, and upload it to Youtube. However, once everything is ready, your Youtube channel will serve your pedagogical tasks.

In Youtube, there are a lot of educational channels

Since Youtube is owned by Google, you need to have a Google Mail (GMAIL) account to register on Youtube. To opt this medium, having an active Google mail account is a must.

#4 Integrating Web, Podcast, and Youtube

Literature emphasizes that learning would be much more meaningful if it involves as many senses as possible. By providing your learning instruction on the three media previously mentioned, you can cover visual-dominant, auditory, and kinaesthetic-dominant learners way of learning.

Learning preference or learning style has been discussed everywhere on journal publishers and all researchers would agree that it contributes to students learning experience and their achievement. Therefore, it is undeniable that the more senses are involved into the learning, the more meaningful the learning would be.

It should be noted that providing instructional learning and material on the previously mentioned media would be time-consuming. However,

Content posted on blog may contain subjective interpretation. You are highly suggested to check the reference quoted in every page of the blog to ensure the validity of information provided.

This blog may also contain affiliate links which send me some bucks if you take action on my referrals.