Distance learning offers an incredible opportunity for your team members to gain valuable skills and advance in their career. Senior decision makers in organizations will often view the cost of learning as the primary barrier to providing employee training.
Yet opportunities for learning and development is frequently cited as one of the key factors employees value when choosing a job. Recognizing this disconnect, it seems natural that we’ve seen an increase in distance learning in the workplace. Distance learning provides employees with control over their learning whilst also helping to reduce the costs associated with training for employers.
With a collection of free distance learning solutions under your belt, you can provide your team with the best chance of success in their online learning. To help you discover the best free distance learning solution, we’ve outlined some of our favorite tools to help your team grow.
When undertaking online learning your team members may appreciate having somewhere to store learning resources, store completed assignments and share files with their teammates. Google Drive is a free cloud-based file storage system. This tool allows users to store, share, and collaborate on files and folders from any mobile device, tablet, or computer making it perfect for distance learning. You can pay to extend your storage, however, Google Drive does come with a generous 15gb of free storage.
Google Drive also integrates seamlessly with other tools within the Google family. If your team is working together on a team project, this provides a great opportunity for them to collaborate with each other in real time, without the need to rely on sending documents back-and-forth through external programs. This can reduce the time spent on tasks, minimize errors and help improve team relationships.
You could also help your team with their distance learning by uploading course outlines, guidelines and schedules to your shared Google Drive folder. Your team will then be able to refer to these materials and make sure they are on track with their individual learning.
Trello is a visual based collaboration tool that enables users to organize projects into boards. One of the most popular uses for Trello is as a workflow board to manage your work in progress. As your team will likely be balancing their distance learning with work tasks and other work, home and life priorities, having a workflow board may be beneficial in helping them to manage their workload. Encourage your team to use Trello to manage their upcoming learning modules and assignments in a sequence of steps ranging from “to be done” to “completed”. Your team can then move each card along the sequence as they complete tasks in their learning schedule.
Trello can also be used to manage course schedules, team organization and planning. As a teacher or learning manager, you can use Trello for course timetables by creating boards for each day of the week and assigning cards with the activities planned for each day. You can also add photos, links and additional details to each card if needed.
Remote learning environments can be difficult as you have to manage new technologies, communicate remotely via email or video call, and manage your work through digital schedules and files. Trello is a great tool for organizing all these elements of remote learning in one place. You can also share your Trello board with others so your team can all have access to, and collaborate on, the boards you’ve set up to help them succeed in their distance learning.
When choosing the best distance learning solutions to help your team grow, you’re going to want to make sure to use digital signage. Digital signage is a versatile solution that can be used for your organization’s remote learning program.
With digital signage you can boost productivity and learning success by making use of its versatile features, such as whiteboarding applications. Research suggests that handwriting boosts brain functions so by presenting lessons through a whiteboarding app, you can help boost creativity and retention for your team.
Modern digital signage solutions are perfectly positioned to support remote collaboration. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, 33% of employees report that opportunity for collaboration increases their loyalty to the business. Therefore, finding ways to make your remote learning more collaborative could be beneficial to your business. Digital signage solutions offer the ability to display multiple screens for collaborative video calls. If you don’t already have digital signage solutions within your organization, now may be time to take advantage of this solution for boosting team learning, collaboration and productivity.
Distance learning can be isolating for learners. To help your team overcome this barrier to their learning progression, you can use video conferencing software such as Zoom. On the free version of Zoom, your team can enjoy free 40-minute long webinars with 100 participants or less.
You can use Zoom to host live lessons for your team. This can give your team to ask any questions they may have and gain real-time support with their learning progression. You can also encourage your team to have group video calls to collaborate on learning projects or to get to know each other better. Fostering a collaborative environment is invaluable for employee motivation and productivity.
When using Zoom for distance learning, you can also record sessions. Being able to record your webinars is great for providing learners the option to review the webinar at a later date. These pre-recorded sessions will also prove useful for learners who were unable to attend the live webinar or for future cohorts undertaking the learning at a later date.
If you want to provide your employees with learning opportunities but don’t currently have any learning materials to offer, Udemy is a great platform. Udemy is an online learning and teaching marketplace offering over 100,000 courses.
With a variety of free courses, Udemy is a great free distance learning solution to share with your team. Udemy offers courses that can support your team with developing their professional skills, tech knowledge or for helping them develop skills to manage their wellbeing. Example course topics include time management, HTML coding, photography, and presentation skills, to name a few. Covering a breadth of personal and professional skills, your team can benefit from trying one of Udemy’s free courses to support their distance learning.
At some point, you may want to create your own learning course. There’s a variety of platforms that you can use to develop and provide learning courses, including working with a developer to host a course on your company website or intranet. However, online learning management systems can be expensive. A cost-effective alternative would be to use a free online learning system such as MyICourse.
If you want to test creating an online course for your team, but don’t want to commit to a paid system, MyICourse is a great alternative. You can create a publicly hosted course for free. If you want your course to only be viewed by members of your team, you also have the option to host your course privately for 100 participants. MyICourse will let you create engaging, interactive course content for your team to follow and provide them with certificates of completion.
If you are looking to support your team with their learning and development, these free distance learning solutions are a great starting point.