Since recently, eLearning has opened up numerous opportunities for people to educate themselves, acquire new skills, and even earn degrees without attending in-person classes. This is beneficial for those who don’t have time or money to go to the traditional school because of full-time work or some family commitments.
Of course, online learning has some drawbacks. For example, you may become prone to procrastination while doing online research. There is also a risk of being distracted by different things available on the web. What’s more, you need to keep all those gigabytes of research data organized on your computer as well as to have powerful hardware for real-time classes.
But despite these challenges, your research experience can be improved by special tools, some of which are considered below. But first, let’s find out how to choose the best tool for eLearning.
Convenience vs freedom
One of the crucial aspects of choosing a tool is the ease of use, which is the opposite of creative control. In most cases, you need to decide whether you want your tool to be more convenient or to provide you a lot of creative freedom. If you are going to process the information you’ve researched, then you should make a decision what is more important for you: to use pre-made templates that don’t enable you to have much diversity or to control every element within a more complicated solution. So flexibility or convenience is the first challenge to solve on your way.
Consider the skills
The next thing you need to think about is whether you have the necessary skill set to work with a particular tool. Note that more complex tools require deeper knowledge. In case you are not sure about your existing skills, you should better start with a simple solution that suits your capabilities until you don’t want to push your boundaries.
Determine your goals
When searching for the right tool for eLearning, it’s crucial to think about the desired outcome. For example, you should focus on the type of materials you are going to research, be it a video presentation, text information, or some audio. Knowing what elements you are going to work with, will ease your search.
Now that you know how to approach the selection process, let’s consider some of the most popular options.
For sure, research is a time-consuming activity. Therefore, you will need to organize it pretty well to be effective. For this goal, many people use Todoist, which enables managing all of your research projects. You can access this tool from your desktop computer, laptop, or any portable device. What’s more, Todoist allows you to share your tasks and collaborate with peers. It has a nice feature called “karma”, which means a certain amount of points given to people that have successfully completed an assigned project.
Using a plagiarism checker must be an integral element of any learning process. Uniqueness is one of the most important requirements for the papers assigned in any discipline. This tool ensures the high quality of writing work, so you have a chance to get high grades for the assignments you submit. It’s essential to pick the most reliable essay plagiarism fixer online to be sure that your work doesn’t contain any duplicate content. In case you’ve unintentionally plagiarized someone’s idea, you should either add citations or rewrite some parts of your work so that they are more unique.
This is a popular multi-functional research tool among students and scientists. It helps them search for information in different online databases. It also enables finding full texts based on abstracts and even managing auto-complete of references. Additionally, EndNote provides you with an opportunity to share the data you’ve researched with peers or instructors. You can also organize your materials by tagging them, so access to them becomes easier and quicker.
Zotero is one of the key tools for online learners. Once you integrate it into your browser, you’ll be able to create your own personal library. Zotero can automatically recognize content for you, so all that is left to do is just to save it. Imagine, you can search for necessary materials in your library with just a single click. In addition to PDF documents, this tool supports audio and video files as well as most image formats.
This is another browser-based tool that helps students find the right research data and organize it. Learners can store the materials and easily share them with anybody. Since all your research information needs to be supported by proper citations, you can benefit from RefWorks as it generates those automatically. Moreover, it creates bibliographies in every style almost instantly.
As you see, there are a lot of options that can ease your eLearning process. However, it’s crucial to choose the best solution based on the criteria described above. Hopefully, this article helped you understand how to find the most convenient research tool for yourself.
Paul Calderon is an academic writer and researcher at one of the leading US colleges. Currently, he explores the most effective ways to improve the efficiency of eLearning. Paul shares his insights about the educational process on his own online blog.