If you don´t have the skills to create a Moodle or Claroline platform for your classes, there are some online teaching platforms that provide a virtual classroom and other interesting and useful features. The main problems with virtual teaching platforms are all based on compatibility. If you do not have the latest Flash player or browser installed or a decent compatible headset, you will encounter some problems. Here are some we have tried, still have to try or are currently trying:
This platform allows you to upload material, create courses and divide them into chapters. The only disadvantage is that it does not support all file types, and you cannot upload videos or audio. Another problem is that once you publish the course, you cannot make changes to it. We did not find the virtual classroom, so I suppose it must only be available after publishing. We also found this platform a little difficult to understand.
This platform is one of the most complete, although they are still making adjustments. In January, when we tried it, we could not see the videos in the virtual classroom. You can upload material in all formats and the classroom has various display options. It also has a chatroom, file sharing feature and all the usual marker, text and whiteboard features. The audio controls were a little complicated because you have to keep deciding if you want to press control to talk or just leave it on/off. We did not test this platform with a student.
WiziQ (free or paid plans for teachers, paid for companies)
We have been using this platform for a while in order to test it. The only issues we encountered were related to live two-way audio (delay, crackle), etc. The support is great and they have no problems in spending hours with you on the phone or in the classroom testing and checking to solve your problems. The uploading and visualization tools are very simple and they work very well. This platform is our favourite so far.
This platform is in its Beta version. It allows SCORM integration and it has its own authoring tool to create courses from scratch, but if you already have a course book and material with videos, etc. it can be tricky. I personally found it very confusing to use, but that´s only a personal opinion. The authoring tool is not that flexible and it only supports two video formats.
We are currently doing the 30-day trial and so far this solution is one of the best. It´s simple, like WizIq, and you can quickly upload content in the middle of the class. We still have to test it with live students, so I´ll get back to you on this one.
If you have any more good online teaching platforms that we could use or test, please let us know.