Your questions about e-learning portals ANSWERED


e-Learning in assistive technology has been available on the DSA for four years, yet there are still questions surrounding when it is best to recommend an e-learning portal and why.

e-Learning portal Learning Labs has shared insight from their current webinar series that aims to answer any queries surrounding the purpose and benefits of e-learning.

Learning Labs recently ran a webinar series, with another series due to commence in December. Below are some of the questions that have been asked so far, along with answers, delivered by Chris Collier, who was once a disability needs assessor and is now Learning Labs strategic relationship manager.

Questions about e-Learning in Assistive Technology

Q: How does Learning Labs differ from other e-learning providers?

A: Learning Labs is the only portal to include interactive ‘Do’ Labs, as demonstrated in the webinar. Our exclusive ‘Do’ Labs offer an interactive approach to learning and are our most popular type of Lab. There is also the option to learn every Lab by reading text guides and watching videos. As the first SFE-approved e-learning portal Learning Labs includes every past version of the software along with all of the current versions. We have also developed a roadmap of new content and user experience updates for the foreseeable future, so there are plenty more advancements with Learning Labs still to come. We plan our content updates based on assessor feedback to ensure that learners always have access to the software being recommended in needs assessment reports.

Q: Do you have the latest versions of TextHelp Read&Write 12 on your portal?

A: Yes! This was one of our priority updates due to the demand and feedback from needs assessors. We listened and now have the latest versions available to learn in the portal, which is already proving popular.

Q: Why do you keep the older version of AT software on the Learning Lab portal?

A: Students who have received their DSA equipment several years ago may not have the option of free upgrades to the latest versions of AT software. These students require access to the older versions as menu styles and graphics may have changed in later versions.

Q: How much are students using Learning Labs once they have been made available to them?

A: Learning Labs has approximately 2,000 views per month and our trend analysis shows the most popular Labs currently are text-to-speech, then mindmapping, followed by note-taking software. Fourth on the list currently is Dragon and we feel that this follows the general software recommendations in current needs assessment reports. Our development team is also working on an update to the system that will create even more detailed usage reporting, which will provide very useful insight for any future improvements.

Q: Is the Learning Labs justifications sheet and CPD certificate emailed directly to us?

A: Yes! Every webinar attendee receives a free justifications sheet for reference when completing needs assessment reports, as well as a free two-year licence for the Learning Labs portal if you do not already have one. We are also providing CPD certificates, which are sent across on completion of our very short (seven questions) survey. The survey takes less than three minutes to complete and asks how well you think we did on our webinar. This helps us improve the quality of our content, delivery and communications with you, to make sure you continue to get the most out of any of our future webinars.

Q: Do I have to forfeit face-to-face training if I want to recommend Learning Labs?

Absolutely not. Learning Labs is designed to complement face-to-face AT training so the two are intended to be recommended together. There are features on Learning Labs that allow the trainer to tag specific Labs, which is great for suggesting areas for the learner to look at in between training sessions.

Q: Does the student really need both e-learning and face-to-face training?

Absolutely! For most learners they are studying on three, four or even five-year courses, but have been assigned and completed their face-to-face training within the first term of the first year. The Learning Labs portal is like the interactive textbook the learner can carry with them throughout the duration of their course, even after training has ended. As it’s all online, the learner can log in anywhere with WiFi, at any time of day or night and learn in any way they prefer by choosing a Lab in their choice of learning style. This is even more beneficial if Learning Labs has formed a regular part of the training sessions, so the learner feels comfortable continuing to use the portal independently.

Learning Labs and Partners Webinars: Present Pal, MindView and EquatIO

After launching a total of seven new and updated Labs, the e-learning portal Learning Labs has launched a second set of webinars for December.

assistive software webinar

Join Learning Labs as they host two webinars on Monday 17th December 2018 alongside software publishers Present Pal, MindView and EquatIO. There are two time slots to choose from, or you can attend both at 9am and 2pm. Click here for the full event details. 


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