4 challenges international schools face with e-learning providers

August 7, 2015

Over the past 15 or 20 years, we’ve watched as the Internet has made the world a smaller place.

There’s no reason to have to wait days or weeks for information or correspondence. In fact – there’s no reason to have to wait minutes any longer.

The world wide web has provided us with the means to communicate and discover the information we need by just clicking a mouse, or tapping a screen. Learning has evolved alongside the growth of the Internet, too. Online learning is become less of an option, and more of an essential part of everyday school life.

But what happens when you or your school is looking to move to an online learning platform – and the best options are from overseas providers? Is that an issue? We’ve looked at four challenges faced by international schools when dealing with an overseas learning provider, and how best to get around these potential barriers.


On-boarding is a struggle, and the language barrier doesn’t make it easier

Adopting an online learning platform in your school or college, or even just moving from one online learning provider to another, is a big change.

It’s a bit like moving house – finding what you need is tough because things are in a different place, or you keep getting lost, or not everything is ready when you want it to be.

It’s made tougher still if the online learning provider is overseas – and particularly if there’s a language barrier.

Choosing a VLE that’s easy to use will make a massive difference. If the system is intuitive, and ‘does what you’d expect it to do’ there will be less of a struggle convincing staff and students to use it. Additionally, it means you’re less reliant on the provider to train and support you all the way through.

Speak with other schools in your area, see a few demonstrations, and check the testimonials of any learning platform provider you’re considering. Even a short demo should give you an idea of how easy a given VLE is to use.


The support might not be there when it’s needed

Of course, being overseas generally means a time difference, and a time difference means your working hours will not be exactly the same as those of your provider.

On top of that, online learning by its very nature means it’s accessible anywhere, at any time.

Make sure your provider can be there whenever you need them, to provide help and support, and fix any issues that may arise. It would also be beneficial if your provider is accessible via different communication channels – be that phone, email or chat. The last thing you want  is for your VLE to hinder learning – so make sure the support is in place to prevent that from ever happening.


You’re finding it’s down to you to set the agenda

If you’re only at the design stage of your learning platform and you’re already chasing your new learning platform provider for designs, project dates or contracts, you know you’ve got a problem.

Ensure you chose a provider that appears to be proactive right from the word go. By that, we mean a provider who’ll come to you with suggestions for the design of your VLE, and who will look at the size and needs of your school and come back to you with a fantastic, bespoke solution – rather than you having to work out for yourself what you need.

Ask them how they see the learning platform developing over the coming years, and how a VLE in your school will transform learning. Ask about forthcoming developments and how their learning platform can keep on improving and supporting your students’ learning.

Choosing a proactive learning platform provider should pay off weeks, months, or years down the line, when they’re suggesting changes and updates to your VLE, and showing how developments in technology will benefit your school more and more.


The provider is not used to working with schools overseas, and don’t understand your needs

There’s always a first time for everything – but do you want to be the first school to be working with an overseas VLE provider?

Always go with a provider who has experience of working with international schools. They’ll already understand all of your needs and expectations, and may have a good idea of how other schools in your country are developing the provision of learning to students by going online.

Check out any case studies the provider has on their website, or a ‘recent work’ section. It’ll give you a good idea of whether they can work with schools in other countries or not. Also, simply getting in touch and chatting to them about your VLE requirements will give you an idea of whether they’re going to understand your school’s needs.

Above all, when choosing an overseas online learning platform provider, make sure you’re 100% confident that they can transform learning in your school. If, after discussing your needs with them and seeing a demonstration of their solution, you’re not convinced – look elsewhere!

Saying that, there is little reason why working with most overseas VLE providers shouldn’t run smoothly. With the system being online, they can make changes, offer guidance or repair problems instantly from their own location.

The Internet has made communicating and discovering the information you need an instantaneous experience – so don’t see working with an overseas online learning provider a challenge – see it as broadening your choices, scope and experiences!

Read more:

Empower your
learners & improve

We specialise in providing innovative eLearning services for workplace learning, education providers and training companies around the world.

Shopping Basket

3 Powerful Lessons From How Google Approaches L&D

Grab a copy of our free ebook

Phuong Nguyen Hong

Digital Marketing Executive

Super talented, unflappable and very funny, Phuong supports the whole marketing team in her role as Digital Marketing Executive. Phuong holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and recently completed a master’s degree in Management and Marketing. Originally from Hanoi in Vietnam, Phuong is now based in the UK and climatising brilliantly to our weather and food.

Phuong owns a food review Instagram page as travelling and food are her passion. She also has a cute little french bulldog.

Ellie Sharkey

Head of Marketing

Ellie was the first woman to join Titus and has paved the way for many more since then. After studying for a degree in Fashion and Marketing, Ellie was lucky to find herself at fashion weeks and photoshoots.

Now she’s switched from talk of the front row to front end design and has brought loads of transferable knowledge to Titus. Ellie has also found a real passion for tech, especially in the learning sector, helping clients create positive change for their organisations.

Callum Barrett

Senior Brand Executive

As one of the youngest people at Titus but at the same time one of the oldest serving members of the team, Callum has graced Titus with his broad smile and positive attitude for over 5 years now. As a key member of the marketing team, Callum works across all areas, both on and offline, to ensure that all Titus brands and communication are on point.

After missing out on the opportunity to go to University the first time around, management encouraged him to enrol in our course alongside his work. He is now studying to achieve his Level 6 Diploma in Professional Digital Marketing.

Dec Connolly

Acquisition Marketing Manager

Always bringing innovation and new ideas, Dec studied a degree in Journalism but found his passion in digital marketing. Dec has also worked in marketing for one of the countries biggest retailers and within the property sector.

Outside work, Dec Co-founded a news publication where he collaborated with global brands like Uber, Amazon, BooHoo and countless SMEs.