Virtual Learning: Which Platform enables the best experience?

As we continue to collaborate and learn from the comfort and safety of our own homes, we move our meetings, our workshops and training sessions online. But the big question is, which virtual learning platform should you be using?

Many organisations may have a chosen platform that they already use for these purposes but why not take this opportunity to consider what it is you are using and whether this is still the right choice. Or maybe, you haven’t chosen which platform you wish to use to enhance your organisation’s digital learning offering. If so, Rise Learning Group are here to help.

Why use Virtual Learning Platforms?

There are two key things that a virtual learning platform is used for. The first is to host or create your own online learning content, e-learning. The second, and the one that has more recently come into wider use and recognition due to the Coronavirus outbreak, is a digital platform that can be used for remote ‘face to face’ learning delivery, where group activities can take place and learning can be shared.

So, why do you need a virtual learning platform? If you are looking to create e-learning content, there are many great platforms out there such as Articulate, Adobe Captivate or Docebo.

If you are looking for a digital solution to provide your teams with a live classroom experience, this is newer ground for some organisations and something that we now have the opportunity to bring to the forefront of the Learning & Development world. Rise Learning Group have been researching the market for the best platforms to use to create an engaging virtual learner experience.

Create Your Digital Classroom

In the main, learning professionals are using Communication and Collaboration Platforms to facilitate their learning sessions. One advantage is that employees already have access to the system and is therefore cost effective and saves time. There are also digital platforms available that are specifically aimed at providing a remote learning experience.

We spoke with our clients and the wider learning community and discovered that the main features you are looking for in a remote learning classroom platform are:

  • User-friendly
  • Interactive
  • Reliable
  • Secure

Neuroscience tells us that an engaging learning experience is key to the successful transfer of information, therefore one of the key things we need from a Digital Learning Solution is the ability to collaborate, engage with and to a certain extent, ‘entertain’ learners.

We researched Collaboration Platforms and Remote Learning Platforms so that you don’t have to. Here is an overview of our top choices!

Communication and Collaboration Platforms

Some of the top Communication and Collaboration platforms that provide video conferencing include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Google Hangouts. Zoom and Microsoft Teams are two of our client’s platforms of choice in 2020, therefore, we have had a deeper look into what each has to offer to help you decide whether one of these solutions might be right for you.

Feature Zoom Microsoft Teams
Free Access Yes Yes
Call Time Limit Yes No
Recording Facility Yes Yes
White Board Yes Yes
Ability to Create Breakout Rooms Yes No
Ability to ‘mute learners Yes Yes
Function to limit ‘personal messages’ between learners Yes No
Ability to send ‘Reactions’/emojis Yes Yes
File Storage Function No Yes
Screen view Limitations No Yes
Chat Function Yes Yes
Use on Mobile Device Yes Yes


The Verdict


Zoom is very user-friendly and has some fantastic training features, including the use of a white board, a poll to gauge opinion and the ability to set up ‘break-out’ rooms for training activities, which is not available in Teams.

You can also stop learners from sending personal chats to each other, helping you to keep their attention. Zoom is a great platform for virtual training and has many features to support you in making the learner experience as interactive as possible.

Microsoft Teams

The Microsoft Teams platform has the added advantage that there is no 40-minute limit to your meeting, unlike Zoom. You can share your screen and there are a number of apps that can be built into your Teams account which can enhance your training features, such as surveys and polls. One of the big benefits of Teams is in its ability to share documents through its ‘File’ sharing and storage function. Teams also enables you to ‘blur’ your background if you wish to remove this distraction for your learners and allows you to ‘make people attendees’ which means that they will be unable to share their screen, leaving you in control of what is shared.

Both platforms can be used to create engaging learner experiences. Both Microsoft Teams and Zoom, along with many other platforms have been subject to various reports of possible data protection issues. In this new world, it is key that you read the data terms and conditions of any collaboration platforms.

Rise Learning Group use both Microsoft Teams and Zoom and would advocate both, depending on your learning needs. Give both a try and see which one you prefer!

Learning Platforms

Here are our ‘top picks’ for other virtual learning platforms where you are able to create your own bespoke digital content, through blended courses which could include videos, sounds bites, PDFs, quizzes, surveys, e-learning and webinars:

Best for Brand and Marketing your Course: Teachable

Best for Building a Course from scratch: Thinkific

Best for Teaching Creative Skills: Skillshare

Best for Webinars: Ruzuku

Best for setting up a virtual classroom: WizIQ

These platforms are a great and easy way to use your skills and knowledge to create blended and engaging learning courses. You can customize your own content, set your prices, and connect the learner experience to your business brand.

Go ahead and try them out!

We cannot tell you which virtual learning platform will work for you, but we can point you in the right direction. Try out any of the platforms we have mentioned in this month’s blog and please get in touch with Rise Learning Group if you would like any more information.

Rise to Business Excellence!

We are pleased to confirm that we have brought together our knowledge of the Digital Learning world and created an online offering called Rise to Business Excellence.

Our portfolio consists of three courses:

  • Project Management
  • Leadership
  • Customer Service

Each of the above is an engaging 8-week course that is open to all. They can be attended alongside your daily activities and will support your employees in times of managing change and ensuring that the business meets their goals during these uncertain times.

Watch out for more information in our next blog or get in touch with one of our experienced team members today to find out more about Rise Learning Group’s new Digital Learning offering.