6 Effective Ways To Use Google Drive in eLearning

6 Effective Ways To Use Google Drive in eLearning
Summary: In this article, I'll talk about the many ways that you can use Google Drive to boost your eLearning course, and I will offer you some advice in regards to how you can take full advantage of the features that Google Drive has to offer to eLearning professionals.

Why eLearning Professionals Should Use Google Drive

Google may be well known for its search engine and email service, Gmail,  but its apps for education are quickly becoming popular in the eLearning industry. In fact, in the recent years, a growing number of instructional designers and eLearning professionals have discovered the usefulness of Google in the learning process. One of the most well known tools is Google Drive. This cloud storage service allows you to upload, share, edit, and store important files (either text files or videos) making it an ideal addition to your eLearning strategy.

The best ways eLearning Professional are using Google Drive in eLearning

  1. Store data and files remotely (never lose learning materials). 
    Google Drive gives you the ability to store videos, photos, images, and documents remotely, so that you won't ever have to lose another important file again. They can all be stored in one centralized location (the Cloud), which means that you can access learning materials anywhere. For example, if you've created a file that is an integral part of your deliverable and your hard drive crashes, you can still view and edit that file through Google Drive. This boosts cost efficiency, because you won't ever have to devote resources to redoing a document or project that has been lost or corrupted.
  2. Develop collaborative group projects via Google Docs. 
    A great way to boost peer-to-peer interaction is to create group projects that are uploaded directly onto the Google Drive. In fact, Google Docs (offered within the Google Drive) can transform any assignment into an interactive and collaborative eLearning experience. Using Google Docs, your learners can leave real time feedback, communicate with others in the group, and share their insights and opinions via the document or file. For instance, you can develop an eLearning project that requires a group of learners to collaboratively solve a real life problem or revise a document that purposefully contains errors (to test their applied practical knowledge of subjects and skill sets). Group collaboration is such an invaluable tool in eLearning, as it gives learners the chance to learn from their peers' knowledge base and experiences. Google Docs enables eLearning professionals to bring this collaborative approach into any Instructional Design strategy.
  3. Access and edit projects anywhere, anytime via your mobile device. 
    One of the most significant advantages of Google Docs is that you can create documents on any device, even your mobile phone, and then upload them to the Drive. You can also edit files anywhere, anytime, which is particularly useful if you are always on-the-go. Even if you don't have Internet access, you can work offline and backup the file once you reach a Wi-Fi hot spot. Therefore, you can schedule your time more productively, given that any free time, such as waiting for a meeting or a break in between virtual training events, can be spent fine tuning your learning materials or creating a group exercise. Likewise, learners will also have access to shared files remotely, which makes learning and collaborating more convenient.
  4. Publish learners’ work to offer them eLearning feedback and peer-to-peer support.
    Why not publish learners' work on Google Drive so their peers can offer them input and feedback? Just be sure to get learners' approval beforehand, so that they are aware that other learners will be viewing their work. This will give the learners the opportunity to benefit from the opinions of their peers, which they can then use to revise and edit their documents or projects. It also gives them access to peer-to-peer support, and thus the opportunity to get answers to important questions and discuss any concerns collaboratively.
  5. Create Google Drive self guided courses for those who want to learn more. 
    For learners who want more information about a particular subject or are interested in mastering a specific skill, Google Drive self guided courses or reference guides may be an ideal solution. For example, you can create a list of resources that learners might find helpful and share it with them via Google Docs, or create a document that they can access in order to delve further into a topic. You can even share images or graphics, such as charts or detailed photos, if they want to learn more about a complex subject matter. For instance, if learners might benefit from a series of webinars, you can send them the files or the links through the Drive. These supplementary materials are also ideal for those who may not be progressing as expected and need some form of intervention in order to complete the eLearning course successfully.
  6. Offer immediate revisions and edits on learners' assignments. 
    You can view and edit learners' work in real time, which means that you can leave immediate feedback and suggest corrections that will help them to fine tune their assignments. This is beneficial for many reasons, but primarily because it allows you to provide constructive criticism and feedback when it really matters the most- while the learning process is taking place. For example, if a learner is taking the wrong approach to solving a problem, using the self guided course you can offer the learner immediate support. This helps to correct ineffective learning behaviors before they take root in the learners’ mind, and enables you to show them the correct method or approach.

To sum up, Google Drive offers so many benefits for eLearning professionals. Best of all, it's free. This means that you can use this powerful application to transform any eLearning course or module into a highly immersive, collaborative, and interactive environment, even if budget constraints would normally make all of this next to impossible.

Google in eLearning Resources

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In this in depth Gmail guide for eLearning professionals, I'll walk you through how to successfully use Gmail to develop and implement deliverables that help learners to connect, communicate, and collaborate in online learning environments.

Google Tools for eLearning Professionals
eLearning professionals can use one or more Google tools from the following list to achieve better learning outcomes.

Last but not least, to find out about other Google Apps for Education that you may want to consider for your eLearning courses and modules, read this article: The Amazing Power of Google Apps for Education. This article highlights the basics and benefits of Google learning apps, as well as some useful, but lesser known, Google educational tools.