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20 Not-So-Popular Websites Students Should Visit to Make Studying Easier

20 Not-So-Popular Websites Students Should Visit to Make Studying Easier

It’s a wonderful time to be a student. There are thousands of awesome resources, tools, and websites that can make the studying process easier and more effective. Unfortunately, because there are so many, it can be hard to determine which sites are worth your time and which aren’t. These 20 websites aren’t very popular (yet), but they can offer you and your grades a lot of support.

To Improve Your Writing

1. AskPetersen Writing Blog

AskPetersen

    Ask Petersen offers a terrific collection of tools and advice to help improve your writing. The website is divided into sections like Essay Samples, Resources and a helpful Blog. The blog topics vary from writing a proper essay introduction to choosing the best time to study. Even if you just spend a few minutes on the website between classes, you’re likely to find useful information that can help you become a stronger writer. Besides, check essay writing services review section, where you will find helpful overviews (for example, EssayOnTime.com Review, Ultius.com Review, CustomWritings.com Review, etc.) of writing assistance services.

    2. Writer’s Digest University

    2

      Writer’s Digest University provides self-guided writing workshops. Topics include Advanced Novel Writing, 12 Weeks to a First Draft, Grammar and Mechanics, and How to Craft a Book that will sell, among others. Most classes are between $250-$400.

      3. Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips

      3

        If you want to become a better writer, you’ll want to bookmark Grammar Girl on your computer’s desktop. The site answers every grammar question you could possibly have. From comma usage to compound words, Grammar Girl has all the answers. You can browse through the selection of questions and answers, or you can pose a question of your own.

        4. Essays Capital

        EssayCapital

          Are you having a hard time writing your essay? Are you overwhelmed and considering hiring a writing service to help? Essay Capital provides well-researched, high quality essays that take your opinions into account, and convey what you want to say in the paper. They also get to know your writing style, so your paper sounds like you wrote it.

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          5. Thesaurus.com

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            A strong vocabulary makes you a better writer. When you find the exact word you want to use, your sentence will make more sense, and your writing will flow more smoothly. Thesaurus.com lets you find better words for your writing. Just type in the word you want to swap out and Thesaurus will give you a new selection of words to choose from.

            6. No Red Ink

            6

              No Red Ink is an innovative online interface that lets students improve their grammar and writing skills. Quizzes and questions are based on things students care about like pop culture, their friends, and sports. If a student gets a question wrong, they get immediate feedback instead of a bunch of confusing red ink that they’ll just ignore. Incredibly, No Red Ink learns as the student progresses, so the program can suggest topics that need additional practice.

              7. Grammar Book

              7

                Similar to Grammar Girl, Grammar Book provides a heap of grammar and punctuation help. But rather than formatting all the information in question and answer format, Grammar Book is easily divided by category.

                To Help Prepare for Tests

                8. College Confidential

                8

                  College Confidential helps you prepare for the SAT and the ACT, as well as generic preparation for AP tests. Through a series of forums, students get to communicate with one another and learn what they’ll need to study in order to be successful.

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                  9. 4 Tests

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                    4 Tests provides a big selection of practice exams for the SAT and the ACT. The best part? They’re free! You can also find helpful study information on the 4Tests Blog and various study guides.

                    10. Meet The New SAT

                    10

                      This website prepares students for the SAT, PSAT10, and PSAT 8/9. The site includes the official SAT practice test from Khan Academy. Learn what to expect inside the new SAT and get to know the new scoring system.

                      11. Kaplan Test Prep

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                        From this website, you can create a registration with Kaplan University and gain access to the official Kaplan practice tests for the SAT and ACT.

                        12. Shmoop

                        12

                          Shmoop connects 13 million students and teachers with study guides, practice tests, an essay lab, informational videos, and career advice. If you’re looking for a comprehensive learning and studying website, search no more.

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                          To Collaborate with Other Students and Teachers

                          13. Collaborize Classroom

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                            Collaborative Classroom provides a platform for students and teachers to communicate with one another. Students can get one-on-one assistance with assignments and helpful resources for improving your test prep strategy, studying habits, and reading skills.

                            14. Padlet

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                              Padlet gives you a blank template where you can create a design, upload a document, or collaborate with others. Use the space as a white board to help with your study plan. Or use it to build a presentation. In any case, you can work remotely with other students and teachers.

                              15. Edmodo

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                                One of the best-known collaborative websites for students and teachers, Edmodo provides a place for teachers, students, and parents to connect. Access homework assignments, email your teacher, and get feedback on your assignments all in one place.

                                16. Mind Meister

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                                  Mind Meister lets you create mind maps that you can then share with fellow students or your teachers. This tool makes brainstorming in a group a lot more effective.

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                                  Students’ and Educators’ Blogs

                                  17. Simply Charly

                                  17

                                    Simply Charly is a blog that discusses the most important and influential people throughout history. Depending on how you learn best, you can choose to watch videos, listen to podcasts, or read articles.

                                    18. Mostly Morgan

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                                      Mostly Morgan is a fashion and lifestyle blog. However, the author (Morgan Timm) is a junior in college and writes a lot about college admissions, studying, test preparation, and other academic topics.

                                      19. Explore.Dream.Discover

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                                        The subheader of Explore.Dream.Discover is “Reflections of a world wandering college kid.” It is written by Andrew Liu, a college student and aspiring entrepreneur at Harvard. The blog follows his academic career and the lessons he learns at school and while traveling.

                                        20. Dan Shipper

                                        20

                                          In his blog, Dan Tripper discusses entrepreneurship, startups, and the importance of hard work and ingenuity. It’s a great read for anyone looking for some inspiration and entertainment.

                                          There you have it! These 20 websites can help make it easier to study, write, and prepare for tests. School can be a challenge, but at least now you’ll get the support and resources you need to be as successful as possible.

                                          Featured photo credit: rhodesj via flickr.com

                                          More by this author

                                          Jessica Millis

                                          An experienced writer, editor and educator who shares about tips on effective learning.

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                                          Last Updated on November 5, 2019

                                          5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

                                          5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

                                          Businesses rely on talent to generate and sell value. Without skilled people to create its products, manage its operations and execute its strategies, a business would inevitably fizzle out of the game and leave better-staffed competitors to take the field.

                                          This is the reason why ambitious companies go great lengths to attract top talent,[1] shelling out millions of dollars in the process and bending traditional work policies just to bring highly skilled but demanding candidates into the fold.

                                          Clearly, the contours of business are changing. But so are the demographics of work.

                                          Millennials have become the dominant generation in the job market in terms of population, and some have already transitioned into leadership roles. Most millennials consider opportunity to learn and grow more important than overall compensation.[2]

                                          Companies also today expect employees to come equipped with razor sharp business acumen.[3] Unfortunately, there is an alarming discrepancy between the actual skills businesses need and those currently possessed by job candidates.

                                          To stay in the game, employers need to continually upgrade their training and skills development strategies to cover the entire employee lifecycle.

                                          What are Learning Management Systems (LMS)?

                                          Learning management systems are software-based solutions for authoring, presenting, consuming, storing, and tracking educational content and training materials. These systems aim to centralize all instructional content (e.g., lessons, training modules, instructional videos, presentation slides, worksheets, online quizzes, ebooks, takeaway notes, etc.) in one place.

                                          LMS enable instructors to design and deliver learning experiences to students, with the added capability of evaluating the effectiveness of the instructional materials and grading the learning progress of students.

                                          On the other side of the equation, learners use LMS to develop skills and acquire new knowledge virtually anytime and anywhere via the different channels and content formats made possible by digital technology.

                                          Over the years, a wide range of features and technologies have been integrated into learning management systems to help enhance the experience of training designers, instructors, and learners. These include cloud and mobile technology, artificial intelligence, responsive design, scheduling, gamification, data analytics, and interoperability with other applications.

                                          5 Best All-Purpose Learning Management Systems

                                          There are dozens of LMS vendors catering to the general market or to specific segments such as K-12 learning, higher education, and corporate training.

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                                          With so many options available, selecting the right LMS solution for your needs can be complicated and costly, especially when you end up adopting a platform that doesn’t exactly match your goals or requirements.

                                          Short of conducting a comprehensive audit of your needs and finalizing a learning roadmap, the safest bet would be to adopt full-featured but affordable LMS solutions.

                                          Based on user reviews, here are the 5 best LMS to help people gain knowledge, build skills, and achieve mastery:

                                          1. Canvas Network

                                          Launched by Instructure as an open source software in 2011, Canvas is an end-to-end cloud-based service originally engineered for the education sector.

                                          Widely adopted for K-12 and Higher Ed learning, Canvas can be repurposed for anything that involves an instructor, a subject matter, and a student.

                                          Used around the world by people of all ages and organizations of all types, Canvas arguably has the largest learning and support community in its class. It works on desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.

                                          To get a glimpse of the platform’s fresh interfaces, you can visit the Canvas Network, a learning community that provides educational and instructional materials created by colleges, universities, corporate businesses, independent course developers, and other knowledge-sharing entities around the world.

                                          Hosting hundreds of interesting topics from data science to horticulture, the learning network also serves as evidence to the scope, capabilities, and popularity of the Canvas LMS platform.

                                          Canvas is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure, which enhances the platform’s reliability, speed, scalability, and overall online performance.

                                          Additionally, platform adopters enjoy a low-risk environment since cloud-based solutions require no hard stops for version updates, upgrades, or system migrations.

                                          The Canvas website does not show a price matrix but says the service adopts a simple formula for computing fees: a one-time implementation fee and an annual subscription fee based on total number of users. It also promises free basic services for teachers who want to use the platform.

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                                          In addition to Canvas, Instructure also offers Bridge (an LMS designed for corporate environments), Arc (a video platform for online learning), and Gauge (an assessment management system).

                                          Check out this video if you want to learn more about Canvas Network:

                                          2. Google Classroom

                                          This free service from Google aims to improve the teaching and learning process using cloud technology, web apps, workflow simplification, and seamless communication between students and instructors.

                                          Using Classroom, educators can easily create and schedule classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and grade quizzes all in one place. By streamlining processes, Classroom helps teachers save time and organize classes more effectively. Both students and teachers can also work using any device anytime and anywhere.

                                          Classroom works perfectly with other Google tools, having been launched initially as part of Google’s G Suite for Education. This LMS solution taps Google Drive for content storage and distribution, as well as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for the creation and sharing of instructional materials. Meanwhile it integrates Google Calendar for scheduling and Gmail for communication.

                                          With G Suite, other communication channels such as chat messaging, video conferencing, and a dedicated website are enabled.

                                          Easy to set up and manage, Google Classroom is free to use. One of my very first courses was actually hosted on Google Classroom.

                                          Going beyond the classroom environment, Google offers G Suite Enterprise for Education for large institutions. This suite provides enhanced search and analytics capabilities as well as advanced tools for enterprise communications.

                                          3. Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment)

                                          If budget and capability equally top your list of LMS adoption criteria, then Moodle might just fit the bill. Which is to say there’s none (i.e., bill).

                                          Moodle is a free and open-source learning solution for distance education, workplace training, flipped classrooms, and other pedagogical environments.

                                          It is also a full-featured LMS supported by a robust community and a thriving developer ecosystem. Not surprisingly, Moodle is used in more than 15 million courses by more than 130 million users in 230+ countries.

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                                          Among other things, Moodle enables administrators and educators to create a dynamic and dedicated website to host organic, easily accessible, and highly customizable courses that can be experienced on desktops and mobile devices anytime and anywhere.

                                          Moodle provides a personalized and intuitive dashboard as well as a host of collaboration tools for content designers, teachers, and learners. A universal calendar, an efficient file management system, an automatic notification system, multimedia integration, and a progress tracking tool all come with the package.

                                          Check out this video if you want to learn more about Moodle:

                                          4. Absorb

                                          This platform recently bagged PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award for Best LMS.

                                          Co-designed and built by former course authors, Absorb takes learning experience to the next level. This turnkey LMS solution is responsive, full-featured, and highly customizable for maximum impact.

                                          Course developers can orchestrate a wide range of experiences depending on audience or learning situation. In addition to surveys, polls, and e-commerce integration, Absorb supports formal online learning and certifications standards such as AICC, SCORM, and Tin Can.

                                          The user interface can also be modified to match the learner’s location, group, or department, allowing for a different look and feel for customers, channel partners, management trainees, and newly hired employees.

                                          Absorb supports all personal computing devices from desktops to mobile phones. There are also native or hybrid apps for iOS and Android.

                                          The only possible drawback to the platform’s powerful feature set is its pricing. The service reportedly implements a flat, one-time setup fee depending on your business and training requirements. According to the site, any plan comes with a dedicated success team for your account.

                                          Although small companies are welcome to try, midsize to enterprise-scale organizations are probably the best segment to readily adopt this LMS solution.

                                          Take a look at some examples of Absorb in this video:

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                                          5. Watershed Collaborative

                                          Created by a group of educators, this nonprofit rethinks the priorities of an LMS, asserting that too many systems miss the most essential elements of what makes learning stick. They promise a better user experience – emphasizing Learning before Management and System.

                                          Watershed aims to support an inquiry-based learning experience through an integrated mix of online and in-person learning strategies and interactions designed expressly for teams – including collaboration, reflection, and dialogue.

                                          While Watershed was founded initially to serve the K-12 education market, the company has since expanded its scope to cater to all types of teachers and learners with its video-rich, state-of-the-art platform.

                                          If you’re a mission-driven educator, content creator, institution, or business, this LMS may be the one for you.

                                          Watershed specializes in assisting you with the instructional design of courses and provides content production services to ensure top-quality video assets with lasting value. Their LMS makes it easy for course creators to continuously update and tailor content to support small and large groups, while ensuring the technology and instructional strategy supports communities of learners.

                                          Pricing varies based on products and services, but revenues support the nonprofit’s ability to make its platform and courses available at little or no cost for high-need educators and educational settings.

                                          Honorable Mentions

                                          There are dozens of LMS vendors in this growing market and the brands included in foregoing list are by no means the only viable options for companies or learning institutions looking to upgrade their learning infrastructure.

                                          Many other excellent services are worth checking out. These include:

                                          1. Docebo is an LMS designed for hyper-engaging students, employees, customers, and other learners. The system helps organizations identify and resolve competency gaps with strategic learning interventions.
                                          2. Cornerstone OnDemand is a talent, training, and performance management solution offered as an SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). This service enables learners to create personalized playlists of instructional content.
                                          3. Lessonly is an LMS solution that makes it easier to recall and reinforce whatever skills or knowledge you have learned through quizzes, coaching, and constant practice.
                                          4. Skillsoft is an online training and corporate learning platform developed by a two-decade old and billion-dollar company with the same name.
                                          5. D2L BrightSpace is a learning management system that has all the basics for delivering excellent, rich-media experiences for classroom or workplace training.

                                          Conclusion

                                          There are many ways to learn but some are more effective and meaningful than others. Whether you are a teacher looking to enhance classroom learning or an HR manager creating a long-term talent development plan for employees, the key to impactful learning is to understand and bridge the needs of learners, the goals of your institution, and the actual capabilities of the learning tools you are considering.

                                          Note that using multiple LMS platforms is possible although not recommended. On the other hand, adopting other learning solutions beyond LMS (such as podcasts, mentoring, and onsite in-person workshops) may significantly improve learning outcomes. Always go for products and plugins that seamlessly integrate into your core LMS tool.

                                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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