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Online Training space for a group of learners


Hi all I'm in the throes of designing a course for a group of senior managers in my organisation who are located across the UK and Europe. One of the things I'd like to provide is an online learning/ collaboration/ reflection space where they can access learning materials, post reflective thoughts and support one another. ideally it would include:

  • A group forum
  • The ability to create individual pages/ blog posts
  • A group calendar
  • The ability to host or link to pictures/ videos/ documents
It also needs to be
  • Web based
  • Private and password protected across multiple accounts (approx 12 learners)
I could put this together using individual sites but I was wondering if anyone knows of an online space that would do all of this. so far I've looked at Ning and Google Groups but neither of them seem to do what everything I want Also, as my elearning budget has been removed it would need to be free or cost a minimal amount to run (less that £1k per year for all 12 accounts). I'm also hoping that If I can demonstrate the effectiveness of this as a way of supporting learning I'll be able to make a more robust case for an increased investment in elearning. Any suggestions? Your optimistically Nigel

4 Responses

  1. Lots of potential solutions
    Hello Nigel

    There are many different providers in this sort of space.

    You could try posting your requirements on The E-learning List ( This will help to connect you with companies that can help.

    Best regards


  2. Ning Options
    Hi Nigel!

    Now I recognise that you’ve already had a look at Ning and like you, I’ve played with it a few times in the past and also thought that maybe it couldn’t do everything I wanted.

    But having just got hold of the new “Ning for Dummies” book

    …I’m taking another look.

    The book covers setting up blogs for participants, organising events (e.g. follow-up training sessions, even chatroom based sessions), different ways to use the discussion forums, integrating media into the site – I’m keen to see if I can get Flash-based rapid e-learning modules embedded as resources – and lots of other ways to really use the features on offer, some of which I wasn’t aware of until I read the book.

    The book states as one of its objectives as how to create a site to support online learning, so I’m going to give it another go.

    And a former colleague of mine also successfully used a Ning site to support the international managers of a global organisation on a leadership programme across South America.


  3. Thanks
    Thanks Tim & Richard

    I’ll have a look at the sites you’ve suggested.

    In the meantime, a bit of digging around threw up Shutterfly, which seems to fit the bill even though its primary purpose seems to be to host photographs. I’ve created a quick demo site of anyone is interested to see what it looks like and I’ll carry on playing around with some of the features to see what comes up. It’s free to use and has a lot of the callobarative features I was looking for.

    Shutterfly Demo Group

    I also came across, which is a lot more basic but could do a job for someone if they’re interested in creating an online group.


  4. have you tried Moodle?
    I’s have thought that Moodle would fit the bill for you (although I;m intrigued by the idea of Shutterfly which I haven’t come across before) Maybe it’s more than you need, but it is open source and free. I’ve used it for small courses.

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