For Instructors, Teachers, Faculty, and Trainers

For years now, instructors have been creating Web pages to supplement and enhance their existing face-to-face training. Sometimes, all this means is that the syllabus is available on the Web. Key articles might be shared through a Web page. Or, links are provided to other people’s Web pages that contain information pertinent to the subject.

Online Course Map
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Some instructors have constructed elaborate Web sites making large portions of a course available online, including both synchronous (chat or web conferencing) and asynchronous forums (text-based discussions). And, more and more institutions are deciding to deliver entire courses or training programs online.

If you’re in the early stage of adoption, you don’t need learning management software or its learning curve, or its cost, to get the job done.

Still, maybe you’d like to sample learning management software just to see what the fuss is about. Or, to influence future buying decisions at your institution. Whatever your reason, you’d like to see what’s out there. Can it be fun? Well, heck, yes. After all, it will involve the creative process and the satisfaction of learning something new and seeing your work shining back at you in a browser window.

So how do you get started? That depends.

Do You Already Have Something?

If your organization has chosen a course or learning management system “standard,” you should get some training in that before you try using it. Your department or division may already have an orientation course in place. Many do. But even if they do, more training is always better. All too often the orientation is only about “pushing the buttons” and doesn’t include enough if any, training in the unique pedagogy and instructional design required to actually teach online.

Regardless of platform, FutureU offers beginning, intermediate and advanced training in designing and creating online courses and teaching in the online or virtual classroom using whichever software platform your organization has chosen. We always emphasize research-based, pedagogically-sound instructional design and learning models along with everything you need to know to be a first-rate online course builder, facilitator, and instructor.

FutureU instructors have had experience teaching in most of the popular course management platforms that have evolved over the years including Angel, Blackboard, Centrinity (aka FirstClass), eCollege, eTudes, IntraLearn, Moodle, VirtualU, Web Course In A Box, and WebCT, as well as commercial platforms such as Teachable or Thinkific. We’ve also experienced most of the real-time web conferencing systems such as Centra, Elluminate, Horizon Wimba, Microsoft LiveMeeting, WebEx, and Zoom.

Check out our Online Teaching Quick Start and FastTrack® Coaching as well as our full Faculty Development programs based on our acclaimed Faculty WebBook

For more information, contact us directly.

Or Would You Rather Go It Alone?

What if you’re not working somewhere that already has course management software? Or what if you’d rather do something independent of the organizational juggernaut? Or what if you just want to teach what you know online, to your own select group of learners?

Course management software is usually pretty expensive. Even if you opt for the so-called “free” open-source software, it still requires technical knowledge for installation and maintenance.

Fortunately, there are some free or low-cost solutions that are just right. FutureU™ recommends at least these two options, both inexpensive, both pretty easy to learn and manage, and each designed to create an environment conducive to learning. Needless to say, FutureU offers training in each:

  1. Haiku LMS
  2. Moodle

Haiku LMS (

When Haiku LMS was the new kid on the block, they were the first course-building tool set that offered the so-called Web 2.0 interface. Haiku is pretty easy to learn and use and also offers a free option.

Create online lessons with articles, images, audio, and video for your class. Manage discussions, auto-grade assessments, and track scores through a grade book.

For more information, contact us directly.

Moodle (

MoodleMoodle is perhaps the most popular course management system in the world. As of 2023, there were more than 165,000 currently registered Moodle websites in more than 240 countries, hosting more than 44 million courses with more than 2 billion enrollments. 

Many people are puzzled by how a supposedly “free” software product, like those that offer an “open source” license, can be trusted in the same way as a commercial product. The assumption is that something that is free can’t generate enough money to pay for the staff needed to support and develop the product.

What needs to be understood is that open source products, such as the Linux operating system, while costing nothing for the license to use the code (that’s why they are called “free”), still require installation, customizing, and support.

There are, in fact, companies that make their money by bundling applications into a package and then providing the technical support required to use the bundled product. Anyone familiar with this type of company knows that this is a viable business model.

Another thing to understand about open-source products is that large numbers of people become very enthusiastic about having access to the source code and being able to play around with it to make it do new, different, fun, and, yes, even productive things. Many open-source products are surrounded by communities of enthusiasts who keep the product evolving.

The most impressive thing about Moodle is that it has somehow managed to attract both a very large community of enthusiasts and a cadre of commercial enterprises that are willing to install, customize and maintain the Moodle program.

There are more than 3,000 users actively supporting the ongoing development of Moodle.

Martin Dougiamas, the Moodle founding author, has created Moodle.Com, a for-profit organization that acts as the gateway for all the modifications coming from the user community. His team is diligently making sure that each new release of Moodle is as sound, if not more sound, than any competing commercial product.

In addition, there are commercial partners in several countries who are also available to offer installation, customization, maintenance, and in some cases hosting of Moodle.

Moodle is also bundled with the free apps that come with the C-Panel hosting and many hosting companies include Moodle in their add-on application offerings.

For more information, contact us directly.

What About Blackboard?

Blackboard Learn is a popular commercial learning management system that comes in several different versions. FutureU™ has designed, developed, and delivered Blackboard training from Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia to Missouri State University in Springfield to Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico in Arecibo. We are among the few small firms that offer comprehensive, fully customizable Blackboard training.

For more information, contact us directly.

What About Web Conferencing?

We are also experts in the use of web conferencing in the virtual classroom. We have designed, developed and delivered training programs on most of the major web conferencing platforms from Adobe Connect to Zoom.

Again, we are among the few small firms that offer comprehensive, fully customizable web conferencing training.

For more information, contact us directly.

FutureU™ is Platform Agnostic

Regardless of the platform, FutureU offers beginning, intermediate and advanced training in designing and creating online courses and teaching in the online or virtual classroom using whichever software platform your organization has chosen, whether learning management systems or web conferencing or both. We always emphasize research-based, pedagogically-sound learning models and instructional design along with everything you need to know to be a first-rate online course builder, facilitator, and instructor.

Learn More . . .

To learn more about our training services for your learning management or web conferencing platform, contact us directly.