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THspaces, ILIAS, or MS Teams? An overview of teaching and learning platforms

Are you wondering which teaching and learning platform is right for you? You are not satisfied with your current platform and are looking for an alternative? Do you want to combine the best functions of two platforms and don't know how? This article provides an overview of the interaction between the existing teaching and learning platforms at TH Cologne.

In a nutshell: Which teaching and learning platforms are available to teachers at TH Cologne?

THspaces Logo

THspaces is an intuitive and student-centered platform with a focus on agile and communicative teaching. Students, teaching staff, and employees can engage in interdisciplinary exchange and get involved across the university. Read more.

Logo ILIAS

ILIAS is a teacher-centered Learning Management System (LMS) that allows you to create digital teaching and learning materials and provide them to your students. The platform facilitates interaction between teachers and learners, conducting evaluations and implementing didactic scenarios for complete courses. Read more.

Microsoft Teams Logo

Microsoft Teams is a virtual workspace in which members of a team work together synchronously. You can make use of its numerous features, such as private and group chats, file and document storage, task planning, channels, and video conferencing. Read more.

How do the teaching and learning platforms compare?

The teaching and learning platforms offered at TH Cologne have a different range of functions and focus.

THspacesILIASMicrosoft Teams
Student-centered platform to support interdisciplinary and university-wide communication and collaboration processes.Teacher-centered learning management system to support teaching-learning processes and manage materials and courses. Virtual workspace to enable synchronous collaboration.
THspacesILIASMicrosoft Teams
Interaction & communication (teaching-learning communities, news, posts)Interaction & communication (blog, forum)

Interaction & communication (chat, video calls)

Cooperation & collaboration (dynamic homepage, spaces, portfolios) Cooperation & collaboration (Etherpad, Wiki)

Cooperation & collaboration (office integration, streaming, whiteboard)
Providing material (files & media)Providing material (files & media, bibliography, glossary)Providing material (files & media)
Workspaces (Spaces) can be created and modified by teachers and studentsWorkspaces (courses) can be created and modified by teachers for studentsWorkspaces (channels) can be created and modified by teachers and students
Transfer (public spaces / pages) Transfer (wikis, inviting guests)
Feedback (comments)Feedback & evaluation (exercise, test, voting, polls)
Own profile page Own profile page
Organization & structure (meetings, booking pool, learning modules)
THspacesILIASMicrosoft Teams
LectureLectureLecture
SeminarSeminarSeminar
Group work / student projects Project seminars Project seminars
Individual work Group workGroup work & colloquia
Teaching and research projects Individual work
Tutorials/Trainings

How do I choose the right teaching and learning platform for me?

To be able to choose the right teaching-learning platform, you should take a close look at your teaching scenario. Would you like to work online and mostly synchronously with your students and collaborate on files simultaneously? If so, Microsoft Teams could be the right choice. Do you want your students to create their own workspace, answer questions about the seminar according to an individual timetable, and discuss them? If so, THspaces is probably the right platform for you. Or do you need a comprehensive tool that offers you every opportunity to design complex learning modules and integrate a wide range of functions? If so, ILIAS is the first choice.

Illustration Three circles in the colors of the TH are arranged next to each other in the center. They are labeled with the names of the platforms "Ilias", "TH Spaces", and "Teams". Above the circles, you can see the terms "Synchronous learning", "Surveys", "Tests", and "Whiteboard". Below the circles, you can see the terms "Asynchronous learning", "File storage", "Chat/Calls", and "Portfolio work". Lines emanate from the circles, which connect to the terms that apply to the respective platform.
Illustration: Center for Academic Development, TH Cologne

Links & Literature

Header-Image: © Julien Eichinger/stock.adobe.com

  • Michéle Seidel

    Michéle Seidel (M.A.) is a research assistant at the Center for Academic Development at the TH Köln University of Applied Sciences with a focus on hybrid/digital teaching, social online learning environments, science communication and research.

We appreciate your feedback!

When developing this offer, we tried to include you as a teacher in advance. We would therefore be delighted if you would help us to further improve our offer. Please let us know what you would like, what bothers you or what you particularly like. Would you like to contact us directly? Then write to us at lehrpfade@th-koeln.de!