Using TeamLab to create an eLearning environment

TeamLab is an open-source platform designed to allow users to create an enterprise portal clouded in Amazon. However, it’s easy to adapt your portal to create an eLearning environment.

The Technology (or what are my powers?)

Creating a free account with TeamLab allows you access to a variety of tools. Select “TM Community” to access a dashboard you can use to create your learning environment.

TeamLab tools

Your Community dashboard lets you invite learners via email. You also can import a list of learners, for example, from your Outlook address book.

Invite learners using the Community dashboard

Create your profile and get started. Your first task will be to modify  your dashboard.

Instructional strategies

A dashboard I created for a course  is shown below.  I’ll use it to illustrate how you can create a learning environment using TeamLab. The goal of the course is to teach individuals to become savvy consumers of DTC gene tests.

Course dashboard

Dashboard tools

Summary of  Community dashboard features:

dashboard summary

You can use the dashboard to generate and post  event announcements.

announce chats and other events

You can create a blog. The editor allows you to add text, images, and even video to your blog postings.

Create a blog

Create an unlimited number of discussion forums.

create forums

Add links to bookmarked resources (for example, to other Web sites).Add links to resources

Create polls.

You can upload images to a dedicated part of the Community site.

You can also create a wiki to provide additional resources and allow learners to take part in content generation.

create a wiki

And you’ll get tons of help to create your wiki when you access the wiki home page.

Finally, you can view a list of newly added content on your dashboard.

view newly added content

You can modify widgets to deselect certain items that appear on the default dashboard. For example, I deselected the Birthdays widget to remove the “Recent Birthdays” announcements from my dashboard.

Time to chat

Although the dashboard allows you to create asynchronous learning, you also can  create synchronous learning events by availing yourself of the “Talk” button to create live chats.

Live chat feature

Project management tools

If the Community dashboard isn’t enough, you can avail yourself of TeamLab’s project management tools.

Access project management tools

You’ll be able to access the TM Projects dashboard.

The TM Projects dashboard allows you (and other learners) to:

  • Create projects
  • Assemble teams of learners
  • Assign tasks
  • Plan milestones
  • Start discussions
  • Upload files
  • Generate reports and show work flows

You can use this feature of TeamLab to create problem-based learning challenges for one or more different groups of learners. The site includes a tool that lets you monitor learner activity on the site as well.


TeamLab is a versatile, open-source tool that you can use to create a collaborative, content-rich learning environment. It’s extremely easy to use and modify.

Resources for problem-based learning

wiki entry

Problem–Based Learning: A LiveBinders resource

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