Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Learning Management Systems

Hi all,

Learning Management Systems (LMS) are software and courses that deliver, track and manage content. They offer features for online collaboration and contain communication forums.

Blackboard was my first contact with a LMS. I found it to be a fairly good
educational resource. The information for different topics is set out within different links, so it is fairly easy to navigate. It is possible to access information straight from the site. PowerPoints can also be accessed through this resource. However, now that we are using Moodle within this e-learning course, I have discovered that personally, Moodle is a better educational resource. It is more interactive. There are more engaging features available and the forums allow for quick postings. Also, the information is set out in an easy to understand format. The areas for collaborative learning, blogs and WIKIs are readily accessible. This is confirmed by Siemens (2004) who explained that effective LMS sites are set out similar to a community, with a combination of spaces for learning. They need to contain collaborative environments, blogs and WIKIs. 

There is a LMS site being used in schools currently called Virtual Classrooms. They are very safe and the in order to access them, learners have their own unique password and username. LMS are a great tool for use outside of school as learners are able to access them 24/7. According to Education Queensland (2009) Virtual Classrooms can be used for; 
  • Group and individual learning activities
  • Discussions and chats with students, parents and guests
  • Quizzes and surveys
  • Homework activities and assessment documents
  • Full online courses with modules of work
  • Forums and synchronous chat sessions
  • WebQuests, Hotlists, Scavenger Hunts, etc.

  • These are just some of the ways LMS may be utilised within the classroom, of course there are many other ways. Some of these may include the addition of a page devoted to great sites or learning objects for learners. 

    LMS also fits into Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs. Most learners will have their physiological and safety needs met at home. Although, it is important for learning managers to be aware of the diversity within the classroom and to note that some learners may not have these needs met. In that case, the learning manager will need to cater for these needs to the best of their ability depending on the learner. After the physiological and safety needs in the hierarchy, love and belonging needs ought to be met. It is possible to provide learners with this need through the use of LMS. Learners will feel a sense of belonging to the class if they are able to discuss subjects and become involved with their classmates in a different environment (Kunc, 1992).




    Kunc, N. (1992). The Need to Belong: Rediscovering Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved August 15, 2009, from http://www.normemma.com/armaslow.htm

    Siemens, G (2004) Learning Management Systems: The wrong place to start learning. Retrieved August 15, 2009, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/lms.htm

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