Thursday, August 20, 2009
Learning Management Systems
Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are designed to be "a way of delivering, tracking and managing training/education...over the internet (Wikipedia, 2009)". LMSs such as Blackboard, Moodle or WebCT act as web-based resource that can enable access to "learning content...and enhance and support class room teaching (Wikipedia, 2009)".
Since starting University, Blackboard has become part of my everyday life. While I appreciate the ease of access I have to course information I can't help but feel at times that this is just an electronic source of the blackboard we used to copy from at school. Kearsley and Schneidermann () describe their engagement theory as a process of human interaction not just "individual interaction with an instructional program". The theory comes from the idea that "computers in education...(are)...communication tools rather than some form of media delivery devices".
Having said this it may be that I don't use Blackboard to its full potential however I can see the value of having a LMS for the classroom. Students are able to gain access to information they have missed out on at school and homework tasks can be found and completed within the system. The LMS could also become a place that caters for differentiation such as gifted ad talented learners, or lower level learners who may need just a little extra help. The LMS is also a great way of showing other stakeholders what is going on in the classroom. I like how Moodle for this course makes use of forums and all who are enrolled feel free to voice problems and offer solutions. Netiquette would have to be established before school students used forums and Kearsley and Schneidermann suggest students create a brief bio of themselves so that others can get to know them.
I personally feel that Moodle is a better example of a LMS and can appreciate that a LMS can be a valuable teaching tool within the classroom.