Navigate 3- LMS Tool Categories

Explore: Identify the major tool categories in Learning Management Systems.

Answer: What are the most relevant features offered within an LMS?  Which features directly relate to effective online instruction?  How might you use these features in the online classroom environment?

Tools 

  1. Organization level announcements
  2. Blogs – private space for users used as a reflection tool, users can get comments from outside of the LMS
  3. Journals – area to write a narrative
  4. Glossary – defines common terms or acronyms used throughout the course
  5. E-mail – this is often used as an internal function between instructor and student or student to student

Course Administration

  1. Course Home (Homepage) – organizes the “classroom” into sections to make navigation by students/users easier.
  2. Syllabus – contains class/organization policy, teacher contact information, grading policy, a daily/semester assignment schedule

Teacher Information 

  1. Class List – list of students, teachers and other staff members enrolled in course – some LMS allow students to see this list as well with a link to their email.
  2. Calendar – gives course deadlines and any special events/holidays, reminders for learning sessions online or face-to-face
  3. Bulletin Board –  news or announcements for the specific course

Course Content & Learning Object Repository

  1. Import/Export options – course content can be moved into and out of different courses
  2. Course Authoring – course can be built bt using LMS built-in tools or other external tools
  3. Course Packages -these are  programmed set of rules that allows a learner to “go through” a course (for example the TOOL LMS) course packages can be imported and exported to and from LMS’s
  4. LOR –  the place (library) in which all learning resources are stored managed and shared.

Communication

  1. Email – this can be done within LMS for teacher to student interaction and even student to student interaction
  2. Discussion Board – these allows students to collaborate and interact with each other within the LMS
  3. Notification system – some LMS allows learners and even instructors to receive notifications and/or alerts for specific items and events such someone responding to you on a discussion board or a grade being updated.
  4. Instant Messaging – real time communication that can be used by learners that some LMS providers have built into the platform

Course Assessments

  1. Tests and Quizzes  – create and manage quantifiable assessments within the LMS. Thes can be set up for automatic grading and feedback
  2. Rubrics – create withing the LMS in order to evaluate am activity or item based on criteria.
  3. Dropbox – this is not the application or tool by the same name. This is the area in whcih learners can submit assignments. Some LMS ‘s have been linked with other tools such as turnitin.com

Gradebook

-this gives the summary of the learners overall progress; usually breakdown into categories and some LMS allow for feedback as well. Online teachers have access to very many different types of grade books that may vary in function and performance

Below are some common Gradebook Functions

  1. Report Generation
  2. Commenting/Feedback
  3. Rubrics
  4. Data import
  5. Weight v. Percentage

All of these functions are important to educators, make sure to ask lots of questions in order to ensure that your gradebook is the correct fir for you.

 

ePortfolio

This an be used as the final piece for a course, it displays what a learners learned and allows for space to reflect

Answer: What are the most relevant features offered within an LMS?  Which features directly relate to effective online instruction?  How might you use these features in the online classroom environment?

Course Assessment, communication, Courses Content, Gradebook and Course Administration would be the most important (although all of them are important) directly relate to effective online instruction. Course assessments can be used to assess students on learning standards/objects while communication allows for communication between the teacher and the student and the students between each other. Under course content, students will be able to access all the information, resources etc they need in order to complete the class and Gradebook will allows the students to check out their grades.

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