Learning management system
A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs. The learning management system concept emerged directly from e-Learning. Although the first LMS appeared in the higher education sector, the majority of the LMSs today focus on the corporate market. Learning Management Systems make up the largest segment of the learning system market. The first introduction of the LMS was in the late 1990s.
Learning management systems were designed to identify training and learning gaps, utilizing analytical data and reporting. LMSs are focused on online learning delivery but support a range of uses, acting as a platform for online content, including courses, both asynchronous based and synchronous based. An LMS may offer classroom management for instructor-led training or a flipped classroom, used in higher education, but not in the corporate space.
An LMS delivers and manages all types of content, including video, courses, and documents. In the education and higher education markets, an LMS will include a variety of functionality that is similar to corporate but will have features such as rubrics, teacher and instructor facilitated learning, a discussion board, and often the use of a syllabus. A syllabus is rarely a feature in the corporate LMS although courses may start with heading-level index to give learners an overview of topics covered.
There are several historical phases of distance education that preceded the development of the LMS:
The first known document of correspondence teaching dates back to 1723, through the advertisement in the Boston Gazette of Caleb Phillips, professor of shorthand, offering teaching materials and tutorials. The first testimony of a bi-directional communication organized correspondence course comes from England, in 1840, when Isaac Pitman initiated a shorthand course, wherein he sent a passage of the Bible to students, who would send it back in full transcription. The success of the course resulted in the foundation of the phonographic correspondence society in 1843. The pioneering milestone in distance language teaching was in 1856 by Charles Toussaint and Gustav Langenscheidt, who began the first European institution of distance learning. This is the first known instance of the use of materials for independent language study. Correspondence institutions in the United States and across Europe were encouraged and fostered by the development in 1680 of the penny post service, which allowed the delivery of letters and parcels for a penny.
Multimedia teaching: The emergence and development of the distance learning ideaEdit
The concept of eLearning began developing in the early 20th century, marked by the appearance of audio-video communication systems used for remote teaching. In 1909, E.M. Forster published his story 'The Machine Stops' and explained the benefits of using audio communication to deliver lectures to remote audiences.
Here the term "multimedia" refers to the use of several means (media) to reach the students and provide instruction. Printed materials are joined by audiotapes, videotapes, radio and TV, broadcasts, telephone, etc. The earliest networked learning system was the Plato Learning Management system (PLM) developed in the 1970s by Control Data Corporation. In 1920, Sidney L. Pressey developed the first teaching machine which offered multiple types of practical exercises and question formats. Nine years later, University of Alberta's Professor M.E. Zerte transformed this machine into a problem cylinder able to compare problems and solutions.
In the 1980s the modern telecommunications start to be used in education, with computers more present in the daily use of higher education institutions. Computer aided teaching aim to integrate technical and educational means and instruments to student learning. The trend then shifted to video communication, as a result of which Houston University decided to hold telecast classes to their students for approximately 13-15 hours a week. The classes took place in 1953, while in 1956, Robin McKinnon Wood and Gordon Pask released the very first adaptive teaching system for corporate environments SAKI. The idea of automating teaching operations also inspired the University of Illinois experts to develop their Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations (PLATO) which enabled users to exchange content regardless of their location. In the period between 1970 and 1980, educational venues were rapidly considering the idea of computerizing courses, including the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute from California that introduced the first accredited online-taught degree.
Teaching through the internet: The appearance of the first LMS systemEdit
The history of the application of computers to education is filled with broadly descriptive terms such as computer-managed instruction (CMI), and integrated learning systems (ILS), computer-based instruction (CBI), computer-assisted instruction (CAI), and computer-assisted learning (CAL). These terms describe drill-and-practice programs, more sophisticated tutorials, and more individualized instruction, respectively. The term is currently used to describe a number of different educational computer applications. FirstClass by SoftArc, used by the United Kingdom's Open University in the 1990s and 2000s to deliver online learning across Europe, was one of the earliest internet-based LMSs.
The first fully featured Learning Management System (LMS) was called EKKO, developed and released by Norway's NKI Distance Education Network in 1991. Three years later, New Brunswick's NB Learning Network presented a similar system designed for DOS-based teaching, and devoted exclusively to business learners.
In 2000, the University of Zurich revolutionized the concept of digitized learning by introducing the first open-source LMS called OLAT. A year later, the LMS development industry welcomed Microsoft and its first SCORM-certified learning suite SharePoint.
Most modern LMSs are web-based. There are a variety of integration strategies for embedding content into LMSs, including AICC, xAPI (also called 'Tin Can'), SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) and LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability). LMSs were originally designed to be locally hosted on-premise, where the organization purchases a license to a version of the software, and installs it on their own servers and network. Many LMSs are now offered as SaaS (software as a service), with hosting provided by the vendors.
Through LMS, teachers may create and integrate course materials, articulate learning goals, align content and assessments, track studying progress, and create customized test for students. LMS allows the communication of learning objectives, and organize learning timelines. LMS leverage is that it delivers learning content and tools straight to learners, and it can also reach marginalized groups through special settings. Such systems have built in customizable features including assessment and tracking. Thus, learners can see in real time their progress and instructors can monitor and communicate the effectiveness of learning. One of the most important features of LMS is trying to create a streamline communication between learners and instructors. Such systems, besides facilitating online learning, tracking learning progress, providing digital learning tools, manage communication, and maybe selling content, may be used to provide different communication features.
Managing courses, users and rolesEdit
The LMS may be used to create professional structured course content. The teacher can add, text, images, tables, links and text formatting, interactive tests, slideshows etc. Moreover, you can create different types of users, such as teachers, students, parents, visitors and editors (hierarchies). It helps control which content a student can access, track studying progress and engage student with contact tools. Teachers can manage courses and modules, enroll students or set up self-enrollment, see reports on students and import students to their online classes.
Online assessment and tracking students' attendanceEdit
LMS can enable teachers to create customized tests for students, accessible and submitted online. Platforms allow different multiple question types such as: one/multi-line answer; multiple choice answer; drag-and-drop order; essay; true or false/yes or no; fill in the gaps; agreement scale and offline tasks. Some LMSs also allow for attendance management and integration with classroom training wherein administrators can view attendance and records of whether a learner attended, arrived late, or missed classes and events.
Students' exchange of feedback both with teachers and their peers is possible through LMS. Teachers may create discussion groups to allow students feedback and increase the interaction in course. Students' feedback is an instrument which help teachers to improve their work, identify what to add or remove from their courses, where students feel more comfortable, what makes them be more included.
Personal Learning CloudEdit
Recently, the concept of a personalized learning solution that is also social has been gaining traction in the Learning and Development (L&D) community. A recent article by HBR explains a personal learning cloud - a learning system which is personalized, contextual and social.
Learning management industryEdit
In the U.S. higher education market as of fall 2018, the top three LMSs by number of institutions were Blackboard (31%), Canvas (30%), and Moodle (18%). The same three systems led in terms of number of students enrolled, but Canvas slightly surpassed Blackboard.
In the corporate market in 2015, the six largest LMS providers constitute approximately 50% of the market, with SuccessFactors Learning, Saba Software, Voniz Inc and SumTotal Systems being the four largest providers. Vendors focused on mid-sized companies (200+ employees) include Litmos, Halogen Software, LatitudeLearning, ADP, Docebo, and Workday. Another service related to LMS comes from the standardized test preparation vendors, where companies such as Princeton Review or BenchPrep offer online test prep courses.
Many users of LMSs use an authoring tool to create content, which is then hosted on an LMS. In some cases, LMSs that do utilise a standard include a primitive authoring tool for basic content manipulation. More modern systems, in particular SAAS solutions have decided to not adopt a standard and have rich course authoring tools. There are several standards for creating and integrating complex content into an LMS, including AICC, SCORM, xAPI and Learning Tools Interoperability. However, utilising SCORM or an alternative standardised course protocol is not always required and can be restrictive when used unnecessarily.
Evaluation of LMSs is a complex task and significant research supports different forms of evaluation, including iterative processes where students' experiences and approaches to learning are evaluated.
Advantages and disadvantagesEdit
There are six major advantages of LMS: interoperability, accessibility, reusability, durability, maintenance ability and adaptability, which in themselves constitute the concept of LMS.
Other advantages include:
- An LMS supports content in various formats: text, video, audio, etc.
- One can access materials anytime, from everywhere, teachers can modify the content, and students can see the updated material.
- The evaluation of students is easier and fair, based on student attendance and online quizzes.
- Students and teachers can re-use the material every time they need.
- Students can learn collaboratively by setting up a School website with the LMS software and helps "Keeps organizations up-to-date with compliance regulations. If your organization must stay up-to-date with current compliance regulations, then a Learning Management System can be an invaluable tool. Compliance laws chance on a regular basis, and updating a traditional course to reflect these changes can be a time-consuming chore.
Although there are many advantages of LMS, authors have identified some disadvantages of using this system.
- Implementing LMS requires a well-built technology infrastructure. Teachers have to be willing to adapt their curricula from face to face lectures to online lectures.
- Some organizations don't have the appropriate infrastructure to develop LMS, so it may be difficult for them to operate in this environment and adopt their curricula.
- Some current research suggests that online teaching leads to an increase in teacher workload.
- Competency management system
- Competency-based management
- Digital content creation
- Educational technology (e-learning)
- Intelligent tutoring system
- LAMS – Learning Activity Management System
- Learning objects
- Learning Record Store (LRS)
- List of learning management systems
- Student information system
- Virtual learning environment
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