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Learning Management Systems in a Changing Environment



Learning Management Systems (LMS) have evolved from simple delivery and management systems to key pieces of modern organizational learning and performance improvement capabilities. In a changing and globally competitive world, a LMS can allow for improved access and tracking of learning activities as well as support organizational growth and development. The next generation of LMS will need to be open, personal, social, flexible, support learning analytics, and properly support the move to mobile computing. This new generation of LMS must be able to meet the need of the changing environments of business and education to allow these institutions to reach their potential. The chapter provides a description of the past, present, and future of learning management systems in a changing environment.
Learning Management Systems in a Changing Environment
David E. Stone and Guangzhi Zheng, Southern Polytechnic State University, USA
In book: Handbook of Research on Education and Technology in a Changing Society, Chapter: 56, Publisher: IGI
Manuscript provided for reference only
Learning Management Systems (LMS) have evolved from simple delivery and management
systems to key pieces of modern organization’s learning and performance improvement capabilities. In a
changing and globally competitive world, a LMS can allow for improved access and tracking of learning
activities as well as support organizational growth and development. The next generation of LMS will
need to be open, personal, social, flexible, support learning analytics, and properly support the move to
mobile computing. This new generation of LMS must be able to meet the need of the changing
environments of business and education to allow these institutions to reach their potential. The chapter
provides a description of the past, present, and future of learning management systems in a changing
The increasingly competitive global marketplace for jobs and education has led to increased
requirement for education and ongoing training in order for individuals and organizations to remain
competitive. Educational institutions are adopting online learning and information systems at a rapid
pace, with 65% of higher education institutions identifying online learning as a critical part of their long
term strategy (Allen & Seaman, 2011). Beyond online learning, many institutions (including primary and
secondary education, higher education, continuing education, and professional industry training
programs) have made use of learning management systems (LMS) to improve the operation of teaching
and learning. In the 2012 Campus Computing Survey (Green, 2012), 93% of higher education institutions
reported using an LMS, whereas in 2000 only approximately 15% of institutions reported having any
course management tool in their online course offerings.
Traditionally, Learning Management Systems (LMS) have been designed to deliver, manage,
track, and assess learning activities in a formal learning environment. With new forms of communication
and content sharing as well as social networking services (both open and closed), a new generation of
systems is emerging to facilitate teaching and learning. These new systems are called on to support new
teaching and learning environments and emerging social trends as well as to impact the traditional
administration and business models.
This chapter provides an overview of learning management systems and its development in the
changing environment. In order to frame the current state of the LMS, we will provide a brief overview of
LMS, followed by a discussion of the trends in education and training environment. A current state of
LMS technology as a well as a vision for the key features of future LMS implementations will be
presented against the context of the changing needs of society.
A LMS is a centralized web based information systems where the learning content is managed
and learning activities are organized. LMS represents a more general term for a technology framework
that supports all aspects of formal and informal learning processes (Watson & Watson, 2007), including
learning management, content management, course management, etc. The contexts in which LMSs are
deployed include higher education institutions, primary and secondary education school systems,
corporations, as well as military. While the goals and assessment processes of the various industries and
organizations vary widely, there is quite a bit of commonality regarding the needs associated with the
management of learning activities. A robust LMS integrates with other applications to meet business
goals as well as “enabling management to measure the impact, effectiveness, and overall costs of training
initiatives” (Ellis, 2009). LMSs have the following major goals, with top three most valuable features of
assessment and testing, content management, and reporting are (Ellis, 2009):
Centralize and automate administration
Use self-service and self-guided services
Assemble and deliver learning content rapidly
Consolidate training initiatives on a scalable web-based platform
Support portability and standards
Personalize content and enable knowledge reuse
The history of LMS began in the 1960s when the PLATO learning system was created at the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the TICCIT System (MITRE Corporation) provided
early examples of computer based instruction. As computer based instruction moved from individual
lessons to collections of lessons, the need for management of the delivery of lessons became necessary.
Course management systems (CMS) and integrated learning systems (ILS) were developed to manage
access and to provide reporting capabilities for student lessons. Features such as student tracking,
measuring student capabilities using pre-test and post-test techniques, and reporting features were
advertised as part of learning solutions. By 2011 the major market leaders for Learning Management
Systems were Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Moodle, Sakai and Pearson (Hill, 2012). Massive Online Open
Course platforms were developed to support the high volumes associated with MOOCs such as those
offered through Coursera, Udacity, MITx, CourseSites, OpenClass,, OpenLearning,
CodeAcademy, Edmodo,, etc.
The modern Learning Management Systems were developed during the rapid growth of the web,
and have been key to the ability of education institutions that offer online learning. The collection of tools
provided within a LMS allows the management of student access, student tracking and registration to be
decoupled from individual courses, which in turn has made integration with third party information
systems and services easier to achieve.
In addition to increased efficiency for the management of learning content, LMSs provide the
capability to report student performance across content modules. Summative data regarding performance
as well as detailed performance indicators within courses at the individual assignment or assessment level
can be tracked and reported. Historical records of performance can be captured in order to track the
longitudinal impact of the learning module on future performance (within the LMS or within a
performance context). The data captured allows for the reporting of performance for return on investment
calculations within business settings, as well as assessment data for academic program improvement in
education settings. Increased requests for data regarding learner performance, as well as the growth of
learning analytics has resulted in reporting and real-time analytics to become key marketing features for
Learning Management Systems in a Changing Environment
Trends in Education and Training
Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been a trend towards more decentralized
organizational structures, increased requirements for training and education to participate fully in the
workforce, pressure on reducing costs and boosting return on investment for education and training
activities, globalization, as well as expanded participation in higher education. Within the United States
there is the expectation that 65% of jobs will require form of postsecondary education by 2020 (Lumina
Foundation, 2013). A global marketplace provides challenges for businesses and education institutions
seeking to manage increasingly complex and geographically distributed organizational functions and
structures. Learners may be connected virtually using online or blended learning environments in order to
accommodate geographic or time restrictions that would have otherwise restricted participation. The
change in the technological environment has also facilitated a growing emphasis on lifelong learning and
informal learning, and new approaches to assessment and recognition (Attwell, 2007). Changes in
technology have increased demands on LMSs to accommodate a wide array of displays, interfaces, as
well as communication channels. Accelerated degree or training programs create new integration
challenges as well as complexity in configuration requirements for systems. Licensure requirements for
some professions, accreditation requirements, local, state, or federal reporting requirements all require
reporting capabilities to satisfy external agencies.
As the largest market for Learning Management Systems, higher education is undergoing a
transformation in response to pressure to increase college completion, criticism of the high cost of higher
education, disruptive technologies, as well as increased competition from proprietary and international
education providers. Online enrollment within degree-granting postsecondary institutions grew from
about 1.6 million students taking at least one online course in 2002 to about 6.8 million in the fall of
2011, with 32 percent of all higher education students taking at least one online course (Seaman &
Babson, 2012). Higher education administrators see online learning as strategic and institutions continue
to build capacity to meet the demand for online programs and courses. Traditional online learning has a
new potentially disruptive innovation in the form of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that are
now being provided in partnerships between high profile institutions and corporate providers. Some of the
new providers include Coursera, Udacity, and EdX. While it is to be seen what the future of the MOOC
platform and the way barriers to the award of traditional academic program credit to students will be,
there is a tremendous amount of excitement about the platform.
Secondary education has also been growing in online courses and the use of LMS. According to
Picciano and Seaman (2009) there were an estimated 1 million k-12 students engaged in online courses in
2007-2008 with 75% of responding public high schools offering online or blended courses. K-12
institutions have relied on external providers to provide solutions and infrastructure required to offer
online programs. This contrasts with the way that higher education institutions have invested in their own
internal resources to support online program growth. Long term trends in school benchmarking using
standardized tests, curriculum alignment, as well as interest in moving from print based textbooks to
digital versions can be facilitated by the use of learning management systems. The growth of internet
access in K-12 schools, helped along by the E-rate program, has gone from approximately 14% of schools
having internet access in 1996 to “near-universal access” today (Klein, 2013).
Corporate training has also been through a change driven by the technology. U.S. organizations
spent approximately $156.2 Billion on employee learning in 2011 (ASTD, 2012). Corporations deliver
training in multiple formats including instructor led training sessions, online courses, mobile delivery,
videos, self-paced materials, as well as external contracts for training delivery. According to the ASTD,
39 percent of formal learning hours are now delivered via technology-based methods. Smartphones have
become increasingly commonplace, with 55% of phone owners in the U.S. now describing their phones as
smartphone and an estimated 56% of adults in the U.S. now owners of smartphones (Smith, 2013).
Mobile delivery of instruction is a direction that many corporations are considering for future training
efforts, with many learning management system providing capabilities for accessing content optimized
for mobile devices. Social media for the purpose of sharing knowledge about the organization and to
connect internal experts to needed areas are also promising developments. Learning Management
Systems are under pressure to incorporate features found in a wide range of industries and technology
providers. Just as in education institutions, corporations are demanding reporting and analytics
capabilities for the measurement of their training programs. System integration of LMS products with
existing human resources and other enterprise systems continues to be requirement for LMS selection.
Desired Features for a New Generation of LMS
All the changes in the educational and training environment have exposed more and more
weaknesses of the traditional LMS. The capabilities of Traditional LMSs meet the needs of formal
learning and are heavily used as administrative tools rather than pedagogical tool to aid and manage
learning (Mott, 2010), particularly for learners. As the learning environment is changing as a result of
technology advancement and resource availability, LMS needs to evolve itself to satisfy the changing
environment and growing needs of learners and instructors by becoming more open, more personal, more
social, more flexible, more analytics, and more mobile. In this section we summarize and present a
number of desired features and paradigms that we believe will be important for the new generation of
LMSs and higher education.
The traditional LMS is a relatively closed environment with restrictions on registration, access
control, resource sharing, and long term availability. A typical closed environment has two major
features: 1) courses are “walled off from each other and from the wider web” (Mott, 2010), with
restriction on registration and rigid access control, with limited time availability, typically based on
semesters, disrupting the continuity and flow of the learning process; 2) limited capability to integrate
external resources and applications.
A more open environment is expected to interact with external learning resources, communities,
and systems. The Web 2.0 trend has promoted an open philosophy for services and resources, which also
impacted both instructors and learners to embrace a more open environment where services and resources
can be shared and integrated. This openness of system is demonstrated at both directions:
1. Outward. This is the capability to make internal resources and information (such as course
materials) sharable to the public via both friendly user interface and standard application
interfaces (APIs). Access control can be applied but should be flexible and configurable by
content owners. This provides lifelong learning support to learners even after their completion of
a course.
2. Inward. This is the capability to bring external applications and resources into a LMS and
integrated with internal contents and resources. There are a growing number of resources and
applications that are ready for mashup and integration into the course design through standard
Promising developments have emerged in the area of open education resources and continued
development of third party interoperability within LMS platforms. Some of the features have been
advanced by the Web 2.0 technologies and services, such as blog, Wiki, social networking, and mashup
applications. LMS may have to allow data to be exported and imported with other systems (Sclater,
2008). Open Education Resources (OERs) promise to dramatically reduce the cost of instructional
materials and to improve access to education. These resources must be managed and integrated into the
student learning experience efficiently if teachers are to incorporate these materials into the design of
instruction. Universities, school districts, as well as businesses have a wealth of instructional materials
that could be reused or repurposed for additional projects, but tools to support this ease of reuse have not
been realized.
LMS openness also means the integration with existing systems within organizations, such as
student information systems, content delivery networks, content management systems, directory or
identity systems, and other operational systems used in the learning environment. This integration allows
for the automation of administrative tasks, as well as the development of enterprise reporting and analytic
systems that are useful for decision makers within the organization.
Learning management systems such as Sakai and MOODLE are open source projects that are
supported by a community of devoted volunteers and sponsors. Many third party systems integrate well
with open source projects, but they may not necessarily have the same level of integration and ongoing
support for these connections that commercial LMS technologies garner. Partnerships between LMS
vendors Blackboard and educational publishers as well as third party applications make it easier for
product integration. While there exist alliances to ensure interoperability of systems (SCORM, IMS, etc),
specific implementations or configurations of systems may be problematic in organizations seeking to
ensure a seamless experience across systems.
Traditional LMS are teacher or institution centric. The complete course structure and content are
created by the teacher. Student initiated activities and interactions are limited. The paradigm in personal
learning environment (PLE) (Harmelen, 2006; Wilson et al., 2006) provides dramatically different
approach, moving to a model where student manage their own learning, which is more learner-centered
and supports informal learning. This is not a replacement of the current teacher centric approach, but it
can be complementary to the current system. In fact, from a technology standpoint, these two approaches
can coexist.
The feature of being personal is closely related to other features of being social and flexible.
More specific features are expected for a future generation of LMS incorporates many of the PLE
features, which aims to provide an environment that supports the learning need of the learner. This
includes resource management, learning management, control of activities, and personal publishing.
1. Resource management. A LMS should provide adequate self-service in a personal space where
learners can store and manage their own learning materials. It also enables them to build personal
resources and knowledge repository with effective sharing capabilities.
2. Learning management. Advocated by self-directed learning, learners can assess learner needs, set
learning goals, monitor learning progress, and evaluate learning outcomes by themselves. As
LMS providers integrate analytics into systems for instructor and administrator access, there is a
tremendous potential for providing some subset of these tracking measures back to the student for
self-monitoring. Students equipped with the knowledge of their current performance could be
coached in order to allow them to meet specific goals or learning outcomes required of the
learning experience. One of the burdens of the management of instruction is the selection of
content and assessment of student performance. The extent to which this task can be optimized
for the individual student without significant instructor workload, the more likely this capability
can be used.
3. Control of activities. This is about who can set up activities and who determine the sharing.
Learners should be able to have such controls, for example, initiating a discussion forum or a
study group, or setting permissions of access.
4. Personal publishing. Users are able to create and publish content, including learning reflection,
learning experience, and knowledge, using publishing tools like blog, wiki, or forum.
Innovative programs of study such as the College for America program at Southern New
Hampshire University help make the case for next generation learning management system capabilities
related to personal learning activities. While most institutions operate on the credit hour as the standard
for measuring program progress, the new competency based education program at Southern New
Hampshire University is just one of many new models that put the focus on the student.
Institutions have adopted models for community building as part of their academic enterprise.
One example is the integration of the Community of Inquiry Model that has been used by American
Public University System as part of their student assessment of the learning experience. Just as openness
of LMS and the ability for students to develop their own personal learning networks and resources are
part of the new learning environment, social capabilities are key as well. As professions have become
increasingly specialized there is a need for learners and professionals to maintain connections with
experts in a wide variety of topics. Creating experiences for developing networking both within and
outside of formal training activities allows for new connections to be made, as well as to bring alumni
back to report on their further development after the training events. There is value for corporations who
are seeking to build knowledge networks within their organization as well as for higher education
institutions seeking to keep alumni connected with the institution for lifelong learning opportunities, or
A social learning network, a social network created specifically for the purpose of learning
(Zheng, 2013b), is an open online learning community for learning, discussion, resource sharing, and
collaboration. Being social is a human nature in learning needs. It is closely related to the open feature but
more focus on learners rather than resources. Many of the current social media technologies such as
Twitter and LinkedIn provide ways for individuals to develop personal learning networks that connect
them to knowledgeable experts irrespective of their geographic location. Blogging and other outlets for
the expression of ideas and sharing of insight have become common outside of learning management
systems. Current LMSs now provide ways to incorporate social media channels into the LMS via a
variety of integration and syndication technologies.
The general purpose/principle of social is to be able to see, network, learn, collaborate, and share
with people with similar interests and learning experiences, and provide a learning community like
environment to facilitate communication and collaboration, and ultimately learning and doing. Some of
the most important social features that LMS can support in learning are:
1. User profiles of both instructors and learners. Profile information include general background and
contact information such as name, position, interests, etc., and learning specific information such
as learning status, progress, history, courses/certificates/programs/tracks completion. For
instructors, further student reviews can be supported, which can be used to represent instructor
credibility and popularity. It can serve as an important factor for course selection.
2. Cross-course forums. These forums should be provided to support general discussion and also
serve as a communication channel between faculty/institution and students. It can be a great place
for advising.
3. Ad hoc groups that are learning focused. Anyone should be able to set up and short term study
groups or longer term special interest group, this can even be initialed by students themselves
(Sclater, 2008). Basic group collaboration functions should be available like calendar, discussion,
news, document sharing, etc.
4. Collaborative filtering or social tagging/bookmarking. Through community review and
recognition, this helps people find what they want and appreciate the best. The features should at
least include review of instructors and learning materials (learning objects, materials, etc.).
LMS traditionally support formal education where the structure of education units strictly course
based. The new system may need to support more non-formal and informal learning in addition to the
formal courses.
First, LMS needs to provide a flexible scheme to support the creation of learning units at different
levels, particularly smaller units that are self-contained and reusable. An example is the learning objects
(McGreal, 2004; Ritzhaupt, 2010; Sinclair, Joy, Yau, & Hagan, 2013) with levels ranging from raw
elements and modules to courses. LMS is desired to support learning objects or other similar concepts at
all levels and provide possible relationships among these learning objects, such as a knowledge map. This
can also be combined with other features so learning objects can be socially tagged, reviewed, rated, and
Flexibility also means the possible provision and completion of alternative courses and learning
paths as long as they have similar outcomes. Alternatives have already been a practice in today’s
educational programs, including elevate courses, and different sections of the same course which are
prepared and taught by different instructors, with potentially different materials. Students have the choice
to choose alternatives based on personal needs and public reviews and recommendations. It’s important to
chain these in to a learning path or knowledge map that provide multiple paths toward completion. In
doing this, learners are no longer necessarily locked into a particular course or path in order to gain a
qualification. This flexibility can greatly increase subject coverage and number of learning tracks.
An important issue related to the flexible learning unit is the recognition and assessment issue,
particularly if they are to be incorporated to the formal structured learning system. Traditional
accreditation system is strictly based on course completion and passage. However, formal qualifications
are increasingly only seen as one aspect of competence at least for employment purposes (Attwell, 2007;
Heussner, 2013). An experiment system Open Badge is already implementing the concept and has
provided open APIs at least providing a technical feasibility. Gamification can also be applied to offer an
informal way for the social recognition purpose.
This granular and flexible model of learning can take advantage of the increased capability that
information systems have for tracking and reporting on individual interactions with a course or learning
object. Measurement of new student competencies allows for a focus on student performance at a smaller
measure of analysis that can be used to reconfigure learning programs as needed for the individuals
capability, or for a particular learning requirement set for the student by the institution. The potential is
for a tremendous reduction in redundant learning activities as well as a reduced time to completion for
students. Students who may have not been successful in a linear program of study may have additional
opportunities to revisit problematic learning content, or to be targeted for additional support via other
Learning analytics
Data regarding learning activities within LMSs are increasingly being used to improve learning
for students as well as track trends across courses. Much like the benefits seen within corporate settings,
the availability of data regarding learner activities (or lack thereof) provides opportunities for educational
institutions to develop improvements to instructional and curriculum design activities as well as design
non-instructional interventions as part of the overall learning experience. Tracking learner progress, self-
monitoring, as well as the awarding of credit for units of instruction smaller than a complete course are
some of the capabilities provided by better data capture within LMSs. Time to completion, time on tasks,
the duration and frequency of use of learning resources can be used to continually improve the learning
experience and subsequent learning outcomes.
Learning analytics is the collection, measurement, analysis and reporting of data about learners
and their learning activities, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning outcomes and
processes (LAK, 2011). When part of a well-designed program evaluation process, learning analytics can
provide insight into how individual components of learning activities fit together. Much like the benefits
seen in business applications, these data points can be used to inform the selection of learning
interventions or changes to the design of learning programs. Tracking student performance via measures
and reporting outcomes to faculty and administrators can provide a more granular view of the student
performance in a timely manner. Connections between student performance across courses or
longitudinally across their academic programs can allow for sophisticated tracking of performance that
may allow for new methods of intervention. Tracking of course activities to learning outcomes and
broader performance standards can be automated or at least assisted by learning analytics. Dashboard
features could be used to monitor student progress in aggregate across multiple course sections, as well as
provide alerts and warnings for students or courses that reach a particular threshold.
One example of how learning activity data collected across multiple institutions can be leveraged
to increase student success is the Predicative Analytics Reporting Framework that is currently underway
by six WCET institutions (American Public University System, Colorado Community College System,
Rio Salado College, University of Hawaii System, University of Illinois Springfield, and the University of
Phoenix). This project is a multi-institution data mining project that seeks to find effective practices for
student retention. This data analysis is the first step in developing a capacity to perform complex analysis
and the development of actionable decision centers that will allow institutions to optimize the educational
experience for learners. Longitudinal data regarding student learning, interactions within the LMS, with
external systems, as well as behavior patterns of individual students may inform the way academic
delivery is structured, how student services are provided, as well as supplemental resources are presented
to learners within the learning management system.
Technology infrastructure such as mobile technology, growing broadband wireless access, as well
as new web oriented architecture allows for greater capabilities for learning delivery. Engaging learners
and meeting them where they are by providing quality interfaces and customizable delivery provides new
opportunities for students to control their learning experience.
Mobile learning has increased viability as mobile computing devices continue to grow in market
share and as the bring-your-own-device phenomenon has grown. As more access to mobile computing
grows, there will be increased expectations for support for these devices within learning environments. It
is estimated by Gartner that by 2017, half of employers will require employees to supply their own
computing devices for work purposes (Willis, 2013). Students enrolled in courses may bring their mobile
devices into the classroom to support learning activities within the class, or they may be participating in
learning activities outside of a formal classroom experience. The line between online and in-person
learning experiences have become fuzzy with the advent of blended learning programs that have both
online and in-person components. Increased bandwidth brought on by new wireless or cellular
technologies provides better capabilities for rich media and sophisticated communication between mobile
devices and the learning management systems. Many learning management systems now incorporate
some of the capabilities that have often been seen in earlier web 2.0 systems. Purdue University has
developed a suite of mobile tools that allow for interaction and publishing. Several projects provide
capabilities enabled by mobile devices to support rapid publishing (Jetpack), mobile video (doubletake),
classroom discussion (hotseat), and early intervention for students who need help (signals). These
capabilities do not exist in most current LMS implementations, and require the development or licensing
of third party applications to achieve this capability.
Future Research
A number of concepts and systems are emerging to address the limitations of traditional LMSs,
such as PLE, social learning content management system (Kim & Moon, 2013), OLN (Mott, 2010),
PLMS (Schanda, Dikke, & Müller, 2012), and SLN (Zheng, 2013b). Instructors also creatively utilize
new systems to complement or replace LMS for new features as the change of LMS cannot keep up with
the change. For example, many Web 2.0 tools like blog and Facebook has been used for its socialization
features (Meishar-Tal, Kurtz, & Pieterse, 2012; Wang, Woo, Quek, Yang, & Liu, 2012; Zheng, 2013a).
The addition of third party tools and systems to an LMS to meet needs is probably a temporary solution
until LMSs are revitalized to accommodate the changing environment. Building a model of support
around a patchwork of systems and interfaces is challenging and confusing to learners. Having a single
system with tracking and management capabilities helps both build a consistent experience for learners
and ease the implementation and versioning process for managers.
Some newer versions of LMSs are emerging to implement some of the features discussed above
already. Examples include the basic tracking and reporting capabilities found in products such as
Desire2Learn and Blackboard. While open standards and interoperability are key to long term
survivability of a platform, there is a time where the complexity becomes challenging. The features
offered within LMSs must reflect the administrative and business models in higher education. Trends in
how individuals learn and new models for the design, delivery and assessment of learning must be
considered when designing systems as they reflect the values of the organizations using them. The new
generation of LMS should be able to support the traditional institutional context as well as the emerging
informal and social or personal context. Research has shown this possibility of integration (García-
Peñalvo, Conde, Alier, & Casany, 2011), and the industry has begun to offer systems and services with
these new features, for example, Responsive Open Learning Environments (ROLE), OpenLearning,
CourseSites, OpenClass. However, we are still at a very early stage to see the LMS to embrace the new
features we discussed earlier. Institutions and instructors are also slow to embrace the new features of
these systems. The adoption of the new LMS is not just a technical challenge but more a business model
(practice) change. Further research is needed to investigate how newer systems can implement and
integrate features with LMS, as well as how learning environments can be changed by the new system.
LMS has been a great help in the traditional institution centered environment for the course
delivery. However, as technology and learning needs change, the learning environment is becoming more
and more open, learner-centered, and collaborative. Future LMS is expected to transform itself as a
learning portal that satisfies needs of multiple parties and multiple levels of learning. A comprehensive set
of features include traditional content management and learning management, but also include more
learner focused personal, social, and collaboration activities in learning.
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Key Terms and Definitions
Learning Analytics: Learning analytics is the collection, measurement, analysis and reporting of data
about learners and their learning activities, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning
outcomes and processes.
LMS (learning management system): A LMS is a centralized web based information systems where the
learning content is managed and learning activities are organized. LMS represents a more general term for
a technology framework that supports all aspects of formal and informal learning processes, including
learning management, content management, course management, etc.
Learning objects: Modular and portable unit of instructional content that contains content, activities and
an assessment.
Massive Online Open Courses: Relatively large courses (greater than typically found in higher education)
that provide open access to the courses delivered online and are organized as a course. The structure of
the courses may vary by institution or provider, and there is little agreement regarding the structure of
Mobile learning: The delivery of learning activities on portable devices such as cell phones, tablets, or
other portable computing devices.
Online learning: Courses that are delivered online for at least 80 percent of the content of the course.
PLE (personal learning environment): PLE is a system that helps learners take control of and manage
their own learning.
... In recent years, the delivery of educational assessments in many institutions has been shifted from traditional pen-and-paper methods to various forms of online assessment with the use of computer technology Diprose, 2013;Dube et al., 2009;Hebebci & Usta, 2015;Stone & Zheng, 2014). The term online assessment is often used interchangeably with the terms electronic assessment or e-assessment (Jordan, 2013), computer-assisted assessment (Bull & McKenna, 2003;Sim et al., 2004), computer-mediated assessment and ...
... With technological advances, assessment processes have shifted increasingly from traditional pen-and-paper methods to online forms in many education contexts Diprose, 2013;Dube et al., 2009;Stone & Zheng, 2014). The term online assessment is often used interchangeably with terms such as electronic assessment (Jordan, 2013), computer-assisted assessment (Bull & McKenna, 2003;Sim et al., 2004), computer-mediated assessment and computer-based assessment (Fluck et al., 2009). ...
... Stone, D. E., & Zheng, G. (2014). Learning management systems in a changing environment.Venkatesh, V., & Davis, F. D. (1996). ...
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The overarching objective of this research was to identify the factors that predicted lecturers’ adoption of online assessment in one Singapore-based Institute of Technical Education. The factors investigated were system usability and learnability; lecturers’ performance expectancy, social influences and attitudes towards online assessment; and lecturers’ perceptions of the facilitating conditions that support online assessment. Among these factors, usability, learnability and attitude were introduced to the UTAUT model as additional variables. The adoption of online assessment was measured in terms of lecturers’ behavioural intentions to use the online assessment system and their self-reported system usage behaviour. The relationships between these factors were also examined. Four papers are presented in the book. The first reviewed previous literature on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model, and proposed an extended UTAUT model to examine the factors that influence online assessment adoption. The second reviewed studies in the area of online assessment methods published from 2007 to 2019. In the third paper, an instrument to assess constructs in the extended UTAUT model proposed was developed and validated. In the final paper, the instrument developed in the third study was used to explore relationships among the constructs in the extended UTAUT model. Specifically, path analysis was conducted to examine the various factors that influence lecturers’ acceptance of online assessment within the institution.
... According to Stone and Zheng (2014), there has been a rapid growth in the use of online tests, especially since the widespread implementation of learning management system (LMS) in higher education in the early part of the twenty-first century. During the COVID-19 period, face-to-face examinations were suspended with regard to the sanitary protocol of having a safe environment for students. ...
... LMSs have been a permanent feature of higher education institutions but were not put to full use prior to COVID-19. 21 However, video conferencing software is recent, having gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic as a measure to adhere to calls for physical and social distancing. Prior to COVID-19, higher education purportedly operated on hybrid education, but the use of digital technologies was discretional to individual instructors based on their abilities and interests. ...
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Full remote online education was introduced in higher education in early 2020 in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to determine students’ experiences in the three pillars of online education: teaching, learning and assessment based on the digital technologies platform. Before the pandemic, implementing online education in some universities was basic. A case study of two undergraduate mathematics classes was considered to determine students’ experiences in online education. Data were collected using open-ended questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The findings revealed that prior to the pandemic, online education was sporadically implemented. The advent of COVID-19 informed higher education institutions on the opportunities to effectively engage digital transformation to provide education remotely. Teaching and learning were successfully conducted on Microsoft Teams. Mathematics assessment is conveniently administered as timed Blackboard assignments, much to the students’ satisfaction. Even though academia may return to normal contact classes with the waning of COVID-19, online assessment remains a convenient mode in sync to modern technology trends. Keywords: Online education, Mathematics, Students’ experiences, Online assessment, Post-COVID-19
... al, 2013). Stone (2014) is of the view that the widespread of LMS (Learner Management System) in higher education has led to the rapid growth of online tests in the twenty-first century. Experts in the field of education suggests that effectiveness of online tests can be maintained in the context of whole learning experience with other forms of assessment types ( Boitshwarelo et al., 2017). ...
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The aim of the research was to identify learner perspectives of the students of the English language teaching programmes of the national universities in Sri Lanka. The focus of the research questions and the hypotheses were to ascertain perceived satisfaction of students on Teaching, Assessment and Evaluation, and Learning Environment and Resources of the ELT programmes. In order to identify the learner perspectives of students on the three major areas of the ELT programmes, survey method was adopted to a selected sample of two developed Metropolitan universities and six Peripheral universities based on science-based and non science-based faculties. Data collection was done using a questionnaire administered online using a Google Form. A Likert scale was used to collect data and for the analysis of data, quantitative analysis method was applied. It was found that the overall satisfaction of students was high (mean= 3.9672) towards the ELT programmes. However, a moderate satisfaction was indicated for online testing (mean= 3.6594), lecture room facilities (mean= 3.6487), and library facilities by the respondents (mean=3.4973). Results of the research further revealed that the satisfactory level of methods of teaching in peripheral universities was low (mean= 2.3279). Though there was no significant difference over the overall satisfaction between the metropolitan and peripheral universities (t-test sig. value - .596>0.05), the satisfaction level of the science-based faculties was proved to be higher than the non science -based faculties (t-test sig. value - .040 <0.05). In order to remedy the findings of the research, it is recommended that workshops and conferences be organized at university level and national level. Also, execution of national level testing system such as UTEL, alignment of university curricula to UTEL, improvement of library facilities, and implementation of purpose-built classrooms and improvement of such facilities are recommended to improve the ELT programmes. Key Words: Needs Analysis, Students’ Perspectives, Learner-Centred Curriculum, Learning Environment, Learner Assessment
... It encompasses multiple activities that include the use of the learning management system (LMS) platform like Moodle or Blackboard (Buzzetto-More & Alade, 2006). LMSs have been implemented widely in higher education for a long time (Stone & Zheng, 2014). They are highly interactive interfaces that are student-centred and accessible to many students with internet connection anytime, and from anywhere. ...
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Formative electronic assessment of mathematics on the Learning Management System is unique. The purpose of this study was to delineate the process of formative assessment in mathematics through the students’ experiences during remote online learning. Formative assessment is part of learning and helps students to monitor their progress. Data were analysed by identifying themes from the narratives. It emerged that the e-assessments that are manually written and graded by the instructor were the best mode of assessment for undergraduate mathematics. With timely feedback, formative electronic assessment placed students in a position whereby they took more responsibility for their learning. As such, students had positive perceptions towards formative electronic assessment during remote e-learning and were prepared to proceed with it in future. The study concluded that while some students proclaimed to have the expertise in the use of e-assessments, most students did not have the expertise in using e-assessment tools, as formative e-assessments were not generally offered in other modules. Participants echoed the sentiments that instructor expertise in formative electronic assessment design should be unquestionable to promote enhanced mathematics assessments that should enable presenting the steps taken to arrive at the answers.
... Online learning is often supported by learning management systems (LMSs), such as Blackboard, Moodle, or Canvas, that help to deliver, track, and assess learning [14]. An LMS can expand the capability and reduce the complexity of creating and handling learning material. ...
The discipline of health informatics (HI) is an interrelated specialty encompassing the use of information science, computer science, the knowledge of various healthcare disciplines, and technology. This highly interdisciplinary field will benefit from continued clarification of standards and competencies. Challenges in HI education include adherence to evolving competencies that keep pace with current and future trends in health care and informatics and the development of qualified expert faculty to prepare the next generation of HI professionals. Leveraging tools for the delivery of HI education is one way to meet the global need for HI graduates who can navigate the complexities of this field.KeywordsHealth informaticseHealthEducationCompetenciesAccreditationDigital tools
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Zusammenfassung Dieser Beitrag in der Zeitschrift „Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation. (GIO)“ gibt einen Überblick über die vielfältigen Digitalisierungs- und Automatisierungsmöglichkeiten, die aktuelle technologische Entwicklungen für die Weiterbildung in Organisationen eröffnen, und diskutiert Chancen und Risken ihres Einsatzes. Um wettbewerbsfähig, effizient und produktiv zu bleiben, müssen Organisationen sicherstellen, dass ihre Beschäftigten sich fortwährend weiterbilden und entwickeln. Die Weiterbildung aller Beschäftigten in allen notwendigen Kompetenzbereichen durch entsprechende Maßnahmen beansprucht jedoch viele Ressourcen. Um diese Ressourcen optimal einsetzen zu können, muss der Kompetenzentwicklungsbedarf der Beschäftigten kontinuierlich und zutreffend ermittelt werden, damit dieser auch durch passende Weiterbildungsmaßnahmen gezielt und adäquat adressiert werden kann. Auch diese übergeordneten Prozesse der Weiterbildung sind ressourcenintensiv. Daher wurde bereits in der Vergangenheit eine Vielzahl von Technologien eingesetzt, um die organisationale Weiterbildung (bspw. durch digital zur Verfügung gestellte Materialien zum Selbststudium) und die damit zusammenhängenden Prozesse durch Digitalisierung effizienter gestalten und verwalten zu können. In diesem Beitrag betrachten wir vor allem die vielfältigen Digitalisierungs- und Automatisierungsmöglichkeiten, die aktuelle technologische Entwicklungen eröffnen, und führen diese – strukturiert am Prozess der Personalentwicklung – mit Beispielen aus Forschung und Praxis aus.
The proliferation of ICT in today's world of work particularly in education has necessitated the need to assess lecturers' views of online assessment use in the covid‐19 era given the disruptions in face‐to‐face teaching and learning process. The study adopted a mixed research design. The population for the study was 84 computer educators made up of 40 males and 44 females from the four public tertiary institutions in Enugu State, Nigeria. Three research questions and two hypotheses guided the study. The instruments used for data collection were a structured questionnaire titled “Computer Educators' Perception of Use of Online Assessment” (CEPUOA) and a guided interview relating to the research questions. The internal consistency was determined using the Cronbach α reliability test which gave an index of .9. The data collected were analyzed using mean and standard deviation while the null hypotheses were tested using a t‐test at 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study indicated that computer educators have a positive disposition toward the use of online assessment in conducting various assessment techniques such as tests/quizzes, semester examinations, and seminar/project evaluations. The findings of the study further showed that the utilization of online assessment techniques facilitates timely monitoring of students' progress, and the provision of immediate feedback to the learners helps in preparing students with digital skills required to function in the 21st‐century workplace, among others. In view of these, it was recommended that tertiary institutions should initiate workable policies that will encourage the effective use of online assessment by lecturers.
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The use of Learning Management Systems (LMS) has had rapid growth over the last decades. Great efforts have been recently made to assess online students’ performance level, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty members with limited experience in the use of LMS such as Moodle, Edmodo, MOOC, Blackboard and Google Classroom face challenges creating online tests. This paper presents a descriptive and comparative study of the existing plugins used to import questions into Moodle, classifying them according to the necessary computing resources. Each of the classifications were compared and ranked, and features such as the support for gamification and the option to create parameterised questions are explored. Parameterised questions can generate a large number of different questions, which is very useful for large classes and avoids fraudulent behaviour. The paper outlines an open-source plugin developed by the authors: FastTest PlugIn, recently approved by Moodle. FastTest PlugIn is a promising alternative to mitigate the detected limitations in analysed plugins. FastTest PlugIn was validated in seminars with 230 faculty members, obtaining positive results about expectations and potential recommendations. The features of the main alternative plugins are discussed and compared, describing the potential advantages of FastTest PlugIn.
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New ICT technologies are continuously introducing changes in the way in which society generates, shares and access information. This is changing what society expects and requires of education. eLearning is acting as a vector of this change, introducing pervasive transformations in and out of the classroom. But with Learning Management Systems (LMS) users have reached a plateau of productivity and stability. At the same time outside the walled garden of the LMS new transformative tools, services and ways of learning are already in use, within the PLE and PLN paradigms. The stability and maturity of the LMS may become yet another resistance factor working against the introduction of innovations. New tools and trends cannot be ignored, and this is the reason why learning platforms should become open and flexible environments. In the course of this article the reasons for this change and how it may be addressed will be discussed, together with a proposal for architecture based on Moodle.
Conference Paper
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This paper describes a team blog network method designed for a graduate class which surveyed the concepts and practices of system integration. To facilitate student participation and knowledge sharing, a project based on a network of team blog websites was designed. The paper introduces the project setting and summarizes student feedback collected through an end-of-semester survey. Experiences and lessons learned from this project will also be discussed.
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This paper describes a pilot study in using Facebook as an alternative to a learning management system (LMS). The paper reviews the current research on the use of Facebook in academia and analyzes the differences between a Facebook group and a regular LMS. The paper reports on a precedent–setting attempt to use a Facebook group as a course website, serving as a platform for delivering content and maintaining interactions among the students and between the students and the lecturer. The paper presents findings from the students’ self-assessments and reflections on their experience. The students expressed satisfaction with learning in Facebook and willingness to continue using these groups in future courses.
Reusable learning objects support packaging of educational materials allowing their discovery and reuse. Open educational resources emphasize the need for open licensing and promote sharing and community involvement. For both teachers and learners, finding appropriate tried and tested resources on a topic of interest and being able to incorporate them within or alongside other learning materials can enrich provision and share best practice. Resources are made available by a number of general and subject-specific repositories, but there are also many educational resources residing outside these repositories which may provide useful additional materials. Potential users of materials need to be able to locate relevant material and to assess it with respect to a number of factors (such as suitability for purpose and license requirements). However, even such basic requirements can be less than straightforward to determine. This paper presents a view of the field from the user's perspective, bringing together themes from existing research relating to practice-oriented concerns including discoverability, reusability, and quality. It provides a background in this area, exploring current trends, controversies, and research findings. The discussion is also aligned with current provision and practice, indicating areas where further research, provision, and support would be useful.
With the prevalence of social networking services and social media tools, individuals now engage in the production, sharing, and application of diverse content, extending community-based social learning. The most prominent aspect of social learning, which makes it distinct from e-learning, is how content is produced and consumed. That is, people share knowledge with others and learn values via networks in social learning, which requires social media content and social network activity content to be turned into shareable learning objects. In reference to social learning, the present study proposes a Social Learning Content Management System that generates, manages, and publishes learning objects based on content generation models which are also defined here. The proposed system is of significance in that it enables the transformation of social resources into learning objects with the Social Learning Content Management System architecture and data schema defined, and relevant processes designed, based on metadata and learning objects defined for N-screen services.
Learning management systems (LMSs) have dominated the teaching and learning landscape in higher education for the past decade, with a recent Delta Initiative report indicating that more than 90 percent of colleges and universities have a standardized, institutional LMS implementation. While the LMS has become central to the business of colleges and universities, it has also become a symbol of the higher learning status quo. Many students, teachers, instructional technologists, and administrators consider the LMS too inflexible and are turning to the web for tools that support their everyday communication, productivity, and collaboration needs. Blogs, wikis, social networking sites, microblogging tools, and other web-based applications are supplanting the teaching and learning tools previously found only inside the LMS. Where the LMS is vertically integrated and institutionally centralized, the Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is the educational manifestation of the web's "small pieces loosely joined," a "world of pure connection, free of the arbitrary constraints of matter, distance, and time." Proponents assert that the PLE's greater flexibility, portability, adaptability, and openness make it far superior to the LMS as a teaching and learning platform. The PLE is not without its weaknesses, however. Potential security and reliability concerns abound. This conundrum leaves higher education with what appears to be an unsatisfying either-or choice that requires significant tradeoffs whichever path is chosen. In an increasingly sophisticated technology environment, however, the author contends that one can bring together--or mash up--the best of both the LMS and the PLE paradigms to create a learning platform more ideally suited to teaching and learning in higher education--an "open learning network" (OLN). An OLN is intended to be, at the same time: (1) Secure and open; (2) Integrated and modular; (3) Private and public; and (4) Reliable and flexible. This article outlines a framework that provides a blueprint for developing what KnowledgeWorks calls a "lightweight, modular infrastructure" with built-in resilience to meet the dynamic needs of today's "learning agents." (Contains 1 table, 7 figures and 36 endnotes.)