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Learning management systems (LMS)

WHAT IS A LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?

A Learning Management System (or LMS) can be defined as a software package that provides opportunities for management and delivery of study materials and resources to students. Most LMS are web-based in order to provide “anytime, anywhere” access to learning content.

At a minimum, a LMS usually offers student registration, delivery of e-learning courses and content, and testing, and may also give opportunities for the management of instructor-led training classes. In more advanced LMS such tools as «competency management, skills-gap analysis, succession planning, certifications, virtual live classes, and resource allocation (venues, rooms, textbooks, instructors, etc.)» can be found (Training Force). 
 
LMS have always been controlled by the institution, by that leaving little opportunity for students to manage and maintain a learning space that would support their own learning (Dabbagh, 2012). However, LMS is characterized by a number of features which can be advantageous in case of teaching large classes:
 
LMS helps keep all the information consistent. When each student is enrolled through the LMS, noone will be left out of the e-mail list or get wrong information.
 
Organization a LMS can support is particularly valuable with large class sizes. A LMS can take over all of the administrative work: “a good system will allow every step of the organization process to be done online from enrolling students and employees to setting reminders for projects and deadlines as well as taking exams and accepting homework assignments”. 
 
An LMS has good tracking and recording capabilities. By tracking students' progress, those areas that need to be reinforced to strengthen the class can be pointed out (Simplydigi.com).
 

IMPLEMENTATIONS

eFront is an open source web-based software that offers tools for content creation, test building, assignments managing, reporting, internal messaging, forum, chat, surveys and calendars. This software offers very good usability, and is easy to use, both for the teacher and the students. eFront can run on both Linux and Microsoft Windows.

Fedena is a free open source web-based software especially developed for schools. Fedena offers tools for making courses and batches, user management, human resources, making school calendars, student attendance, finance, making timetables, providing student information, making examinations, event management, multiple dashboards, employee login, student admission, teacher login, news management and parent login. It also exists a lot of add-on modules for vide conference, online examination and so on. They are planning on making an online marketplace for easier selling of the add-ons.

ILIAS is an open source web-based software that was one of the first LMS used at universities. It offers tools for collaboration, communication, evaluation and assessments. ILIAS can run on any server that supports PHP and MySQL. ILIAS provides flexible learning working online with a lot of integrated tools like online-courses, create learning content, assessments, run serveys, communication and cooperation.

Alternatives

  Easy to unse, web based (free)                                  Free source e-learning software platform

 

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