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Course Management Systems

Wahlstedt, A. (2008). From e-learning space to e-learning place. British Journal Of Educational

Technology, 39(6), 1020-1030. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.stfrancis.edu:2296/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=38afe810-ee63-4ec9-992d-c19d8f8f41d0%40sessionmgr10&vid=3&hid=12

This journal talks about how e-learning environments are actually like building rather than a school where learning actually takes place. The concept was originated from the architecture design which includes static space and design objectives. The difference between space to place is the social communication interactions between the members, which is part of the problem raised in this journal and some consideration when thinking of a design. By knowing the importance and characteristics of a place, designers can then research the needs and support for social interaction in the learning space. The main goal is supporting the development of a user friendly and motivating e-learning place.

I completely agree with how the journals main goal of e-learning needing to be user friendly and motivating. If something comes across as difficult or too hard to manage that is the turning point where people won’t use that site or tool. When we use the internet we are looking for fast, easy, and efficient ways to get information if it lacks these things then we have a tendency to not use it. What is easy to use and accessible, we normally use as our main tool. With this being said I wouldn’t say e-learning isn’t a wall but more just a new idea that needs more discoveries but in the end will turn out to be very effective for users. The hardest thing would be figuring out what would be the easy most user friend way. The journal talked about the login in process when using a website. It stated that when user log into the site they don’t expect to have to login again when they like on courses, tools, class, etc. it was also interesting how the one teacher said that e-learning courses offers all the experience a person is looking for. For example, some students like to learn alone, or with music, or noise, while others like the collaboration with other students. With the e-learning program you get both sides. You get the alone work yet the class group work which may consist of blogs, group discussions etc.


submitted: 9/15/13 khannagan

Instructional strategies for online courses. (2010). Illinois Online Network. Retrieved September 15, 2013 from http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/instructionalstrategies.asp.

This article addresses the number of learning styles that learners have and the need to address the multiple learning styles in different designs of activities and instructional strategies. The author focuses on online learning strategies and addresses the following strategies; learning contracts, discussion, lecture, self-directed learning, mentorship, small group work, project, collaborative learning, case study and forum.

In each strategy the author provides a thorough description of options within the main strategy.  For example, in the strategy small group work, they provide options such as discussion groups, guided design, role- playing and games. The article would be a good tool for anyone developing specific strategies for an online course.

Submitted 9/15/13, resubmitted 10/9/13


In the United States, CMS and LMS are the more common terms, however LMS is more frequently associated with software for managing corporate training programs rather than courses in traditional education institutions.  Wikipedia

provides education open source services, student services, online program management, strategic solutions, and managed hosting.  http://www.blackboard.com/ 

is a Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is a Free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites.
Submitted by jthompson, 11/4/20


Ash, Katie. (2013) Companies aim to leverage open-source opportunities.  Education Week, 6(2). 34-36.

                Retrieved from: http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2013/02/06/02openthreat.h06.html

This article explores open source learning management systems (LMS) and its definitions.  As technology becomes more readily available and LMS use is more commonly available on a commercial basis, various companies such as Blackboard, Instructure, and Pearson offer systems management that allow for virtual classrooms.  These systems allow for ease of internet access to view course work, grades and module materials.  Open source has traditionally meant the ability to promote educational LMS that are free and available to enhance education, however some companies are now capitalizing on the concept when the source code is not open or may be only open to a party facilitator, while emphasizing they are an open source LMS.


This article is interesting as you see companies change the meaning as related to their product for marketing purposes.  In the world of e-learning new and emerging technology lend itself to needing clarification of meaning and intent while allowing ease of understanding among communities seeking to use the technology.  Currently some of the largest LMS developers are marketing as open source technology but those systems do not allow the modification of the source code.   This article gives a brief history for open source LMS and the various creators.  While the term open source seems open to some interpretation, this article breaks down the debate in terms that are very easily understood.



             submitted 2/17/2013 bmitcheff


Athley, J. (2012, March 22). 4 trends in online training and e-learning in 2012. Training Industry. Retrieved from http://www.trainingindustry.com/learning-technologies/articles/4-trends-in-online-training-elearning-in-2012.aspx

This article focuses on four new trends in technology for use in online training, the use of mobile applications, gamification, social collaboration and bite size learning.  The mobile applications is a hot topic because of smart phones and tablets are carried by so many people and provide added convenience for employees to access training information at more convenient times.  Not only do mobile devices allow access to web-based training, but mobile applications can be delivered using text, video, quizzes, etc.  Training content is always available to them since the device is carried with them. Gamification is another hot trend.  It combines traditional gaming with learning.  IT plays on ones desire to compete and win the game and makes learning a little more fun. Social collaboration is the third trend in technology.  Organizations use it for recruiting, gauging morale, social learning, performance and career management.  The accessibility makes knowledge and information easily shared and exchanged. Bite size learning basically breaks training down to smaller size time allotments and perhaps can hold employee’s attention better. 

All four of these trends are excellent ways to make training more convenient, fun, cost effective and less time consuming for employers.  I particularly like the use of mobile applications as so many employees have smart phones and tablets with them all of the time.  Not only is it more convenient but they can access or look back at materials whenever they need to.  I believe that also encompasses the bite size learning.  Employees don’t have to be overloaded with information; they can use mobile applications for shorter learning times and perhaps would retain more from the training.  If these applications are combined with gamification employees may enjoy the experience of learning even more. 


Submitted: 2/3/2013 jlivigni

Boulet, G. (2012, December).  Gamifications: the latest buzzword and the next fad.  Retrieved from http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=2421596

This article discusses a hot new technology trend in training called gamification.  Gamification is the use of game mechanics in non-game contexts. Proponents say it engages learners by providing more immerse content. Its popularity is rising because it provides instant feedback, is narrative, and has tasks to complete. Drawbacks stated is that not everyone is a gamer, some people can get immersed in high scores or awards as opposed to learning the material, and games are sometimes viewed as an escape from real-life so they aren’t looked at seriously. The author concludes that gamification is simply another fad in training and will have the same popularity curve as previous training methods.

The idea of gamification is an interesting one. Technology is abundant and available by mobile devices for employees. Games can also be a fun way to learn. The main drawback I see is the overuse of games could become redundant. I believe variety is a key to learning. I can see a place for gamification in training, but it shouldn’t be used as the only source of training for employees.


Submitted: 2/3/2013 jlivigni


Chaudhari, S. (2012, October 11) Top open source learning management systems [Electronic version]. 

     eLearning Industry. Retrieved from



The focus of this article is to show the top used open source Learning Management Systems (LMS) and also to explain some benefits of using an open source system versus using a proprietary LMS. The author explains that open source systems are very flexible and customizable to each individual organization. He also explains there is no licensing or hardware costs that organizations need to pay to start using them. He also talks about these of creating an online community with the use of an open source LMS. The main point is to list and describe the features of the top six LMSs. He lists Moodle s number 1 and the next five systems include; .LRN, eFront, Dokeos, Sakai, and Atutor. After listing features of each he concludes that Moodle is the most used and in his opinion the best overall system to use. He then lists more reasons why Moodle is better.


I chose this article to help give myself and others a better understanding of LMSs. This article is definitely geared for someone who has a solid understanding of LMS and may even be ready to put a system in place within their organization. While I have a very basic understanding of LMS the article may not have been extremely helpful in giving more details of what an LMS is, when you should use one, and how to get started using one. Reading the features of each system did help give me a better understanding of what the systems can and should do. I do have a better understanding of what these systems can do and may be able to recognize what I should be looking for in a system if that need ever arises. I didn’t like that author started his article talking about codes. I felt the tech talk is a quick way to lose your audiences interest. I was a little a lost from the beginning as I’m not a tech person. After reading that part several times I’m still not sure what code is or if I should be learning about code. Again, this may be a great article for someone looking to decide what system to implement, but for a beginner it simply gives a lttle more understanding of what the systems can and should do.



Submitted: 2/28/2013 jlivigni

Ellaway, R., & Masters, K. (2008). Amee guide 32: e-learning in medical education Part 1: learning, teaching and assessment. Medical Teacher30(5), 455-473.

In this article the authors go into great details about e-learning, e-teaching, e- assessment, and e-librarians.  It explains all of the tools that can be utilized in course management systems such as chat rooms, support resources, discussion boards, blogs, portfolios, and so on.  At the end, it provides recourses specific to online assessment.

When reading this source, it provided a bunch of credible information.  I would recommend this source to those professionals within the training and development field that are looking to know more about development of the e-learning course.

Submitted: 9/29/13 JGrubar

Godwin-Jones, Robert. (2012). Emerging technologies challenging hegemonies in online learning. Language Learning & Technology, 16 (2), 4-13. Retrieved from: http://llt.msu.edu/issues/june2012/emerging.pdf

Godwin-Jones (2012) outlines the history of the learning management system (LMS). The author notes he and a colleague developed one of the early LMS start-ups that was eventually purchased by Blackboard. He also highlights and critiques the most widely used products: Blackboard Learn and Moodle, and provides an overview of other common LMS products in North America and Europe.  Primarily, he identifies and critiques distance learning modalities and his opinion of their lack of progress since the mid 1990’s.  The pedagogical model for learning management systems, according to Godwin-Jones (2012), was built upon the face-to-face classroom model, and, in large part, the LMS models remain the same.

The information in this article is useful for those researching or comparing LMS systems as the article provides a brief history and overview of the features and benefits of the mainstream products. The article’s author has a vested interest in LMS systems and a bias towards those features he finds most useful in the classroom  As an “inside perspective,” the article offers an interesting critique of the systems and a critique on educational professionals who may take the easy way out when designing and implementing online courses within the current LMS systems. 


Submitted: 9/1/12 bcovelli

Fetaji, B. & Fetaji, M. (January, 2010).  E-learning indicators:  A multi-dimensional model for planning and evaluating e-learning software solutions.  Electronic e-Learning Software Solutions.  Retrieved from:  http://www.eric.ed.gov/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=EJ867099

     The authors of this article provided research results concerning software solutions for anyone interested in developing an e-Learning opportunity.  The studies compare two Learning Management Systems:  Angel and Moodle.  Often times, a systematic approach of planning, comparing, and evaluating e-learning is overlooked.  The authors provided information using a multidimensional model and solutions for the reader.

     I found this article to be very informative and interesting with their assessments of the two Learning Management systems.  The authors recommended Moodle for their overall choice because of the larger number of options available.  It continues to surprise me how the concept of e-learning is a constant evolving concept and no one system has been developed to meet all program needs.


Submitted:  03/16/2012 kwalderbach


Huber, C. (2010). Professional learning 2.0. Educational Leadership, 67(8), 41-46.



This article describes the benefits of using Web 2.0 technologies for professional development in schools.  Moodle is a course management system (CMS) which provides a myriad of activities and resources.  Moodle blog, forum, glossary and wiki activities can function as information repositories and tools for collaboration within a school.   Moodle can be set up to receive RSS feeds from Twitter to provide up the minutes information from workshops or conferences.  Jing is a free screen casting tool used to add a visual component to the CMS.  Jing is very useful in creating video tutorials or assignments for upload into Moodle. 

Many schools already use Moodle with students so extending into the professional development realm is the next logical step.  The focus of this article was combining Web 2.0 with Moodle to create a virtual professional development environment.   Moodle is a very powerful open source CMS designed with modularity in mind.  Plug-ins are used in Moodle to allow Web 2.0 applications to function seamlessly within the CMS.  The school administrator in this article was able to enhance staff communication and collaboration using tools that were already being used (Moodle) or provided a low or no cost (Web 2.0) via the internet.



Jensen, L. A. (2010). Extend Instruction outside the Classroom: Take advantage of your learning management system. Computers in Libraries, 30(6), 76-78. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.  Retreived from: http://ezproxy.stfrancis.edu:2296/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=f713848b-c10d-403e-8f8c-7ebd64258831%40sessionmgr112&vid=2&hid=127

This journal article provides great information about learning management systems (LMS).  The author writes about the features, conveniences, and possibilities that can be accomplished with a LMS.  The article mentions commercial and open source learning management systems.  Jensen talks about the various aspects regarding implementing a  LMS at her college.  This article would be beneficial to anyone considering a LMS or simply looking for pointers on using an existing one. 

The author provides useful information for those considering or using a LMS.  The article includes screen shots that illustrate specific features within the LMS such as the calendar and course resource guides.  I found the information informative and helpful.


Submitted 9/18/2011 sjurysta

Tomassini, J. (2013). Teachers gravitate to social networks tailored for educators. Education Weekly, 32(15), 1, 19. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/01/09/15social_ep.h32.html

While teachers may use popular mainstream social networks such as Facebook on a personal level, they are more likely to seek out and return to less-established networks that offer the privacy, peer-to-peer connections and resource sharing that meets their specific professional needs. In a survey of 694 respondents, the most popular social learning site for educators is called Edmodo. It is very similar to Facebook but is as much a classroom-management tool as it is a network. The survey also showed that respondents are using Tioki as a substitute, or in addition, to LinkedIn. The advantage is that it is geared for educators and allows members to identify themselves more specifically as “8th grade science teacher specializing in wave particles” instead of “educator”. It is a variation of a social-network framework to facilitate professional development and teacher coaching.

I found this article as an excellent resource. Even though Education Weekly is an on-line website that requires a paid subscription to access articles, it distributes current information to educators across the nation who are interested in keeping up to date on the latest news topics that impact teachers. It offers two weeks of free access and is well worth the time to sign in. It is only natural that as teachers and trainers become more comfortable with social media, preferred methods will be discovered and educators will gravitate toward safer, more protected social networking that still meet the needs of their students.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/01/09/15social_ep.h32.html. Submitted 2/2/13. phiddinga

Vovides, Y., Sanchez-Alonso, S., Mitropoulou, V., & Nickmans, G.  (2007). The use of e-learning course management systems to support learning strategies and to improve self-regulated learning.  Science Direct, 1-11. Retrieved Feb 4, 2012, from http://www.earli.org/resources/EDUREV_20_06-06-08.pdf

This article addresses the use of CMS as a method of regulating learning in a distant education format.  It details how the CMS was implemented to improve the way in which we learn.  The author goes on to explain how metacognitive framework is imperative in the instructional design of a learning environment with collaboration and communication at the forefront.  The role of the instructor is to provide guidance, coordination and acts as a facilitator in the CMS environment.  This should enable the student to walk away with a strong grasp of the material presented to them. 

This article provided me with a greater understanding of how CMS’s are essential in the design of the course and the administering of the learning material.  It also made me realize that the construction of an e-learning course is more involved in by the instructor than I initially thought.  While I found out that there are also two very important components which should be address in the character of a CMS course and that is how the information present to the learner is able to be converted to a skill and the progression in which that material is provided should be gradual. 


Submitted: 2/5/12 by NBeck


West, R. E., (2011). Insights from research on distance education learners, learning, and learner support, American Journal of Distance Education, 25(3), 135-151. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08923647.2011.589775


            This article reviewed literature on understanding the complex nature of independent learning.  The literature review encompassed a distance learner’s ability to self-monitor or self-evaluate more than a face-to-face learner.  This was also described as student metacognition which is defined as a higher order of thinking that enables understanding, analysis, and control on one’s cognitive processes, especially when engaged in learning.  This article describes the difference between how students felt about face-to-face learning compared to distance learning changed based on such factors as media usage during the course.  Many studies were weakened by utilizing distance learning programs that used older technologies.  Online learning can be more motivational through effective use of multimedia, including context-based videos and instructors increased germane. 

    I agree with many of the authors comments within this article. The use of proper multimedia along with learner understand of its use can make or break a distance learners cognitive ability or load. I also agree with the statements made in the article about instructor involvement within the context of course design. Giving step-by-step examples of problems or course work they are to solve will motivate rather than demotivate student to use self-explanation. I believe, for me, having a higher order of thinking is crucial for success in distance learning; however, I also believe, for me, course design influences this ability.         


Submitted: 9/8/13 kestavillo