LMS Criteria Wiki

What should we be looking for in an LMS?

  • Quizzing tool that is easy from the design and student perspectives.  (by Avi Luxenburg)
  • Scorm compatible (by Jane J.)
  • I like the ease of drag and drop. To add a file in Moodle there are a few steps to follow and it would simplify things if you could simply drag from your Windows Explorer and drop it into an LMS. It would save a number of steps and encourage teachers to add more content (and relieve us of the need to recreate some things within the LMS). (Kris Sward)
  • An intuitive interface that is easy to navigate and understand for both instructors and learners (by Corina Summerfelt)
  • Variety is important in an LMS. Being able to add pages with web content, interactive wikis, YouTube videos, chat rooms, and discussion forums, as well as lessons and various activities is very important. I found all of the above in Moodle, and really liked the ease of navigation. I expected a much steeper learning curve. (Jay Ishaya)
  • A gradebook that is easy to set up yet provides options for how your grades are calculated (Glenda Dyck)
  • An LMS that allows you to easily manage your students and track their progress (Glenda Dyck)
  •  Accessible and secure on mobile devices (Denise Andersen)
  • A good LMS should be able to easily incorporate material from other platforms without incompatibility issues. (Rod Miller)
  • LMSs that recognize second language requirements; ease of use to make the LMS desirable to use by all teachers on a school-wide basis; ability to upload Word files as many teachers’ resources are currently on Word (Nadine Cahan)

What should we be wary of in an LMS?

  • A good file management system would be nice.  Moodle does not have a very good one and that causes some problems. (by Avi Luxenburg)
  • Support of a variety of file types is becoming more and more necessary. With the variety of platforms and programs available and with the desire to be able to hold class content under one umbrella – it is important that LMSs provide the ability to incorporate a variety of formats and file types. (Kris Sward)
  • A really good LMS would include opportunities and venues for both synchronous and asynchronous interaction. (Jay Ishaya)
  • Communication tools within the LMS. They may be inferior to free tools on the Internet- tools that students may already use (Kim C.)
  • LMSs that automatically translate to English if you are working in French - or other language (Nadine Cahan)   

  • What are the Pros and Cons of using an LMS

Pros

  • Moodle is a powerful content organization tool for educators. Rather than having my lessons, resources, assessment, and feedback in disparate locations I feel that I can more intently focus on instructional design creating social learning scenarios. (J. Finley)
  • It creates a central "meeting" place for a learning community. It facilitates the dissemination of information, collegial conversations and the gathering of assignments. (Rod.M)
  •  It provides a variety of mechanisms for engaging students in activities, exercises, and interactions. (Jay Ishaya)
  • It provides a platform for organizing and disseminating information and learning opportunities that is easily accessible by students and staff. (Jay Ishaya)
  • The Question Banks and Question Grouping functions in Canvas allow for assessments to be differentiated easily. (Karen Gadowsky)
  • The Rubrics that can be posted along with assignments are fabulous in giving assessment results but personalized feedback as well. (Karen Gadowsky)
  • The rubrics in Canvas. Feedback can be provided easily, either in writing or an audio / video response. (Kim C)
  • The Moodle ‘quiz’ activity allows students the opportunity to review and practice (with the potential to weight or not weight practice quizzes in the Moodle grade book), while the ‘quiz’ activity can also be used to build more substantial tests and exams that pull from the same bank of test questions as practice quizzes, or from a category of separate test/exam questions (or a mix).  By setting categories of questions in the test bank, it is also possible to develop tests for different levels of instruction (i.e., IEP). (Fenella Olynick)
  • I love the way Canvas integrates the calendar and syncs it with all other course calendars, as well as the way it generates grades automatically based on how you set up the quiz and assignments assessments. Canvas customer service response has been extremely personal and timely beyond belief! (Nadine Cahan)   

Cons

  • When updates occcur in the LMS it can affect the course layout.  Then you are may need to spend time making changes, to meet yours and students needs. (by Jane J.  (This occurred for me as teacher when using Blackboard, as a student early on in OLTD)
  •  Even with wikis and discussion forums, it is not a comprehensive enough system for building community that other venues should be ignored: social media continues to be important for building communities of learning to enhance sharing and support. (Jay Ishaya)
  •  Add-ons are often useful (such as a marking block) but are not always upgraded as frequently as the LMS causing some frustration. (Glenda Dyck)
  • Making changes (whether self-initiated, or necessitated by updates, curricular change, etc.) can be time consuming within the Moodle LMS, especially if other activities are hinged upon the one needing to be changed. (Fenella Olynick)
  • While I can write the questions of a quiz in French in Canvas, using prescribed answer choices allows only for English responses: i.e. True/False instead of Vrai/Faux (Nadine Cahan)