In today’s modern age, technology is taking hold within the learning environment of schooling institutes. Computers are relied upon for a vast variety of educational tools used in classrooms. Learning management systems (LMS) are software designed for delivering, tracking and managing education. They range from tracking learning records, to delivering courses over the internet.
Andrius (2003) describes LMS as “Very simply put it is a software application or Web-based technology that supports the management of learning. Typically, a LMS provides practitioners with a way to upload, create and deliver content, monitor student participation, and assess student performance.” He goes on to explain the benefits of LMS in distance education,
LMSs also have the capacity to provide support for distance learning. It is generally recognised that courses can often start anytime and study habits can vary from student to student, depending on their available time, commitment, etc. A LMS can simply provide a distribution mechanism for the course material and provide online access to tutor help when and if required.
Universities throughout Australia are currently using LMS for many courses, examples of these are Blackboard, Moodle and Webfuse.
The above mentioned LMS are used by CQUniversity, CQUniversity (2009) are currently piloting the new online LMS Moodle with 35 courses in term 2 2009 (read the entire article by clicking here). The purpose of piloting Moodle is to eventually run all courses through Moodle, eliminating Blackboard and Webfuse.
LMS are of great advantage to universities, as students are available at different times to study, so it provides a level environment for all to access at their own pace. Students are able to upload assessments, communicate with lecturers, tutors and other students, and access resources.
Andrius, J (2003), 'Learning Management Systems: A Teacher's Perspective', Australian Flexible Learning Community, viewed 20 August 2009, http://community.flexiblelearning.net.au/TeachingTrainingLearners/content/article_4840.htm
CQUniversity (2009), 'Moodle for Students', viewed 20 August 2009, http://content.cqu.edu.au/FCWViewer/view.do?page=9835