Understanding Faculty Use of the Learning Management System

article page 1 previewThe learning management system (LMS) has become a critical tool for nearly all institutions of higher education, and a driving force in online learning. According to a 2014 report by the Educause Center for Analysis and Research, 99% of higher education institutions have an LMS in place, and the LMS is used by 85% of faculty and 83% of students. This was not always the case, however. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when using an LMS was considered highly innovative. Understanding the growth and adoption of the LMS is a stepping stone to understanding how faculty may choose to adopt other technological and pedagogical innovations. This study was conducted at a large, research-intensive public university in the Midwest, which has used the same LMS for 15 years. From a small pilot, adoption has grown to nearly universal use. This study used system logs and database queries to examine how faculty used the LMS. The results identified the features that were used most frequently and how usage had changed over time. In addition, the study compared the usage data for face-to-face and online courses to determine if there are differences in LMS use due to course modality. Based on this, it is possible to better understand the role the LMS plays in higher education and online learning, to inform development of next generation learning systems or other innovative technologies. View article »

Citation

Rhode, J., Richter, S., Gowen, P., Miller, T. & Wills, C. (2017). Understanding faculty use of the learning management system. Online Learning, 21(3), 68-86. https://doi.org/10.24059/olj.v21i3.1217

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Google Announces New Learning Management System

Google ClassroomClassroom is a new, free tool coming to Google Apps for Education that helps teachers easily and quickly create and organize assignments, provide feedback, and communicate with their classes” (Source). “Classroom weaves together Google Docs, Drive and Gmail to help teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and communicate with their classes with ease…it lets students organize their work, complete and turn it in, and communicate directly with their teachers and peers” (Source).

The following video highlights the experiences of some of the teachers and students who provided feedback as Google developed Classroom.

Benefits for Classes

Easy to Set up

Teachers can add students directly or share a code with their class to join. It takes just minutes to set up.

Saves Time

The simple, paperless assignment workflow allows teachers to create, review, and grade assignments quickly, all in one place.

Improves Organization

Students can see all of their assignments on an assignments page, and all class materials are automatically filed into folders in Google Drive.

Enhances Communication

Classroom allows teachers to send announcements and questions instantly. Since students can post to the stream, they can help out their classmates.

Affordable and Secure

Like the rest of our Google Apps for Education services, Classroom contains no ads, never uses your content or student data for advertising purposes, and is free for schools.

For more info or to request an invite to Google Classroom, visit http://www.google.com/edu/classroom

While I agree with Joshua Kim that this announcement by Google focused on K-12 education has little direct impact immediately on higher education, providing an increasing number of elementary and secondary students access to LMS-type technologies has the potential to further grow the expectations of students when they arrive at the postsecondary level for faculty to effectively make use of online technologies in their teaching. And, any additional competition in the online educational technology space will only help spur future innovation.

What is your response to this latest announcement by Google? Are you planning on requesting an invite? Will there be interest by teachers at your school to try Google Classroom? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

The Learning Management Systems History Infographic

Learning Management Systems (LMS) weren’t always the flashy cloud-based software they are today. Going as far back as the 1920s, we have been making steady strides in bringing education and training out of the classroom and to students through technology. The Learning Management Systems History Infographic explores the major milestones in the history of Learning Managements Systems.

History-of-the-LMS-Infographic
Courtesy e-Learning Infographics