Course management systems can serve a wide variety of roles and functions, depending a teacher's needs. This training video provides a high-level overview of the range of problems a CMS can solve, and the opportunities it can create, whether in an online or face-to-face classroom. It also explores how a course management system like Desire2Learn (D2L) provides a point of interaction between teachers and students.
- [Instructor] As any teacher knows, keeping a classroom running smoothly involves a wide variety of tasks, which a CMS can simplify. Specifically, most course management systems include tools to help teachers take attendance, as well as track attendance percentages and tardiness. They can also help teachers deliver lectures if the system is enabled with video playback or simply make slide decks available. A CMS can also help teachers communicate with students, whether individually, or as a group.
It can help to manage discussions through discussion boards. Through a CMS, a teacher can also distribute handouts, readings, or activities, as well as collect completed materials. A CMS lets teachers assess performance, as well as calculate grades and distribute feedback. And, it makes multimedia resources conveniently available, but that's only one side of the CMS dynamic. An effective CMS serves as a focused communication point between teachers and students.
It's a virtual space where users on both sides of teaching come together. Specifically, through course management systems, students can submit work, retrieve materials, complete assignments, contact each other and the teacher, and track their progress all from a central interface, granting them increased ownership of their own learning. The widest application of CMS technology though is in online education. Again, this solves a specific problem.
In an online class, students could be scattered in all directions across a city, like my adopted hometown of Chicago, but they could also be located throughout a state, or even across an entire country, so conventional ways of running a classroom are impossible. That's where a CMS comes in, as an attempt to redefine the classroom experience for online courses. If all that sounds a bit free ranging, well that's part of the idea. Most course management systems are designed using a modular structure, so teachers create elements one at a time.
You might create a discussion board, a learning objective, a rubric, and a grade book item, and you then associate these items with one another. You can also associate a single element, like a learning objective, with multiple things, or multiple elements with a single item. As a consequence of all this flexibility, the range of functions a CMS can fill is ultimately as diverse as teaching itself.
- Communicating with students
- Developing course competencies and learning objectives
- Setting up a classroom, include a digital dropbox and discussion board
- Adding assignments, quizzes, and exams
- Providing feedback
- Setting up a gradebook
- Customizing Desire2Learn
- Managing discussion boards
- Using Desire2Learn as a student