LMS Organization

There are various LMS’s out there, Sakai, Moodle, Blackboard, Desire to Learn, etc.  I just read through a few articles about how each LMS is taking a different approach to either distinguish themselves from the others or just look toward the future.

All of this reading and thinking has brought me to the conclusion that there are three main components to an LMS;

  • Instructors
  • Students
  • Content/Tools

With this simplification I was able to come to the conclusion (after talking with a few Instructional Designers), that Instructors think about content from a course perspective while students think about content across all courses.

Since LMS’ are organized by course already, Instructors are in good shape.  But what students need is a list of all of the tasks required for each course by due date.  Readings, assignments, assessments, etc.  Since I manage Sakai at NPS, where I work, I’ve been thinking about the best way to achieve this.

The conclusion I came up with involves modifying, or adding to, the system as well as getting Instructor’s contributions.  At this point the steps needed to fulfill my vision are:

  1. Allow students to view a calendar list vs. weekly view in their My Workspace home page – https://jira.sakaiproject.org/browse/SAK-21025
  2. Set that as default for all students in their My Workspace home page
  3. Demonstrate to students how valuable this tool could be through online video or instructions
  4. Work with instructors and encourage students to ask instructors to put more due dates in the calendar
  5. Work with the Sakai Community to place checkboxes (which really won’t do anything) in the Calendar tool for each item specific for each user

Although like any good project, this will probably change to achieve the desired result.