What Is A Course Management System?

A System For Organization

To some, a course management system may sound similar to a content management system. It is true that a good course management system will include a content management system. However, the course management system goes much further. Course management software is used in the field of education. It can be used for classes that are conducted entirely online. However, it can also be used for a hybrid type of class that combines the online environment with the face-to-face experience. A course management system provides a way for students and instructors to interact with each other. The instructor is able to add content that is relevant to the course, while students are able to access course information, submit assignments, collaborate with fellow classmates, and possibly even take online quizzes.

Main Components and Usage

Basically, a course management system consists of a method for delivery of a class. The instructor is able to provide systematic instructions for completing assignments. At the very least, the students will have a way to submit their completed assignments. Most of these systems will also offer some type of discussion board so that students can interact with each other and conduct discussions about the topics. Depending on the complexity of the course management system, the instructor may be able to use online grading rubrics and enter grades into an online gradebook. The instructor may even be able to set up automatic quizzes, which offer immediate feedback to the students, as they are taken.

Benefits

This type of course management system can be very beneficial to the educational entity. The same system can be used for all instructors and all classes. This allows for a continuity across the school. Administrators can be given the ability to log into any classes. This allows for a random supervision that ensures the best possible quality of instruction.

The system is also beneficial to individuals. Because of the continuity of instruction, students can better understand what is expected of them in each course. Generally, the technology involved allows for much faster feedback that the student would receive in a face-to-face environment. However, one of the benefits that is most mentioned is the ability to attend classes at any time or any place. The student simply must have a way to access the Internet. With the advent of WiFi hotspots, Internet access is fairly common, no matter where the student ends up.

Possible Issues And Solutions

One of the first issues that may be encountered is an inadequate knowledge of technology. If instructors and students are not familiar enough with technology, they may find themselves unable to fulfil their responsibilities in the class.

There are a few ways to solve this issue. First of all, most entities have a training requirement for instructors. During this training, they may access the course management system, as if they were a student. However, this training provides them with the knowledge they need to be able to fulfill their own responsibilities, as well as give advice to the students.

Secondly, many of these educational entities may also have a requirement for students to attend some type of orientation classes. These classes may also be conducted through the course management system. However, the focus of the class is on learning the technology, instead of other academic subjects.

Finally, depending on the size, the entity may need to have a well-trained technical support department. This department can help with any issues that arise from the course management system.

One thought on “What Is A Course Management System?”

  1. Your readers might be interested to learn the differences between CMS and LMS, LMS and LMS-SN or NLEs. The evolution began with CMS and has moved well beyond centering around just the course…the learner and how the learner learns is the main focus now. Also, social networking and other Web 2.0 tools are deemed necessary as relationships are the context in which we learn.

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