In my new job I have been on a bit of a mission to find out more about Learning Management Systems (LMS)- specifically Moodle, Ultranet and KnowledgeNet which have the MoE big tick as well as other systems that might be out there for schools to chose from.
The first question I suppose would be, ‘Why would a school want a Learning Management System at all?‘ Is it just because everyone else has one?
What a plethora of choice- I bet there are more that I don’t know of.
I want to be able to put a set of questions of any LMS and compare responses so I thought I would pose them here and see what friends of my blog think.
- What do you get in an LMS above what is already available on the internet for free?
- What benefit does an LMS add to a child’s learning?
- Would parents have access to the LMS and on what level- would the child share their username and password with their parents and thus have access to everything- even the ability to change a child’s work. Or would the parent have separate parental access.
- Would your LMS be able to be hosted on your own server or would you need to have it some place else like in the cloud or with a provider?
- Can children develop their content within the LMS or would it more for a snapshot of a ‘finished project’?
- Is there a visible (non- passworded) option for sharing content with those outside the LMS?
- How collaborative and creative can an LMS be?
- How can I share the learning progressions of children in an LMS, with parents, with community or with others.
- Can I, as a teacher, personalise the LMS with features how I want them to be? Can the children personalise their own pages?
- Can you embed content from Web2.0 apps. If so, how easy is it to embed content from Web2.0 applications?
- On leaving the school can a child archive their content for a time when they are no longer able to access the school network?
- Can the content and assessment created within an LMS be portable to another LMS?
- Does the LMS synch with a School Management System. Now there’s a whole new can of worms- SMS!
- If content can be archived what format would it be in?
- I know it’s not about looks but it is. How appealing and navigable is the format for all levels of the school. We have children from five years old up to twelve. Would the LMS cater for them all?
- How much bandwidth would a school need to be able to sustain the LMS?
- How much support would the average teacher need to get to grips with the LMS? Is it something that I could work out for myself or is it that tricky that you need on going user group or expert input to master?
- How much would it cost to set up and implement the LMS initially and then what on going costs, fees would be incurred?
If you can think of any other questions please post them in the comments and I will add them here for a more comprehensive set of questions. I have found this pdf on TKI that has heaps of more detailed questions you could put to a LMS to help confuse matters even more.
A problem as I see it is that you often only see inside an LMS if your school uses one. You only know what you know. Hopefully someone will read this post and help me with this question.
If you use an LMS and like it or dislike it could you please let me know which one you think and why.
Please don’t feel the need to comment in a logged in way- just add anonymously if you feel your comments may play against your current school practice. I want to know what you really think. If you would rather add your comment via email to me I will add it anonymously.
Here’s what Ewan McIntosh thinks about ePortfolios- obviously not behind the fence of a walled garden. Click here if the video plays hard to get. I have been told that the video will be updated after the weekend and it will actually play properly- I will re-embed it then.