As the print-to-digital transition of instructional materials gains speed, schools need an organizing platform for their digital resources. The Learning Management System (LMS) serves that purpose and is gaining attention as a result.
LMS’s allow for teacher-student interaction and may include tools to manage assessment, deliver instructional resources, report results, suggest instructional strategies, facilitate collaboration, and communicate with parents. The degree to which an LMS manages resources, assesses student knowledge, prescribes instructional strategies based on assessed progress, and provides reports on student learning varies considerably depending on the system.*
Headed to a New Direction
The shift away from textbooks and growing use of online content has pushed K-12 schools and districts to develop strategies to support teachers in selecting, aggregating, and delivering relevant content to students. However, LMS’s do not yet have the capabilities to synthesize content in a meaningful, searchable way.
The existing wealth and anticipated growth of free digital content and open educational resources (OER) propose a new challenge for the LMS landscape. LMS’s must be able to integrate a wide variety of digital content from various publishers and authors. While portability standards, like Common Cartridge, enable an LMS to import course content, few contain the features or functions of personalized search for content.
LMS shortcomings arise from the larger shift in the way students learn and access information in today’s classroom. LMS vendors need to strengthen blended learning models by providing interoperable access to content as schools move past merely digitizing text resources.
To support blended learning, a future LMS should be equipped with the following capabilities:
- Link content to formative assessment results to enable educators and students to receive personalized attention
- Integrate existing course information with digital resources to provide all learners flexibility in using different resources
- Bring content together into a unified, simplified search–even if the resources live outside of the LMS
- Remain standard-aligned to district curriculum
What changes would you like to see to strengthen the effectiveness of your LMS?
*EdNet State of the K12 Market 2014 Report