The University of Minnesota supports Moodle as its Course Management System. Along with platforms like Desire to Learn (D2L – used within MnSCU system) and the former WebCT now Blackboard platform (which is used by Hamline and other Twin Cities liberal arts colleges), these are also known as Learning Management Systems. You’ll see CMS and LMS among the acronym soup of teaching and learning with technology.
In general, for teachers and learners, a LMS functions as a resource hub for making online or blended/hybrid college courses available over the Internet, and for augmenting on-campus courses by storing weekly course materials (readings, assignment, team projects) there, and by making use of discussion, collaboration, quizzing, participation tracking and grade book features.
UMinn Moodle Page: See the Overview section at top of left navigation bar – http://www.oit.umn.edu/moodle/index.htm. The “What Does it Look Like” segment will give you access to a demonstration site.
You can certainly gain a general overview of Learning Management Systems generally and of these three specific large scale platforms via wikipedia. As well, Moodle, Desire to Learn and Blackboard each offers a homepage; generally, I don’t find the home pages especially helpful as a teacher. Digging down a bit, there are more useful pages, such as:
- https://moodle.org/support/ – Moodle Support Page
- http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Learn/Products/Blackboard-Learn.aspx – Blackboard info on teaching/learning page
- http://www.desire2learn.com/products/learning-suite/ – Desire to Learn Learning Suite overview
For this task, pick one LMS system to learn a bit about if it’s new to you, to learn a bit more about if you’ve experienced one as a student and now wonder about it as a teacher, or one to learn a bit more about because you’ve worked with one system and want to compare it to other systems – not knowing which one(s) you might need to begin using with a new teaching post.
Post Your 3-5 Ideas
In all, spend about 15 minutes getting a general sense of the LMS you choose, 30 minutes digging deeper to learn its features for learners and teachers, and another 15 minutes sharing 3-5 ideas as a reply to this post.
Questions to guide you as you’re doing the digging in – and that could launch the 3-5 ideas you share:
- As you explore, think as a teacher and as a learner, as much as possible:
- What does this tool do, in general?
- What are a couple of its strengths?
- What are some of its weaknesses?
- What are some red flags about use (privacy, support, logins)?
- What other interesting ideas / questions cross your mind while exploring?