When I first began teaching, lesson planning was a time-consuming process that often left me feeling overwhelmed and underprepared. But as technology has advanced over the years, so too have our options for engaging with students inside and outside of the classroom – including learning management systems (LMSs), such as Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas.
Table of Contents
- What Is An LMS?
- Ensure Effective Implementation Of The LMS
- Make Sure Employees Are Attuned To The LMS’ UI/UX
- Configure Your LMS In Line With Your Enterprise
- Ensure Employees Are Making Use Of The Diverse Features
- Integrate The LMS With Systems Employees Already Use
- Seek Quality Technical Support And Customer Service
- Drive Engagement And Productivity With Learning Analytics
What Is An LMS?
Simply put, it refers to any software intended specifically for managing educational courses online (or in a blended format). While these tools can certainly streamline your workflow and reduce organizational headaches, there are many factors to consider before jumping right into implementation.
In this piece, we’ll explore some key considerations for effectively integrating top Learning Management Systems within the realm of education.
Ensure Effective Implementation Of The LMS
This might sound obvious at first glance – but proper implementation is critical when it comes to achieving maximum return on investment from your platform. It’s essential to get things right from day one by taking on board advice offered by experts. Besides reading through manuals and user guides, it involves participating in training programs provided by vendor trainers during the roll-out stage or self-paced digital resources covering different aspects. It’s important to ensure all stakeholders understand what’s expected of them before fully embracing new methodologies via an unfamiliar digital landscape, such as teachers using discussion boards instead of paper notes, school notice boards, etc.
Make Sure Employees Are Attuned To The LMS’ UI/UX
Most people aren’t tech-savvy enough to navigate complicated UX designs without trouble – after all, you don’t want additional stress added up. This highlights another potential hurdle with strategically deploying learning management systems. If employees find themselves struggling with even figuring out how best to navigate their dashboards, they may become discouraged and start doubting its effectiveness altogether. This puts teacher/student engagement at risk if the concerns are overlooked in the initial stages.
Configure Your LMS In Line With Your Enterprise
Each education firm has its own unique requirements, whether that involves customizing lesson templates or even enabling tailored curriculum delivery. Adopting a one-size-fits-all approach may sometimes result in unachievable goals leading to lower productivity and underutilization of the system altogether. This highlights another benefit of making sure employees are appropriately trained – they can recognize varying needs within their schools’ frameworks, highlighting specific areas where customization is required.
Ensure Employees Are Making Use Of The Diverse Features
While an intuitive interface helps aid user adoption to a certain extent, if teachers feel there isn’t much leeway on what exactly you can accomplish through certain features within the LMS, adoption may falter regardless of promised benefits touted before the implementation stage.
Having dedicated time set aside towards periodic maintenance and revisions/tutorials covering different aspects such as grading systems components, auto-calculating results, or embedding third-party links/rich media content could surely hook earlier adopters more broadly and shift to a pedagogical style more agile compared to alternatives.
Integrate The LMS With Systems Employees Already Use
This subheading speaks for itself. Depending on an organization’s existing infrastructure (e.g., Windows vs. MacOS), optimizing information workflow and avoiding additional disruption would be necessary so students don’t get confused about keeping up with tabs/learning resources scattered everywhere. One key point here is: It’s essential realizing it doesn’t make any sense to throw out various software used by faculty without taking into account the variety of hardware setups. Imagine all educational data being lost during the upgrade process from PC-based access points onto Chromebooks utilized during classes.
Seek Quality Technical Support And Customer Service
It’s always a good idea to investigate vendors’ track records before delving deeper down the rabbit hole. No need to hold on to dreams about instant future success stories, as they only materialize given decent vendor assistance whenever difficulties arise post-implementation stage (which they will). Essential for smaller organizations and those that lack IT departments, reliance on third-party assistance needs to be maximized so the focus remains directed toward productive lesson deliveries rather than tending to prematurely broken tech setups.
Drive Engagement And Productivity With Learning Analytics
One significant advantage of LMS platforms is the ability to track everything – from student progress and usage statistics to instructor commentary and more. Over time, these data points can provide insights into how your educational offerings are being received by the students who take them up. Educators should encourage further improvements by using learning analytics in tandem with other feedback mechanisms like surveys or focus groups, after making sure key metric understandings around context setting are properly communicated. This could easily become a performance benchmark driving student/teacher satisfaction higher.
So there you have it: A few tips for getting started with a learning management system that meets your needs as an educator. As mentioned earlier, make sure to leverage all possible resources available post the deployment stage, from digital manuals provided by vendors to independent user group forums discussing alternate workflows once implemented. Remember to make sure technical support is always at hand if something goes wrong, and play around experimenting with different customizations in your own classroom settings till comfortable before wholeheartedly adopting new teaching methodologies.