Learning Management System (LMS): An integral part of Open Distance Education
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application that is used to plan, deliver, publish and place self-paced online courses in online catalogs. Facilitators and Learners login to the LMS by using a browser, which enable learners to select courses from the online catalog and begin their online study.
A LMS makes it easy for a course administrator/facilitator to track course completions, current status or performance of each learner. All learners’ activity in the LMS can be tracked and are useful for performance evaluation and other related functions. In Open Distance Education (ODE), the LMS is very important. For you to keep track of all academic activities, you must visit LMS page at least twice weekly, ideally you are suppose to login every day.
Few Benefits of the LMS
1. It saves time: Unlike the traditional method of teaching (face to Face) it saves time, has learners don’t have to travel from their location or seek permit from their employers to attend lectures.
2.It is Flexible: This is not a regimented teaching learning process where a learner has to be in a class to attend lectures. Implementing an LMS fixes this. Learners can log in to their platform to complete courses wherever they are. Whether it’s on the bus to work, during a coffee break or setting aside half an hour at their desk, there are significant time savings for them.
3.It is Cost effective: Traditional learning not only wastes time, it wastes money too. Instructors, training days, travel costs, training materials, location hiring etc. The use of the LMS reduces this. Facilitators interact online, meaning learners can train at any time.
How to Use the LMS
Once the LMS is activated, it allows the facilitator to create courses by uploading each module. The materials could be in document, video or audio formats. The facilitator is able to create examinations, quizzes, and surveys within the system to assess learners’ performance and gather feedback. Some of this feedback can be used as part of your continuous assessment.
Once a course is published learners are to be enrolled. On a rudimentary level, facilitators can send an invitation by email to learners to access the course or a code can be given to class leaders to enable learners enroll. It’s important to understand that each course has its own code, and for learners to enroll for all courses you must get all codes for each courses.
After enrollment it is important for learners to login constantly to keep track of academic activities which include getting course online course materials on time, doing continuous assessment before they expire etc. The Learning Management System is your classroom in ODE, so it is important you explore it to the fullest.