Saturday, August 27, 2016

What to Look for in an LMS

When considering an LMS to use, the following would be some of the questions I would ask:

1) How easy is it to navigate?

2) Is the design and layout both simple and visually appealing?

3) Does is allow for interactivity in a variety of ways? (discussion, email, audio, video, games, etc.)

4) Can it be accessed/is it compatible with multiple (mobile) devices?

5) What additional resources and tools does it offer?

Perhaps an even more interesting question, as suggested by Donna Fry in our Teaching and Learning Through eLearning course: is an LMS necessary? It's an intriguing question, and one that I'm not sure how to answer. How would it work? 

Certainly, to keep things simple, it would be nice to have a one-stop hub for the content and tools in an eLearning course. There are other benefits, too, for a board to use the same LMS. From an administrative perspective, it would allow for streamlined training and perhaps easier to keep track of enrollment, instructors, etc. From a student perspective, once you get experience using d2L, for example, that familiarity would be beneficial for the next online course you take.

What do you think?


  1. Hi Andrew
    I would really love to not have an LMS. I wonder how it works, though, like you said. What appeals to me about it is the idea of not having to learn about a new platform each time by board decides to buy a new or different licence. It's D2L right now, but what if it changes? I'd love to be free from worrying about putting my proverbial soul into a new system and then having to learn a whole new one 2 years later.
    I don't know how it would work either--how do we connect students in an environment that essentially has no environment?

    1. Hi Angela,
      You make a great point about the expiring licenses, which I hadn't considered.

    2. Hi Angela,
      You make a great point about the expiring licenses, which I hadn't considered.

  2. Hi Andrew,
    I agree with you about having a "one-stop hub" for eLearning. There are many other options out there that do not require school subscriptions (as we saw in the Top 100 Tools), but it may be more beneficial to train students and teachers on one main platform, and then teachers can connect to other tools throughout the LMS.

  3. Hi Andrew,
    It would be interesting to see how a course might work without an LMS. Perhaps there is a way to use Google Apps in this manner. In the past I was worried about taking online courses and after my first course I thought that "at least I can navigate the platform for next time". Unfortunately, with so many platforms I have ended up taking multiple courses that have each used a different LMS! That meant learning how to navigate again.

    Also, Angela makes a great point on her blog about changes in LMS with the board and how it can be time consuming to learn how to use a new platform all the time.