For your college or university to compete in the higher education space (with everything from large universities to online institutions), professors and adjuncts need to be taking advantage of technology. One of the most foundational pieces of technology, which almost every institution has invested in, is an online learning management system (LMS). However, many instructors do not know how to get the most out of this often-robust tool.
Whether for a fully online course, face-to-face, or somewhere in between, an LMS can be a critically helpful tool. Students use technology and the internet for their daily lives, and their educational experience should be no different. The days of only face-to-face courses with books and handouts are a thing of the past.
We’ve pulled together 5 of the top ways professors can use an LMS to get the most out of the institution’s investment in this tool.
1. Create a Resource Center
Lost handouts? Online articles that build on the course textbooks? Use your LMS as a place to house all of the course materials from a Syllabus to examples to coursework instructions. The primary use of your LMS allows students to access materials when and where they need them.
2. Simplify the Grading Process
Many institutions use the LMS as the course grade book for both students and instructors to track progress. Additionally, you can use built-in functionality for quizzes and tests to help simplify grading. Some LMS tools provide even provide anti-plagiarism tools to check papers and essay answers.
3. Facilitate Group Work
LMS tools provide communication capabilities for students to use to collaborate. This is especially helpful for the non-traditional student who may have a strict schedule and needs virtual access to their team members.
4. Experiment with Advanced Capabilities
Depending on your LMS platform, many have unique and advanced features. Everything from interactive whiteboard options, application/desktop sharing features, and RSS feeds. It’s important to get acquainted with your specific system to get the most value out of it. (Check out a few of our platform-specific courses: Canvas, D2L Brightspace, Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, ANGEL)
5. Set the Stage
No matter how you decide to use your LMS, communicating how it will be used to students is crucial. Many LMS tools attempt to be user-friendly, but you need to ensure that students know what resources to expect to use the tool, where to find those resources and best practices for using them.
A robust LMS tool can help increase student achievement, but only if professors and adjuncts put the time into getting to know the system and how to best leverage it.
Learn more about facilitating online courses using an LMS system in our latest white paper, Leveraging Your LMS: A Guide for Higher Education.
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