Monday, December 3, 2012

LMS, SIS, and empowering the learner

Last week I was reminded of the Canvas Network. Despite the fact that I have a friend and colleague that works for the company there are so many things happening at work that made me forget. In any case, I am glad I stumbled upon the Canvas Network again because it gave me an opportunity to see how another EdTech company, one whose bread-and-butter is the LMS, is approaching MOOCs. Last week I was writing about the innovations that I think are worthwhile exploring further in the Canvas Network, namely letting students know what they are in for if they choose a specific course to take.

This got me thinking about campuses today, and admittedly this goes beyond the LMS. Most students have only a small blurb, that is often outdated, to go by when choosing courses for their next semester. Even if you know what a course is about, you don't necessarily know much about the format of the course, the assessment types, whether there are synchronous, asynchronous, or blended components to the course. What if the LMS, the SIS (student information system), departments and faculty worked together to get course information out, canvas network style, to their learners? Would this not make it easier to students to assess what courses they should sign up for? And, if it's a core course that they need to complete, then the section might make a difference, because two faculty can take radically different approaches of working with the content. I think that this is an interesting direction that Learning Management Systems can go into!

What do you think?

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