Question 1

There are four major functional categories of LMS.

1. Distribution of course information

2. Student-instructor and student-student communication

3. Student interaction with course resources

4. Online testing and grading.

Question 2

I currently use Articulate as a manager to publish an information to an LMS format. I use Articulate software to convert Office to Flash, and then the content is loaded into the LMS. The LMS is accessed through a log on available only to registered travel agents, and houses training materials and marketing tools The following are the functional categories of the LMS I use for work:

1. Distribution of course information

– Slide show presentations for reviewing course topics: Slide show presentations offer in depth explanations of popular itineraries, and items that are important to selling the product

– Course documents, assignments, and materials: Marketing materials, review of course documents

2. Student-instructor and student-student communication

– Discussion with a guest speaker or mentor: Webinars are conducted so as to teach agents about the latest program releases

3. Student interaction with course resources

– Miscellaneous web-based resources: Blog links, badges for facebook

4. Online testing and grading.

– Online testing – Quizzes (created with Articulate) tests on information given in the distribution of course information

– Automatic test grading and grade posting: This is achieved through quizzes

– Online surveys and evaluations: There is a feedback link for users to submit questions and comments

Question 3

1. Ask yourself why.

It is useful for one to understand why one chooses to use an eLearning platform. Many instructors will use eLearning as it improves learning and creates interaction between students. In my case, I think that eLearning is the best way to train business partners about a product. It adds convenience for the business partner and it offers the most up-to-date information in a timely manner.

2. Make a commitment.

When one decides to use eLearning, they must commit themselves to learning new technology. Similarly, when I took the job that I currently have I had to learn how to use Articulate to convert information into the LMS. Though sometimes it is frustrating (the daily computer crash!) my goal of my job is to provide accurate information into the LMS no matter how time consuming or frustrating that it maybe.

3. Develop a new vision for yoru course and how you teach it

When one begins eLearning hey need to think how they should approach the eLearning environment. One must consider how the students will use the information presented in the course when deciding what content should be presented in the course, and only present information that ise useful and provides gratification (meaning that it fulfills a specific need).

When I work on a course, I ensure that I provide only information that is relevant to my audience. I make the courses easy to understand and easy to navigate. Though often flash heavy courses are esthetically pleasing, they add no value to course. Thus, information that I put forth is put in the most easy, and simple format as possible

4. Determine the resources available to you

Most must be aware of the hardware, software, technical support, and eLearning expertise that is available. With this in mind, I am always aware of the computer skills and software of the users of the LMS. My team must always ensure that we use software that is compatible with that of our audience.

5. Acquire new technology skills and develop new instructional methods.

New skills, new teaching methods and new ways of designing are essential to making the most out of the eLearning experience. I relate to this as I am constantly learning information related to product branding, as well as how different technology interacts with the LMS. I also always search for interesting design methods that still provide useful and a gratifying experience for the user.

6. Plan

A plan must be made before the actual LMS module is created. This is essential to eLearning success.

Question 4/5

One-way communication is when a message is sent and a reply is not returned, nor is a reply expected. Posting information to a course site for users to use at their leisure is an example of one-way communication.

Announcements are used on the LMS that I use. These announcements are posted on the top of the course site and typically announce contests and other information that is pertinent to course materials. This is useful for providing the most up to date information for users in a place that is easily accessible to all LMS useres.

The LMS that I use a work primarily houses files that were created by other software. We post files that are converted from PowerPoint to flash. This is useful as it provides a format that is compatible amongst most users, but it does often encounter issues when users have slow Internet connections and such.

A gradebook is also used, but it only on a pass or fail basis. This is a useful tool as it guides users progress.

Two-way communication involves the sending and receiving of messages.

Online tests are used, and they are made available as the student completes coursework. The LMS grades the work on a pass or fail basis. This is useful as it provides a method by which users can be assessed on their conceptualization of course materials.

Review

I find that Blackboard is a useful CMS platform. It distributes course information in an understandable and common formats – I have primarily seen PDF, Word and PPT. Course documents, assignments, and materials are all housed in one place, which provides ease of access for users.

Blackboard is also useful in the ways of which it provides student-instructor and student-student communication. It allows for discussion with an instructor through email and boards. Students also may interact with one another through message boards. Blackboard also allows for student interaction with course resources.  Instructors can post outside links, such as YouTube, which provide students a richer learning environment. Instructors also have the option of conducting surveys and message boards so that students may interact directly with the course.

Furthermore, Blackboard provides online testing. Quizzes and tests can be created by the instructor in a variety of format. Instructors may provide automatic test grading and grade posting, or they can create a format of which users can respond to a question. This is useful as it allows instructors the ease of creating material that is appropriate to the course content.

Based on the above concepts, I find that Blackboard is one of the most useful LMS.

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