Concordia University

https://www.concordia.ca/content/concordia/en/offices/ctl/digital-learning/tools/about-learning-management-systems.html

Learning Management System (Moodle)

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a secure and private online space to post content and to facilitate online learning activities and communications for a course.  Instructors can use an LMS to enhance a face-to-face class or as an integral part of blended or online classes. Concordia currently supports Moodle as its LMS for Technology-enhanced and Blended courses.

An LMS offers variety of functionality for instructors to display content such as documents and media. However, an LMS has much more to offer than being a repository for content. Instructors can also use the space to facilitate a number of course activities including, assignment submission and grading, discussion forums, peer editing, and collaborative spaces, such as wikis.  These and other functionality mean many benefits, including:

  • Anytime, anywhere access to course content and activities
  • More accessible format for those with learning disabilities and language barriers
  • Facilitation on course communications
  • Facilitation of group activities
  • Facilitation and management of assessment activities (including assignments and quizzes)
  • Effective means of getting feedback on student learning

An important, yet seldom used feature of the LMS are the detailed user reports. Some instructors may find the student usage data useful in determining how often certain resources are being accessed, how much time students are spending in specific activities and detailed information about quizzes.  Not only will this information shed light onto which areas students might be struggling with, but it can also help inform the development of future instructional strategies and resources.

Regardless of how little or much you use an LMS, it is clear that it can be a very powerful tool to help students achieve learning objectives, facilitate course work and communications, and improve accessibility.

Getting Started with an LMS: Step-by-step to getting your course ready

The following series of steps is a rough workflow for starting to use an LMS for the first time.

1

Find your course

Moodle course sites are automatically created for every course and course section each semester. Instructors and students are added to the sites by an automatic process.
To access Moodle:

  • Go to the MyConcordia portal and log in using your Concordia netname and password.
  • In the My Moodle Courses menu on the left side of the screen, select the link to your Moodle course site
2

Get training and consult resources

IITS offers training for Concordia faculty and staff on Moodle. For a complete list of scheduled training sessions and to register go to the Availability and Registration page of the IITS Web site.

IITS also provides documentation for using Moodle. Consult the Moodle LMS page for links to more resources. Another excellent resource is Moodle Docs, where you can find descriptions and step-by-step instructions.

3

Configure course settings

There are a number of settings that should be configured so that  your course looks the way you want and does what you want it to do. You can access these from the Edit settings link on the Administration block of your course homepage.

4

Set up weekly or topic sections

Once you have configured the format of your course, you can customize each of the weekly or topic sections. You can optionally change the title to add the theme for the week, add or remove sections and add decriptions for each section.

5

Add course activities and resources

For each weekly or topic section, add your activities: quizzes, assignments, branched lessons, wikis, discussion forums, etc. and any electronic resources (i.e. lecture slides & notes, readings, links to videos and other resources, etc.). It's best to organize them with clear labels so that all activities are easy to find.

6

Customize blocks

It is possible to customize which blocks appear and the order in which they appear on your course homepage. The HTML block allows the most flexibility in that you can add any content you want (text, images, links, etc.) and embed widgets from other sites (i.e. Twitter, news sites, etc.). Other blocks include: Activities, Calendar, Comments, and more.

Getting Started with LMS Functionality

The following LMS funtions are amongst the most popular and most useful for facilitating and managing online activities, assessments and communications.


References

deNoyelles, A., Zydney, J.M., & Chen, B. (2014). Strategies for creating a community of inquiry through online asynchronous discussions. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(1), 153-165.

 

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