A Learning Management System (LMS) provides a set of tools that help a faculty member create a secure website for a class. The instructor provides the content and the system supplies structure, interactivity, and management. The “power tools” include
- Gradebook (students only see their own grades),
- Tests and Quizzes (incl. anonymous surveys), and
- Assignments (distribute and collect work online).
Here are a few possibilities for teaching and learning:
- Use the Tests and Quizzes tool for pre-class reading checks.
- In a large class, use the Gradebook tool to post exam scores.
- Use the Lessons tool to structure student reading and activities, and
- Use a Forum to encourage discussion of key topics or concepts.
Other names for an LMS are Course Management System (CMS) or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Notre Dame uses Sakai; other systems include Blackboard, Canvas, BrightSpace (Desire2Learn), and Moodle.
Your textbook may also offer a proprietary LMS or “homework system” that may provide discipline-specific benefits. Examples include language learning and classes that require the evaluation of mathematical formulas. Publisher sites can often be ‘plugged in’ to Sakai, providing seamless access for students.
At Notre Dame
- Sakai support contact: OIT Help Desk (631-8111) firstname.lastname@example.org
- EdX – the Office of Digital Learning uses this LMS to develop online courses
- Contact: Office of Digital Learning (631-3075) email@example.com
- Consultation regarding tools and strategies to promote effective learning
- Earn the Sakai badge through the Kaneb Center’s Teaching Well Using Technology program
- Sakai Help
- Sakai and the 7 Principles for Good Teaching
[updated August 2018]