LIT2T Leadership Guide

6 TO: TABLE OF CONTENTS Learning management systems offer features and functionality that promote and support good administrative practices. LMSs increase efficiency through resource sharing. Courses on an LMS can be duplicated for additional classes in your centre at the same LINC level; whether for night school or for larger centres, this is a great timesaver. At the end of each term, course records can be archived and the courses themselves can be reset for the next cohort of learners. As well, commonly used elements—such as calendars, multimedia activities or directions to a local health service provider—can be shared with other courses. Another way that learning management systems contribute to a language training centre’s efficiency is through standardization of course elements. In the LearnIT2teach training, instructors are exposed to professionally crafted resources and activities. Quizzes, wikis, forums, polls, audio activities and even document layout are modeled and provided for the language instructors. These are based on the LINC 1-4 Classroom Activities (2009) and LINC 5-7 Classroom Activities (2010) books. Additional activities have been added to the courseware to demonstrate how the LMS can be used to support PBLA. Standardization of reporting features, such as the grade book in an LMS, makes it easy for instructors to provide evidence of course work and skill building activities to their administrators when requested. LMSs record grades for a variety of activities, and individual or class reports can be generated for documentation purposes. In addition to the grade book feature, learning management systems have tracking capabilities. The Activity completion report shows which activities students have competed in a course. Currently activity completion has not been set up in the courseware; however, some instructors see its value and have edited their courseware to leverage this function. Statistical tracking is useful for identifying usage of resources by the centre as a whole, by classes or by individuals. This feature can assist in monitoring the effectiveness of resources or activities hosted on the LMS. Courses and their elements can be monitored for continual improvement possibilities. As well, administrators may use the grade book results, tracking statistics and other grades to compare course sections. This will help determine what is most effective at your centre for specific language proficiency levels. Educational administrators appreciate the flexibility of delivery that learning management systems offer. Out-of-sequence courses, continuous intake, short summer terms or intensive courses all benefit from the LMS structure. Course elements can be hidden, displayed by pre-set timing or altered to suit special needs. Also, new elements can be easily added or re-sequenced. The Moodle mobile app, allows learning to happen anywhere at anytime. This app permits the learners the opportunity of studying on public transit. The app also makes mobile device based learning using the centre’s WIFI a possibility. Learning management systems can be used as a centre’s informal internal homepage. A centre can place their brand, logo, colours and centre name in each course they deliver using the LMS. Branding can help build a connection between the centre and the learners. There are communication features that administrators can select to improve their contact with the staff and learners. A Moodle News forum (also called Announcements) broadcasts an announcement-style communication that will appear to all learners and instructors in the course. As well, polls or surveys can be shared to solicit opinions or feedback. Instant messaging, and emails are also standard features of learning management systems that can be leveraged for different purposes.