Selecting a LMS and Switching From a Proprietary to Open Source LMS, Clayton R. Wright | Educational Technology | Computer Network

Clayton R.

Wright, PhD
crwr77@gmail.com

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It is an integrated and comprehensive software package that supports the:
‡ development, ‡ delivery, ‡ evaluation, and ‡ administration of online education or training activity.

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

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Support current face-to-face instruction? Provide online education? Or, both? Perhaps you also want to: Increase accessibility Develop new markets beyond your community Obtain more precise data about learning

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

I find that my fellow technologists (and administrators) seem to see teachers as lesser beings without understanding the difficulties they face on a daily basis. In the ivory tower we inhabit, many technologists produce 'solutions' for teachers which are not used as there is insufficient consultation with teachers to begin with about what they need and how they will use it.
(Ann MacCann, Centre for Learning Innovation, Australia. Message posted during PCF4 Online Discussion on Innovation, October 9, 006)

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

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Consider these perspectives: Learner Instructor Administrator Technical
Some features or attributes must be viewed from several perspectives.

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Getting Started
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oes the software facilitate the type of learning interactions that instructors and students need and want? Does the software enable the institution to achieve its vision and objectives?

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Capable Flexible Reliable/stable Secure Scalable Robust?

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Purchase or lease costs Training costs Implementation costs Maintenance costs Total cost of ownership

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Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

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Flexible browser requirements Able to use MS, Mac, and Linux operating systems Intuitive interface Ease of navigation Accessibility to all parts of the course Presence of a linked course glossary

J. Hamilton

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Sending and receiving e-mail Manipulating attachments Submitting assignments flexible procedures and file formats

Superkimbo Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Tracking progress Accessing marks Availability of collaborative features, e.g., chat, forums, sharable whiteboard Multi-lingual support

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Multimedia and mobile capabilities Ordering and paying for resources online Online registration and payment Availability /responsiveness of online help

Learners may want features that need to be obtained from third parties, but these features must be able to integrate with the LMS/CMS.

How accommodating is the software? Will it interface with social media? Can learners use their smartphones to access and retrieve information?

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Ease of use Able to handle existing course material Able to import material from another LMS Handles a variety of learning strategies Availability of templates / course shells Able to edit and change course material without assistance

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Accepts basic files such as MS Word, PPT, Excel, or OpenOffice Integrates with existing and future resources made with other software, e.g., Flash Accommodates course cartridges and testbanks provided by publishers

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Accepts a variety of audio and video files Allows for customization of course pages Able to handle x number of concurrent or simultaneous users

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Provides synchronous communication tools, especially electronic whiteboards Availability of collaborative tools Able to send individual and group e-mails

Availability of various assessment tools Provides online marking, grading, and record keeping Can export marks and grades to Excel Shows learners progress and utilization in a graphical form

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

BC ETUG Fall Workshop, 008

Able to customize rating scales Provides a calendar linking all activities Availability of online help

¢

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

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Type of student data collected Type of reports generated Tracking students activities Searchable databases with defined parameters Level of security, security customization, and confidentiality

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Instructors able to enroll and withdraw students Digital rights management capability Availability of productivity features, e.g., calendar, scheduling Seamless integration with other administrative systems, e.g., registration, HR, shipping
Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Able to send a broadcast to all or to a sub-group of users Training needed to support users start-up and on-going Cost to implement and maintain the system Adoption rate in local, national, and international communities

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Technical Perspective

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Technical Perspective
Hardware, software, and network requirements to support the system Compliance with recognized standards, e.g., the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) Seamless transfer of data to and from other institutional software

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Technical Perspective

continued

Minimum hardware, software, and network requirements for students Capable of adjusting to the various network speeds accessible to users Able to accommodate additional features such as podcasting and formatting for mobile devices

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Technical Perspective

continued

Resources required to support the technical needs of users Security authentication and encryption Scalability limits to the system, especially how many users can be enrolled and can use the system at the same time

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Technical Perspective

continued

Reliability Back-up features when, where, how often Accessibility to source code Customization procedures to be followed, programming language required Ease of maintenance and administration

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Technical Perspective

continued

Documentation provided Resources and training needed to implement and support hardware and software Training available from the vendor Level of support provided, if any effective and responsive

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Learners should come first!

Ingo Bernhardt

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Switching from Proprietary to Open Source
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It is computer software for which: The source code is available to the end-user. The source code can be modified by the end-user. There are no restrictions on redistribution or use. The licensing conditions are intended to facilitate continued re-use and wide availability.
(Joint Information Systems Committee of the Higher Education Funding Councils for England, Scotland, and Wales, http://www.jisc.ac.uk)

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Open(-source) software development is based on the deep-seated belief that software is something that should be shared freely so as to widen access to the benefits of technology for everyone.
(Wayne Mackintosh, COL. Message posted during UNESCO Open Software Online Discussion, October 1, 2006)

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Ivars Krutainis

Cost and to avoid potential increase in fees Need to free-up resources Lack of vendor support Difficult or unable to customize no access to source code or vendor slow to respond

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Issues with reliability and security Dissatisfied learners and faculty Existing software may not be kept current Concern regarding all eggs in one basket Limited scalability of existing software To participate in open, more collaborative communities
Handles

Why switch?
Continued

Address the use of multiple LMS on campus
Ryan Jesena

Ed Yourdon

Discuss issues that arise when mounting any major project management activity, e.g., resources, timelines, and the criteria for measuring success Determine learner and faculty goals

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Ascertain interoperatability with existing third party vendor products especially those associated with student registration, finances, human resources, shipping, and database management

Security Timing of conversion Cost of conversion savings emerge only after the conversion is complete
http://www.google.ca/images?q=educational+technology+photos

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Provide course shells with basic functions Provide instructors with design and technical support Consider outsourcing the conversion process; but remember, when they leave, they take their expertise with them

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

continued

Produce and distribute brief step-bystep instructions for frequent activities Place these sheets online too. Make available short online and face-to-face tutorials about the new LMS
Educational Technology Center, Valdosta State niversity

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

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Compare Check with other users Pilot Plan for implementation
Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET) provides independent reviews, side-by-side comparisons, and consulting services: EduTools, http://www.edutools.info

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Usually, when you try to please everyone, you fail to please anyone!

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Focus on meeting the needs of learners and instructors Be cautious of hype and vapourware Align the purchase to organizational goals

Selecting a LMS, Clayton R. Wright

Most importantly:

Plan each step of the implementation. Provide everyone with accessible, timely, and reliable support.

Matt Zick

J. Hamilton

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Clayton R. Wright, PhD crwr77@gmail.com

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