Checklist for an Effective Learning Management System

learning management system

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application that helps plan, implement, and assess online and offline learning and training. It reduces duplication of content creation, as all the content is placed on one server or cloud platform. It helps assess students and study their learning behaviour, which helps create effective lessons and improve results.

A good learning management system can make learning and teaching effective and efficient. There are myriad LMS’s in the market that make management of content, students and teachers’ data management, and admin activities smooth.

In this article, we have tried to cater to the needs of school administrators, educators, parents, and students, and have created a checklist of functionalities that educators and learning management system creators should aim for. The list has been divided into a few main categories as per the requirements of different users of an LMS system, and it also covers a few other functionalities.

Schools and educators may use the following list to identify the objectives they want to achieve through their LMS, and LMS creators may use this checklist to make their product holistic.

Strategic decisions

LMS for schools

  • Users—Admin, Teacher, Parent and Student Portals: Choose the users you want to make part of your school’s LMS environment
  • Learning content management system (LCMS): Availability or authoring of reusable chunks of content, so that there is no content duplication on the portal, and the same content can be bundled to serve different groups of learners
  • Affordability
  • Online and offline accessibility
  • Blended, teacher-led, and flipped-learning
  • Multiple-delivery platforms: Whiteboard, desktop and mobile-learning

IT & Admin

LMS Admin

  • Installation of platform and content (hosted, local, SaaS, cloud)
  • Locations served by the platform
  • Legacy system integration: Ease of integration with existing school or content providers’ platforms
    • Single sign-on: For LMS and licensed content platform
    • Customise or restructure licensed content as per the curriculum
    • Chosen content providers should provide integration support across various LMS’s, for assignment of resources and extraction of user analysis
  • On-boarding or registration management – Admin, student, parent and teacher-registration
    • Self Registration
    • Registration by admin
  • Multi-organisation structure: For a group of schools
  • Data import/export
  • Data management
  • Event management (for teachers too)
  • Leader/Teacher scheduling
  • Surveys and survey management (for teachers too)
  • Administrative reporting
  • Maintenance (backups, etc.)
  • Software development kit

Teachers

LMS - teacher

Teacher – Admin roles

  • Lesson and event calendar management
  • Enrolling students in a classroom
  • Student and parent management
  • Collaboration among parents and teachers

Teacher – Content management

  • Pre-loaded content library and catalogue
  • Lesson plans
  • Authoring, curating, uploading or managing:
    • Lessons
    • 3D simulation and games’
    • Concept map
    • Assignments
    • Multimedia: Video, audio
    • Podcasts
    • Other resources
  • Multi-lingual courseware
  • Bundling of content to map it to the curriculum (part of LCMS): Resources and assessment-assignment tools to give relevant content’s access to students of different grades, so that they are not bombarded with too much information


Teacher – Student assessment

  • Built-in assessment content and tools
  • Tools for teachers to create assignments
  • Assigning tests to the class or an individual
  • Auto-scoring of tests and assignments
  • Analysis of score, for class and individuals: Identifying weak areas for a class or student
  • Visualisation of score analysis
  • Recommendation of resources as per an individual or class’ weak points
  • Formative exam engine
  • Summative exam engine
  • Report-card management: Sharing of results with students and parents
  • Customisation of report cards

Teacher – Classroom management

  • Class attendance tracking
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Lecture recording and sharing
  • Live-virtual classes
  • Student screen monitoring and sharing
  • Goal setting and development tracking – For class and students
  • Collaboration among students and teachers: Sharing feedback, seeking answers, sharing knowledge
  • Assignment of learning resources, homework and projects: Content platform and learning management system should be integrated in a way that the resources can be assigned to the class or individuals, as per topics, chapters, subjects, etc.
  • Performance Assessment: Capturing of students’ learning data, its analysis and visualisation, so that teachers can plan their lessons better as per the behaviour of the students
  • Management of student performance appreciation badges (or have an automated system of appreciation)
  • Sharing performance metrics and feedback with parents

Students

students LMS

  • Access to learning resources: In-class or at home for self-paced learning
  • Collaboration with teachers—receiving and submitting assignments, and seeking answers
  • Interactivity with content
  • Social learning and online collaboration with peers to share knowledge and do assignments
  • Doing and submitting assignments
  • Tracking learning progress
  • Tracking assignment results
  • Badges for achievements and good score
  • Revision and bookmarking tools
  • Note-taking tools
  • Practice tests

Parents

parents LMS

  • Tracking child’s learning
  • Tracking ongoing and upcoming events
  • Tracking child’s assessment report
  • Collaborating with teachers to get and give feedback

Design features and support

Learning management system support and design

  • Special needs/inclusive design: Alt-text, audio, font-size adjustment, colour adjustment, print in PDF or brail formats, transcripts and closed-captions of videos, etc.
  • Multi-lingual user interface
  • Good users experience (UX) and pleasing user interface (UI)
  • Customisable functionalities, user-interface, branding, categories, labels, and reports
  • Notifications: Email and SMS
  • User access controls
  • Software updates, modifications as per emerging industry-wide standards, and added functionalities
  • Industry-relevant support and training
  • Compliance – Experience API, AICC/SCORM
  • User data security

Commercial

learning management system price

  • Licensing (Free, Trial, Open Source, Paid)
  • Perpetual or term license of LMS and content
  • E-Commerce: To allow subscription of authored content to other schools and users
  • Multi-Currency: To make and receive payments

We have tried to make this list as comprehensive as possible for educators and Learning management system creators to make informed decisions while planning to license or create a platform respectively. Educators can choose the functionalities they want in a learning management system with the help of the above list, and choose a learning management system that meets those objectives. We will update the list as and when new features and standards emerge in the market. We hope you find it useful. If you think that we have missed any important feature, write to us using the comment box below.


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