Learning management systems are software applications designed specifically for online classrooms and technology learning online platforms. Most online college and university programs, from dedicated online schools to state university systems with distance education offerings, utilize a learning management system to administer its distance learning classroom environment.
This article gives tips on how best to use technology learning online to make the online classroom experience a positive and convenient one.
- 1 Overview of the Learning Management System Online Classroom
- 2 Learning Classroom Navigation in Technology Learning Online
- 3 Technology Learning Online Classroom Communication
- 4 Learning Management System Research Resources
- 5 Technology Learning Online Classroom Support
- 6 Benefits of Learning Management System Online Classrooms
- 7 Pros and Cons of Distance Learning for Adults
- 8 Pros of Distance Education and Online Learning
- 9 Cons of Distance Education and Online Learning
Overview of the Learning Management System Online Classroom
There are a number of learning management system applications on the market, from Blackboard to Moodle, which manage the learning classroom environment.
The primary element that all learning management systems share is a centralized organizational structure for online classroom resources. The first thing students should do when trying to familiarize themselves with the technology learning online structure is to get accustomed to how the learning management system is organized.
This can best be done by touring the primary page which comes up after logging in. In most learning management systems, the first page (which can be called the home page) contains access to live online classrooms, course assignments, asynchronous lectures, library resources, learning materials (such as electronic readings), and learning classroom support services (such as academic advising).
Learning management systems are typically very organized in the way they present the online classroom experience. Just as a student on-campus will find individual classes in specific buildings and rooms, so too online students will find their courses organized on their own pages.
Students will find their assignments, lectures, learning classroom resources, and exam schedules housed on each individual course page, and students should be sure to become familiar with this structure and remember to download all available assignments and schedules.
Technology Learning Online Classroom Communication
Most learning management systems create dynamic ways in which students can simulate the discussions found in physical learning classrooms. While some technology learning online systems create discussion forums for each course, others provide access to chat applications which allow students and professors to communicate in real-time.
Both elements, discussion forums and chat applications, are typically organized by course on the learning management system, and successful online students “attend” class by participating in these virtual online classroom elements.
Learning Management System Research Resources
One of the advantages of technology learning online systems is that they can provide, from a centralized location, access to a host of resources, including access to electronic libraries and databases for academic journals and textbooks.
Online classroom students are encouraged to explore the research resources provided by a given school’s learning management system, and conduct original research from said sources in order to have a successful learning classroom experience.
Some students fall into the trap of relying on discussion forums for their research, thus taking advantage of one of technology learning online’s principal advantages: data archiving.
Because discussion forums are archived, many students rely on the work of others in discussion form. However, to be successful, students should learn how to navigate the online research resources provided by the learning management system.
Technology Learning Online Classroom Support
Another advantage learning management systems provide students is easy access to learning classroom support services, such as academic advising, mentoring, tutoring, financial aid services, and technology learning online support.
While on-campus students must trek from building to building in search of personalized help, online students have access to such help from their centralized home page (via email or chat applications). Students are encouraged to take advantage of these services to have a positive and effective online classroom experience.
Benefits of Learning Management System Online Classrooms
The online learning classroom experience can be a very positive and convenient one for students who take advantage of the centralized organizational structure from which a myriad of resources are available.
Pros and Cons of Distance Learning for Adults
Before deciding to enroll in distance education, you need to determine if you are suited for online learning. Distance education has pros and it has cons, all of which need to be considered prior to committing to an online degree program or course.
Thought needs to be given to several aspects of learning online, such as: self-directed task completion, preference for studying alone, preference for self-paced learning, and above average computer proficiency skills.
Other factors for determining your suitability for distance education, aside from the above, include a thorough review the pros and cons of distance education. The review should be honest and critical, because once a decision to enroll in a distance education course acted upon there is no turning back.
Pros of Distance Education and Online Learning
The following are some of the pros online learning offers:
- Completion of school work is based on your schedule, which makes distance education more adaptable to varying work schedules and family events.
- Ideal for those who are comfortable with computers and have above average technology skills.
- You are not hindered by slower class members, because you study alone.
- A degree can be earned quicker than enrolling in traditional education settings of attending classroom classes.
- Online courses are less disruptive on family, because you complete course work around family events.
- You are in charge of your own course and homework completion, as you meet course requirements.
- You can never be tardy or absent, because you complete work at your convenience.
- An online degree earned from a reputable institution is the same as attending classroom courses at the same institution.
- Advances in technology based interactive and virtual worlds are making it easier to complete course requirements in engineering and science programs.
- You can attend school in your pajamas or complete course work anywhere.
- Prior college work is credit typically receives more favorable acceptance from online college programs.
Cons of Distance Education and Online Learning
The following are the inevitable cons of distance education:
- Distance education typically cost more than traditional classroom settings, because convenience aspects require additional support from the college.
- Not all financial aid packages are available for online learning. Visit Distance Education Financial Aid Opportunities for additional details and requirements.
- Some academic content areas are not suited for online learning, such as math and science courses.
- Studying alone has its drawbacks, because the professor and classmates are not immediately available to ask questions or share thoughts.
- It is more difficult to learn through group work and collaborative projects, because of distance and time.
- Not all degree programs are available online, although additional degree programs are becoming available every day.
- When a burning question comes to mind in the middle of the night there is no one readily available to answer your question, you must e-mail the professor and wait for a response.
- You need to have above average computer skills to access discussion boards, virtual worlds, interactive websites, and ability to search the Internet for resources.