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Using a Learning Management System to Facilitate Learning Outcomes Assessment

Copyright © 2010. 19 pages.
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DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-853-1.ch008
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MLA

Tello, Steven F. and Luvai Motiwalla. "Using a Learning Management System to Facilitate Learning Outcomes Assessment." Learning Management System Technologies and Software Solutions for Online Teaching: Tools and Applications. IGI Global, 2010. 138-156. Web. 25 Oct. 2014. doi:10.4018/978-1-61520-853-1.ch008

APA

Tello, S. F., & Motiwalla, L. (2010). Using a Learning Management System to Facilitate Learning Outcomes Assessment. In Y. Kats (Ed.), Learning Management System Technologies and Software Solutions for Online Teaching: Tools and Applications (pp. 138-156). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. doi:10.4018/978-1-61520-853-1.ch008

Chicago

Tello, Steven F. and Luvai Motiwalla. "Using a Learning Management System to Facilitate Learning Outcomes Assessment." In Learning Management System Technologies and Software Solutions for Online Teaching: Tools and Applications, ed. Yefim Kats, 138-156 (2010), accessed October 25, 2014. doi:10.4018/978-1-61520-853-1.ch008

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Abstract

Increased demands for accountability among state and federal policy makers require that colleges and universities improve the process of measuring student learning outcomes. Despite a growing need, there has been limited development of integrated, electronic processes and tools that facilitate assessment of student progress toward program-level learning outcomes. Collecting student course materials, classifying by program and course-level objectives and reporting the results remains a tedious and labor-intensive task. This project demonstrates how course-level assessment data from a learning management system (LMS) can be utilized for program-level outcomes assessment. A pilot system was developed to integrate data from a LMS to provide continuous reporting of program and course-level assessment with minimal additional effort from faculty and students. This chapter shares the authors’ outcomes assessment system development approach, faculty development approach, and the lessons learned from their project, including the challenges confronted during system implementation.
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INTRODUCTION

Over the past decade institutions of higher education have focused increased attention on the assessment of student learning outcomes. In part, this is a reaction to increased calls for accountability in higher education as expressed by various political and competitive forces, encouraged by the debate surrounding the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (Lovett, 2004; Shulock, 2004). However, it also reflects a growing understanding on the part of faculty and administrators regarding the role outcomes assessment plays in both shaping the student learning experience as well as shaping the academic programs and curriculum from which students graduate. Both regional and professional accreditation agencies acknowledge this growing call for accountability and have integrated assessment standards into the accreditation process (AASCB, 2005). Measurement of these broad program-level outcomes requires program administrators, faculty, advisory boards and other constituent groups to determine what metrics constitute mastery or demonstration of a particular skill or accomplishment.

This expanded interest in outcomes assessment, while important and welcomed, creates several challenges for college faculty and administrators. For example, the manual process of monitoring the integration and achievement of learning outcomes within courses and degree programs is typically a labor intensive, paper-based process often driven by accreditation visits and timelines. Faculty and administrators are asked to report which outcomes are addressed by which course activities and how student achievement is assessed. This information, along with sample student work, is then collected by department chairs and deans who organize and present it to visiting accreditation teams. Therefore, there is a need for a systematic and automated approach to linking course level activities and assignments with program goals and institutional mission for assessment purposes.

While assessment as a tool for improving student learning and educational programs offers great promise, existing processes for presenting outcomes assessment and collecting and summarizing student achievement are somewhat limited. In a 2008 report, Eduventures found that 76% of institutions surveyed identified difficulty in collecting and analyzing outcomes data as a “top five challenge” in implementing comprehensive assessment programs. There is a need for a more systematic process and an easier method for linking course level activities and assignments with program and institutional-level learning outcomes (Maki, 2004). Some institutions are experimenting with the use of ePortfolio systems to collect and organize student learning artifacts over the course of their tenure with an institution, and others use dedicated electronic outcomes assessment systems to collect and report on student achievement toward course, program and institutional objectives. However most institutions surveyed by Eduventures had not yet purchased an institutional software system for managing the outcomes assessment process

Although most universities have not purchased dedicated outcomes assessment systems, a growing number already own or license a Learning Management System (LMS) system. Today’s LMS have the ability to capture and store every course activity, whether an exam, assignment, project, or discussion, along with the grades and evaluation of each of these activities. This capability allows the LMS to be used to facilitate the collection, analysis, organization, and reporting of course-level assessment data. The authors of this chapter initiated the use of a LMS system for outcomes assessment in an effort to improve the learning environment of students, to enhance the communication between program administrators and faculty, and to satisfy the reporting needs of their professional accreditation agency. This chapter:

  • Examines the role of the LMS in facilitating the measurement of student learning outcomes,

  • Discusses the technical approach used in adapting an LMS to measure student outcomes assessment,

  • Discusses strategies for facilitating faculty adoption and use of the system,

  • Reviews the challenges confronted and lessons learned from this case study,

  • Discusses future directions in the use of an LMS for outcomes assessment.

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Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Anthony A. Piña
In this chapter, the reader is taken through a macro level view of learning management systems, with a particular emphasis on systems offered by... Sample PDF
An Overview of Learning Management Systems
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Chapter 2
Michael Piotrowski
What is an E-Learning Platform?
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Chapter 3
Wolfgang Hommel
Once a prototype for a Learning Management System (LMS) has successfully been set up and tested, the demand for putting it into production use... Sample PDF
Security and Privacy Management for Learning Management Systems
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Chapter 4
Cerstin Mahlow
In this chapter the author discuss the introduction of an e-learning system to enhance teaching and learning at a university. The focus is on the... Sample PDF
Choosing the Appropriate E-Learning System for a University
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Chapter 5
Juley McGourty, Angelica Risquez
On-line environments have been incorporated in the Distance learning programmes of the International Equine Institute (IEI) in order to address... Sample PDF
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Chapter 6
Danilo M. Baylen, Mary Hancock, Carol M. Mullen, Mary Angela Coleman
This chapter focuses on the impact of a change in the use of a learning management system (LMS) at one university. Survey data captured faculty... Sample PDF
Preparing Faculty for a Learning Management System Transition
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Chapter 7
Sergey Butakov, Vladislav Shcherbinin
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Plagiarism Detection Tools in Learning Management Systems
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Chapter 8
Steven F. Tello, Luvai Motiwalla
Increased demands for accountability among state and federal policy makers require that colleges and universities improve the process of measuring... Sample PDF
Using a Learning Management System to Facilitate Learning Outcomes Assessment
$30.00
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Chapter 9
Daniel T.H. Tan, Adrian D.H. Lu, Sheryl E. Wong
Project work is an established learning activity for students. It is a learner effort-based endeavour towards the higher learning objectives or... Sample PDF
eUreka: A Campus-Wide Project Work Management System to Support Constructivism, Reflection and Collaborative Learning
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Chapter 10
Ian Douglas
Much research into educational technology is focused on tools for supporting teaching and learning. In contrast to this work, relatively little... Sample PDF
Improving the Tracking of Student Participation and Effort in Online Learning
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Chapter 11
Clark Shah-Nelson
Instant messaging and text chat, online collaborative whiteboards, web conferencing and other synchronous Web 2.0 tools are increasingly finding... Sample PDF
Open Synchronicity for Online Class Support
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Chapter 12
Vickie Cook, Kara L. McElwrath
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Leading Toward Improved Collaboration
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Chapter 13
Paloma Moreno-Clari, Esteban Sanchis-Kilders
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Integrating New Open Source Assessment Tools into dotLearn LMS
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Chapter 14
Nory B. Jones, Christian Graham
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Improving Hybrid and Online Course Delivery Emerging Technologies
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Chapter 15
Kam Hou Vat
This chapter investigates the pedagogical issues of student electronic portfolios (e-portfolios) in the context of personalized instruction for... Sample PDF
Developing Student e-Portfolios for Outcomes-Based Assessment in Personalized Instruction
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Chapter 16
Ricardo Javier Rademacher Mena
With the modification of the 50/50 rule by the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005, the purely online university has become increasingly... Sample PDF
Best Practices for Teaching and Designing a Pure Online Science Classroom
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Chapter 17
Tobias Zimmermann, Karen-Lynn Bucher, Daniel Hurtado
Attendance at classical lectures usually leads to rather poor learning success. A wide variety of studies show that while lectures are as effective... Sample PDF
Hybrid Dialog: Dialogic Learning in Large Lecture Classes
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Chapter 18
Vladimir V. Riabov, Bryan J. Higgs
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Software Tools and Virtual Labs in Online Computer-Science Classes
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Chapter 19
Hao Jiang, John M. Carroll, Craig Ganoe
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Kelley Walters, Melanie Shaw, David Long
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