Adoption and Application of CMS: Crucial Steps for an Effective E-Learning Component

Adoption and Application of CMS: Crucial Steps for an Effective E-Learning Component

Brett Milliner (The Center for English as a Lingua Franca, Tamagawa University, Machida, Japan) and Travis Cote (The Center for English as a Lingua Franca, Tamagawa University, Machida, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCALLT.2016070104
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Abstract

Many tertiary institutions tout their implementation of e-learning technology as a way to lure prospective students, and promised implementation of e-learning strategies in college programs is crucial for securing valuable federal government grants. At the core of most e-learning strategies is the institution's course management system (CMS). A CMS facilitates efficient course management, increased learning outcomes, and greater student autonomy. However, getting faculty and staff to adopt the CMS has proved challenging (Black, Beck, Dawson, Jinks & DiPietro, 2007). Applying a modified technology acceptance model (TAM) (Alharbi & Drew, 2014), teachers in a university-level English language program were asked to share their opinions about the Blackboard® CMS. This study reports on faculty application of the Blackboard CMS, faculty perceptions of the Blackboard CMS according to a TAM analysis, and presents steps for augmenting the effective use of the CMS in all English courses.
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Introduction

Online learning or e-learning has become a crucial component of most tertiary institution’s education initiatives (Alharbi & Drew, 2014; Park, Lee & Cheong, 2008). Moreover, universities are promoting their use of e-learning technology as a means to lure prospective students, and promised implementation of e-learning strategies is in some cases crucial for securing federal government grants. Within the large variety of e-learning technologies on the market, universities around the world have invested in electronic course management systems (CMSs) for a range of purposes (Alharbi & Drew, 2014; Fathema & Sutton, 2013; Toland, White, Millis & Bolliger, 2014). Defined by McCabe and Meuter (2011, p. 150) as “an integrated set of web-based tools to help facilitate course administration and delivery”, a CMS makes it possible for teachers to address different audiences and it allows them to diversify their teaching style. Students benefit from the flexibility of accessing class assignments at times convenient for them. Moreover, students can schedule class work around family or part-time work, and a CMS facilitates learning through a variety of activities (McCabe & Meuter, 2011). CMS systems, such as Blackboard (http://www.campussuite.com) are designed to help instructors manage their courses both electronically and remotely, fulfilling such tasks as document sharing, assignment distribution and collection, markable quizzes, wikis, blogs, discussion boards, exam management, and grading management (Alharbi & Drew, 2014; Park et al., 2008; Toland et al., 2014).

This study aims to report on faculty application of the Blackboard CMS in a university-level English as a lingua Franca (ELF) program, share the faculty perceptions of the Blackboard CMS according to a TAM analysis, and present steps for augmenting the effective use of the CMS in all ELF classes.

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