Remote Access and Course Management Software

Remote Access and Course Management Software

Diane M. Fulkerson (University of South Florida Polytechnic Library, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0234-2.ch007
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In addition to electronic reserves, instructors can link database materials through course management systems (CMS). This type of software allows faculty to link articles from databases into their course materials. This chapter provides an overview of different course management software and explains how instructors or librarians can link course materials into these systems.
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Course management systems (CMS) provide faculty with the ability to teach classes to students in distance education programs. A CMS allows faculty to incorporate a variety of media and technology into their online class. Through the CMS an instructor can upload Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, links to web sites, videos, and podcasts. Students likewise can upload the same materials into the CMS for assignments or discussions. A face-to-face class can use the CMS for assignments and exams but their primary use is with online programs and classes. There are both open source and proprietary learning management systems. Two of the more widely know open source CMS are Moodle and Sakai. The major proprietary CMS vendor is Blackboard but there are others including CERTPOINT, iversity, eCollege, and Desire2Learn are just a few of the many choices available to colleges and universities. Once the university selects the LMS faculty and students receive training on how the software functions and how to design their course using the features available in the software. Students receive training on accessing course materials, post to discussion boards, submit assignments and take exams. Online courses taught synchronously where the students and instructor meet at a specific day and time and work in the course management system in real time. The instructor can push web pages, presentations, videos and podcasts to their students and students have the opportunity to interact with the instructor and their fellow-students during the synchronous instruction session. There are many software options for synchronous teaching and some are Elluminate, Adobe Connect, Microsoft Live Meeting and Wimba. All of these options are stand-alone software that a distance-learning program can incorporate into the course management system.

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