Tailoring Your Learning Management System to Your School


learning management systems

There are many learning management systems (LMS) out there, but knowing that there are specific software programs tailored to different grade levels may benefit your school. For example, Haiku LMS is geared towards a K-12 audience, whereas other platforms might target college students.

“The Haiku platform is very attractive, and extremely user-friendly, which makes it appealing for young users in primary and secondary schools,” Susan Smith Nash, an elearning trainer and educator said on Haiku’s testimonials.

Personalizing Important Features

Haiku also supports community-driven software, meaning teachers help and plan new features. This way, the features fit what is needed in the classroom better than if someone who did not work in the school system had a more active role in feature planning of the system. Haiku can even help with implementation of their LMS.

Furthermore, Amy Hostetler, Chair of the Department of English at Goshen College says Haiku has “revolutionized” her teaching. Other educators have described the platform as the best that has happened for elearning and have praised the company for the accessibility and simplicity of the software.

One of the main reasons many educators use Haiku has to do with four variables: availability, simplicity, organization and affordability.

How to Start an LMS at Your School

A few details must be decided before starting a successful LMS system at your school.

“An organization should ask itself, what do we want to do with an LMS and what do we already have that the LMS would need to interconnect with? Do we have special needs, such as multiple-language support? E-commerce for selling training? Tracking compliance training? Different portals for different groups? Social media and networking? What size is the organization?” Senior Analyst for Brandon Hall Research Tom Werner said, from the eLearningcoach.

“This may take quite a bit of discussion inside your own organization. The IT department should be very, very involved. Your HR department should also be very involved because there may be an HR system that has some of these capabilities and needs to be connected with.” he said.

How Classrooms are Benefiting

Classrooms across the country are reaping the benefits of learning management systems.

Here are a few links to the classroom websites of teachers and schools that use LMS’:

  1. Indian Creek Fourth Grade
  2. Fifth Grade Math Resources
  3. Eighth Grade Language Arts
  4. Middle School Band

As you can see, the classrooms that utilize websites for teaching convey much information in a convenient way for both students and parents.

Providing Structure for Students

The examples also show how schools with LMS’ provide a clearer structure regarding what is expected from the student. LMS Class sites can contain weekly activities, thematic units, detailed course content and calendar applications, among others. Not only do these systems allow students and teachers to stay connected, they also allow students to take an active role in learning. Many of the classroom resource sites have a login and a place where they allow the student to check their grade in the course. Staying informed and up to date has never been easier with LMS.’

But learning management systems can also appeal to students’ drive for new technological advances.

Figuring out Technology

Moodle is another LMS that is utilized in K-12 classrooms. In the site’s community forum, educator Paula Clough stated, “my experience with elementary age children is that we don’t usually give them enough credit. They love technology and they will put the effort into trying to figure it out and make it work.”

Therefore, more usable technology in the classroom may be just what students are looking for.

“The possibilities are endless,” Clough said. “Once you start and you and your students become familiar with what is there and how to use it, you will find more and more what you want to do.”

The beginning of a learning management program is just a stepping stone to future endeavors.

Maintaining Successful Systems

Implementation may be the most difficult step of establishing an LMS. Once all of the planning and basics are worked out among a team, the project should not be very difficult to implement.

Refer to the following resources to learn more about maintaining a successful system:

  1. Syberworks LMS offers a podcast about implementation
  2. Angel LMS provides help with technology and systems integration ideas, as well as an Implementation Guide
  3. Joomla LMS also talks about Implementation

Another comprehensive site that is helpful for carrying out your learning plan is Moodle.org. With this site, education is being transformed through technology. The community forums are especially helpful for troubleshooting the small details of your program.

In one of the Moodle forums, educator Dan McGuire wrote that, “Moodle is the best thing since the invention of the pencil for teaching writing to any age.”

Changing Times

Therefore, technology is certainly changing the way schools are operating and learning management systems seem to be beneficial across the board.

As an article in The Journal said, course learning management systems can do it all:

“Need to take a course online due to a scheduling conflict? No problem. Want to see what courses your children are enrolled in? Check. Create online professional development videos for teachers? Done.”

The enthusiasm for these systems illustrates the fact that, for right now, LMS’ belong in schools.

“As we have more and more ways of getting information (phones, apps, games, and who knows what else), LMSs will certainly evolve to support them.” Werner said on the eLearningcoach.

About the author -

Kelly McLendon

Kelly McLendon is studying Environmental Policy and Journalism. She can be reached via email

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