Learning Management System (LMS) - Fleksibel utdanning Norge

The learning platforms have a number of functions and possibilities for learning activities and teaching methods. They are also usually integrated with other advanced academic administration software. The choice of learning platform and provisions for its use is largely made at the institutional level or higher up. The task of the course developers and tutors will be to thoroughly familiarise themselves with the features of the platform and the opportunities they provide for learning activities, where the students and their learning work are key. A learning platform is often called a learning management system (LMS).

As a rule, the platforms have most of the following features:

  • Creating a learning design with controlled progression and subject matter structure (learning path).
  • Publishing and storing files in various formats, such as videos, audio files, images, texts, graphics and simulations.
  • Tools for links to subject matter, websites and other open or closed tools. Including links to closed tools outside the learning platform may in some cases be seamless, thereby not requiring a new login.
  • A digital bulletin board for messages to students from the course tutor.
  • Possibility to establish discussion forums for different purposes and groups of different sizes, from plenary to small groups. Often using multimedia tools.
  • Test tools, which include the possibility of automatic feedback.
  • Common documents, folders and/or collaboration function.
  • Chat function.
  • Polls.
  • Submission tools (for files and portfolios) with feedback function.
  • Possibilities for self-assessment and peer assessment of work and assignments.

One advantage of using the platform is that both the tutors’ and the students’ activities are filed in one place. This means that students do not have to look for information, messages and learning resources in multiple places. The platform has features for sending messages to and publishing posts for everyone; groups, individuals and colleagues. It can also be used to assess students’ work and their learning process and give them feedback. 

Controlled learning or learning paths can be created in learning platforms, meaning that students follow a set order. They can be organised to prevent students moving on to the next level before the previous one is completed, or so that the various parts do not become available until a certain date.

Learning platforms may be suitable for structuring the subject matter, dividing it into different blocks that build on each other, and creating good progress. Learning resources in different formats, work assignments, collaborative arrangements, discussion and reflection topics can then be assigned to the different cycles, modules or groups. 

Educational institutions often use a combination of several types of software. They often interact, so that users experience them as one. This applies, among other things, to administration and perhaps exam solutions, which are often managed by people other than the tutors. 

Advice and tips:

  • Use the platform as the course’s formal learning arena.
  • Learn to use the platform in an expedient pedagogical manner by attending courses, cooperating with others or watching videos with tips on use.
  • Clarify expectations of activity in the learning platform to the students, preferably in writing.
  • Encourage students to discuss subject matter in the platform chat or forum, so that everyone can benefit from it.

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