Owing to the poor student-teacher ratio, teachers are unable to provide individualised attention to students. Based on a student’s performance, Learning Management System (LMS) adapts to a student’s needs and provides customised solution to them. Thus, LMS is largely able to fill the gap. Moreover, considering the fact that today’s generation is technologically geared, teaching methods should be at forefront in adapting digital means of instructions. Teachers with the help of LMS can provide the much-needed check to the quality of content. There is a vast repository of digital content available on LMS, and students don’t have to look up content on web, and thereby save their time and also use superior-quality content. However, if they feel that any content recommended to them is too difficult or of poor quality, they can write a review stating the same.
Learning Management System: An Overview
LMS is a software application that aids in the creation, administration and documentation of content and its delivery. It also monitors the participation and performance of the students. This framework, a way of facilitating blended learning, distance learning, flipped classroom, is being adopted by the K–12 sector with enthusiasm. It provides a platform that facilitates collaboration among all the stakeholders in the K–12 sector, and assists students, teachers and institutions to approach learning in a structured manner.
Academic Planning: LMS facilitates both resource and session management. Teachers can share the lesson plans and course overview with students as and when required. This could enable active learning, if implemented effectively. Instead of being just passive recipients of knowledge, learners can now suggest certain preferred modules to be included in their course.
Asset Creation & Management: In-built applications like spreadsheet, word processor and slideshow presentations allow creation of test papers and course materials. This saves both time and energy. Teachers can access, add and edit the repository as and when required.
Monitoring & Tracking: Relevant and actionable reports on the performance of both teachers and students are presented based on their use of the course material.
Though these, and many other functionalities of LMS make it beneficial for delivery and management of content, there are certain limitations. For instance, LMS, a user-action-oriented software, responds only to the user’s request, without heeding to the needs to further the learning progress. Technology has almost always aimed at meeting challenges and then improving the present situation. The continuous process of development has yielded us Proactive Learning Management System (PLMS), a smarter LMS. Besides aiding in planning and tracking, it also gives feedback to students on their performance.
How is PLMS Different from LMS?
Contrary to LMS, which reacts to a user’s command or request, PLMS is designed to bring about a constructive action rather than just responding to commands. As defined by David L. Tennenhouse, proactive systems work on two premises – on behalf of the user, and also, on their own initiative, without any instruction from the user. PLMS provides a continuous analysis of the user's online interactions. Here, the learning is continuous and there is a strategic effort to meet the predefined learning goals of pedagogical theories like problem-based learning, situated learning, etc.
How does it Benefit Students?
Triggering of emotions in students is essential to bring about positive responses, thereby improving the learning process and progress. It could be achieved with the help of a PLMS by means of storytelling, animations, group work, etc. It is essential to keep an eye on the student’s attention span, because that determines whether the student follows the class. PLMS aids in designing a strategy that would keep the student motivated. It not only suggests the video contents but also which mode of learning should be used for which part of the lessons.
Based on the pattern of a student’s engagement and learning progress on the LMS platform, it tries to present motivational content to evoke positive emotions, and thus draws the student’s attention. For instance, if a student learns faster in the afternoon, and writes better in the evening, the computer would present the task suggestion list accordingly. PLMS can effectively gauge the learning gaps in elementary concepts and try to rectify the gaps at an early stage.
An edutech organisation should be in possession of proper infrastructure to design a PLMS and successfully provide the necessary support to run it effectively. The system should be embedded with super analytics functions to provide effective recommendation and feedback to students, without which, one of the most important aims -- personalised learning -- would remain unfulfilled. Moreover, there should be inclusion of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) digital content to make the most of the digital medium. With Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in vogue, edtech companies should provide mobile device management solutions, thereby making learning-teaching more convenient for students.