CURRENT USAGE AND FUTURE TRENDS OF LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS: A CASE STUDY IN ASIA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY
Asia Pacific University (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Learning Management Systems (LMS) have become an integral component of the education systems in most universities for an effective blended learning system. Choosing an LMS is a critical decision which can have a significant impact on the academic institutions’ ability to help students meet their educational objectives. With emerging standards like SCORM-2004, a seamlessly integration of different forms of educational contents (e.g., lecture notes, videos, and presentation slides) into exiting LMS can be achieved .
The Ritsumeikan Asia pacific University (APU) in Japan, which has embarked on a mission of creating leaders for the world through its Science, Management and Economics Courses delivered with a unique bilingual curriculum to a 6000 student community coming from 81 countries, has been using increasingly using many computer supported learning and teaching modalities to promote its educational delivery. Since its establishment in 2000, Asia Pacific University has been using an array of Learning Management systems ranging from simple file sharing system to fully functional commercial implementations like WebCt, BlackBoard, etc. The recent migration from WEBCT to Blackboard is closely analyzed and the academic disciplines best supposed by the Current LMS are identified. APU has spent a significant financial investment on Learning Management Systems as well as effort from the faculty and the academic support center to bring its quality of education to the current state since 2000. However, the observations of number of courses directly benefited by LMS usage and number of access hits questions whether APU’s effort is directed towards establishing a true interactive blended learning environment.
In this paper, we present the current status of Learning Management Systems in APU, their usage and the academic pedagogies. Based on the access statistics, lecture contents and data volumes we analyze the usage scenarios of LMS in different academic fields. Through questionnaires to students and teachers we justify most of our observations above and identify the problems to be attended. The observed highest LMS usage in linguistic studies for foreigners shows many good practices that could be applied in other fields of teaching. It is also elaborately argued how LMS functionalities can be customized and to support each academic pedagogy to achieve the maximum benefits. We also show how smart classrooms can be introduced effectively to enhanced the quality of education offered through classrooms with as large as 250 student population. Based on the overall observations we present several recommendations specifically for ASIA Pacific University to enhanced its LMS framework and in generally for academic institutions to that are considering adopting these technologies.
Keywords: learning management system, lms, blackboard, computer assisted language learning, call.