The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Clayton R. Wright

Selecting an Open-Source Online Course Development and Delivery Platform: An Academic Perspective

Clayton R. Wright

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     Last modified: July 29, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/02/2006 10:00 AM in ST Windsor B
     (View Schedule)

Increasingly, educators are implementing course development and delivery platforms to place their distance courses online in order to expand accessibility to educational opportunities, make use of multimedia capabilities, and provide effective management of the teaching and learning experience. These platforms are also referred to as course management systems (CMS), learning management systems (LMS), learning portals, or e-learning platforms. They are integrated, comprehensive software packages that support the development, delivery, evaluation, and administration of online courses and can be used in both traditional face-to-face instruction and in an online environment. The decision to obtain such software is frequently made by administrators and computer managers. However, academics should play a significant role in this decision process, as they must create and manage an enticing, interactive learning environment that is easy for the instructors and learners to use. This paper focuses primarily on the instructor and learner perspectives of online course management systems, but also considers administrative factors such as student record keeping, technical requirements, and the cost of ownership. It is intended to meet the needs of educators who are contemplating the acquisition of this type of software or want to change from one platform to another.

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