case study

1) What are CMS or LMS? 

As stated in the prompt question, CMS/LMS are used in nursing. Top Hat, Clickers, Prezi, PowerPoint and Chat rooms are used in course management systems (LMS). To further clarify, there is a difference between CMS and LMS. When looking for the correct software tools, there is definitely a difference. LMS stands for “Learning Management Systems.” LMS is a software platform that is used in training courses to deliver and track information. LCMS stands for “Learning Content Management System” which is software to manage learning content. CMS stands for “Content Management System” and is used to organize content on a website. 

The LMS is used in such areas as corporate training and college education. They help to track student and employee participation. The LMS allows managers, teachers and professors to upload course content. The content can come from different sources, if it is compliant with SCORM (the standard file format). Assignments for training and for students can be tracked and feedback documentation can be sent, such as grades and/or comments, allowing for interaction between trainee and manager or student and professor. The LMS keeps track of students and employee compliance and can create different courses for different learning objectives. Some good examples of LMS are Litmos, Topyx and Litmos. 

The CMS, content management systems are used for the purposes of storing, creating and organizing learning content. A CMS platform allows for the modification of single courses to gear them more to individual learners. The CMS differs from the LMS in the targeted user. With LMS, the user is the learner. With CMS, the user is the content creator. For schools or companies that customize courses to be delivered to their employees, the CMS is preferred. Two examples of the CMS are Xyleme and Kenexa. 

Find other technological adjunctive tools used in online education, provide a description (and its URL) and discuss what it is used for. 

A) IW stands for interactive whiteboard that allows for student/teacher collaboration. IWs use interactive technology. IWs uses iPads and smartphones, systems with which most students are already familiar. Almost any kind of learning environment can use IW successfully. Visual imagery is especially helpful in transmitting lessons on geography, science and art. Virtual trips to museums also work well with IWs. Power point presentations created by students can be shared by the whole class. 

The advantages of IW is that is uses platforms that students are already familiar with, so the learning curve is not steep. The disadvantages are, especially with younger students, iPads and smartphones are used for recreational purposes and it is difficult to refocus young children for a different purpose.

B) VoiceThread (VT) is a platform for uploading and sharing documents, images and videos. Participants can have conversations about the uploaded work via voice conversations, texting or Skype type video conferencing. At SUNY Albany, VT was used as a virtual “ice breaker” for new classes. Students get a chance to see their professor in non-working situations to create a warmer and friendlier on line presence. The teacher becomes a real human being instead of a robotic presence. This helps the online course to be more relatable to everyone. 

The advantages of using VT is that is makes the instructor/student relationship more “real” and adds the human touch. There are no outstanding disadvantages except it takes a little more time on the part of the instructor to create content to share with the class about their own background.

C) Edmodo is used in the blended learning model. The teacher provides an access code to the students who then use the access code to join the class. “Note” is a feature of Elmodo, where the teacher/instructor/professor posts announcements, shares files and has interactive engagement on line with students. “Assignments” lets students access files and complete tasks. 

Edmodo allows for a real exchange of ideas and opinions and makes for a more realistic classroom experience, a great advantage. However, the “assignments” file does allow students to see each other’s work and that it a temptation to cheating. Students can download and change another students work to use as their own.

D) Google Hangouts uses so called “hangouts” for students to chat with each other and with their instructor. Student circles work well when engaging in group projects. The hangouts can be streamed live so all can take part in discussions. Files and sessions are saved and can be shared for a later date if someone was unable to participate in the live hangout. Completed projects are saved on Google Drive, with “course-builder.” 

The advantages of Hangouts is that Google is widely available and probably the most used of all internet access portals. It works well with group projects, especially if the online class is taken by students from various geographical locations. 

The most obvious disadvantage is the comfort level some people have with online chatting. That can be remedied if the college backups all files and creates a system so the files cannot be hacked.
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