Web2.0 tools for course management – draft

Using Web2.0 tools for course management

Abstract

Introduction

Educational institutions have invested heavily in course management systems (CMS) over the last decade. In particular, colleges and universities have purchased CMS to provide their students with online or blended-learning courses. Not only have the number of CMS installations increased, but the number of tools provided by CMS vendors and third parties has also increased. These tools allow faculty to manage their courses and to quickly publish course content. However, the provision of all these tools is not without some drawbacks. First, the sheer size of current CMS can be daunting to novice users; therefore, they tend to use only the most basic tools. In addition, it has resulted in the cost of CMS increasing dramatically. To justify the costs, institutions expect their faculty to use CMS as much as possible. Another limitation of current, well-established CMS is the difficulty of integrating emerging web2.0 technologies into the CMS. This, together with limited use of existing CMS tools, has resulted in CMS-based courses with similar look and functionality and limited creativity.

However, CMS do not need to not need to be an all-encompassing, inflexible and costly entity. By using current web2.0 technologies, light-weight, low-cost (or free) CMS can be built containing only the tools needed by educators to make their online courses more creative. This article discusses how one such CMS has been designed to deliver and manage an online English course, web2english.

First, current CMS and their limitations are outlined. Then, emerging web2.0 technologies and how they can be used for course management are discussed. Finally, there is a detailed discussion on how a combination of web2.0 technologies has been used to build a CMS for an online English course. 

Educational institutions have invested heavily in course management systems (CMS) over the last decade. In particular, colleges and universities have purchased CMS to provide their students with online or blended-learning courses. Not only have the number of CMS installations increased, but the number of tools provided by CMS vendors and third parties has also increased. These tools allow faculty to manage their courses and to quickly publish course content. However, the provision of all these tools is not without some drawbacks. First, the sheer size of current CMS can be daunting to novice users; therefore, they tend to use only the most basic tools. In addition, it has resulted in the cost of CMS increasing dramatically. To justify the costs, institutions expect their faculty to use CMS as much as possible. Another limitation of current, well-established CMS is the difficulty of integrating emerging web2.0 technologies into the CMS. This, together with limited use of existing CMS tools, has resulted in CMS-based courses with similar look and functionality and limited creativity.

However, CMS do not need to not need to be an all-encompassing, inflexible and costly entity. By using current web2.0 technologies, light-weight, low-cost (or free) CMS can be built containing only the tools needed by educators to make their online courses more creative. This article discusses how one such CMS has been designed to deliver and manage an online English course, web2english.

First, current CMS and their limitations are outlined. Then, emerging web2.0 technologies and how they can be used for course management are discussed. Finally, there is a detailed discussion on how a combination of web2.0 technologies has been used to build a build a CMS for an online English course.

Theoretical Background

  • Limitations of CMS
  • Web2.0 tools

Discussion

  • Introduce web2english

Conclusion

Abstract

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Introduction

Educational institutions have invested heavily in course management systems (CMS) over the last decade. In particular, colleges and universities have purchased CMS to provide their students with online or blended-learning courses. Not only have the number of CMS installations increased, but the number of tools provided by CMS vendors and third parties has also increased. These tools allow faculty to manage their courses and to quickly publish course content. However, the provision of all these tools is not without some problems. First, the sheer size of current CMS can be daunting to novice users; therefore, they only use the most basic tools. In addition, it has resulted in the cost of CMS increasing drastically. To justify the costs, institutions expect their faculty to use CMS as much as possible. However, CMS do not need to not need to be an all-encompassing, intimidating and therefore costly entity. By using current web2.0 technologies, light-weight, low-cost (or free) CMS can be built containing only the tools needed by educators. This article looks at one such CMS, designed to deliver and manage an online English course.

First, current CMS and their deficiencies are briefly discussed. Then, current web2.0 technologies and how they can be used for course management are discussed. Finally, there is a detailed discussion on how a combination of web2.0 technologies have been used to build a build a CMS for an online English course.

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