Motivation

Many universities have adapted
a Learning Management system in order to make the learning and teaching process
even better. Adopting an e-learning method though, can be really challenging. According
to Watson. R. and Watson S.  (2007) “LMS
(Learning Management System) is the framework
that handles all aspects of the learning process”. A Learning Management System
is a platform, designed to distribute, retrieve and manage the courses’
material. Additionally, it supports interaction between professors and students
and also among students. But, how can a LMS be assessed? Many attempts have
been made in order to assess the functionality of a LMS from different
perspectives. Vrije University Amsterdam has recently substituted “Blackboard”
LMS with “Canvas”. Based on this, I try to assess to what extent has the new
LMS “Canvas” being adopted by the academic community. Additionally, I try to
figure out which components of the featured LMS are used frequently and which
prevent users from adopting it(Canvas). My criteria regarding the assessment
procedure are explained later on.

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Problem

Adopting
a new Learning Management System (LMS) can be a really challenging process. In order to have
sufficient insights, a users’ experience approach is being proposed. «Implementing a LMS aims at
developing a framework that handles all the aspects of learning process» (Szabo
& Flesher, 2002). If this framework is user-oriented and friendly to the
directly concerned-the users (professors and students)- then it will be easier adopted. A
user-oriented framework should provide features that cover the needs of the
users in the simplest way. Additionally, the interface and the modules should
make the navigation through the LMS and the execution of the desired operations
also friendly to the users. Based on these, two research questions should be
answered so as for an evaluation to be done, regarding the challenges users may
encounter, additions that users would like to have or even on features that
should be removed.

 

 

Research Questions:

 

1.
From the features(modules) provided by the LMS which are used most frequently?

2.
What are the reasons that discourage users from operating specific modules?

 

Scientific and Practical Contribution

The results of this research will contribute both to a scientific and
practical way. It will reveal more insights about the challenges that users may
face when adopting a LMS. Along with related literature could constitute
a knowledge repository which will trigger a new research but with more insights
already revealed. Additionally, it will reveal more information on the users’
standards and preferences in a high quality university.

Moreover, designers of the LSM will have a revealing feedback based on
the users’ experience. The research will expose the issues users detect, which
modules are mostly used and the chance of reviewing their design and
update/replace those who are not considered as useful by the directly
concerned.

 

 

 

Related
Literature

In order to have a spherical view of the potential issues or advantages,
we have to take into consideration topics that have already been discussed by
another researcher. Zoumbi reveals in his research (Zoubi & Zoubi, 2017), that
in his case, live audio and video showed the lowest level of usage.  Liui and Geertshuis noticed that new features
addressed to the professors, were not so often used (Liu, Geertshuis, 2016).
There have been also researches focused on the key features of a LMS. Chang
underlines that communication related features play a major role since make the
distance between the student and the professor smaller (Chang, et al., 2017).
Also in 2017, Zoubi (Zoubi & Zoubi, 2017) points out that communication
modules hold the first position among the professors’ preferences regarding an
efficient LMS. Bozoglu also supports this opinion according to his research,
where it is being stated that management and communication are the most
important features of a LMS. On the other hand, Liu (Liu, Geertshuis, 2016)
revealed that teaching staff appeared to reject new modules if they did not fit
with existing practises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research
Strategy and Research Methods

 

Data Collection

To
achieve a true understanding of possible issues regarding the adoption of a
Learning Management System, the experience of users shall play a major role.
Literature may cover a wide spectrum of potential difficulties that users may
face, but theirs’ experience reveal the actual issues. Conducting a survey
among the users, so to evaluate the new LMS -in terms of which modules are
being widely used and which don’t – and address anything that they find
disturbing or needs further development. By this, users not only evaluate the
features they find convenient but also addressing issues that they face with
the rest of the modules.

In
order to capture the user’s experience, an online questionnaire-based method
will be implemented.

Conducting
an online survey research has many advantages: apart from saving time and
reducing the cost, it also provides access to specific communities and results
in a large sample(Bachmann & Elfrink, 1996).
The target group to which the questionnaire will be addressed is the academicals
community of Vrije University. This community consists of students and
professors. Teachers will have to fill in a different questionnaire to the one
that students will have to fill in, since they(teachers) have different
modules. On both questionnaires, though the questions may be differentiated,
they address the same points but from different perspectives. By this, we
reassure that we will have a 360 view on the possible challenges users may
face.  

The
questions will be developed based on the modules each section of the LMS
provides. For each question users will have to answer using a Likert scale (Likert
R., 1932). The format of the scale will follow the typical Likert format:

1.      Strongly disagree

2.      Disagree

3.      Neither agree nor disagree

4.      Agree

5.      Strongly agree

 

 

Data Analysis

The analysis
of the data is based on the answers of the users. In order for the analysis
data to be interpreted, we assume that when users are asked which modules they
use we interpret the Likert scale in this format:

1.      Strongly disagree – User do
not use this specific module and they find it really inconvenient or
meaningless

2.      Disagree – Users do not make
use of this specific module but they would use it if some changes would applied

3.      Neither agree nor disagree –
Users either use it or not but not on regular basis

4.      Agree – Users make use of this
specific module on a regular basis and are satisfied with its performance

5.      Strongly agree – Users use
this specific module on a daily basis and are completely satisfied

Regarding
the rest questions, the data will be clustered and reveal the percentage of the
people that chose each scale. When every data is collected and clustered, then we
shall be able to determine which modules are used, which not, which users think
that they need improvement, which need to be substituted, based on the
percentages they will concentrate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

William R. Watson and Sunnie Lee Watson (2007). Argument for Clarity: What are       Learning Management Systems,What are They
Not, and What Should They Become, 1

Szabo, M., & Flesher, K. (2002). CMI theory and practice: Historical roots of learning management systems.
Paper presented at the E-Learn 2002 World Conference on E-Learning in
Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education, Montreal, Canada

Zoubi, A. Al, & Zoubi, A. Al. (n.d.). Investigating the Extent
of Learning Management System Adoption in a Jordanian Higher Education
Institution, 214,

Liu, Geertshuis. 2016,) Explorations in Learning Management System Adoption. 5

Chang, D., Huang, Y., Advanced, B. W.-J. of, & 2017, undefined.
(n.d.). Analyzing the Functions and
Benefits of Using Mobile Facebook as a Supplemental LMS in Higher Education.
976

Bozo?lu, O., Arma?an, S., & Erdönmez, Ç. (n.d.). Integrating a Learning Management System
into the Instructional Program and Learning Process: Challenges and Advantages.
Researchgate.net.  6-7

Bachmann, D., & Elfrink, J. (1996). Tracking the progress of e-mail versus
snail-mail. MarketingResearch 32,35

Likert R. A technique for the
measurement of attitudes. Arch Psychology. 1932;22(140):55.

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