Options Beyond LMS

WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER OPTIONS OR ALTERNATIVES THAT GO BEYOND THE INSTITUTIONAL LMS TO MEET PEDAGOGICAL GOALS?

Alternatives to institutionally supported learning environments should be used only when (a) they extend the functionality of institutional systems to meet pedagogical goals; (b) they provide functionality that is not available in institutional systems to meet pedagogical goals; or (c) they provide innovation in teaching techniques to enhance the student experience and/or support of research activities.

In short, alternative learning environments should only be considered in order to address functionality needs or access to content that is not supported through the institutional LMS. In such cases, individual faculty members or their department will be responsible for faculty and student support.  Usual ethics approvals are required if the use of an alternative environment is providing data for a faculty member’s formal research program.

Environments and services that may fall under the scope of these guidelines include, but are not limited to:

  • Divisionally Supported Services: Alternative learning environments or platforms hosted on university server infrastructure, including open source and research-based applications developed collaboratively by our faculty and staff and/or partners.
  • Publishers or Turn-Key Platform Providers: Free, subscription or fee-based services typically hosted by content providers
  • Web 2.0 and Cloud-based Technologies: Tools that may be linked from an institutionally supported system, typically used to enhance the learning experience through exposure to new social networks or communication modes.