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How to Use Your LMS to Create Equitable & Accessible Online Learning Environments

  • 4 Min Read

In the ever-shifting modern classroom, fostering an equitable and accessible online education experience is essential.

Dr. Cristi Ford

The modern classroom is a tapestry woven from diverse backgrounds, experiences and needs. In this dynamic landscape, fostering an equitable and accessible online education experience is essential.

A report from shared that the global edtech market is projected to be valued at USD 549.6 billion by 2033. Analysts mentioned that the growth can be attributed to several factors, including increased adoption of mobile devices and internet services globally and a rising demand for personalized learning experiences that cater to the individual needs of learners.

We’ve previously written about what personalized learning is and why it’s important, but let’s think about how this could play out in a real-life scenario: Dr. Johnson is a dedicated community development instructor faced with a common challenge: a classroom brimming with students possessing varying levels of subject competency.  His goal was to create differentiated learning paths, ensuring each student received the support they needed to thrive. 

An LMS, when utilized to its full potential, could empower him to provide:

  • Additional practice problems: Dr. Johnson could tailor the LMS to offer struggling students supplementary exercises that solidified foundational concepts.
  • Targeted research materials: Advanced learners, on the other hand, gained access to specialized research materials, allowing them to delve deeper into specific topics within the course.
  • Interactive online simulations: The LMS facilitated the inclusion of engaging online simulations, providing a dynamic learning experience that catered to the diversity of the student he serves.

Dr. Johnson’s story exemplifies the transformative potential of LMS platforms when utilized thoughtfully. However, it’s crucial to remember that the LMS itself can introduce unintended obstacles.

The Importance of a User-Friendly LMS Design

While the LMS offers a plethora of features, neglecting user-friendly design can create technological stressors. These stressors can overwhelm students, decrease their motivation, and ultimately hinder learning outcomes.

The good news: with careful course design and organization, these stressors can be significantly reduced.  One of the most effective tools for achieving this is leveraging LMS templates. Templates provide a pre-defined structure, minimizing the time students spend navigating complex interfaces and maximizing their focus on learning content.

Findability: The Silent Enemy of Motivation

Imagine a student spending more time searching for information within the LMS than engaging with the course material. This lack of organization within the system is a phenomenon known as ‘findability.’ Studies by Simunich et al. define findability as the ease with which users can locate specific information within a system. Their research highlights the critical link between findability and student motivation. When finding information becomes a significant effort, both self-efficacy (belief in one’s ability to succeed) and motivation suffer.  A well-designed LMS, with clear and intuitive navigation, mitigates this issue and allows students to dedicate their energy to learning. 

D2L’s Academic Affairs Division dedicated a full blog issue in the Teaching and Learning Studio to exploring the different ways that you can support the success of students through the LMS design.

Building Brilliance: How D2L and Quality Matters Bring Engagement and Quality to Online LMS Templates

Save time, increase engagement and boost retention with high-quality, strategically designed LMS templates.

Read More

We focused on research that demonstrates the importance of reducing the cognitive load for students and now we want to take it a step further with our upcoming webinar.

Join Our Upcoming Webinar on May 22nd, 2024

Explore the transformative power of your LMS and elevate your online instruction to the next level! Our upcoming webinar will delve deep into harnessing the LMS to create inclusive learning environments for all students.

Through three distinct perspectives, you’ll gain valuable insights from Dr. Errin Heyman, Associate Vice President of Learning Experience at National University and Dr. Bethany Simunich, VP of Research and Innovation at Quality Matters as well as Mr. Shawn Crosby, Senior Instructional Designer of Baltimore City Community College. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to bridge the gap and empower all your students. Register for the webinar today.

Building Equitable and Accessible Learning Environments Utilizing the LMS

Discover how a well-organized LMS can significantly improve student learning.

Register Now

Written by:

Dr. Cristi Ford

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Table of Contents

  1. The Importance of a User-Friendly LMS Design
  2. Findability: The Silent Enemy of Motivation
  3. Join Our Upcoming Webinar on May 22nd, 2024