71% of faculty say that a learning management system (LMS) is a very useful tool to enhance student learning. While on the surface this number may seem encouraging, it also tells us nearly a third of faculty aren’t using their LMS. In fact research shows 57% of faculty feel they don’t have the proper skills to effectively use LMS technology in their courses.
LMS technology can help enrich a student’s learning experience – but it is not, in and of itself, a magic bullet. The value of the LMS can never be fully realized unless teachers are provided the necessary tools, training, and support to leverage its full potential, in a manner that facilitates the way they want to teach.
In a recent webinar, we surveyed a group of educators and the results showed the approximate level of LMS adoption by faculty was around 40%. Most agreed that they are only slightly satisfied with that result. If you’re interested, you can watch the full webinar here.
So to help you grow LMS adoption at your institution, we thought we’d share our top five tips:
1. Build the Right Team and Support
Right from the beginning, you need representation from all groups that are important in the adoption of the platform. This is crucial. Often times we forget key stakeholders and they become disengaged in the process. Be inclusive in identifying who should be at the table. For example, if your faculty members are unionized, it may be good to get a union representative in the conversation early on. Also, an upper management sponsor is very important. This will give traction to your different initiatives through time, and through change.
2. Create a Goal and a Plan to Get You There
You need a common goal that is easily understood by all. This goal needs to be sensitive to your organization and its culture, and it will serve as a good foundation for next steps. You must also stay coherent in the development of your strategies. Make sure things align well with the mission and the strategic plan of the institution. A goal needs to be dynamic and can be modified if needed. This will allow for growth over time.
3. Focus on an Integrated Learning Solution
The integration of various systems within an institution needs to be a priority. A common frustration among users is the necessity to learn many different systems to perform their everyday tasks. Think of who will be using the LMS at every stage of implementation. Who are your students? Who are your faculty? What can be improved to make them more efficient, save them time, and as an end result, make them much happier? Faculty and students will then be inclined to log in, which will lead to growth in adoption. Focus on building a one-stop shop approach.
4. Enable Professional Learning
Continuous professional learning should be at the core of our organizational activities. Finding creative ways to engage employees in professional development is a great way to promote a new platform. We must consider the needs of our employees as the foundational piece for offering optimized services. How do they learn? When are they open to learning new things? Your employees are who will make your initiatives a success. In our October Ignite session, during the showcase of [email protected]é, the “just in time” drop-in center at Collège La Cité seemed to strike a chord. It’s a different way of offering professional development and it has led to an increase in faculty engagement.
5. Be Innovative
An LMS offers a lot of opportunities. We often equate an LMS with teaching and learning. Broaden your mind and think beyond the boundaries of the LMS itself. It can offer a lot of value elsewhere in your institution. Building communities of practice, facilitating discussions, and acting as a gateway to other services are ways that an LMS can help you achieve success.
There you have it, five key elements to help you raise your adoption numbers!
If you’re looking for more inspiration on aligning growth with your strategic planning and preparing your faculty, read our blog on how to increase adoption of your LMS.
I have been a faculty member at Collège La Cité since 1998. My expertise lies in computer systems, a field which I have taught in for 13 years. I am now taking on a new challenge in faculty development, pedagogical innovation and IT systems optimization. I have been focusing outside of teaching for the past five years, to provide guidance to other professors for integrating technology as a learning tool in our environments. I also work closely with our IT department to develop strategies to improve the overall experience of our systems
I’ve had the opportunity to participate in our Brightspace instance since day one. We decided early on to maximize our efforts in using the platform, as the principal point of contact, for our learning community. This lead me to work on various projects ranging from competency deployment, portfolio usage, and student engagement initiatives within the environment.
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