In the 21st century, technology has brought massive changes in education. E-learning is booming in the modern world, aided by the accessibility of high-speed Internet like 4G. Higher learning institutions have adopted the E-learning trend, and education is spreading in the world today. Online learning is facilitated through the Learning Management System (LMS). These are online platforms or portals that aid the teaching in educational institutions. Technological features responsible for harbouring instructors’ learning materials support the learning experience. LMS helps to overcome traditional methods of education, and it in return overcomes the lack of educational diversity. Concurrently, LMS enables students to attain a specific skill set related to their passion. E-learning promotes practical skills through offline and online videos: etiquette, problem-solving, communication, and research. Through an in-depth analysis of learning facilitated by LMS, this paper aims to emphasize its delivery of online learning in educational institutions.
Learning Management System (LMS) among university students studying online
LMS is an online portal connecting students and lecturers. This portal allows interaction and sharing of information through forums for discussion out of the classrooms that could otherwise consume a lot of time to learn in classrooms. Most universities are located in cities where access to the Internet is easy. Lecturers give out lecture notes, and the students discover the rest of the information independently. Through searching for information, the students offer their thoughts and opinions about the topic (Nor & Lee, 2013). The use of the Internet by academicians worldwide is aimed at research. For instance, students in Malaysia had used the Internet for course-related activities to accomplish their learning tasks. It has improved the educational process and has managed to address declining academic standards, weak collaborative partnerships, and meet the increasing demand for higher education.
Example of a Learning management system
This learning management system fosters learning and teaching in colleges and universities. This system was developed in 1997, and it offers online services whereby students can join classes via hybrid learning models (Blackboard, 2022). According to Blackboard (2022), the system provides learning freedom and is reliable with a user-friendly interface. Students using this platform can submit their assignments as it is equipped with various web-based tools which aid them to create their content. These tools include wikis and electronic portfolios. It is an easy to maintain system offering flexibility to use with other institutional devices.
How LMS Works concerning online learning
LMS is a web-based technology it assists in planning, distributing, and evaluating a specified learning process. The environment of this software is designed to manage the learning interventions of the user apart from having the ability to deliver resources and learning content to the students. Further, it contains human interactions, pedagogical devices, assessment support, and learning content offered even from distant areas (Muhardi et al.,2020). Lecturers can interact and share learning tools through such features as video conferencing, thread discussions, and forums for discussions. Participation and assessment of online performance are made possible by the interactive features of LMS as it has the goal of tracking the students. As a learning tool, LMS facilitates the delivery of information at any place, time, and pace; hence it is a tool that benefits the adopters.
Since LMS is linked to the aspects of the Internet, different factors influence the use of the Internet to search for information. The Internet is user-friendly, and its availability for research at any time is convenient. Other factors are personal characteristics like age, income which distinguishes people concerning economic power and educational level. The most connected age group is between 18 and 24years. Reports American Life Project and Pew Internet indicate that young people use the Internet the most. Individuals between 29 and 59 years use the Internet to perform research for jobs and government sites (Muhardi et al., 2020). The younger people are reported to also scratch for medical information online instead of visiting doctors manually. Last but not least, students search for information on the Internet due to pictures and drawings available on the web. They complement the almost constant flux of the information written in the textbooks.
Researchers have contradicting ideas about whether students should use the Internet to search for information. Vom Brocke et al. (2015) explain the factors that determine what students and teachers will accomplish from the Internet are attributed to the following factors: the internet culture, technical knowledge, design of the curriculum, implementation, and attitude and expectations. Today, millions of students can connect to their schools worldwide through the Internet to provide such access. Huge investments have been spent to accord such an expectation to link communication with information. The Internet improves the outcomes of education. Thus it is true to say that what you get out a great deal has to be put into it.
Another study indicates that the Internet can prove good but harmful for students. The Internet can aid studies, but students can be distracted due to being attracted while on the web. For example, the central question of the interaction of female students in the Internet environment proved to generate a solution from the data collected. They spent increased time on SN Websites (Vom Brocke et al., 2015). The female students need to cope with the stress associated with examination by limiting the use of social networking websites.
Challenges Limiting delivery of Online Learning using LMS
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many learning institutions found it challenging to implement LMS as it was used for the first time. By implementing strategies to curb the pandemic, most people changed their usual way of living (Adzharuddin & Ling 2013). There was no physical attendance at schools. Students had to rely on online platforms like LMS to continue their studies. No one was prepared for this, and therefore, fostering education depended on high understanding by relevant participants.
According to Adzharuddin and Ling (2013), most learning institutions are reluctant to adopt LMS usage in schools. It might have been influenced by unpreparedness for the infrastructure required to conduct online learning due to proximity to cities. Areas considered of high technology in terms of the Internet. It made students stay at home for long periods without school. It, in return, also contributed to a lack of growth in the education sector, thereby encouraging traditional teaching methods. These traditional methods face many challenges: they lack education diversity, inadequate attention of the individuals, and inadequate skills.
Further, LMS is faced with a low level of policy awareness by the stakeholders. Adzharuddin and Ling (2013) argue that the use of LMS features to engage students requires immediate feedback for the system to be successful. Lack of attention and student engagement leads to developments of negative attitude, thereby affecting education goals. Many university lecturers have limited themselves to uploading learning content that is not helpful to the students.
Unstable connectivity to the Internet poses a challenge to the adoption and usage of LMS. an essential requirement for LMS to work is the internet connection. The absence of the unstable Internet may pose a challenge to adopt this online learning system. Lacking the proper gadgets like computers, tablets, laptops, pads, and even smartphones is a factor limiting the adoption of this education system that is distant (Adzharuddin & Ling 2013). Other factors include inadequate coordination about the management of technical resources of the education system and the lack of productive governing models for LMS.
The Success of Online Learning using LMS
E-learning enables students to acquire advanced skills, and more knowledge is gathered to expand the capacity. E-learning has been made successful by using LMS in universities mostly that can acquire and establish necessary equipment that supports the use of LMS. The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the success of using the online learning system due to restrictions of movement and lockdown. The only access to educational resources relied entirely on online teaching.
The form of online education has proven to be significant to students compared to traditional forms of education to gain more knowledge and skills. According to Mtebe (2015), student performance has been established by measuring the success rate of LMS. Students are granted full control of their education through the E-learning platform of LMS. It is a motivational tool for students to escalate in better courses. Confidence is thus built, and they have the opportunity to focus and consult in the courses they find challenging.
The rate of retaining information is higher in online learning. It is necessitated by the engaging platform of the LMS for the students. Adzharuddin & Ling (2013) indicate that the following are ways in which LMS engages students while learning: Learners are presented with attractive images. It adds interest to the online course, learning through interaction- there is the presentation of dynamic videos and talking through new concepts. The use of multimedia in the modules helps retain the students’ attention. Games can be incorporated the E-learning. Gamification spikes interest when played across the board.
Students can schedule their learning activities, thereby learning willingly. E-learning fosters better performance, according to the description of Mtebe (2015). He argues that there is increased user satisfaction since it regulates self-learning. In Online Learning, learning control is transferred to the individual from the tutor, unlike the traditional one that demands the student adhere to a sequence characterized by place, time, and context. Students are in control of their contingencies, pace, and learning path. In return, learners motivate their learning, thereby giving their best.
Last but not least, with the use of LMS in online learning, the instructor can track and monitor performance through random assignments. In this way, the students requiring early intervention are identified and offered assistance. Mtebe (2015) says that key experiment design aspects like blinding, random assignments, and controlling help obtain non-deceptive results through confounding. Each participant has equal chances of being placed in any group where the instructor will offer appropriate guidance.
Developments in LMS that enhance online learning
The increased innovation in smart devices, interactive education models, and high-speed Internet facilitates development in E-learning in LMS. As a means to improve the existing learning systems, the following features have proven essential: there has been the innovation of low priced teaching methods compared to traditional systems of education (Sarkar, 2020). It applies in developing countries mostly, whereby the dominant education provider and financier is the government. Resources are scarce, while the demand for quality education is enormous. It makes education inaccessible to significant parts of society. The governments reach out to ensure services are delivered directly by providers and that they fulfil the terms of the contract, for example, Charter schools in the US and Concession schools in Colombia.
Furthermore, systems are being created with more flexibility to accommodate learning without regard to differences in time zones, student location, or instructor. LMS has improved the quality of standards to improve education requirements to enable students’ satisfaction. LMS lacks direct relation between student collaboration and current LMS systems, which limits the appropriate approach of the educators towards E-learning. Real-time interaction between learners is also hindered. Models are being created to develop a road map for education institutions to adopt for E-learning (Sarkar, 2020). They are meant to integrate and incorporate platforms of social networking with LMS. It will help to overcome limitations posed by LMS and, in return, improve the quality of the education process such that it can be attractive, cooperative, and much better.
In conclusion, this study reveals that LMS should be incorporated at the centre of these learning institutions for better educational performance. E-learning promotes flexibility and also enhances individual studies. The students become more committed, which increases their time management skills in the long run. Online learning using LMS improves the collaboration of the students with their instructors as they seek them for help on unclarified topics. Through increased personal studies, students gain critical thinking skills; thus, they can think and perceive assignments differently. It prepares them for the outside world regarding the job sector, whereby the majority of the companies are requesting candidates with such skills to hire.
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