GAVS – Essential LMS Tools

lms toolsNavigate 3.1.3 – Tools within the LMS

In an earlier post, I described the different tools within an LMS, specifically Haiku Learning, and how they could best be used for instruction. Now, I want to broaden the scope to the LMS tools that impact all of virtual learning, but do so in a way that is realistic for teachers. Below are the top ten tools every virtual teacher needs.

  1. Email – Communication with students, parents, and staff is a must
  2. Discussion board(s) – All classes must provide an opportunity for discussion
  3. Student blogs – Students should have a place to record and share reflections without cluttering the dropbox.
  4. Calendar – Students and parents need to know when work is assigned and due.
  5. Embed Video/Audio – Both video and audio make the content more accessible to students.
  6. Dropbox – You don’t want to clutter your inbox with student work, and the dropbox ensures work is turned in.
  7. Gradebook – Naturally.
  8. Report Generation – This tool lets you track student progress in the class, and most will allow you to send reports through the LMS to parents and students.
  9. Commenting/Feedback – Students need feedback regarding their participation and work.
  10. Rubric integration with gradebook – Rubrics allow the teacher to fairly assess projects and written work.

The next set of tools is my “I’ll take it if I can get it.” These aren’t as necessary, since there are other ways of performing the same functions using other online resources, but if they’re there, I recommend using them:

  1. Assessments like quizzes and tests
  2. Notification system
  3. User progress

Some LMSs offer additional tools whose purposes overlap with other options, so don’t get overwhelmed by the following options.

Instant Messaging – when conducting a synchronous event, you’ll have a chat option.

Social Profiles – Students can express themselves using their own forms of social media and use the discussion board to share their opinions.

Alert systems – Websites offer a multitude of text-alert options.

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