THE ROLE OF LEARNING CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

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1 THE ROLE OF LEARNING CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM M.Umayavalli Abstract: A learning content management system (LCMS) is a related technology to the learning management system, in that it is focused on the development, management and publishing of the content that will typically be delivered via an LMS. An LCMS is a multi-user environment where developers may create, store, reuse, manage, and deliver digital learning content from a central object repository. The LCMS, however, can create, manage and deliver not only training modules but also manage and edit all the individual pieces that make up a catalog of training. LCMS applications allow users to create, import, manage, search for and reuse small units or "chunks" of digital learning content and assets, commonly referred to as learning objects. These assets may include media files developed in other authoring tools, assessment items, simulations, text, graphics or any other object that makes up the content within the course being created. An LCMS manages the process of creating, editing, storing and delivering e-learning content. In this paper, an attempt was made to highlight the significance of LCMS. Keywords: LCMS Learning content management system, LMS Learning management system Introduction Some systems have tools to deliver and manage instructor-led synchronous and asynchronous online training based on learning object methodology. These systems are called Learning Content Management Systems or LCMSs. LCMSs provide tools for authoring and reusing or re-purposing content (mutated learning objects) MLO as well as virtual spaces for student interaction (such as discussion forums, live chat rooms and live web-conferences). Despite this distinction, the term LMS is often used to refer to both an LMS and an LCMS, although the LCMS is a further development of the LMS. Due to this conformity issue, the acronym Clcims (Computer Learning Content Information Management System) is now widely used to create a uniform phonetic way of referencing any learning system software based on advanced learning technology. In general, the average organization can meet its elearning management requirements with an LMS which will also provide robust classroom and learner

2 management functionality. An organization interested in moving to a learning object approach or one also interested in capturing intellectual capital through knowledge management should consider an LCMS which will provide the required content management and storage (data ware housing) capabilities. Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) enterprise applications are often found to be competing for the same organization resources. The reality is that each application has very specific strengths and abilities that may complement each other; but one often is the best fit. Organizations need to specify their business requirements and then carefully consider the functionality of each of the enterprise applications before making the investment. Management systems There are two types of management systems commonly used in e-learning. LMS. A learning management system (LMS) is a computer program for tracking learners doing an e-learning course. An administrator can track the progress of individual learners, their scores on assessments, and have an overview of the progress of any cohort of learners. Learning management systems can assist with scheduling, distribution of materials to learners, and provide a great deal of understanding of how well learners are coping with the course. LCMS. A learning content management system (LCMS) is a software that allows an administrator to update content on an e-learning website without needing specialist web page editing skills. An LCMS ensures that the styles of the site are retained, and that the course content remains current for learners. Some software incorporates the features of both an LMS and an LCMS. When considering a learning management system, take these things into account: will it be hosted on your organisation's computers, or do you need to outsource this? what information do you want the LMS to track? will you be able to customise it to your needs? will you easily be able to add or delete learners and courses, and use the other

3 features of the software? Does it need to connect to other information in your organisation, such as human resources records? What will it cost, and how are the charges applied? Should it also have a content management capability? There are three ways to obtain a learning management system: Use one of the existing free learning management systems. This has the advantage that it is free, but it also means that it may have significant limitations for you. Examples include Moodle (http://moodle.org), ATutor(www.atutor.ca), and The Manhattan Virtual Classroom (http://manhattan.sourceforge.net), although many others are available Pay for one of the systems available online (often the charge is based on the number of learners and the amount of customisation required). These usually can be tailored more for your specific requirements, but still may not do everything you require. Examples include Ecampus (www.ecampus.com.au), Blackboard(www.blackboard.com) and Janison LMS (http://www.janison.com.au/janison/default.asp), but many more are available. Further information about choosing an LMS can be found on the Australian Flexible Learning Network website at the page on How to choose a learningmanagementsystem(http://community.flexiblelearning.net.au/ ManagingFlexibleDelivery/content/article_6944.htm) Pay for the development of an LMS that is tailored to your specific needs. While more costly initially, this option often proves cost effective in the longer term, and will provide everything you would require of your LMS. The decisions about obtaining an LCMS are similar to those for obtaining an LMS: use freely available software, purchase software, or pay to have the LCMS developed for your specific needs. The consequences for each decision are as described above for the LMS software choices. Examples of free LCMS software include OLAT (http://www.olat.org/public/ index.html), exe (http://exelearning.org/),

4 dokeos (http://www.dokeos.com), Dokebo (http://www.docebo.org/docebocms) and Interact(http://www.interactlms.org/spaces/space.php?space_key=1), and Moodle (http://moodle.org) that has limited content creation. Examples of LCMS software you can purchase are ATutor (http://www.atutor.ca/atutor/ links.php) and LearnSwitch Enterprise (http://www.catalystinteractive.com.au). Implications A clear understanding of the features and functions of LMS and LCMS enable decision makers to make reasoned decisions about the best use of each application. A LCMS would be quite effective when teamed with a LMS should an organization require strong learning administration and tracking while at the same time wanting to garner the benefits of delivering learning using RLO and there would be explained the benefit of e-learning. Conclusion LMS, and LCMS could each be an appropriate solution depending on the needs of an organization. By clearly understanding the differences, the core functionalities of each,and the benefits of combining or keeping applications separate, training and education, professionals can help guide decision makers toward the best solution for the organization. Matching the right solution to meet the needs will help organizations effectively allocate their education dollars through focused applications to manage the learning, administration, tracking, and reporting functions. References: Areskog, N-H. (1995) The Tutorial Process - the Roles of Student Teacher and Tutor in a Long Term Perspective Bates, A. (2005) Technology, e-learning and Distance Education London: Routledge Bates, A. and Poole, G. Effective Teaching with Technology in Higher Education San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/John Wiley, 2003 Black, J. & McClintock, R. (1995) "An Interpretation Construction Approach to Constructivist Design."

5 E-moderating: The Key to Teaching and Learning Online - Gilly Salmon, Kogan Page, 2000, ISBN Englert C. S., & Raphael T. E. ( 1989). "Developing successful writers through cognitive strategy instruction". In J. Brophy (Ed.), Advances in research on teaching (Vol. 1, pp ). Greenwich, CT: JAI. Harasim, L., Hiltz, S., Teles, L. and Turoff, M. (1995) Learning Networks: A Field Guide to Teaching and Learning Online Cambridge, MA: MIT Press Hiltz, S. (1990) Evaluating the Virtual Classroom, in Harasim, L. (ed.) Online Education: Perspectives on a New Environment New York: Praeger, pp Johnson-Eilola, Johndan. Datacloud: Toward a New Theory of Online Work. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, Inc., Print. Mason. R. and Kaye, A. (1989) Mindweave: Communication, Computers and Distance Education Oxford, UK: Pergamon Press M.UMAYAVALLI PG & Research Department of Chemistry A.P.A.College of Arts and Culture, Palani

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