Why Use LMS?

18 Instructional Tasks for Which Instructors Might use an LMS Tool

Schoonenboom published a list of tasks for which instructors might use a Learning Management System (LMS) (Schoonenboom, 2014, p. 248).  This will provide that starting point for a case study on the use of the SIMON LMS tool http://www.simonschools.net/about-simon.html in one school in regional Victoria.

  1. Meeting – defined as a session run through video conferencing software which may be part of the same proprietary suite or through a different medium e.g. Skype for Business or Adobe Connect (such as our Colloquiums.
  2. Guest speaker – see above.
  3. Probing – using a digital tool such as TodaysMeet  or SMS-poll  or Poll Everywhere
  4. Student questions
  5. Office – fixed “open” hours for chat or discussion through mechanisms such as Skype
  6. Reference lists, or reading lists or information sources
  7. Self-testing using assessment software
  8. Exam – administer testing through digital software either in a controlled lab space or classroom or online
  9. Instructor feedback – e.g. through comments and or reporting
  10. Portfolio – examine and comment on students acquired learning through their presentation of evidence in a digital portfolio system or tool e.g. through SharePoint or Class OneNote
  11. Student discussion – e.g. discussion forum
  12. Collaborative writing – e.g. through Class OneNote, wiki, blog, Google Docs
  13. Peer feedback – e.g. through Turnitin
  14. Blog – e.g. Blogger, WordPress
  15. PowerPoint – or other means of producing teacher based material e.g. Teacher notebook with Class OneNote
  16. YouTube – link to videos on YouTube that might support in class learning programs
  17. Web Lecture – record lessons and make available online (using Office Mix record audio to go with slide presentation)
  18. Instruction – as above or other digital artefacts created specifically for the subject by the teacher


In constructing a survey, it will be important to raise potential uses as well and investigate uses that are more obvious. There is a pressing need to elicit responses which will evaluate usefulness, ease of use and the LMS intention underpinning pedagogical development and methodology (Schoonenboom, 2014, p. 249)


Schoonenboom, J. (2014). Using an adapted, task-level technology acceptance model to explain why instructors in higher education intend to use some learning management system tools more than others. Computers & Education, pp. 247 – 256.


4 thoughts on “Why Use LMS?

  1. Iain

    Thanks Margaret. These are useful ideas for getting the most out of LMS resources. Previously (before this course), MOODLE was just a way to get traditional print lessons up onto the net for homework and to save paper. These ideas are helpful ways to expand approaches toward the valuable affordances of LMSs’.


    1. msimkin

      We had a Moodle LMS before we moved to SIMON. Early adopters like me suffered – just got one set up – start again! It’s interesting that I have heaps of documents up on my Learning Areas space but I haven’t actually thought about retrieval from the learner perspective. I am about to revisit, and renovate big time!


  2. Deborah Welsh

    Margaret – I’m wondering how much input teachers have into the management of your LMS? How many of these potential tasks are explored by your teaching staff? (Or is that what your study is trying to ascertain??)
    Ours is definitely a repository for documents, as well as a go-to for information for students, parents and teachers, but much less a jumping off point for learning.


  3. msimkin

    We have some input but I don’t think most teachers consider it beyond something that they have to use. In fact, anecdotally, we know they don’t use most of it – only the compulsory parts:
    assessment (which is effectively reporting), and roll marking (and even that is hit and miss). Some use email all students to contact their class, and couple use the forum space.
    I suspect the most interesting outcome of my survey might be the barriers to its use.


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