What is a learning management system (LMS)?

An LMS is a platform that provides tools and resources for educators to create interactive multimedia activities and lessons in an online environment that can be facilitated, self-directed and/or collaborative. Most LMSs allow participants and facilitators to create schedules, track progress, communicate with each other and in groups, and provide and respond to feedback.

If you learn one LMS, your skills and knowledge as a learner, creator or facilitator can be easily transferred to another LMS.

Choosing an LMS

AlphaPlus can help you choose an LMS for use in your program.

We can: 

Here are examples of charts we made to help programs choose between LMSs:

Supporting the use of LMSs in Ontario literacy programs

AlphaPlus supports Ontario literacy practitioners in the use of LMSs to create blended or remote learning opportunities for literacy learners, staff and volunteers.

AlphaPlus supports practitioners who are using Moodle. Get in touch if you want coaching or need some guidance when you get stuck. 

AlphaPlus coaches also support Ontario literacy practitioners who have access to Brightspace (by Desire to Learn, now D2L), Blackboard and/or Google Classroom. 

AlphaPlus has developed expertise in a robust, free, ad-free LMS called Canvas (by Instructure), which is being used by an increasing number of programs. 

Presenters from three programs share how they engage learners to collaborate remotely.

Presenters from three programs share how they create community and engage learners differently in video conferences.

 Finding Our Way: Digital Technologies and E-Learning for Adult Literacy Students, Educators and Programs Literature Scan: 2005-2011, presents a global snapshot of how technology has been used to enhance teaching, learning and professional development.

Given the ubiquity of digital technologies in today’s world and the pressure on educators to keep up, the report explores how they are and could be supported to integrate technology into their practice.

Ultimately, the report aims to spark a national discussion about what is happening, what needs to happen, and how AlphaPlus can, in collaboration with the adult literacy field, begin to harness the full potential of digital technology and e-learning in the service of adult literacy teaching and learning.

154 learners ranging in age from 27 to 39 participated in this research study, developing and piloting distance and online learning delivery models for adult basic education (ABE) programs in Ontario, Canada. Almost three-quarters of the participants were women, the preferred language of two-thirds of the participants was English, and half of the learners were not employed at the time of the study. On average, almost two and a half years had passed since the participants’ last upgrading course in an on-site environment. Almost half of the participants reported their learning goal was to pursue further training and almost the same amount said they would rather work independently toward achieving their goals. Each of the programs differed in population served, method of instructional delivery, and curriculum.

The literacy programs involved in this research project were:

Centre de formation pour adultes J’aime apprendre Inc.  Formation multi-modale en alphabétisation et formation de base – Cornwall and Alexandria

Community Learning Centre Napanee (Kingston Literacy) – The Distance Delivery Development Project – Napanee, Tamworth, and Kaladar

Sioux-Hudson Literacy Council  Good Learning Anywhere – First Nations Management Training program, Pelican Falls High School, Hudson, and Pikangikum

Confederation College  LBS Distance Delivery Project – Thunder Bay, Kenora, Onigaming, and Grassy Narrows.

The results were extremely promising. The study found that distance delivery is a viable option for serving students who are not otherwise able to attend traditional programs or who are in more isolated areas. The study also found that, with proper support and training, distance learners can use technology as a valuable adjunct to learning and can make good learning progress with some level of teacher contact and support. Specifically the study showed that distance learning can be a valuable tool in providing services to rural and isolated populations, and very effective for learners with relatively low levels of literacy. But it also showed that distance learners don’t differ greatly from traditional learners who have done well in a classroom setting, although they do seem to have slightly higher preferences for working on their own.