What Is a CMS

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EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit group that promotes the use of information technology in education, provided a definition of course-management systems in a paper on the topic prepared in 2003 by the group’s Emerging Technologies Committee. “At its simplest, a course-management system is a tool that allows an instructor to post information on the Web without that instructor having to know or understand HTML or other computer languages. A more complete definition of a CMS is that it provides an instructor with a set of tools and a framework that allows the relatively easy creation of online course content and the subsequent teaching and management of that course, including various interactions with students taking the course.”The Teacher Education Center at Illinois State University notes that most online course-management systems include:

>> Announcements

>> Calendar

>> Gradebook

>> Asynchronous discussion boards

>> Synchronous chat room

>> E-mailing (internal) and/or external accounts

>> Online journal

>> Whiteboard

>> Dropbox

>> Document sharing, including digital pictures, audio, and streaming video

>> Team areas that include tools for collaboration, managed by instructor

>> Quiz, test, and survey options

>> User-activity reports

SOURCES: EDUCAUSE; Illinois State University

Vol. 02, Issue 01, Page 21

Published in Print: June 9, 2008, as What Is a CMS
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