chapter  2
20 Pages

the Constraints of a Campus-Wide CourseManagement System

Over the last 10 years, students have become more comfortable with different

types of electronic communication, and delivery systems have proliferated: social

networking sites, blogs, and online forums have all become familiar means of

communication. Building courses programmatically means taking advantage

of that familiarity to create a uniform system of delivery that will maintain

consistency between sections, facilitate teacher training and communication, and

help us collect meaningful data for assessment. Moreover, as universities come

under increased pressure to assess student performance accurately and to offer

more online courses to meet student demand, a university-sponsored course

management system (CMS) is becoming an increasingly common course environ-

ment. Some programs have responded by developing cutting-edge tech-

nologies, incorporating a wide range of applications for both courses and

assignments. But what happens when circumstances put you well behind

the cutting edge? When you lack the resources and expertise to develop a

customized CMS, how do you take advantage of technological sophistication

from the margins?