Content materials, and resources are available for specific courses and curriculums. Much of the developed resources are media-rich resources, but are akin to textbooks - just one part of a whole classroom setting. In order to be fully-functional, the course content needs to be hosted within a Learning Management System (LMS) and include the addition of dynamic and interacitve tools, such as discussions, assessments, quizzes, grades and time-management tools.
Learning Management Systems (also known as Content Management Systems, or Virtual Learning Environments) are used by educators to host online courses. Each LMS is a collection of tools that usually includes the opportunity to host course content, communication and assessment. Individual teachers might use some or all of the tools, depending on their specific requirements. Learning Management Systems can be all-in-one resources that host an entire online course and online community, or they can be used to supplement a face-to-face environment in a blended way. A LMS is not a website, a blog or a portal - it is a collection of tools used to support Teaching and Learning Online.



Content

  • DLRB / T4T / Learn EveryWare
    • Alberta Education's DLRB (Distributed Learning Resource Branch) created course resources
    • Course resources are available to all teachers in Alberta, through the www.LearnAlberta.ca portal (a login and password are required)
    • Courses are know as T4T (Tools For Teachers) and Learn EveryWare courses
    • Professional Development explaining how to use and access these courses is available from www.TeachAnyWare.ca



Learning Management Systems

  • Desire2Learn
    • This is the LMS that's currently used by the Calgary Board of Education and Calgary Catholic School District
    • Compliment of tools includes e-portfolios, Elluminate integration, TurnItIn integration
    • The CBE offers comprehensive training and support for D2L use and integration in all grades and subject areas.
    • CSSD is just starting to pilot D2L at the Jr High level, and has made some of the tools available to Sr High

  • Moodle
    • An open-source LMS, used by some post-secondary institutions and school boards throughtout Alberta

  • Blackboard
    • This is the LMS currently in use at post-secondary institutions in Alberta (Calgary, Lethbridge)
    • Many tools and functionality are similar to other LMS programs

  • WebCT
    • A LMS developed in the 1990s, this has been subsequently purchased by Blackboard, and the name WebCT will continue to be phased out

Research

Williams, P. (2004). How to develop an online course. Retrieved from http://www.stylusinc.com/online_course/tutorial/process.htm
This resource contains text-based tutorials and checklists that a course designer might use when planning and implementing a module in an online course. There are seven key principles addressed in these tutorials, split into seven distinct lessons: Analysis, Instructional Design, Interface Design, Development, Online Evaluation, Promotion and Site Maintenance. The author is careful to highlight the importance of planning and mapping out the finished product – a key to successful course design. Although relying on the audience having some course or curriculum design work, these tutorials contain pragmatic and tangible insights for novice or intermediately-skilled course designers (such as using JPEG files for complex, detailed pictures). Educational leaders would find merit in this online tutorial because it highlights specific steps and criteria required when planning out an online course. In addition, leaders or educators who are unfamiliar with online learning or course design standards would be able to use these tutorials as a checklist when planning out their own online course, or a staff-based Professional Development activity.