Effects of Course Management Systems on Student Course Evaluations
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Course management systems (CMS) are web-based information management systems that contain tools that allow faculty and students to manage their class material, hand out and turn in assignments, post discussions, and make announcements. Two of the most popular CMS on the market today are WebCT and Blackboard. Many of these CMS vendors make claims that their system can help both faculty and students in many different aspects of their academic career. Some of these claims include faculty being able to manage the course and its content, lower preparation time, and increase content availability and sharing, and students can access the CMS for academic support, possibly increasing chances of course completion, improved grades, and improved learning (WebCT). With these claims comes a push for higher education courses to use the CMS, even though little is known about the benefits, or detriments, on student learning. Much of the previous research has used qualitative surveys and interviews of students and faculty, which have the usual caveats of sampling issues and reliance on truthfulness of the participants’ answers. One way to assess directly the value of CMS are through course evaluation data. Students’ course ratings are a way for them to evaluate their learning experience with the confidence that their identity is unknown and their grade will not be affected by how they evaluate their experience. However, assessing student learning is an idea that is difficult to address, but with course evaluations and a large sample size, trends can be seen through students’ opinions and responses to their perceived learning.
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Hassenzahl, Susan (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 2003)The effects of using course management systems (CMS) on course evaluations were examined in two studies. In the first study, researchers used four years of archival data on undergraduate and graduate student evaluations ...
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