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SharePoint LMS

By Charles G. Doe - Posted Jan 1, 2012
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Company: ElearningForce International, PO Box 4668 # 12560, New York, NY 10163-4668, (302) 752-4510, info@elearningforce.com, www.sharepointlms.com

Price: Check with ElearningForce for annual licensing options that are based on the number of users.

Audience: SharePoint LMS (learning management system) is most useful to high school, college-level, and other advanced learning communities.

Format: This is a server-based system for creating and managing online courses as well as chat and social networking functions, which can be used by teachers and their classes. SharePoint LMS is designed with the scalability of the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and can be used from a single small-scale installation to a large-scale deployment with multiple organizations and an unlimited number of users.

System Requirements: SharePoint LMS works best with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007/2010 or Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. Various functions require other programs to create or use. It also requires a fast internet connection and a browser.

Description: Through software installed on the server, SharePoint LMS enables users to create and administer multimedia courses on the internet.

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:4 Stars
Installation:A-
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: Installation is a complicated process and will need to be done by system administrators. Installation Rating: A-

Content/Features: SharePoint LMS is an implementation of web-based distant learning features, a suite of elearning tools comprising options for the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007/2010 platform. It has a huge number of features for creating or importing online courses, managing them and student use, interactivity, record keeping, and so on.

A few general features include tools for creating and managing individual courses, designing course templates that simplify the creation of new courses, and allowing users to request to join the courses. Users can even create a complete syllabus to show course outlines, study plans, and other course information.

Assessment features include advanced quiz and survey tools with many possible types of questions and settings. Shared or individual question databases with question pools can be created and imported into or exported from. Customized learning paths, learner assignments, and gradebooks can be created, managed, and evaluated directly in the LMS.

Other features include tools for creating customizable course pages, rosters that feature learner and staff information, seating charts, custom reports, announcements, a course calendar, attendance records, and more. Group mentor rooms with file sharing can be established. Collaborative tools include webcam chat, threaded discussions, web conferencing, whiteboards, session recording, shared document libraries, links to outside documents, a wiki-page library with internal links to different pages, and much, much more. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: As with many complicated, multifaceted programs, taking full advantage of SharePoint LMS has a fairly high learning curve. Previous computer experience will definitely be helpful, and I recommend some staff training. Once created and explained, courses should present few difficulties for most students. Ease of Use Rating: A-

Product Support: The support center is for ElearningForce customers who have a valid support contract. The company provides various levels of consulting through its professional services group to help with most aspects of getting SharePoint LMS up and running. Local support such as phone calls, local hardware configuring, LMS installation, training, etc., could be provided by resellers. The programs include ample documentation. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: Learning management systems such as SharePoint are the wave of the future, allowing institutions to take full advantage of technology to ease the teacher’s task and improve student learning. Recommended.

Reviewer: Charles Doe (charliegd@sbcglobal.net) is a 39-year teacher, including 10 years as elementary media specialist in Hastings Area Schools in Hastings, Mich. For the past 12 years, he has written articles and reviews for Internet@Schools.


 
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