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ERIC Number: EJ1114184
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-1556-3847
Course Management System Utilization and Implications for Practice: A National Survey of Department Chairpersons
Harrington, Charles F.; Gordon, Scott A.; Schibik, Timothy J.
Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, v7 n4 Win 2004
Over the last decade, the development of computer software and hardware directed toward education and the teaching and learning process has had tremendous impact on course delivery (Glahn and Gen, 2002; Katz, 2003). During this period, higher education has been witness to fundamental changes from courses delivered in the traditional face-to-face method to those delivered via video cassette and television, to a proliferation of courses and course content delivered via computer technologies. In recent years, the use of Internet resources (i.e. web pages) in course and curriculum development has made a significant impact on teaching and learning. The use of the Internet has evolved from the display of static, dull, and lifeless information to a rich multimedia environment that is both engaging, dynamic, and user friendly (Powel and Gill, 2003). During this period, the Internet has become an important component in the teaching and learning process. As a result, the use of the Internet in higher education settings has become a more accepted and widely used tool in academia. Most recently, the development and refinement of university and commercially developed course management systems (CMS) like Blackboard , WebCT, and Prometheus, have resulted in the proliferation of web use in higher education (Angelo, 2004; Morgan, 2003). These technologies have made it possible to easily and efficiently distribute course information and materials to students via the Internet and have allowed for greater online communication and interaction. While these tools were initially developed for use in distance education pedagogies, their use in on-campus classroom settings to compliment traditional courses is now considered a viable and often preferred option. As a result, many academic units (i.e. departments) are struggling to keep pace with the demand for CMS supported course sites for traditional, face-to-face courses. This article explores the two main challenges in evaluating the costs and benefits of CMS adoption. First the benefits might be identified easily but are difficult to translate into meaningful dollar terms. Second, the cost figures are typically underestimated due to the omission of the indirect costs of adoption. Greater effort should be placed on quantifying CMS benefits and greater care needs to be taken to truly represent the costs of adoption. There is no evidence from the survey findings to suggest that departmental utilization of a CMS leads to increases in student learning. Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that departmental utilization of a CMS leads to increases in the quality of instruction (teaching). A bibliography is provided.
State University of West Georgia. 1601 Maple Street, Honors House, Carrollton, GA 30118. Tel: 678-839-5489; Fax: 678-839-0636; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A