The choice of a Course Management System is one of the most important decisions a teacher or educational institution can make as a resource for student learning in blended or fully online instruction. With the nearly unlimited amount of digital learning tools available on the Internet today, the choice of CMS can greatly effect how a program’s choice of tools integrate together. Integration is important to students, instructors and administrators alike. One key interest for students is that the virtual course is easy to navigate with a central location of resources. Instructors and administrators benefit as well from a central location of resources and one of the key reasons for this is consolidation of resources to minimize overhead and improve data analytics. When selecting a CMS it is extremely important to recognize all the stakeholders and, if possible, bring representatives from each group into the conversation.
While investigating my choice of CMS for a course related to teaching instructors how to use online tools, I performed detailed experimentation with Haiku, Google Classroom and D2L. Each of these programs is built specifically for blended and fully online courses with built-in tools for education instruction. There are other CMS options that are geared more towards general website creation and the reason I chose to review the aforementioned systems is that education is at the center and integrated tools support the ease of content and assessment creation. Though each of these systems offered the majority of criteria I was searching for, only one system hit all the key factors that affect each group of stakeholders.
For the purposes of my instructional duties, I have decided to move forward with Haiku as my choice of CMS. Though these three systems have similar capabilities, there were a few deal breakers that made a seemingly effective system not the best choice for my goals. One of the main factors directing that decision is that my course does not have a traditional enrollment structure. I would like to give anyone at anytime access to my course. Of the three CMSs reviewed, Haiku is the best option as it allows for an accessible course with just the sharing of a link. There are ways to make Google Classroom and D2L assessable to many users at anytime, but the overhead and room for confusion is greater. Along with accessibility, Haiku is intuitive with a sleek design and offers nearly every tool a teacher could want to share content and design assessment. Review the table in the following link to learn more about the affordances and constraints of Haiku, Google Classroom and D2L.