Course Management System Resources

This is the "Year of the Course Management System." Independent colleges across the region have either already adopted or are rapidly moving toward adoption of a CMS (also called a Course Shell). The name refers to software packages that provide a "complete solution" of functions needed to manage classes. Those functions typically include course content, chat rooms, threaded discussion, quizzing and collaborative space for student-to-student/student-to-faculty work. Originally developed for distance education applications, they also can be used to provide Web-enhancements for more traditional settings.


Introduction to Course Management Systems

Citation: McHenry, B. (1999, December). "New Features for Learning Management Systems," Magazine of Asychronous Learning Networks, 3 (2). [Online.] Available (Accessed April 2, 2001.) Original article available (Accessed April 2, 2001.)

From the Introduction to the article: "There is a range of first generation approaches to developing courses. Major universities tend to have education services groups that develop in-house learning systems. They integrate component software such as Microsoft Netmeeting with course administration systems. An easier approach is to license complete Learning Management Systems (LMS) from companies like IBM, Asymetrix,Blackboard and WBT Systems. Meanwhile, small schools tend to contract with turnkey providers like Convene, Eduprise and eCollege that specialize in assisting faculty with the conversion of their course content to web pages" (para. 2).

The version of the article at includes paragraph-by-paragraph links to discussions of the article. [jwb]

Citation: Mark, T. (n.d.) Web-based Learning Primer. [Online.] Available (Accessed April 2, 2001).
Annotation: This undated Web page provides several different ways of thinking about how to approach Web-based learning. [jwb]

Product Comparisons

Citation: Comparative analysis of online educational delivery applications. [Online.] Available (Accessed April 2, 2001.)
Annotation: If you only go to one site to compare applications, this would be the one to visit since it provides a comprehensive, frequently updated comparison of applications. As of March 22, 2000, there were reviews of 38 course management systems and authoring programs. There are three different ways to view the reviews, including a user-customized comparison of two applications. A huge collection of links, as well (unfortunately unannotated and often little more than the URL). [jwb]
Citation: Sunil Hazari's Web site. [Online.] Available (Accessed April 2, 2001.)
Annotation: Provides links to Hazari's own research on Web-based Training (WBT) and links to other resources, including comparisons of products. [jwb]
Citation: Marshall University's Center for Instructional Technology. Comparison of Online Course Delivery Software Products. [Online.] Available: (Accessed April 2, 2001.)
Annotation: Provides two charts comparing programs--one based on software costs, hardware requirements, technical support, etc., the other based on overall tool features. Good material, though dated. [jwb]

Evaluation Tools

Citation: Evaluation forms from the Ohio SuperComputer Center (OSC):
Annotation: Excellent forms that can be downloaded, printed and used for comparisons between products by three types of users. [jwb]
Citation: Hazari, S. I. (1998). Evaluation and selection of web course management tools. [Online.] Available (Accessed April 2, 2001.)
Annotation: This article describes the process used by the University of Maryland to select a Course Management System. Includes the committee's evaluation criteria. [jwb]

Faculty Development Materials

WebCT Materials Faculty Resource Center: Faculty Development. [Online.] Available (Accessed April 2, 2001.)
Annotation: From the Website's introduction: "WebCT Tutorials consist of a sequence of lessons which will guide you through the creation of a sample course. Used in conjunction with the online help, we hope that these tutorials will provide you with the information you need to start using WebCT for your own courses" (para. 1).
Planet WebCT
Eiffel-Inc Home Page. [Online.] Available (Accessed April 2, 2001.)
Annotation: A page for the company that produces third party faculty support for WebCT. Their Planet WebCT includes a WebCT Courselet that is installed on the college's WebCT server for faculty to use in learning how to use WebCT. It also includes handouts and a PowerPoint presentation for use in faculty development sessions on campus. [jwb]
imowa Workshop Handouts Jump to Course Management System materials created for Ameritech Faculty Development Technology Project workshops. Note: Use your browser's Back button to return to this list.

Links to Vendors

Blackboard, Inc.
Blackboard 5TM
(formerly Asymetrix)
ToolBook II Assistant
ToolBook II Instructor
Learning Web Studio
Authorware 5.2
Flash 5
Dreamweaver 4
WebCT 3.5 (Standard & Campus Editions)

Copyright © 2000, 2001 ACI, MCF, OFIC, WFIC
Site maintained by J. Wesley Baker, PhD, Effective Practices Fellow
Page created: April 6, 2000 Last Updated: April 2, 2001
Home Page for this site:

Ameritech Faculty Development Technology Program (AFDTP) sponsored by Ameritech with additional funds from (FIHE)/UPS Venture Fund for the Effective Practices Program. This site is made possible by a grant from Ameritech/SBC and an in-kind contribution from Cedarville College.