If you’re reading this blog post, there’s about 99.99% certainty that you’re also someone who’s using (or about to start using) a learning management system (LMS). With the wide and varied range of tools and capabilities that an LMS can provide, it’s no wonder they they’ve become an instructor’s standard platform for course creation, course management, and course information.  Your students are likely using this LMS, as well, logging in to check on schedules, assignments, and grades.  Whether the education you’re providing is virtual, traditional, or blended, an LMS is likely its lifeblood.

With such widespread adoption of LMSs, and with such heavy investment in them, many forward thinking institutions are looking for ways to make these platforms an even richer and more productive environment – expanding functionality, expanding usage, and generating more of a return on their investment.

One of the ways that we’re seeing institutions extend their LMS is by integrating it with technology that actively engages its users, both students and instructors.  The ability to engage is becoming an increasingly important feature of today’s educational landscape, and we’re seeing especially rapid adoption of technology that’s online, real-time, and personal.  At its best, this technology enables the kinds of communications and collaboration that today’s digital natives thrive on. And that gets real results: more course completions, improved understanding, better grades.

At Blackboard, live communication and collaboration capabilities are combined in Blackboard CollaborateTM, the only synchronous learning platform designed specifically for education.  Blackboard Collaborate has three core components – web conferencing, enterprise instant messaging, and voice authoring – all aimed at providing opportunities for students and instructors to get and stay engaged.

We’ve also made sure that Blackboard Collaborate can be easily and tightly integrated with today’s leading LMSs, including Sakai®, Moodle®, Desire2Learn®, Pearson LearningStudio®, Fronter® and, of course, our own Blackboard LearnTM, which we have an especially close connection with.

What, exactly, does this integrating live engagement capabilities into your LMS mean? To cite just a few examples, it lets instructors schedule and manage live, online web conferencing sessions, all within the familiar grounds of their LMS and all configured exactly the way they’d like.  And it makes recordings of those sessions viewable with a single click. For students, accessing an online academic community built through LMS integration lets them instantly see who’s in their course, see who’s online, and see who can fill them in on an assignment they may have missed.

Educators intuitively “get” the benefits of live engagement.  They understand that those who are skilled and experienced in working together in a virtual environment will be well-equipped to thrive in the global, and globally interconnected, economy.  That’s why it’s no surprise that they’re looking to make sure that they can take advantage of opportunities for live engagement within the LMS they’re already relying on.

Interested in learning more about making your LMS more engaging? Download our new white paper, Live Engagement: Building the Case for Adding Synchronous Collaboration to your LMS.

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