Classifying learning management platforms by examining features and educational affordances



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Learning management systems(LMSs) have become one of the most common computer systems adopted at universities, colleges and distance learning organizations. In order to identify different features and accordance of each LMS, LMSs’ features were compared by using four different categories; communication tools, productivity and student involvement tools, course delivery tools, and administration tools. Based upon the comparison of the different features affecting different usage patterns, this paper proposes a classification of seven selected LMSs; ANGEL, Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, WebCT, Ning and Elgg. These seven LMSs are classified into three groups according to systems’ pedagogical adaptability and technological usability. The classification seeks to understand the possibilities and limitations of what these classified groups of LMSs can accomplish and is used to suggest a suitable usage in order to support teaching and learning. The proposed classification implies the need of future exploratory case study analyzing teaching and learning practices according to the classification.