Learning Management Systems

Last Updated: November 3rd, 2016

Tool Types:


A Learning Management System (LMS) enables the management of learning materials, assessments, grades and activities on the part of the instructor; and provides a learning environment and content delivery system to students and other participants. An LMS is meant to facilitate “anytime, anywhere” learning. Some examples of popular proprietary LMS’s included Blackboard, WebCT, and Angel. Some open source LMS’s include Sakai, Moodle, and Canvas.

  • View the Features of the Canvas Open Source Learning Management System.
  • View the Features of the Moodle Open Source Learning Management System.
  • View the Open Source Sakai website to learn more about using and contributing to Sakai.

Most LMS’s will provide features for instructors and students such as:

  • Announcements
  • Assignment submission
  • Blog/Wiki capabilities
  • Content delivery mechanism similar to a website
  • Discussion Boards
  • Email inbox
  • Gradebook and grade management
  • Group projects
  • IM/Chat
  • Interactive lectures
  • Peer collaborations/reviews
  • Test and Quiz capabilities

Application to All Courses

A regular enrollment face-to-face course will usually not utilize a Learning Management System. However, there are some uses for an LMS in a regular enrollment face-to-face course such as:

  • Store and disseminate educational content such as lecture recordings, presentations, readings, and media for access outside of regular seat time hours.
  • Store and disseminate grades for immediate feedback and student tracking.
  • Create a repository of student examples, instructor created content, supplementary materials and so on for electronic access over various semesters.


Getting Started

All Learning Management Systems require that you have a username and password. Some programs such as Moodle may require that you download special software. Other programs, such as Canvas, are solely internet based.

After obtaining a username and password you can set up your class based on the course number. This may include your course materials, assessments, gradebooks, activities, discussions, and so on.

After setting up your class students can enroll in your class, or you can place students into your class.

  • Visit e-Learning Support Services Wiki at the University of Florida for more information on how to get started with Sakai, the University of Florida supported Learning Management System.
  • Visit the Learning Support Services to enroll in workshops on getting started with Sakai, the University of Florida supported Learning Management System.

Additional Resources

For information on the types of tools available in Learning Management Systems visit:

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