Wikipedia defines a Learning Management System (LMS) as “software for delivering, tracking and managing training/education. LMSs range from systems for managing training/educational records to software for distributing courses over the Internet and offering features for online collaboration.”
Blackboard and Moodle are both examples of LMS’s and examples of the two main types, proprietary and open source. According to the courseware, proprietary LMS ( eg Blackboard) are expensive and lack flexibility, but come with good documentation and support. Open source LMS( eg Moodle) are cheaper and more flexible, with many functions but don’t always come with good documentation.
Universities use LMS to support and improve learning for both on -campus and external students but a report by the OECD ( 2005) which can be accessed and read here:
indicates that “universities primarily use LMS for administrative purposes, and that LMS so far have had a limited impact on pedagogy”.
It’s a very interesting report.
OECD (2005) E-learning in Tertiary Education Viewed August 20, 2009.