Course Management Systems

In order to show the accurate results of the survey and the possible relationship among the findings, the author tabulated and graphed the responses of the samples. Figure 1 shows the usage and popularity of the Course Management Systems (CMS) to the respondents. Figure 1 clearly indicates that the majority, 80% of the respondents or 32 out of 40 samples are making use of the Course Management Systems (CMS) available through the internet. Only 20% or 8 instructors are not using the CMS as a site for the subjects or courses they are handling.

To further illustrate this, Table 1 shows the number of the respondents that are using the CMS. The table (Table 1) shows the differences of the results. This may be due the sampling technique utilized by the author in getting the samples. The respondents in the survey have similarities—they have the same profession—though they differ in the years of work. Based on Web Center for Social Research Methods, in probability sampling of the possible subjects of the study, the responses of the samples may be accurate and precise, meaning findings may agree with one another since the population of the study is well represented.

The data gathered from the survey were analyzed. The features of the chosen CMS’s to use are the main criteria of the respondents in choosing whether to use Moodle, WebCT or Blackboard. The eight (8) instructors who preferred not to make use of the CMS argued that the classroom set-up is far better than the online teaching. The seven (7) new instructors said that they are not yet well acquainted with the course management systems available online and so teaching in the classroom is more appropriate than going through the internet.

Also, some subjects are not suitable for the online set-up especially courses like Speech and other Laboratory-based science courses. For the old instructors who still choose not to use the CMS emphasized that the conventional classroom teaching invites more attention and enhances the skills of the students more than when setting up with the online management systems. Nine and ten out of 20 new instructors and old instructors, respectively, preferred the use of Moodle, over the other two course management systems, meaning, 19 respondents out of 40 samples use Moodle as the software program in handling their respective courses.

However, a total of 11 instructors, where four (4) are new course handlers and seven (7) are old handlers, use the WebCT as a mean of connecting their courses in the internet. Nonetheless, only two (2) respondents who are mainly from the old institutional unit, use the CMS provided by the Blackboard. Figure 2 shows the frequency distribution of the usage of the three Course Management Systems among the respondents. In Figure 2, respondents show a high approval on the use of Moodle both for the old and new instructors.

However, the old educators registered the highest number in the said software. WebCT hit the next spot as being the preferred CMS software of the respondents, though old instructors choose it more as an institutional tool than the new ones. Blackboard has the lowest number of respondents who support the online system software. Nonetheless, more of the new instructors do not use any of the mentioned CMS. Supporting this claim, Figure 3 shows the percentage distribution of the respondents preferring the use of Moodle, WebCT and Blackboard.

Similarly, the majority of the samples, 47% considered the use of Moodle, followed by WebCT, 28%. Twenty percent (20%) of the respondents does not use the Course Management Systems while the minority, 5% makes use of the Blackboard. Data Analysis In order to assess the validity of the choices of the 40 respondents, set points or criteria were also established in the survey form. This would enable the researcher to determine the factors that affect the choice in the Course Management Systems of the instructors.

These criteria include the cost of the CMS usage, easy communication between the students and the instructors, data management, easy tracking of students’ progress and improvement and ease of usage. Certain scale was used to evaluate these criteria: A for Excellent, B for Good and C for Fair. Data gathered in this assessment were tallied and tabulated. The quality of the specific CMS was also considered. This enabled the author to support the previous results presented on the previous graphs and tables. Easy Communication between the students and the instructors.

Considering the three criteria under this communication tool, majority of the respondents argue that the usage of email and instant messaging, discussion forums and posting of announcements, are being highly prioritized by the developer of Moodle. Fourteen (14) respondents commented that Moodle has excellent usage of email and instant messaging, while five (5) said it’s good. Twenty-one (21) samples said that Moodle’s discussion forums offer better features that that of WebCT and Blackboard. In the ease of posting announcements, the majority, 19 respondents, are highly in favored with the service being provided by Blackboard.

In this criterion, respondents seem to be more satisfied with the online educational tools being supplied by Moodle. Data Management. In this criterion which includes the ease of giving assignments and the ease of posting of new lessons, Moodle seems to receive higher approval from the respondents. On the record from the survey results, 22 respondents are in favor with Moodle’s features and services in giving assignments. On the contrary, the majority, 19 samples, suggest that posting of new lessons in Blackboard has an excellent outcome. However, the other option—WebCT —gets lower approval.

Easy tracking of Students’ Progress. Under this set point includes grade scaling and monitoring of the students’ activities on the course website. Similarly, WebCT is highly favored by the respondents. Majority of the respondents, 17 instructors, agrees that the grade scaling provided by WebCT, specifically in checking selected test types, is of excellent standards and a help for both the instructors and the students. Accordingly, 24 instructors believe that WebCT provides the biggest and excellent help in tracking the activities being performed by the students on the course site.

Nonetheless, Moodle and Blackboard, receive a relatively lower acceptance. Ease of Usage. Accessibility and background required in using are the two set points in evaluating the satisfaction of the users in terms of usage. From the survey results, the majority of the instructors, 19, choose Moodle over the other two in terms of the above-mentioned set points. The three CMS software are truly accessible and only require basic computer knowledge upon application. However, Blackboard still is not an option for the respondents in terms of using the online institutional tool.