How to decrease teaching administration while maintaining learning outcomes by using CALL without LMS
This presentation is for computer system administrators seeking to reduce LMS (learner management system) costs while maintaining learning outcomes.
LMSs track when and what students learn. For each student and learning task, the LMS reports variables such as the length of time spent on the task (time on task),the number of renditions of the task (practice count), correctness of the renditions (response accuracy), and the tasks preceding and following the task (task order). These statistics are valuable yet too voluminous and detailed to be analyzed while learning is taking place. LMSs are costly to install and administer. Some features are rarely used, either because there are extraneous features, or because there is insufficient personnel to use them.
By contrast, web servers that merely ask questions and provide answers to users are almost as effective as LMSs. Adaptive testing increases learning efficiency. Opening the system to the public showcases the institution's capability. Not tracking the learners' learning history reduces costs.
At my institution, the leading use of LMS is enforcing the completion of assignments. Among our CALL-based courses, Chinese language courses ceased using LMSs, and English language courses are transitioning away from LMSs. The reasons are (a) tracking individual students is not practical when the student-to-instructor ratio exceeds roughly 100 to 1, (b) enforcing task completion is unnecessary when task items comprise a question pool from which midterm or final exam questions are drawn, and (c) learning opportunities increase when students are not required to log in.