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LMS and Interoperability

Audience: Administrators, Teachers

A Learning Management System (LMS) helps teachers manage classroom experience and provides the following core functionalities:

  • Create, manage, and deliver educational content such as lessons, activities, assignments, and discussions within a course.
  • Manage and monitor student participation.
  • Assess student progress and performance.

With the above focus, your LMS excels at managing student learning and teacher-to-student interactions.

It is not good at data reporting, data analysis, video hosting, resource repository such as Khan Academy, OER Commons, Discovery Education, or Google Apps. Using the right tool for the job is important and making one platform do everything is not efficient. Educational needs are complex, so a best-of-breed idea can help districts serve their students and meet operational obligations.

There are two common integrations for your LMS:

  • LTI or app store for content integration
  • SIS integration for reporting

Integration is key for efficiencies in your day-to-day operations and bridging the gap between best-of-breed systems. Your learning management system and your student information system work together to increase real-time data access. Your teachers won't have to manually re-enter grade, attendance, and other key performance data into your student information system.

An example of an LTI integration would be connecting your LMS to WISELearn (the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's digital learning repository) to access open educational materials for your classroom. With WISELearn:

  • Your teachers can find open educational materials created by other Wisconsin teachers.
  • Wisconsin teachers can share their experiences and resources with other teachers on WISELearn.

The good news is that most learning management systems have already implemented LTI integrations, allowing them to access content from publishers and make it available to your students and teachers.

With a learning management system, there are several standards that are of interest for people writing the RFP:

  • LTI. Think of this as an app store plug that allows you to seamlessly search a content repository such as WISELearn, a publishing platform, or a video hosting platform.
  • SCORM: How to import courses or interactive activities produced by content authoring tools such as Articulate or Storyline.
  • xAPI: interactive content.
  • HTML5:
  • ATAG:
  • WCAG:

Another factor to consider is how many learning management systems your school has. Having multiple LMSs increases support and integration costs. Adopting an official LMS:

  • Provides a more cohesive learning environment for your students. Students should not have to switch between learning management systems at the same school.
  • Means you can dedicate resources, funds, and personnel to support a primary LMS, allowing teachers to focus on teaching instead of managing an LMS, course enrollment, and manual re-entry of data.
  • Reduces support costs and improves operational efficiencies.
    • Your students won't be switching between Learning Management Systems at the same school.
    • You'll save teachers time because they won't have to manually re-enter attendance, grade, and other progress information in both a learning management system and a student information system.
    • Your school can allocate limited funds for integration with one learning management system.
    • With an integrated system, you will gain efficiencies in data accessibility and real-time student information.
    • Data reporting and analysis will not be limited by manual data entry or inconsistent data.

Coming Soon: A list of RFP languages will be provided below with links to more information about each technology or subject.