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Friday, June 29, 2018

Integrating Access to Content

Seamless integration of academic content and tools with a school’s learning management systems (LMS) really shouldn’t be an issue. However, institutions regularly face challenges in integrating digital learning materials with all the different campus systems.

“When solutions integrate well, the students and professors shouldn’t notice any differences between our platforms and the external content,” said Steve Kessinger, director of information services and technology at Bluefield College, Bluefield, VA. “Integrations should enhance the educational experience, not be a barrier.”

Integration should make access to digital content possible from the institution’s LMS interface and not in a new window from a new interface. Students shouldn’t have to log into the LMS a second time to access the material. Seamless integration can also make it possible for students to immediately access content as soon as they register for a class through their LMS accounts.

A well-integrated system allows students’ quiz and homework grades to go directly to the LMS gradebook for review by the instructor. It should also be easy for instructors to edit and share content with students, while administrators should be able to see analytics and student performance measurements.

To make it all happen, colleges and universities, along with instructors, need to be working with LMS providers on universal standards.

“When vendors adhere to sets of standards as opposed to proprietary approaches, it becomes far easier for institutions to adopt their solutions,” Kessinger said. “Our application development resources are extremely limited. Developing custom integrations can be very time-consuming and costly.”

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