Functionality and Features

A learning management system (LMS) contains a variety of functions and features to support a variety of learning modes from fully online over blended and hybrid learning to face-to-face instruction. Most faculty use the core LMS features such as delivery and management of learning content, management of course activities like enrollment, grades, communication and student assignments. Many also make use of the ability to assess students and track their progress in meeting learning objectives as well as the ability to foster student discussion, collaboration, and project-based work. The following list is a more detailed overview of LMS features and capabilities.

  • Distribute course materials and manage access to materials such as video links, audio file links, written articles/documents, PowerPoints, electronic text books or publisher provided content
  • Post and maintain updated course information on course main page, such as assignment or activity reminders, technology help, announcements, and office hours
    • Segment information into chunks according to topics, weeks, book chapters or other organizational scheme
    • Show or hide information based on student needs
    • Manage information release based on date/time, test scores, or other criteria
  • Conduct written discussions in forums, including group assignment and peer assessment
  • Post quizzes and tests for students to answer
    • Random automatic assignment of questions to individual students
    • Control test access based on password or location
    • Supports written instructor feedback on student answers
    • Utilize publisher-provided question banks
    • Include multimedia links in questions
  • Post assignments for students to submit, such as term papers
    • Receive student submissions and return with instructor comments
    • Support for electronic mark-up and commenting by instructor
    • Support for automatic plagiarism detection
  • Maintain a grade book with student grades
    • Post quiz grades
    • Post grades for written assignments
    • Post grades for offline activities
    • Conduct calculations on grades such as weighting of scores for final grade
    • Download grades to Excel for editing and calculations and re-upload to Blackboard
    • Submit grades to the registrar
    • Allow students to track their grades
    • Import grades electronically from paper based bubble sheets
    • Provide individual written comments to students
  • Integrate SCORM-compatible quizzes, activities and materials
  • Provide links to various other learning tools such as Zoom, Panopto, Top Hat, MyMathLab, TurnItIn, and Class Climate surveys, and digital publisher materials
  • Send out messages to students regarding class
  • Monitor student activity in the online environment, such as links and resources accessed
  • Use Retention Center to provide automated monitoring and feedback for students based on their performance
  • Run standard and customized reports on issues such as student performance and quiz question quality
  • Automatic population of course roster with add/drop updates