A learning portal is all about the usersThe most important keyword regarding a learning management system is management. An LMS is used by teachers and administrators to create courses, assess students, and monitor their learning. LMSs were created to respond to the administrative and managerial needs of schools and universities. Regarding the learning portal, the stress goes on the word learning, as it is like a gateway between users — the learners — and the learning content. A learning portal is all about the users and their learning needs. A learning portal addresses a specific audience. The same LMS can be used by a kindergarten, a middle school, and a university. Since the age of the students is so different, the learning portal of the kindergarten will differ from that of the university. Differences can be both in terms of how the portal looks like — more pictures than text for the kindergarten, maybe — as well as in terms of features. The possibility for parents to log in and check how their kids do at school seems a more desirable tool for learning portals that deserve K-12 students, rather than university students. A translation tool can be very useful in schools with international students, or for courses of foreign languages, but it can be easily skipped in the case of English-only schools, or for math or science online classes. One school may need an integration with OneDrive, while another may opt for integration with Google Drive. Each educational institution can pick and choose the LMS features they need in order to create engaging online classes for their students, and personalize their learning portal.
A learning portal is all about personalizationTeachers can use the learning portal to design personalized learning paths for their students. Once a student logs in — let's call him Ben — he can see a personalized dashboard with various aspects that are of his interest:
- what courses Ben is enrolled in;
- where his progress is exactly;
- what courses he needs to unlock, or simply finish by the end of the semester, or any other deadline;
- how many points he has, for doing certain learning activities, like a quiz, or watching a certain video;
- what's the score of other students at the same learning activities;
- how many badges he has, and of what type;
- what he needs to do to get another badge;
- when his next assignment is due, and what type of assignment that is;
- what notifications Ben has — from a certain discussion in a group he is part of, a message from a colleague, or from the teacher;
- and so on, and so forth.