Why a 'Social' LMS is Important in the Time of COVID19 Mandated E-learning

by Allie Wigginton - March 17, 2020

We've all heard news story after news story about COVID19. In recent news, fears of the virus spreading further have caused most schools and universities around the country to implement e-learning and distance-learning plans. Many teachers are now searching for a viable option, and some required to use LMS software to promote 'social distancing.'

Social distancing, while having the potential to save lives, may have adverse effects on students' mental health, sense of community, and overall fear and anxiety, according to NBC News. The CDC recommends 'connecting with others' virtually to cope with stress and anxiety.

Therefore, we suggest that this is an important reason, among others, to use a social LMS (CN or Schoology) instead of a conventional LMS (Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard, etc.) Social LMS provides a social media look-and-feel type of interface and user experience (UX) design. When students enter into a "social" online course, it is like entering a real classroom space with everyone present to discuss and socialize. Students can feel a sense of community as they and the instructor make posts, (as easy as posting on Facebook and Instagram), and reflect on hundreds of posts and polls written by classmates. This posting concept embedded in the social LMS software offers services supporting the learning activities of the course but, more importantly, for emotional support.

"I would like to emphasize two benefits. The academic benefit is clear to all. Learning will surely benefit when students have the opportunity to interact with one another in discussions of the course content. The emotional benefit is less obvious, but perhaps more important. Our students are a community, used to gaining strength from one another. Once isolated in their homes and dorm rooms, they will be more susceptible to fear, frustration, and other negative feelings. CN can provide students a vital opportunity to give one another the mutual support and human connections that will help them get through a frightening time," said Andrew Gavrin, Professor and Department Chair of Physics at IUPUI.

Social LMS, such as CN, can provide students a vital opportunity to give one another mutual support and human connection that will help them get through a frightening time.

Spread the word: teachers throughout the world in need of an e-learning option can create free CN LMS course and offer their courses online. More specifically, in a matter of five minutes, an instructor can create a course and send its unique course URL to students to sign up and join. Pedagogical support and helpdesk in eight languages are being offered 24/5 by CN staff.

In addition to free options offered to those in need, paid options are also available both for the social CN LMS, and social plug-in tools to your existing LMS - whether that is Canvas, Blackboard, D2L, etc. If you're interested in a license, please contact sales@coursenetworking.com. Coming together during this difficult time has made us realize what is important in education - keep your courses social and engaging in the wake of COVID19.

Have you experienced the benefits of social learning in the wake of the COVID19 e-learning movement? Tell us your story at help@thecn.com.