Thursday, 10 May 2012

Content Management Systems: Enriched learning opportunities for all?

an article by Griet Lust, Norma A. Juarez Collazo, Jan Elen and Geraldine Clarebout (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium) published in Computers in Human Behavior Volume 28 Issue 3 (May 2012)


This article examines the popular claim of Content Management Systems (CMSs) that providing a rich toolset and leaving the use under learner control is beneficial to learning.

By means of a literature review, the current contribution examines whether all students are capable of using CMS tools so that their learning is enhanced.

In contrast to what is assumed, the study conceptualizes tool use as a complex self-regulation strategy that cannot be taken for granted. Specifically, the article reviews empirical studies in relation to three topics: (a) personal agency in tool use, (b) performance effects of tool use and (c) influencing tool use variables.

Findings reveal that not every student profited from the CMS learning opportunities; in multiple studies students differed in their tool use, and these differences had significant performance effects. Hence, these findings suggest that the pedagogical claim CMSs make is problematic.

Besides this accumulated corpus of knowledge, the review revealed serious limitations in the retrieved studies which could hamper our findings. As a consequence, the review establishes a need for further research into students’ CMS tool use from an instructional design perspective.

In addition to the theoretical framework, several directions for future research are given.

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