Social Features for SharePoint Learning Management System Development

Learning through active collaboration between students and tutors is acknowledged to be more effective than any sort of self-study. This is applicable to distance learning using various tools, like learning management system, for example.

  • Technologies and platforms: C#, JavaScript, XML, XSLT; SharePoint 2010 platform, with extensive use of jQuery
  • Effort: 70 man-months, ongoing
Social integrated LMS home page interface

The goal of this project was to empower SharePoint-based learning management system with composition of social communication features allowing students and tutors to collaborate quickly, interact and share ideas and content using document libraries, blogs, wikis, chats, short messaging services and other popular social features. Another tricky task was to totally revamp SharePoint User interface according to provided designs.

Bringing social to the LMS makes learning process more open, easy and comfortable for students. It increases their level of involvement in learning process and augments their interest to learning. Social features move tutors to the next level of tuition as well. More simple educational process makes it closer to students; allows tutors to get early feedback on materials, disciplines and teaching methods. Also it attracts students to what they learn and enforce them to take part in education not  just by learning the materials, but also discussing them with mates and even contributing their own part to the learning society.

To achieve most effective results in learning with LMS the following social collaboration features were added:

  • Most popular features like blogs and wikis are brought to the next level with enhancements making them a truly social collaboration tools.
  • Social tools like chats, feed readers, short messaging, ‘Ask the Expert’ service are designed to increase collaboration speed, make communications simple and bring tutors and students closer to what they learn.
  • With customized User Profile with well-known social metadata you can always find people with similar interests around you or let the world know who you are and what you are good at.
  • Fully customized, specially designed UI respecting the user experience.
  • A user interface with everything is at hand at any time.
  • Permission-based access management allows administrators to quickly and easily configure access levels to any groups of people involved in educational process.

SharePoint-based LMS with the listed above features and new design is the easiest way to join social collaboration while learning, making a handy contribution and sharing your thoughts with like-minded people around you. It brings learning to the upper level and provides easier ways of communication and learning.

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