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Course Management Systems as Tools for the Creation of Online Learning Environments:Evaluation from a Social Constructivist Perspective and Implications for their Design Article

, University of Thessaly, Greece

International Journal on E-Learning Volume 5, Number 4, ISSN 1537-2456 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA


The Internet and the Web offer academic institutions solutions for covering the massive demand for education and transition towards student-centered, social constructivist educational models, in accordance with the demands of the knowledge-based society. This article reports on an investigation aimed at presenting a synthesis of recent research on the applications of Course Management Systems (CMS) in academic institutions, and evaluating the research directions and findings from a social constructivist perspective. The investigation explored current uses of CMS in academia, the impact of CMS on the educational processes, faculty and students, the differences among various modes of CMS-based online learning, and the extent to which CMS support social constructivist approaches to learning. It was found that CMS are currently used in a variety of disciplines for oncampus, mixed-mode, and complete online courses, yielding positive student attitudes and enabling faculty to create online learning environments of social constructivist inspiration. However, creating such environments by means of CMS still poses significant workload on faculty for structuring online interactions, and monitoring and supporting students. Furthermore, the facilities currently offered by CMS still refrain from effectively supporting alternative forms of assessment and collaborative knowledge building activities. Implications for the design of CMS are considered.


Papastergiou, M. (2006). Course Management Systems as Tools for the Creation of Online Learning Environments:Evaluation from a Social Constructivist Perspective and Implications for their Design. International Journal on E-Learning, 5(4), 593-622. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved November 15, 2018 from .


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