Picture of two students looking at a computer screen. Picture of a professor with a computer teaching a small group of students. Picture of a student working at a laptop.

Course Management Systems


Many institutions have partnered with course management system (CMS) companies. CMS’s allow a university or college to create an online component for a course (e.g., an electronic course reserve of materials for a traditional face-to-face course) or to create an entire course online with many of the features that are highlighted as discrete e-Tools. Blackboard, an example of a CMS (http://www.blackboard.com/), offers many electronic features in one place. Moodle (http://moodle.org/) is a free open source CMS that can be utilized by instructors whose institutions have not partnered with a company offering fee-based CMS.

Course management systems allow students to view materials, watch videos, and participate in online discussions asynchronously or synchronously. Students can also instant message with the instructor or other course participants, send the instructor an e-mail message, submit assessments online, and take online quizzes or exams. CMS’s are very powerful tools since they combine many features in one place allowing both students and instructors to log into one system to access all features.

The e-Tools highlighted in the UDI e-Toolbox can be utilized to augment the features provided by course management systems as well as to make course content accessible to all students with different learning styles including students with disabilities.


Please click below for an audio of the introduction to Course Management Systems.



Technical Requirements and Where to Access Course Management Systems

Contact your institution’s instructional design or technology department to determine if a CMS is available on your campus.