Learning management systems are slowly becoming a standard teaching tool in the schools in the French speaking part of Belgium, results of a survey show. Claroline and Moodle, two open source e-learning management systems, seem to be the more popular solutions.
The Claroline Consortium did a survey on the use of ICT in schools in the second half of last year on the use of ICT in schools. Development of the open source project is funded in part by the country's Walloon-Brussels federation. The survey questions were answered by 194 respondents. That is nearly 16 per cent of all schools' representatives and education workers that was approached for the survey.
Of these 194 respondents, 38 per cent uses Claroline. Moodle is used by 10 per cent. A few schools (7 per cent) use software they developed themselves. Mentioned next are the open source content management systems Joomla and Menteos. The latter project is also supported by the Walloon-Brussels federation.
Text and photos
Announcing the survey results, the Claroline project says that a majority of schools is now making learning material available online, mostly as text and photos. About half of this material is intended to complement classes.
"The answers show that ICT is gradually becoming a part of teaching", the survey organisers write in their summary of the results. They recommend teachers and schools to do their homework: implementing an e-learning system is not easy. "Training will be necessary, to keep the balance between teaching and learning."
The introduction of ICT is changing the way schools operate, the Claroline project comments. According to the report, many of the respondents are unsure how to properly tie-in ICT tools into teaching. "We have to manage this change cautiously, to ensure reaching the hoped-for results."
Respondents recommend that the government continues to provide assistance for the implementation of e-learning management tools. "Why does the government not set it up so that teachers share their courses and tests?"