Course management system

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1 Definition

According to Watson and Watson (2007:29), CMS “ are used primarily for online or blended learning, supporting the placement of course materials online, associating students with courses, tracking student performance, storing student submissions and mediating communication between the students as well as their instructor. Some of this same functionality can be seen within LMSs as well, so it is understandable why confusion might exist. However, the systemic nature of an LMS does not limit its functionality to that of a CMS.”

For others, Course management system is used as a synonym for learning management system.

A CMS “ provides an instructor with a set of tools and a framework that allows the relatively easy creation of online course content and the subsequent teaching and management of that course including various interactions with students taking the course” (EDUCAUSE, 2003:1), cited by Watson and Watson (2007:29).


Usually CMS stands for Content management system ! Use of this accronym in educational ICT as above is just an attempt to seed confusion :)

2 References

  • Carliner, S. (2005). Course management systems versus learning management systems. Learning Circuits. HTML
  • EDUCAUSE Evolving Technologies Committee. (2003). Course Management Systems (CMS). PDF
  • Watson, William R and Sunnie Lee Watson (2007). An Argument for Clarity: What are Learning Management Systems, What are They Not, and What Should They Become?, Techtrends, Volume 51, Number 2 / March, 2007 [http:/ doi:10.1007/s11528-007-0023-y PDF]