Online Education and Learning Management Systems from Service-Centered Perspective

A. Lassila and P. Pöyry (Finland)


Online education and training, e-learning, learning management systems, service-centered view, software as a service.


In this paper we explore how Learning Management Systems (LMS) can be offered and used as a service. We use the Software as a Service (SaaS) framework as we study how the service-centered view can be applied in the context of e-learning and offering LMSs as online services. The phenomenon is approached from two different stakeholders’viewpoints: the LMS developer’s and universities'. This paper reports a case study of a LMS called Optima and how it is used as a SaaS service by two major universities in Finland. Empirical data was collected via interviews, and the data was analysed from both the LMS provider’s and the universities’ perspectives. On the basis of our findings, we conclude that the SaaS model can help the different stakeholders to more efficiently take advantage of the online LMSs' benefits provided that the LMS developer and the universities adopt a more service-centered view on offering e-learning. In addition, there are still many obstacles that hinder the optimal use of LMS, such as insufficient user interface design, learning content creation and packaging using the LMS, i.e. in the overall process of providing an online teaching and learning environment.

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