WebDNA Powers Student Tracking System

The term "Learning Management System" or "LMS" has become a catchall phrase to define systems that focus on the management of on-line and off-line learning.

LMSs come in all manner of shapes, sizes and prices. Features can include course management,
student tracking, testing, reporting, evaluations, bulletin boards, chat rooms, content management and SCORM compliance, the ability to scale, integrate with other business software and serve the needs of international students. Using an LMS, students select courses, receive content, complete exercises, tests, and communicate with instructors and other students. Instructors, administrators and managers monitor student participation through records contained in the LMS.

Recognizing that not every business needs all of these attributes, nor do they want to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars that these systems can cost, d'Vinci Interactive sought to create an LMS that was affordable, extremely flexible and would meet the needs of most businesses.

d'Vinci weighed the pros and cons of various development tools for creating their system and ultimately chose WebDNA. "WebDNA offered us flexibility no other system has," says Sally Reidy, programmer with d'Vinci Interactive. "We had three overriding criteria that needed to be met. First, we needed to be able to deploy the system on any server, not just our own. We wanted to make sure we did not limit our market by using a tool that required Windows servers OR Unix servers. We wanted to be able to create our system once and deploy it anywhere. Second, we wanted to make certain that we were in no way locking our customer's data in a proprietary format. Since all WebDNA data is stored in tab delimited text files, the most standard of all formats, we can offer flexibility way beyond what other LMSs can offer. Third, we needed complete design flexibility. Most LMSs clutter the screen with their navigational menus. We wanted a system where all the tracking could be done behind the scenes and we could use the whole screen for content."

d'Vinci's LMS, formally called the d'Vinci Student Tracking System, does not contain all the features of the more expensive LMSs. However it does provide the most important elements. And it does so at a fraction of the cost of the larger systems, which Sally refers to as "bloated, offering customers far more than most businesses really need." The d'Vinci LMS is lean, providing an easy, no-frills way to view and edit student and course information through a browser. It provides a set of processes that are highly customizable to fit the client's specific needs. It can be tailored to include as many or as few courses, and modules within those courses, as required. d'Vinci's LMS normally includes the following functionality: log-in/registration, module and course completion tracking, a tracking page (usually the Main Menu) that shows the student their progress, quizzing and testing, certification, a certificate of completion, course evaluation and reporting capabilities. The System can also be set up to accept credit card purchases of courses.

At this point the d'Vinci Student Tracking System LMS is being used by several Offices within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and by Proed Learning Services. While no one was available from the NIH for comment, administrators who are using d'Vinci's LMS are so pleased they consistently recommend d'Vinci to other Offices within the NIH and one Institute is currently deploying the System on NIH servers.


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WebDNA Powers Student Tracking System

The term "Learning Management System" or "LMS" has become a catchall phrase to define systems that focus on the management of on-line and off-line learning...