In previous posts we explained some of the major features found in two common types of school administration software: student information systems and learning management systems. (If you’re not sure what you need, our checklist can help.)
What many schools find is that they need or want the features of both systems, but don’t want to deal with the daunting task of finding multiple vendors and juggling different systems that may or may not integrate well with each other.
How a combined LMS/SIS can help
A one stop shop like Twine combines the online classroom features of an LMS, including parent communication tools, the ability to post content for students, and a gradebook to help track and communicate student progress, alongside the student data management capabilities of an SIS. The advantage is that schools have seamless integration of student information, allowing students, families, teachers, and staff to access the information they need, when they need it, all from one centralized location.
Teacher and student schedules
One area where this combined system is advantageous is when preparing for the school year and establishing student and teacher schedules. With a combined SIS/LMS like Twine, school administrators can set up the master schedule for the school, assign students and teachers to courses and automatically create and update the individual classes within the LMS to reflect what is being offered.
What are the benefits?
- Parents and teachers can easily access and view daily and weekly schedules, ensuring that everyone is in the right place at the right time. This is particularly useful for schools on rotating or block schedules where students may not attend every class each day.
- Parents and students can review the next day’s schedule together from home and ensure homework and other materials are ready to go.
- Teachers can communicate important information to parents and students, even on days where students do not attend that particular class
Attendance monitoring is another area that greatly benefits from having a combined SIS/LMS. Twine allows teachers to enter student attendance data directly into the LMS portal in their normal class view, and sends it to school administration automatically, as well as allowing parents and students to view attendance information in real-time through their LMS log-in.
What are the benefits?
- Parents can conveniently report planned absences or illness right from any smartphone or computer, saving time and making them more likely to report absences.
- With parents reporting absences directly to the schools, office staff no longer have to spend their time making phone calls to track down parents at home and work to confirm why a student is out.
- Real-time attendance details are visible to everyone involved -- administrators and teachers can see who is present and who is out and plan accordingly. Similarly, with parents and students seeing official attendnace records thare are no secrets and no surprises at home.
Many other functions provide similar benefits for schools, when so called "back-end" functions are fully integrated to allow parent and student interactions.
Ultimately, the decision to select an LMS, SIS, or both comes down to your schools needs and how the software can best help solve some of your biggest concerns. Need help assessing what might be best for your school?