Ideas please - Designing LMS profiles for school children

The project I am currently working on has evolved from the initial plan and now the company is going to implement an LMS, to track students progress through the e-learning modules and give teachers the ability to view their students records.

The system would be open to any and all school teachers and individuals although targeted at Western Australia students.

This poses a number of problems:

  1. What to use as a unique identifier for student logins - they don't all have email as some of the users will be as young as 5
  2. How to design a password recovery system that doesn't use email
  3. How to link students to teachers and then be able to have them change from one teacher to another at the start of a new year etc
  4. How to design the logins/passwords so they are easy enough for a student to remember but hard enough for their friends not to hack them
  5. We want to capture as little information as possible to limit security / potential privacy issues

Ideally we want accounts to be created by either

  • Teacher logs in and uploads a spreadsheet of users. The system then creates accounts based on the details provided.  The teacher would then hand the login details to her students. 
  • Students create their own accounts. Teacher could later add these to her class list.

 

Has anyone ever designed something similar?

My initial thoughts are:

  1. Truncate the user name and add numbers to the end (ie: thunt001).  While students could still forget their login it is fairly generic and the teacher will be able to tell them 1 digit first name then your surname (or however many letters from surname) then your digits everyone is 001 except little Johnny your 003.
  2. No idea other than emailing to the teacher but then if they are doing it for homework this is of no use.
  3. Allow the teacher to add a student to their class by inputting the student ID which would then show the students school and room number and a yes/no confirmation before moving over (although I have privacy concerns here). Second thought would be to allow the teacher to key it in then when the student logs in they have to confirm for the linked details to change however I am not sure if this would be possible in the system. 
  4. System generated random password for first login and then the user is forced to choose a password on their initial login. This would make the need for #2 significantly greater. 

Any suggestions or information on what you have done previously would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Replies
Cary Glenn

Hi Tristan,

My hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Has something like that in the public school system, they call it school zone. Every student, parent, and teacher can login see what homework is due, marks, register for classes, etc. You might try contacting them at www.epsb.ca and find out about their system and how they developed it.

Bob S

Tristan,

Kudos for taking on such an ambitious project.   I think you've identified many of the challenges already. Additionally, you might want to consider that many/most teachers I know of do not want to play "sys admin", so may want to consider designating a point person for dealing with student accounts.

One LMS feature you might find helpful is Enrollment Keys. Basically the creation of pre-set accounts that users can activate. I can envision these being created by class/teacher and you authorize 30 accounts for each. Then the student self enrolls selecting their teacher/grade from a pull down, completes some key info, and an account is created. On most LMSs this can even include admin approval so duplicate/bogus accounts aren't created.

As for passwords and usernames....  For this group of learners I might avoid pre-set usernames for security issues.... kids talk and it wont take long to figure out the pattern. Instead, I would build the whole username and password concept into a classroom lesson..... "the way of the world today is we need to manage our identities in various systems, here's your chance to practice good habits around that". 

Hope these ideas help and good luck.

Tristan Hunt

Thanks for the feedback!

After taking a step back and questioning the requirements it's looking like from a business point of view we are only interested in high level statistics and have no real need to draw down into these and from a teachers point of view they are only interested in the results then and there so we may have over complicated things a touch.