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LMS Administrator’s Toolbox

Today I thought I’d share of few of the tools in my toolbox in case it helps any learning management system (LMS) administrators out there.

First, a confession: I’m not an LMS administrator. But I do work with them nearly every day. As part of our product development, support and implementation team, I’m often on calls or screen shares with customers solving problems. I’ve observed and shared a lot of tools, and thought posting some of them here might be helpful.

If you are an LMS administrator and you have some tools you love, let us know! We’ll add them here.

The following is a short list of tools that I use nearly every day or week. I do have one bias though. The most important criterion for me is that the tool runs in a web browser. All day I’m switching between laptops and desktops, Mac, Windows and Linux, and I need to have the same tools available at all times without additional expense. For that reason, you won’t see any desktop applications here.

SCORM Cloud

SCORM CloudSCORM Cloud is a cloud-based SCORM delivery engine. Chances are that your LMS already has a SCORM player. But sometimes, SCORM being SCORM, things don’t work as expected and the question arises, “Is the problem with the LMS or the SCORM package?” SCORM Cloud lets you easily answer that question with a free account. Simply upload your SCORM package and launch. If things work as expected, you’ll have to go back and check your LMS settings. If your package doesn’t play in SCORM Cloud, you’ll likely need to go back and check your authoring tool settings.
Tool: SCORM Cloud
Cost: Free for trial account

Pixlr Editor

Pixlr EditorFor minor edits to photos and images, PhotoShop and other full-featured editors are often overkill. Pixlr Editor runs in the browser, is free and simple to use. It’s perfect for resizing or cropping images. It also has advanced features such as type placement, layer styles and filters.
Tool: Pixlr Editor
Cost: Free

Creately

Creately LogoCreately is an online diagramming and collaboration tool. You can use it to generate flowcharts, business process diagrams, mockup web interfaces and more. Sure, there are more full featured and sophisticated tools for creating all of those diagram types, but Creately is web-based, simple to use and inexpensive.
Tool: Creately
Cost $5+ per month

Loripsum.net

The ‘lorem ipsum’ generator that doesn’t suck. It’s by far the best greeking generator I’ve used — it allows for selection of various options including tags, lists, quotes, sentence and paragraph length. It also has an API with which you can pull greeking just by loading a URL, for example, http://loripsum.net/api/10/medium/decorate/link/ul.
Tool: Loripsum.net
Cost: Free

Mockaroo

MockarooMockaroo is a web-based data generation tool. It allows you to generate data based on the schema defined by your LMS and output it in CSV, SML, SQL and other formats. Why might you use this? To test data migrations or generate sample files for external partners. It might not be something you’ll use everyday, but when you need it, it’s fantastic!
Tool: Mockaroo
Cost: Free

Awesome Screenshots

Awesome screenshot logoEvery OS has a screenshot tool built in, but Awesome Screenshots’ killer feature is that it will capture the entire page in one click. You don’t have to make multiple screenshots and paste them together. There are also basic image markup tools and it’s available as a browser plugin.
Tool: Awesome Screenshots
Cost: Free, plus paid plans

Google Docs/Sheets

We dropped Microsoft Office years ago in favor of Google’s online editing suite. The main reason is collaboration. Multiple people can work on the same document together at the same time. The other is cost. The difference in cost between Office and Google’s suite is thousands of dollars a year for us. I’m sure Office online has collaborative editing tools now and inexpensive subscription-based pricing, but Google’s tools are web-based at the core, and we haven’t looked back since switching.
Tool: Google Docs
Cost: Free, plus paid plans

Auto Text Expander for Google Chrome

Do you ever have to type the same sentence or paragraph over and over again?
Auto Text Expander for Google Chrome allows you to set up a shortcut that will expand that keyboard combination into a longer sentence or paragraph. If you spend your whole day in the browser like I do, often working in a repetitive process, this little tool will likely save you a few minutes a day.
Tool: Auto Text Expander for Google Chrome
Cost: Free

Chrome Developer Tools

Chrome is my browser of choice for many reasons, primarily because I can sign into the browser and take all my history, passwords, extensions with me wherever I go. But second to that are the developer tools built into Chrome. The feature set is far too extensive to describe here and ranges from basic to expert, but if you’ve ever pulled out your hair debugging HTML or CSS in a course landing page, then you should take a look at the Chrome developer tools
Tool: Chrome Developer Tools
Cost: Free

Comments
2
  1. Ezra Wolfe says:

    Here’s another one I find useful: Tables Generator. You can use it to create html tables from csv files.

    http://www.tablesgenerator.com/html_tables.

  2. […] education is no different. More than ever, it is important to take advantage of everything your learning management system has to […]

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