The important elements of LMS design that affect user engagement with e-learning tools within LMSs in the higher education sector
In recent years, universities have been under increased pressure to adopt e-learning practices for teaching and learning. In particular, the emphasis has been on learning management systems (LMSs) and associated collaboration tools to provide opportunities for sharing knowledge, building a community of learners, and supporting higher order learning and critical thinking through conversation and collaboration. Due to the greater level of data continuity, reliability, and privacy that LMSs can provide compared to the available free applications, LMSs are still the central platform for many universities to deliver e-learning. Therefore, it is vital to investigate the LMS structure requisites that affect user engagement. This paper focuses on the important LMS design factors that influence user engagement with e-learning tools within LMSs. Results were extracted from 74 interviews about Blackboard with students and lecturers within a major Australian university. A user-friendly structure, avoidance of too many tools and links, support for privacy and anonymous posting, and more customisable student-centred tools were identified as LMS design factors that affect user engagement.