MIT's New Modular Learning Management System: The Evolution from Stellar

Published in MIT Faculty Newsletter May/Jun 2013 by Daniel Hastings and Christine Ortiz

An effective Learning Management System (LMS) enables faculty to organize and manage the many aspects of teaching a class, for example:

  • sharing and updating class materials and assignments
  • managing class membership
  • tracking student performance
  • facilitating course-based collaboration and information exchange.

An effective LMS is also scalable and adaptable and evolves to support the diverse and advancing pedagogical models used by the faculty.

Stellar, launched by Information Services and Technology (IS&T) in 2001, has been the primary LMS for the MIT residential curriculum. During the spring 2013 term, Stellar supported 972 classes, 1,244 faculty users and 8,864 student users across all five Schools. Since the launch, IS&T evolved Stellar to address new and changing requirements. However, as the system aged, constraints in the architecture began to limit extensibility. Key features, such as more collaboration capabilities, support for flexible learning groups and more flexible document and data management, could not be added...

Read the complete MIT Faculty Newsletter article