Monday, December 1, 2014

The main thing!

I had written earlier about how the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!

So, what is the main thing in an LMS implementation?

It certainly is NOT the technological act of installing the LMS on a server, creating the structure and adding learners. What is the point of having a system that tracks learning, if there is nothing to learn? Which brings us to the next item in the LMS implementation - courses.

At a basic level, courses will be either Instructor Led, which means that the LMS is used simply to track attendance and feedback. So, in this approach, the LMS turns out to be a very expensive attendance and feedback tracking system.

At the next level, we have content dumps - pdfs, videos, slide decks, audio and animations, which are simply uploaded for learners to view. Again, quite an expensive proposition to simply store and run content repositories.

The real impact of an LMS really comes to the fore, only when content is created specifically for self-paced learning, which is packaged for the LMS, so that at least the basic benefits of tracking progress and assessment scores can be achieved. This in turn allows learning administrators to analyse data and trends from real-time learning activities that an LMS is adept at tracking. Therein lies the true value of an LMS.

Therefore, in my view, in an LMS implementation, packaged self-paced learning content is the main thing in an LMS implementation. Without this, the LMS will remain a tool which is used to track attendance and maybe feedback, which in turn will lead to less usage of the LMS.

Which brings me to my next point... When budgeting for an LMS implementation, it is absolutely important to budget for development of content. This budgeting for content development can be either in-house or out-sourced (the quintessential make vs. buy conundrum), which will be dealt with in another post.

Therefore, I submit
Content is King, And that is the Main Thing!!

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