20 Oct 2006

Learning or Management System?

George Siemens has written a review of learning management system reviews. The adoption of a centralized learning management approach and the recent trend addressing the limitations of an LMS with personal learning environments (PLEs) are seen as two dramatically opposing approaches to elearning deployment. This requires consideration of what learning means within an institutional context. From the abstract:
“Selecting a traditional Learning Management System (LMS) requires balancing learning and management. The initial intent of an LMS was to enable administrators and educators to manage the learning process. This mindset is reflected in the features typically promoted by vendors: ability to track student progress, manage content, roster students, and such. The learning experience takes a back seat to the management functions. Numerous reports (citing administrators, IT departments, and educators) laud the management functions of an LMS. To-date, student experiences and efficacy of the tools have been subjected to limited research.

The position offered in this report encourages an organizational definition of learning as the starting point for selecting a technology platform for creating and delivery learning content. A clear definition of learning vision and desired future states, created through input from stakeholders (administrators, faculty, students, and information services) should provide the foundation for decision making, and the boundaries of platform selection.”
Download this paper here.

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