Strategic Learning Solutions

Strategic planning, development, and implementation of effective learning solutions

Limited Analysis of LMS

February 7, 2007 by · No Comments · Learning Management Systems

LMS analysis is limited and there are almost too many vendors in the marketplace today to count. Which LMS is best? First things first: who are the stakeholders? Better yet, who are the potential stakeholders? Forgotten anyone? What is needed within the organization? How do you know what questions to ask? Will your current systems integrate with a new system? How does this affect others and other systems and procedures? Are you thinking strategically for your institution? Have you done your homework by reading SEC filings, checking their client base, etc? Do they have any major pending lawsuits? What are their strategic goals/plans? Who are their partners and how long have they been partners? Do you have your scorecard ready? Know what to ask?

Since attending some Learning/Course Management System committee meetings and doing some online research, it seems difficult (to me) to find and/or conduct comparisons of various technological systems (LMS, CMS, LCMS, course authoring tools, hosting, etc.), integration factors, costs, and to even determine staffing required for developing learning environments for staff training and compliance (especially when some are unfamiliar with specs they need/integration factors, etc.). Decision-makers need to discuss the pros and cons of:

  • Committee or consultant?
  • Shelf content/customized content vs. hiring instructional designer/developer
  • Hosting onsite vs. hosting offsite
  • Budget – short term vs. long term – strategic planning
  • Tracking training/certifications using existing (upgrading) LMS (e.g., Blackboard w/developer using plug-ins to integrate with PeopleSoft or Bb Gradebook/importing/exporting) or purchasing new LMS.
  • Compliance, certification tracking
  • In a decentralized environment, Individual departments will need the ability to manage and track their users
  • Blackboard does have a robust reporting tool, so that you can see which participants have completed which educational components. You can review quiz scores, transcripts, time spent online, and much more.
  • ANGEL Learning – a new one to consider. Great drag and drop features.
  • Technology support for existing vs. adding one more new type of technology/migration, campus support, license
  • Centralization/standardization – resource management/buying power
  • Campus-wide collaboration of talent/technology (i.e., SPH using audio/visual presentations in Blackboard already-easy to do—just need time)

Learning environment considerations:

Authoring Tools (e.g., Captivate by Adobe/Macromedia. It allows you to create web-deliverable interactive movies (and even training and tests). It records what you do within a window or application on your computer, then allows you to edit, add audio and annotate with “balloons” and other enhancements. This is then published to the Web as a flash movie (or a variety of other formats) that can be viewed on-demand from any computer, any browser.

Learning Content Management System

Learning Management System

Online Delivery System (synchronous and/or asynchronous)


Support (Internal/External)

Possible considerations for the LMS you select:

  • content & curriculum management
  • registration
  • class/course scheduling
  • course delivery
  • competency management
  • assessment, testing, and evaluation
  • compliance, certification
  • resource management
  • inventory management
  • finance administration
  • content authoring
  • content management
  • system administration
  • reporting
  • ability to define user roles within LMS
  • ability to define user profiles
  • ability to set learning home pages
  • performance requirements
  • user interface considerations
  • business domains
  • global access and functionality
  • application and database management
  • user and system documentation and training
  • security and audit functions
  • flexibility and scalability
  • technical requirements
  • architecture and system requirements
  • interoperability req
  • systems integration (HRIS/HRMS, finance systems, email, etc)
  • security requirements (for remote use, for ex)
  • who will manage LMS
  • shelf or off shelf content-staff–instructional designer/technologist, etc
  • hosting onsite vs. hosting off site
  • other clients; partners
  • What do their most recent SEC filings say about them? In debt, loans, lawsuits, etc…

Quadrant for Learning

February 7, 2007 by · No Comments · Learning Management Systems

Magic Quadrant

LMS Feature Scorecard

February 6, 2007 by · No Comments · Learning Management Systems

I found this scorecard from Latitude Consulting Group. It has some very helpful questions and answers plus the scorecard. Click here. There are almost too many LMS vendors in the commercial market with many institutions and organizations using more than one LMS for their day-to-day training practices. Multiple LMS vendors means multiple versions of content that are not compatible with each other. Challenges in reusability, portability, efficiency and much more can surface.

Request for LMS Info Model

January 20, 2007 by · No Comments · Course Management Systems

Click to learn more: request-for-info-model.pdf

Partnering Up

January 19, 2007 by · No Comments · Course Management Systems

Article from ASTD, Sept. 2006:

Workplace Learning and Performance Professionals must develop a rapport with senior executives. partnering-up.pdf 

Building Collaborations…The Challenge of Diplomacy

January 19, 2007 by · No Comments · Course Management Systems

“…in a world where no individual can possibly have all the answers, it is the inclusive organization that exels!”

Presentation by Dr. Barbara A. White, CIO and Associate Provost, The University of Georgia, email: [email protected] /


Compliance Training: The Reality of Tracking e-Learning Completions

January 18, 2007 by · 2 Comments · Course Management Systems

“Online compliance training can provide consistent, cost-effective, tool for distributing necessary compliance training, and effective data tracking for measuring completion.” This white paper written by Jim Renner, Senior Solutions consultant, with Element K, is very informative and includes issues and best practices. compliance-training_the-reality-of-tracking-elearning-completions.pdf

Decision Tool

January 18, 2007 by · No Comments · Course Management Systems

The EduTools Decision Engine is most useful if you are already familiar with the products and features you wish to compare. The goal of the summative decision tool is to give the user a rational decision making process to assist in selecting a course management system.

Basic Principals of Adult Learning

January 18, 2007 by · No Comments · Adult Learning Theory

1. Adults maintain the ability to learn.
2. Adults are a highly diversified group of individuals with widely differing preferences, needs, backgrounds, and skills.
3. Adults experience a wide variety of physical/sensory capabilities.
4. Experience of the learner is a major resource in learning situations.
5. Self-concept moves from dependency to independency as individuals grow in responsibilities, experiences and confidence.
6. Adults tend to be life-centered in their orientation to learning.
7. Adults are motivated to learn by a variety of factors.
8. Active learner participation contributes to learning.
9. A comfortable supportive environment is a key to successful learning.

REFERENCES: James (1983) in Brookfield, S.D. (1987) Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning. San Francisco. Jossey-Bass. p 38.


January 18, 2007 by · No Comments · Adult Learning Theory

Andragogy, the research and practice of adult teaching and learning, was proposed by Malcolm Knowles to provide guidance to teachers/facilitators of adult learning.  It developed out of a realization that there is a difference between the way adults learned as children, and the way they approach learning as adults.Within Andragogy are guidelines for creating an environment which is more learner-centered and which places emphasis on adult self-direction.  The instructor is seen as a facilitator, rather than informer, of adults. Adults have input into every aspect of the learning process, including the formation of objectives, the learning activities themselves, and the methods of evaluation.  The practice of Andragogy is often threatening to new instructors.  It is relatively simple to prepare a lecture, give it, and respond to simple questions directly related to the topic of the lecture.  It requires more self-awareness and self-confidence to plan a course in a way which considers each adult in the room a unique individual and which modifies the learning environment for the needs of the learner.  The benefits of an andragogical approach to adult education may in the long run outweigh the problems in implementation.  It is difficult to see how listening passively to a lecture, or performing a procedure in a rote way leads to independent, self-directed learners.  Learners who have experienced the self-responsibility required of adults within Andragogy are more likely to carry that self-responsibility into their lives. 

REFERENCES: Knowles,M.S. (1980) The Modern Practice of Adult Education: From Pedagogy to Andragogy. (2nd ed.) New York: Cambridge Books. p. 43-44.