The Evolving Learning Management System

Learning Management Systems (LMS), if not properly managed, can actually actively work against the goal of learning.  Mark Berthelemy’s blog entry on the use of the LMS in corporate settings indicates what some of the problems are in it’s use today and are equally applicable to the college setting (see The Changing Role of the LMS).  One of his points, regarding the difficulty of LMS usage, is apparent to anyone who has ever lived through the upgrade from older to newer versions of software, like MIcrosoft Word or Excel.  Ultimately you don’t want the learning goals of the subject matter to be taught to be obscured by the complexity of the system that houses the subject matter.  As Berthelelemy points out, we also need to find better, more creative, ways to measure learning – especially when it is done at a distance as LMS learning is most often done.  We shouldn’t be constrained by the LMS analytics available to us if they are inadequate.  Instead, as he says, “we need to learn how to make the important measurable, rather than the measurable important (Bethelemy, 2012).”  It is too easy for organizations to do the latter.

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