Written by:

Holly Macdonald


May 3, 2010

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I recently worked with an organization who is implementing a new LMS and wanted to figure out how/if they could integrate some of the more “social” elements that are available with nouveau technology.  I think they were excited by the possibilities but ultimately frustrated by the constraints that their situation provided them.  I know that many other bloggers have commented on how hard it is for organizations to be in this space.  They need to streamline and automate their course registration system and so the LMS is the best way to do so.  But, as many of us know the LMS is struggling to provide a perfect option for formal and informal learning.   

It got me thinking that this group, and likely other organizations,  are really having to deal with four different types of instructional development scenarios:

  • Traditional – these are the formal courses that a centralized learning group will produce and deploy through the LMS
  • Rapid – these are the courses that a centralized learning group will provide templates for, but the business unit will produce and then the learning group can deploy through the LMS
  • Self-serve – these are the more informal bits that a business unit will produce and deploy and the only role of the centralized learning group is to provide the platform – is it through the LMS?
  • User-generated -these are the things that employees themselves will produce and deploy, is it through the LMS.

I’m still thinking through the implications of this and whether or not these are the only situations.  What do you think?  How would you change/improve my model above?  Where is my blind spot on this?

Maybe the LMS isn’t the end-all, be-all, and organizations will have to look at options, like Google Analytics to augment their existing LMS or the use of a different type of LMS, like Curatr.  I hope so, otherwise, instead of sparking people’s interest in how web 2.o can help them with learning, I will truly be peddling frustration to those organizations who are trying to make the transition to the web 2.0 world, but their systems are holding them back.