But the discussion about the value of an LMS goes back further than this. Dan Pontefract, in April 2009 in a posting, The standalone LMS is dead, on his trainingwreck blog wrote:"Those organizations (and frankly public learning institutions) that are clinging to their standalone learning management systems as a way in which to serve up formal ILT course schedules and eLearning are absolutely missing the big picture. Sadly, there are too many organizations like this out there."And in an article on Innovative Learning, The traditional LMS is dead, Richard Culatta believes that:"The traditional stand-alone learning management system (LMS) is built on an industrial age model. There are two specific problems with this model, first it is monolithic within a learning institution and second it is generic across learning institutions."StrengthsAround for quite some time now and is well accepted.Provide a central and manageable system for both online and offline training.Capable of integrating with the workflow.Capable of integrating with other existing HRMS/IS.Exhaustive MIS reporting.Works excellent for course management, delivery and tracking of formal learning.Some LMS systems are capable of managing more than only eLearning – competency and talent management (though limited).WeaknessesFocused on control and managing more than learner experienceMost LMS systems not ready for Web 2.0 experience and still offer outdated way of course access.Still focused on formal learning to be pushed to learners. Course-centric workflows and approach is inherent.Apart from Interoperability standards – no real standards govern LMS developmentVaried and fragmented suppliers pool with differing technical and functional capabilities. Overall customer experience with LMS is not consistent.OpportunitiesSocial and Informal learning trends. A real opportunity for LMS to create learner-centric environments rather than centralized course delivery system. By not only providing the tools but also revamping the whole learner experience is required.Talent management. Given the core strength of the LMS and its capability to link with other systems, being able to offer talent management functionality in the context of both formal and informal learning is an excellent opportunity for the LMS to become and remain relevant for the HR/training function.ThreatsSlow to respond to changing learner needs.Fragmented market. With the suppliers fragmented across verticals, focus areas, technical capabilities only a few LMS systems respond to the changing dynamics of the market. More LMS systems out of tune to the market demands will create a higher level of dissonance with the LMS as a whole in terms of its relevance and usefulness.Social networking tools. Tools focused on providing a networked environment to learners and allowing them to share content, opinions and information with each other could extend to take over some of the LMS functionality posing a new competition (already are) to LMS.
The biggest challenge for LMSs today is the tension between being a one-stop shop for e-learning (incorporating the tools and features required by most teachers and learners) and providing the flexibility and extensibility to enable easy access to a range of third-party and custom-built learning tools--all in a scalable, reliable, and secure package.The LMS as a technology tool is nearly valueless without high-quality electronic learning content. And electronic learning content is of limited value without the functionality associated with an LMS, including assessment, social interaction, outcomes management, academic structure, measurement, and reporting. The future of the LMS and electronic learning content are entirely intertwined in a model that looks more like the exploding market for assessment-driven learning applications rather than the PowerPoint posted to a website/LMS (which is still all too common). The impacts range from simple functionality like streaming video to more sophisticated development around building outcomes-management systems, content repositories, assessment and analytics systems, standards-based data systems, and content exchange/rating systems. As the sophistication increases, the authoring process is being developed to eliminate friction, so that faculty, instructional designers, students, and publishers can all make use of sophisticated tools as well as inject teach-ready courses or modules into their environments. If the LMS begins to embrace the movement towards openness in education, it will begin to break down this artificial barrier, allowing knowledge and learning experiences to flow more easily across it. A secure but permeable LMS of this nature would facilitate regular interactions between students and experts from industry as well as peers from other cultures and societies. At the same time, it will promote the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) as well as the dissemination of student-generated content for use by those outside the institution. Many LMSs place the teacher in the role of creating content and the student in the role of consuming it. This is contrary to a web 2.0 world that relies on user-generated content.Should students learn to use a blogging or wiki application that is unique to a particular LMS, or should they learn WordPress or Blogger or Google Sites to develop skills in these technologies that they might use beyond their college courses?
Canvas:As a start, Canvas integrates with Web services such as Google Docs, Google Calendar, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, and RSS. When a teacher changes the date of a quiz, for example, the system automatically sends a text message to students who want notifications sent to their phone, a Facebook message to students who want notifications sent to their social network, or an e-mail message to students who prefer that. (Campus Technology)Instructure is offering three editions of its product. Canvas Community Edition (CE), available for a free download, will include an open source AGPL license and community-provided support. Canvas Pro will have a commercial license and will offer four levels of support, from basic to professional service. Both of those editions are expected to be run on institutional hardware. The third option will be Canvas Pro Cloud, which will be made available as a service subscription and come with three levels of support, from basic to premium.LoudCloud’s aesthetically pleasing interface and intuitive workflows, built around a Web 2.0 environment, offer powerful collaborative learning features, adaptive learning technologies, and actionable analytics that guide instruction and intervention, which improves student outcomes. LoudCloud can be delivered as a SAAS application over the cloud, helping institutions reduce deployment costs, while providing access to the latest technologies.By moving away from monolithic approaches and leveraging architectural disaggregation, LoudCloud’s LMS provides its customers compelling flexibility in their student-focused offerings. Their predictive analytics platform offers path-breaking potential in improving online education effectiveness by allowing institutions to detect at-risk students early and intervene quickly with remedial action to get the student on track to academic success,” said C.P. Jois, Vice President Enterprise Architecture, Career Education Corporation. “LoudCloud offers a comprehensive product suite with capabilities for social collaboration, academic instruction, and predictive analytics, complemented with end-to-end support for its users, making LoudCloud more than an LMS company.” The market is more competitive, with more options, than it has been for years. Instructure is a real player that has shown that it can win against established LMS vendors with big wins in Utah and at Auburn. LoudCloud has new clients at CEC, Grand Canyon U and an unreported win at a public state university. BrainHoney won at BYU. Pearson LearningStudio has major wins at Arizona State and Columbia online programs. Desire2Learn has roughly doubled in size in the past year. Moodle and Sakai, including through providers such as MoodleRooms and rSmart and Unicon, continue their impressive wins in the market.Related to the above, there is a trend towards software as a service (SaaS) models for new LMS solutions. The SaaS model offers some compelling advantages in terms of deployment time and ability to mine and report transactional data that might not be possible with other approaches. SaaS is not a panacea, but this is a growing trend in the LMS market.Also related to the above, the market is demanding and getting real Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 advances in LMS user interfaces and functionality. We are starting to see some real improvements in usability in the LMS market.The lines are blurring between content delivery systems (e.g. CengageMindTap, Pearson MyLabs, etc) and LMS. Content delivery and ability to keep students engaged within the content will drive much of the broader ed tech market. This integration of markets is being seen as a strategically important issue for institutions, particularly for online programs.Along those same lines, it is also interesting in what is not being seen as a strategic blurring of lines – between LMS and student information systems. It seems that IMS standards and other efforts might be commoditizing this integration – LMS / SIS interaction is still important, but it is not a strategic differentiator in the market in the same way that LMS / content interaction is proving to be.Analytics and data reporting are not just aspirational goals for LMS deployments, but real requirements driven by real deadlines. In the past, institutions liked to talk about analytics, reporting and learning from data, but there were few real projects driven by real needs. With regulatory changes for online programs, changes in state funding models (e.g. Arizona and other states moving to outcomes-based funding of public institutions rather than enrollment-based funding), and general budget changes in general – the need for real, actionable data coming out the LMS is now critical and likely to start producing more results.Good analytics tools provide both a rearview mirror and a predictive look into the future to enable LMS users to make decisions about themselves, their staff, or their systems. Students will be able to monitor their own progress against discipline-based, generic, and self-generated learning objectives and compare their performance against class, institutional, state, or national averages. Instructors will be able to develop predictive models of indicators for success or for students at risk of failing--and manage their content, assessment, and interaction with students accordingly. Academic administrators will be able to analyze courses and/or instructors that consistently do well or poorly in student satisfaction and evaluation surveys, allowing professional-development and instructional-design efforts to be directed where they will be most effective. Institutional IT directors and managers will be able to see which tools are being used by whom, when, and where, in order to make decisions about infrastructure maintenance and improvements.
LMSs need to embrace opennessThe LMS must evolve from systems that simply automate teaching, learning, and research collaboration to technologies that also facilitate, and even drive, true innovation--innovation that fundamentally changes how academia works.Mobile is going to be a struggle for LMS developers. These systems were designed with the PC in mind. On a deeper level, we have to ask what teaching and learning tasks make sense on a tablet or a mobile phone. Mobile technologies offer the opportunity to get closer to the "anytime, anywhere" claim so frequently touted as a benefit of e-learning. An LMS needs to be accessible from mobile devices, be they media players, phones, tablets--or whatever device the future may bring--to really enhance the learner's ability to interact when and where they need to.LMSs will need to create a user experience that takes advantage of the features of cell phones and tablet devices. Mobile technology is going to give birth to new forms of communications and collaboration that will impact online learning. Since typing on a mobile device is hard for long messageWhat we're likely to see is LMSs providing services (e.g., discussion, homework drop box, quizzes, etc.) that can be presented in an e-reader, and e-textbook activities will return grades back to the LMS.Analytics have the power to drive the evolution of pedagogy and the student experience. There are two principal axes along which analytics will propel learning. The first axis is toward personalization. The real-time evaluation of learning and activity data allows our systems to adapt to provide a learning experience that is individually appropriate to a given student. The current state of personalization tends to be based on tracking the development of online work and identifying interventions that have worked in the past for students with common data patterns. As we advance into whole-program and learner-lifecycle systems, sophisticated learner profiles are being developed from which more precise and efficient learning paths will emerge.The second axis is toward content and pedagogy improvement. Not all learning experiences are created equal and we can evaluate the difference through analytics. By tracking carefully developed learning objects in repositories and using analytics to measure the impact of exposing learners to those experiences, we will be able to demonstrate quality at a very granular level. CT: What will LMSs look like in 10 years?Frydenberg: LMSs will adapt to a student's learning style, actually managing learning more than learning materials. They will know in what areas a student needs help, provide additional relevant evaluation exercises, and suggest they see their instructors in person for help. Perhaps students will be able to speak their responses, and the LMS will be able to evaluate what they say. Smissen: It is difficult to predict what educational technologies will look like in two years, let alone 10, but I expect the most significant changes will come from connectability. Mobile and WiFi technologies will merge, and bandwidth and connection speed will continue to improve exponentially. With these will come opportunities for multistream communication with multimedia, audio, and video on a single device. Resources will be managed in cloud-based repositories that will allow authenticated users to access approved content from anywhere in the world. Interoperability standards will ensure that technology providers can develop tools that will plug and play with other tools. Authentication and accreditation systems will enable students to enroll across multiple institutions, selecting courses to build a program to meet their individual needs while still meeting employability and professional registration requirements. In this world of the future, the LMS will provide a secure, scalable, and extensible backbone upon which institutions can construct virtual teaching and learning environments from a suite of tools and global resources to meet their needs. What LMS Developers Can Learn From FacebookFor many people, Facebook is the embodiment of what web 2.0 tools are all about: the social interaction, the user-generated content, the sheer scope of the connections possible. It's a phenomenon that has swept the country and energized revolutions a world away. CT asked the panel to weigh the lessons for the LMS of Facebook's success. Baron: For decades we have known that there is a social component to education, so it should come as no surprise that connecting people with common teaching, learning, and research interests across our institutions has significant implications. We are also coming to understand that efforts to push academics into this new social dimension of students' lives is similar to attempting to lecture at the bar on Friday night: Just because students spend a lot of time on Facebook socializing doesn't mean that they want their courses to be held there. These realizations should push LMS developers to incorporate new forms of social networking that are designed specifically to enhance academics. These would also provide students and faculty with a protected environment to network with their peers and instructors--much as our physical campuses do today.Frydenberg: Integrating social-networking features in LMSs could be useful. LMSs may take on additional features of social networks, allowing students to post profiles and connect with their classmates. Teachers and students could post to the class's wall page, share ideas, interesting blog posts, videos, or other online resources. There could be group pages for group projects. Imagine going to your LMS to see which of your classmates are logged in and working on homework, so you can chat with them. This could change the in-person classroom dynamic as it becomes easier for students and teachers to know their classmates. The social LMS may extend beyond the physical classroom, allowing students to connect with peers in similar courses from other universities. On the other hand, it creates the possibility of a popularity contest in the classroom. Do we want really want students to "Like" our lectures?Whitmer: Facebook is teaching us that communication needs to be at the forefront of web interactions. Facebook is all about conversations, and how interactions between individuals can bring about significant, sometimes surprising results. Meaningful communication, both structured and unstructured, is one of the most powerful tools for effective education. We're seeing examples of the power of communication from Facebook, and also from startups like OpenStudy, Piazzza, and Inigral. Presentation of content is important and useful, but if that's all the LMS has to offer, it will be replaced by Wikipedia or Google Search.Feldstein: It's not what you know. It's who you know that can help you expand what you know.Voss: Ease of use and intuitiveness certainly are big draws to Facebook. But there are many factors that I don't believe allow for a direct transfer of "coolness" between the two. Let's also remember that LMSs can be viewed as a social network, but usually as a society tightly defined to a given class. What many people also miss in the rush to Facebook-ize the LMS is that Facebook does have issues--privacy being one. And while good sense should govern our privacy concerns in Facebook, there are laws (FERPA) that dictate privacy with the LMS.
I actually don't think the LMS should change instruction. I think good teaching is good teaching, and technology shouldn't get in the way of that. Really great educators, whether they're in a classroom or on YouTube, know the best way to share knowledge with their learners. We should be focusing on giving them the right tools to do that, rather than asking them to shift their approach to accommodate flashy new technologies.Fundamentally, academia must wrestle with what assessment is and how to do it; then we can look at whether LMS is a useful tool for that purpose.E-portfolio: more authentic assessment & holistic portrait of learning
Porto China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange 2011
The conundrum of LMS’s in distance education<br />Dr. Stella C.S. Porto<br />Graduate School of Management & TechnologyUniversity of Maryland University College<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />1<br />
Focus<br />Recent trends concerning current practices in Learning Management System arena<br />Light on the conundrum concerning technology adoption and innovationfor their learning environments<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />2<br />
Agenda<br />Learning Management Systems: definition, functionality & critique<br />Trends in the LMS market<br />Social media & LMS<br />Personal Learning Environments<br />The conundrum<br />Looking ahead<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />3<br />
LMS definition<br />Learning or Management?<br />Centralizes and automates administration<br />Provides self-service and self-guided services<br />Assembles and delivers learning content rapidly<br />Consolidates training initiatives on a scalable web-based platform<br />Supports portability and standards<br />Personalizes content and <br />Enables knowledge reuse<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />4<br />
LMS increase in functionality<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />6<br />
LMS critique<br />Industrial age model<br />Monolithic<br />Generic<br />Focus is on managing rather than learning<br />Course centric vs Learner-centric<br />Limited in terms of collaboration of all parties involved<br />Fragmentation of supply chain<br />Slow when it comes to changes in technology<br />Misses out of social networking tools<br />Enclosed from the outside world<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />7<br />
Trend LMS market: #1.1 settling around 5 products<br />Proprietary: Blackboard, Desire2Learn, and eCollege<br />Open source: Moodle (10% of market share) & Sakai<br />Dominance: Blackboard (75% market share).<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />9<br />
Trends LMS market:# 1.2 Steady growth of open source and new entrants<br />Just this year Instructure started offering an open source version of their Canvas LMS (2008).<br />It has received positive reviews. Employs different business model, and includes features that are inherent to the web 2.0 movement…<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />10<br />
September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />12<br />Trends LMS market<br />But, “All in all, it’s pretty clear that non-Blackboard LMSs are growing very significantly in share, and that the growth appears to be accelerating for both open source and private source entrants.” (M. Feldstein, 2009) <br />
Trends LMS market:# 2 no core innovation since 2004<br />In Michael Feldstein's words, innovation in the LMS world has all but "flatlined" since 2004. <br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />13<br />
Trends LMS market:# 3 continuously increasing costs<br />Dramatic cost increase, with nothing changing in the horizon…<br />Business model for vendors: need to be "able to charge more per customer moving forward." <br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />14<br />
Social media & LMS<br />“We’ve recently seen LMSs shift to include more functionality, such as wikis, blogs, social networking, etc. I think they’re heading in the wrong direction. I don’t really understand why LMS vendors are now thinking they need to build in every possible 2.0 tool.” (Tony Karrer)<br />Read more: http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/2009/03/lms-and-social-learning.html#ixzz1XpvdQw4K<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />15<br />
Social media & LMS<br />“Do they really think I’m going to create a ‘friends’ list in the LMS? Seriously?”<br />Read more: http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/2009/03/lms-and-social-learning.html#ixzz1XpwJhusM<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />16<br />
Social media & LMS<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />17<br />http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/2010/04/social-learning-tools-should-not-be.html<br />
Personal Learning EnvironmentsPLE<br />Integration of a number of "Web 2.0" technologies like blogs, Wikis, RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, etc.— around the independent learner. Using the term "e-learning 2.0," <br />"... one node in a web of content, connected to other nodes and content creation services used by other students. It becomes, not an institutional or corporate application, but a personal learning center, where content is reused and remixed according to the student's own needs and interests. It becomes, indeed, not a single application, but a collection of interoperating applications—an environment rather than a system” (S. Downes)<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />18<br />
The conundrum<br />A one-stop shop for e-learning VS Flexibility and extensibility (in a scalable, reliable, and secure package)<br />Need to embrace the movement towards openness <br />Allow knowledge and learning experiences to flow more easily across the artificial barrier<br />The teacher is in the role of creating content and the student in the role of consuming it. <br />Contrary to a web 2.0 world that relies on user-generated content.<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />20<br />
Looking ahead<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />21<br />New VLEs are taking on the challenge to overcome the conundrum…<br />http://mfeldstein.com/emerging-trends-in-lms-ed-tech-market/<br />
Looking ahead<br />September, 2011<br />China-US Distance Education Research & Exchange<br />22<br />Embrace openness<br />Drive innovation<br />Embrace mobile technologies (Real anywhere anytime!)<br />Focus on the user experience<br />Embrace analytics as a driver to the evolution of pedagogy and learner experience<br />Personalization & Content and pedagogy improvement<br />Multimedia<br />New forms of social networking<br />Intuitiveness<br />Privacy standards will not go away<br />