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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Learning Management Systems (LMS) Gotchas

I regularly read Tracy Hamilton's blog. She's been writing about getting a new LMS. I hate to say it, but this is likely not going to go well. It will be fun to keep reading about it, probably much better than having to be Tracy during the process. In her latest post: What's Happening With My New LMS?!?! she tells us:
Oh and my little meeting about my job role and what path this LMS will lead me down. NOTHING!!!! We can't possibly discuss that until we have the tool in place and know exactly in what capacity we will use the darn thing.
Uh oh. They are bringing in an LMS and they don't know how they'll use it nor do they know who will be responsible in what ways for the LMS. Ouch.

For the eLearningGuild, I wrote a description of the 10 Gotchas in LMS Selection, Installation and Configuration as part of their Research Report on Learning Management Systems. I'm not sure I can publish the details of my section in my blog, but the abstract is available for the report (and has some good stuff in it). Luckily it has the Table of Contents for my section which lists my Gotchas:
  • Gotcha #1 – Starting With an Unrealistic Expectation of What You Need
  • Gotcha #2 – Missing a Key Stakeholder
  • Gotcha #3 – Failing to Get Agreement on the Process with Key Stakeholders
  • Gotcha #4 – Failing to Identify Key Differentiating Use Cases
  • Gotcha #5 – Coupling Content Authoring with LMS Selection
  • Gotcha #6 – Not Testing a LMS
  • Gotcha #7 – Failing to Ask a Critical Question or Two
  • Gotcha #8 – Poor Contract Negotiations
  • Gotcha #9 – Tripping on the Models
  • Gotcha #10 – Customization
So far it appears that Tracy's company has hit Gotchas 1, 4, and 6. Likely also several others.

Tracy, keep up the reporting!

2 comments:

TRACY HAMILTON said...

Thanks for sharing those Tony. A little scary, but thank you. It inspired me to post some more today regarding the 3 you suggest I may be going through.

Tracy

JB said...

I know this is an old Blog, and I hope Tracy's quest is/has gone well. Tony, my question for you is what about Web 2.0 technologies? After much dismay with Blackboard (which my school currently uses) and very responsiveness from my IT administrators to move to Moodle or Sakai, I started trying CollegeBrain.net, and I must say I'm impressed. I don't need to rely on my school or any stakeholder to back me up. They added my institution and got me rolling. There is no cost for the service, nor the support, nor the training videos. They have a nice clean interface (anything beats the old Blackboard look, yuck!).

If you have a chance to check out www.collegebrain.net, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Here is how I found them: http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/site-of-the-week/site/?i=53553;_hbguid=c1a1fc5d-258d-486a-a765-f7950b754d2c&d=site-of-the-week

Thanks!
JBF