Tony Karrer's eLearning Blog on e-Learning Trends eLearning 2.0 Personal Learning Informal Learning eLearning Design Authoring Tools Rapid e-Learning Tools Blended e-Learning e-Learning Tools Learning Management Systems (LMS) e-Learning ROI and Metrics

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Leading with an LMS - Harmful to Your Health (or Skipping Stages in Bersin's Four Stage Model)

I recently was piling through my stack of magazines and ran across an article in Training & Development Magazine that reference "the stages of eLearning" from a Josh Bersin report. Unfortunately, the article is only available to ASTD members and via registration at Bersin's site. The stages are:

Stage 1: Getting Started - Cost savings, off-the-shelf, LMS implementation
Stage 2: Expansion - Blended learning, rapid e-learning, greater use of LMS, custom courses
Stage 3: Integration and Alignment - Governance, HR integration, performance management
Stage 4: Learning on Demand - LCMS, performance support, search

This is similar to the stages I pointed to in my article The Real HCM Maturity Model. And, though I understand what Josh is going for in the model, I think that it is more a model of what people have done rather than what you should do.

First, Stage 1 should not include "LMS implementation." I think this is often the biggest mistake that people make. You don't need an LMS to do eLearning. And if you are early on, chances are that going after an LMS can be a really tough way to get started. Alternatives are described in my article Tracking Without an LMS. If, as Josh suggests, you only need off-the-shelf courses, then you likely can use your providers' LMS implementation. That will be enough of a learning experience to understand why I don't want you to "lead with an LMS."

Second, I would suggest that you follow the Shift in eLearning from Pure Courseware towards Reference Hybrids and skip right to Stage 4 (minus the LCMS). In other words, pick up a Wiki tool, or RoboInfo or Dreamweaver and start to build online reference solutions with integrated search first. Maybe you'll create a hybrid solution with some integrated Captivate movies. But if anything the LMS will get in your way of doing this.


Anonymous said...

Not sure i agree entirely but you make some very interesting points.

Anonymous said...

awesome blog!

Tony Karrer said...

Sherlock - would like to hear your disagreement.