Monday, 8 July 2013

The beginning of the end of the Learning Management System???

This morning I attended a consultation event with other colleagues from around the University involved in delivering development activity to staff, focussing around the future of the Learning Management System. This isn't strictly speaking part of our repositioning work, but the LMS will be a really important part of how we deliver what we provide to staff.

The background to the event is that there has been a need identified amongst those who use the LMS (myself included) to update it. The system is a bit clunky and difficult to use from both an administrator's and a user's point of view. Also, CiCS tell us that the server used to run the LMS is very out of date, and uses more power than all of the servers used to run all of our SAP products! Very costly and not very green! So this event was about thinking about what we wanted a new system to do, and the pros and cons of a single University wide system or multiple, locally managed systems.

One of the striking outcomes of this discussion was the appetite amongst attendees to give serious thought to a single University system. A number of us will be starting a project group to summarise our thoughts and put together a proposal for consideration on what to do next. So this might well be the beginning of the end for our current LMS, but hopefully also the beginning of progress to a new LMS.

It's also interesting how this links to our development everywhere concept, which I will explain in more detail in a future post. We think there are opportunities for development everywhere, but when discussing how people access development activity at the consultation event, there were clear benefits in people being able to access it all in one place. So some learning for our project will be how to balance the idea that people develop and learn from a wide variety of places and experiences, with accessing structured opportunities in a single place. Therefore how do we encourage individuals to capture and record the development activity they undertake, that doesn't involve booking on a course?