Monday, March 5, 2012

Wisdom of the Masses and Course Creation

A few years ago, when I was still a student in Instructional Design, the then program director of the instructional design program had an idea for a new course for our program: a course on learning management systems. Her conception for the course was that students in the course would get hands on with many different learning management systems, so that when they graduated they would be conversant in a few LMS offerings. Sadly, the idea never really went very far because the department had a lot of work in the backlog to be done, and then at some point she resigned and there was a changing of the guard (and some knowledge loss due to this).

The idea of an LMS course for instructional designers still sticks with me, and is something I'd like to make reality. Last year our campus (as well as a few other campuses in our system) underwent a learning platform (aka LMS) review to replace our aging WebCT Vista. I thought that this process of picking an LMS for your organization could serve as a good base for the course. In one semester students will pick 3 Learning Management Systems to test, and come up with one candidate as their recommendation. In order to test the systems they will need to develop some criteria for testing based on a company profile and case study (which I can develop by myself or with others) and they will need to implement a course on each of those 3 systems (the skeleton of which I can provide).

While this seems like a lot of work for one semester, it seems kinda light in terms of theory (and only one or two articles come to mind as far as Learning Management Systems go). I looked around and there was only one LMS course, as a special topic, and that mostly dealt with designing courses with an LMS. So now, I am looking at the windows of the masses. If you were hiring instructional designers, wha core key skills would you expect them to have as far as Learning Management Systems go? As academics, what sort of theory would you tie to a course that is centered around learning management systems?

Hopefully I will get some of these answered today at the LMS unconference, sponsored by NERCOMP, but I am open to all you Change11 folks out there who are interested in this topic (or interested in hiring people who have studied this topic)

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