Is the LMS Dead?

Mingling at the Lucky Lab Beer HallThe room was humming at the PDXEdTech Meetup Tuesday as over 100 developers, content creators and business leaders grabbed a drink and mingled at the Lucky Lab Beer Hall.

What innovative tools would we see this time to solve our education problems? Are Learning Management Systems (LMS) really dead?

Nate Geier of Coursetto welcomes the crowdAs the Meetup founder, Nate Geier gave us a warm welcome and introduced each speaker.

Eric Preisz, CEO of GG Interactive, presented his unique solution to solve the information technology gap faced by today’s high school teachers and career schools. GG Interactive aims to teach game design first, and programming later. Students become quickly engaged through videos, interactive exercises and unique simulators.Eric Peirez presents GG Interactive

Eric believes motivated students eventually step up to learn C# programming skills. The flipped classroom model supports teachers by providing references, instructor guides and e-mail support. Eric recognizes the challenge of slow connections; his product solves it by providing offline versions.

At PDXEdTech interesting surprises always await in the Stand Up segment when businesses and job seekers quickly introduce themselves. The crowd gave Vivek Mano a warm welcome back. Vivek, founder of Wiglbot, has designed an interactive toy robot that listens to music and teaches children to hear tones as adults do. Wiglbot was featured in the August 2014 PDXEdTech session. Vivek is actively seeking interested pilot schools for Wigl.

Nate Geier, CoursettoNate encouraged all of us to feel free to quickly promote events, products or ourselves at future sessions.

Nate gave us a quick peek at Coursetto. Coursetto is a corporate training platform offered to companies by subscription. His product enables anyone in a company to create and curate training courses. Coursetto features a user-friendly interface that makes course development easy:

  • Link video from YouTube or Vimeo
  • Link narration or sound with SoundCloud
  • Add text images or animated gifs
  • Create quizzes, track completion dates and progress

Chris waits for us to answer the questions...Silence fell as Chris Rosso, Global Manager of Instructional Design and Learning Platforms, NIKE, Inc. took the stage. Chris quickly engaged us by asking questions:

  • Is the LMS Dead?
  • What does an LMS do in theory?
  • Do you love your LMS?

For NIKE, their Learning Management System (LMS) is the tool by which the student takes training and the way the instructional design team manages the training.

Chris pointed out that LMS systems use outdated standards originally created for the military. The audience pointed out another flaw; most LMS systems were originally designed to emulate classroom training.

Chris Rosso leading discussion on What Does An LMS Do?Chris said his instructional design team finds it helpful to divide learners into three age groups:

  • Over 50
  • 25 to 50
  • Under 25

The differences lie in the top and bottom groups. Those over 50 are likely to use the LMS due to a strong need for formal instruction. Those under 25 use so many online tools that they find it painful to enter the LMS to take an hour-long course.

Chris quickly pointed out these ideas do not apply to time-driven compliance courses, for example, a government-mandated sexual harassment course. The concepts do apply to any program where learner motivation is essential.

Sharing a few laughs at PDXEdTechChris challenged us to think about how all of us learn. Text messaging, social media and direct searches are common tools today.

Chris encouraged us to use our creativity to envision new ways to motivate learners to use the LMS. One solution might be to present three different ways to do a course; another might be to chop up a long video into short segments. The audience offered up ideas: wikis, social media or internet assignments.

Chris showed us solutions that supplement legacy LMS with new Learning Reporting Systems (LRS) plus applications that track ongoing employee performance.

Chris wraps it up at PDXEdTechChris strongly believes “We should measure what they do, not completion.”  Do we really care if a learner spends two hours in a course?

Thanks to the speakers and audience for another thought-provoking session at PDXEdTech!

What’s next? Coursetto is inviting you to participate in the next PDXEdTech:

  1. As a participant or a speaker, think about content that you’d like to hear at the next session.
  2. Coursetto is always looking for sponsors for PDXEdTech Meetup sessions.
  3. Feel free to reach out to Meris or Nate at Coursetto for more information.

Special Thanks to Contributors:

For more information:

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