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Provider perspective on overcoming challenges to sharing an LMS

University Business, December 2017

In what ways could sharing an LMS benefit colleges, and what do you see as the biggest or most surprising challenge institutions would need to overcome to purchase the same LMS? 

“Sharing an LMS across institutions provides many benefits, including consolidation through one system, categorizing content and cross-collaboration. One of the challenges of sharing an LMS is agreeing on a design model that satisfies the lowest common denominator.

“Although modern LMS’s can be configured to deliver content in distinct ways, this would be a design consideration for more advanced universities looking to partner with institutions that are not as forward-thinking.”   

—Tom Tonkin, principal of Thought Leadership & Advisory Services, Cornerstone OnDemand


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“Schools need to ensure they’re maintaining distinct branding and value propositions for learners.  Schools should also focus on data privacy—ensuring the system segments data so it is only shared with those with legitimate access. It’s critical to partner with a company that has consulting expertise to maximize ROI.”

—Phill Miller, vice president of teaching and learning, Blackboard

“Colleges that share the same LMS could first and foremost save money from this centralization of their systems. If the cost of implementing and running an LMS is shared between more institutions, together they could choose the one with the most features and highest degree of offering personalized learning to all students.

“The biggest (although not surprising) challenge to be overcome in this situation would be the ever growing and diversifying LMS market, which constantly moves the needle to one LMS or another in terms of best features for personalized learning.”

—Graham Glass, CEO, Cypher Learning


Nancy Mann Jackson is an Alabama-based writer and frequent contributor to UB.