One of my fellow higher ed colleagues is looking for a new LMS.
“The one foundational requirement is that it be capable of highly
granular “push” delivery of learning to incredibly specific audiences
based on arbitrary criteria, by administrators distributed all over the
There was a lot of resulting discussion around LMS options.
Most training that we do has a common defining thread of who needs to take the training.
– A particular department / school / division
– A set of defined roles
– An org chart level (Supervising manager – yes/no?)
What is the general common thread in your “arbitrary group”?
Is it something you can pull from your enterprise systems (HRIS, Higher Ed Admin system…)
Of course, some trainings may not have a common thread – but the information needs to be tracked in the enterprise system. We have created specific flags in our enterprise system so they can be tracked more organically in our system or record..
An example of this from our organization is Campus Security Authorities (CSA) training (a result of the Clery Act).
There is no common thread among roles – just random positions specified as CSAs. However, these positions have a flag in both our enterprise information system (in our case, Banner) and in our HRIS system (currently using PeopleSoft).
The big issue with groups and LMSs is the manual maintenance.
That’s if the LMS does decent group structure to begin with (which many don’t)
Nevermind the push.
Can you define your group and leverage the enterprise system (and any related identity management tools IT may have lying around) to allow you to create and maintain the group reasonably automatically (plus or minus a couple of folks and some minor maintenance)?
Maybe it’s just me – but the whole “incredibly specific audiences based on arbitrary criteria” requirement would make me more than a little nervous. Because when I see that requirement – I see “I will be spending my life maintaining these groups and pray that folks keep them up to date”
The push requirement also makes me wonder if we really should look at an LMS for this?
Mostly because I haven’t seen LMSs do this particularly well.
But what about pushing supporting materials (not just the stuff housed in the LMS)?
Email notification and tracking of when email was sent vs when the course was taken?
How automated is that push anyway?
How much massaging and hand-holding of the system do you need to do to get it to work?
I know my higher education institution is also looking at LMSs and LMS-type solutions for the learning ecosystem.
I just wonder if we are looking at “LMS” as a shorthand for – trying to accomplishing things that an “LMS” isn’t designed to do but we have no better way to communicate it.