Debunking 7 Learning Management System Myths

Learning Management System (LMS) myths sometimes confuse educators and administrators in K-12 school systems, colleges, universities and companies.

As a result, they can make costly choices (or fail to act in the first place) because of misinformation and erroneous assumptions.

We’ll clear up some of the key myths so you can weigh the merits of a LMS, an essential part of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL).

1. LMS products aren’t as popular.

It’s not true at all. The market is extremely active with plenty of M&A deals, including Oracle-Taleo, SAP-SuccessFactors and IBM-Kenexa. Bersin by Deloitte predicts a 10.4% growth globally for the training technology systems industry that’s expected to top $1.8 billion in 2013.

Moodle, the popular learning management system, is #11 on the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013 based on more than 500 international learning professionals who took part in the “7th Annual Survey of Learning Tools.”

2. A LMS is just a expense.

It depends on how you look at a learning management system, which can have a tremendous impact on training and education – whether that’s for a new product a company is rolling out or a graduate program that a university developed to be competitive. It only makes sense to look at a LMS as a way to support a positive ROI.

3. A LMS is limited.

Schools and businesses have a wide range of options when they use learning management systems for different types of training and education that can benefit from virtual classroom environments and blended learning.

4. Learning management systems are disruptive.

Corporations, organizations and schools face an array of changes – from health care regulations to testing standards. Used well, a LMS can provide ongoing value with proper planning.

5. It’s not easy to get people to embrace a LMS.

Getting buy-in isn’t as tough as you might think. Success stories abound as trainers, K-12 teachers, college instructors and others look for ways to provide the best solutions that enhance learning. Success often depends on creating the right culture where faculty anticipate change and leverage technology.

6. A learning management system will take care of itself after it’s installed.

Planning and selection are critical before you even make full use of a LMS. Once it’s been tested and is active, you will need competent administrators to oversee the LMS. They need to ensure that the right people participate and that the LMS is evaluated.

It’s not simply a matter of handing off the LMS to a set of internal employees. They must have the appropriate skills to manage the LMS to match defined objectives and meet workflow standards.

What are your business or educational needs and priorities? How will you measure effectiveness? What tracking and reporting will you need? How will you address security issues? How do you plan to handle upgrades and integrate the LMS with other applications?

7. It wouldn’t make sense to switch to a new LMS.

Just because you’ve invested in a learning management system in the past doesn’t mean you need to live with it forever. Standardization makes it easier than ever to transfer data and content. Above all, is your legacy LMS really designed to accommodate your current and changing needs?

When did you last evaluate your LMS or what steps have you taken to explore one for your school system or company? As you explore your options, check the veracity of the information you collect so you aren’t thrown off by myths and misunderstandings.