Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Role of the LMS

For those of you who don't know, I serve as our school's LMS Administrator.  I also act as a Course Designer, working with faculty to ensure they have the online skills and tools needed.  Add to that, I teach as an adjunct for our system's online program.  So, when it comes to working with the LMS, there are two things you should know- I know our LMS and how it works and I wear a lot of hats around it, but I'm confused about how everyone seems to be on a different page about how to use it.

LMS vendors see their software as needing to be all things to all students and instructors.  IT sees it at as just another web technology to integrate into their other tools.  Administrators sees it as a repository full of great data with easy oversight and where all online teaching happens.  Book publishers see it as a portal to get customers to their platforms.  Faculty opinions of the LMS vary from it being the center of the "online campus" while others see it as an AOL-era walled garden with big brother watching.  Students mostly don't care as long as they can reliably login, get their materials and turn in work to the instructors.  Just for fun, throw in folks outside of education who have no clue what an LMS does or why anyone would buy one.  It's no wonder the LMS market is in chaos.

So, here I am caught in the middle, no matter which hat I'm wearing at a particular moment.