You get together practitioners, vendors, suppliers, buyers and users to ask them what they want!
It was at the elearning network event on Friday 25th September that this took place. New Models for Learning Management had a number of interesting speakers with the highlight being an interactive session led by Barry Sampson and Matt Brewer.
Mike and Barry suggested looking at 4 key areas to define what learners and organisations actually want. They were:
- Learning & Development/HR
After splitting the delegates into 4 groups Barry and Mike assigned each group a role and asked them to define the ideal requirement for their role. The following discussion and specification was excellent with some great ideas coming forward with the key themes being a need to focus on the requirements of the learner.
With each group having defined their ideal requirements there was a group discussion where the outcomes were discussed. With each group coming up with close to 50 requirements the subsequent LMS could well be getting near perfection!
Barry Sampson from the elearning network has taken all of the group outputs and will be creating a specification document/mind map that will be available on the elearning network website.
I was sat with 2 delegates who were looking to procure Learning Management System and this document could save them both a lot of work!
The session proved the clear benefit in getting together all of the stakeholders and user groups before building any session. If I refer back to my IT degree and more recently my PRINCE 2 course getting together all of the stakeholders is seen an integral part of the design of any system.
The size and scale of Learning Management Systems means that a custom approach is out of the reach of some organisations but it was surprising to note that some of the more basic requirements were not being covered by the LMS market. The increasing use of social media, online learning and informal learning will make it harder for Learning Management Systems to provide what learners actually need unless they can adapt.
This was a great session, we may have found the answer to how to specify the perfect Learning Management System but the key message for delegates to take home was whatever you are designing you need to get the views and opinions and everyone who is going to be affected. Always remember who you are designing for!