John Leh’s article “LMS Technology Trends: Why Focus Is The Next Big Thing” is a very useful insider’s view of the LMS world. I had no idea there were so many LMSs available, all with their own unique advantages. However, the bottom line is we can’t all have the LMS of our choosing. If we are a decision maker responsible for choosing the next LMS then we do have a choice, otherwise we have to work with what we have.

Let’s take Leh’s article one step further and agree that all LMSs have a number of features. Blackboard for example has been criticized for having way too many features and has become convoluted. If that’s the way you look at it than yes, that is your truth, but it doesn’t have to be the truth.

The way I look at it is that it has many benefits and the features are non-existent. It does appear that Blackboard is not focused and trying to hit every industry under the sun. that said, universities can offer courses on most every industry under the sun, or have the potential to do so, so an LMS should have the potential to address those future needs.

Focus on the benefits each LMS has to offer, which I find are generally Content Folder, Blank Page (with hyperlinks), Assignments, Grade Center, Learning Modules, Discussion Boards and a synchronous tool. In a plethora of features these are a few instructors need to be well versed on. These benefits built into an LMS will surely benefit the learners accessing your LMS.

Too many features means too many benefits, so work with what you have and focus on the benefits of your LMS, benefits that will assist in achieving great learning outcomes.


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