Learning Management Systems: The wrong place to start elearning

From: elearnspace. Learning Management Systems: The wrong place to start elearning
In developing e-learning there is a temptation to start with the technology and let what it provides drive the design of courses and programs. Educationally it would be better to begin by considering the learners and what is to be learned and then select or design technological systems to support learning. George Siemens makes some strong comments along those lines:

The issue is not that an LMS is not needed for learning (though that point in itself could be argued). The real issue is that LMS vendors are attempting to position their tools as the center-point for elearning – removing control from the system’s end-users: instructors and learners.


Large, centralized, mono-culture tools limit options. Diversity in tools and choices are vital to learners and learning ecology. Over the last several years, I’ve encountered many instances where an instructor was not able to achieve what she/he wanted with course design due to the limitations of WebCT. In essence, the LMS determines what an instructor could do. It should be the other way around – instructor needs first, tool selection second.