Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How web direction should influence a new generation of Learning Management Systems

To me web pages/applications have been evolving as follows:

1. Initial web sites were static pages

2. A new wave of web sites allowed for users to customize the page/app (I think this is probably when 'widgets' showed up..)

3. The latest wave of web sites customize the page based on the actual use of that site.

The quickest example of this latest wave is when Amazon uses a permission based marketing strategy of suggesting items based on what you have been looking at on the site.

I think the next evolution of a Learning Management System, will be platform that doesn't simply house content, and record students grades, but will intelligently respond to users and help customize and improve their education experience.

What are some features that could easily be implemented using today's technology?

  • Course home pages will have a widget displaying a couple key topics that the user read last time they logged in.

  • Topics in the course index can be bolded and suggested for review if the user has been showing trouble with them in quizzes

  • The LMS can make suggestions about the users pace through the content based on there current pace and the deadline for completion - this could even become as smart as the LMS chunking content for the user and giving customized lessons - users that log in frequently would be given less content, and users that log in once a week would be given larger amounts at once, but both users would be pacing through the content so that they finish on time.

  • LMS can cross reference different courses and grades to help with time allocation, "Jim, I noticed your Chemistry mark has been dropping, would you like me to allocate you more time for those lessons?"

With or without the above ideas, the role that Learning Management Systems have in their interaction with the user is sure to increase.

or maybe I've just been playing too much wii fit....

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