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LMS Frustrations September 29, 2008

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Gary Hegenbart has a great post on his blog about his frustrations when dealing with learning management system (LMS) vendors. Amen, brother. Gary is in the process of shopping for an LMS. He leads off by saying how surprised he’s been at how much LMSs can cost:

I am seriously considering building my own (LMS). Why would I pay tens of thousands of dollars year after year for something I can build myself? Time is the only valid reason – I don’t really have the time.

He describes more pain points:

I’ve found three areas that make it hard to find an LMS: they don’t all post pricing online, they don’t all have trials available, and the feature sets vary greatly.

Gary is dead-on regarding pricing (and the other items as well). Not only is it really difficult to get pricing from most LMS vendors, but the pricing structures often differ wildly. I have seen LMS vendors charge per user, per server, per year, and per usage. I’m not saying that all vendors should fall into a cookie-cutter model, but it’d be nice if they could clear away some of the confusion and make things a bit more transparent for people like Gary and me. After all, we’re the ones that are heavily influencing the final selection. Wouldn’t they want to make things easier for us? (Stepping off my soapbox…)

Read Gary’s blog post.

Comments»

1. Gary Hegenbart - September 29, 2008

Thanks B.J.! There have been a few good comments on the post so I must struck a nerve. I think everyone wants an LMS, but dreads trying to find one. With things moving to Web 2.0 technologies, I’m not sure how long traditional LMSs will survive anyway, so the less I spend the better.

2. Liz - September 29, 2008

Check out http://www.mindflash.com…solves the pain points you describe above.

3. Dr Savi - October 15, 2008

Corporates will wish to retain greater control on their learning strategies. Web2.0 offers advances but more admin.
My experience with LMS’s can be summarised in with the key word: Inconsitency.
For example: Management of Question banks, Incompatible SCORM data handling and limited Web2.0 extensions.
Although your blog is specific to pricing, sometimes vendors are keen on selling their LMS as their eLearning content costs can be rolled in together with assurance of working functions.
I wonder how open and secure MOODLE would be as an alternative?

4. Matt - October 15, 2008

Why not consider Moodle. We have been able to use Moodle at http://www.eppley.org We use it with Zen Cart, also open source, to offer courses for a fee, but also have courses set up for cohorts and learning groups. We have found our installation to be flexible and effective in every situation we have been faced with.


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