Friday, October 5, 2007

Thinkings on web delivery

I believe that infrastructure is of interest to the course creator. 90% of the LMSs I have dealt with impose their own limitations/constraints on the user experience. That is, they have their own instructional design assumptions (e.g. once a student "completes" a course, they are locked out from revisiting it), and these assumptions impede learning. The course creator is going to be straight-jacketed by the LMS implementation (often involving the student having to open 5 or 6 browser windows just to get to their content), and it is essential that they understand the experience.

The current thinking seems to be that first you buy an LMS (at costs of US$50K-$1M), and then you start developing courses. This is like building a railroad system before you have a single locomotive. When you think about it LMSs are a subset of web servers. I'm talking to more and more people who are now starting to host their courses OUTSIDE an LMS because it affords them so much more flexibility. Gee, what a concept! Just use a basic web server (that you can get for free) to host your content. Now, your learners will get much more of a web-experience rather than a f2f presentation shoe-horned into web delivery technology.

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