The learning management system (LMS) of the future—possibly the near future—will enable colleges and universities to connect a variety of educational and administrative applications together as needed, much like a set of building blocks. At least that’s the scenario the Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) is working toward.
In a report in Campus Technology, ELI Executive Director Malcolm Brown said his team originally assumed the LMS would still work as a single application, although with greater functionality. They came to realize that institutions needed to be able to tailor their LMS to accommodate the wide array of course activities and the needs of a diverse student body.
“Again, that takes you away from the idea of a single application being able to fit the bill for all comers,” Brown said. “We decided an ‘uber application’ is not going to work.”
One possibility is that the LMS could provide the main interface for students, who would access other applications through it. Or, students could log directly into applications, with the LMS serving as a connection.
The biggest challenge, Brown noted, will be working out open standards to allow systems to plug in multiple applications.