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August 07, 2013

The 5 EdTech trends of ELT: Learning management systems

EdTechIn the fifth and final post in a series covering 5 key trends in EdTech, Laurie Harrison over at eltjam looks at the current situation with Learning Management Systems.

Learning management systems were supposed to have died out by now, weren’t they? Swept away by a wave of 21st century platforms, mobile apps and MOOCs. In fact, in ELT, it feels like they’re only just getting going. Let’s have a look at the LMS market in general and see what the main ELT publishers are up to. In future posts, we’ll have a look at what we might expect in the future as mobile/tablet based learning continues to grow in importance and we see what I think is an inevitable blurring of the boundary between the LMS and the MOOC.

LMS & VLE 101
You all know what an LMS is, right? If not, this snippet from Wikipedia is enough of a definition: an LMS is an online platform which handles the “administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of e-learning education courses or training programs”. So if that’s an LMS, what’s a VLE (virtual learning environment)? It’s exactly the same thing, unless anyone out there can give me a definition of the difference. ‘VLE’ is the term more commonly used in the UK higher education system, but it ELT we usually talk about LMSs. And it’s LMSs that most publishers use to deliver online courses in ELT. Even platforms that claim to be the alternative to the LMS (and that usually means they offer more ‘web 2.0′ features – social, user generated content) such as English360 do a lot of the same things as an LMS.

Read the full article from eltjam.

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