Words Of Caution For Aspiring Learning Organizations Going Online

An organization looking to “modernize” by way of setting up an online offering through an LMS, angling for a “higher enrollment,” is bound to find out this is more difficult and costly than they initially thought. In an interview with Moodlerooms’ E-Learn Magazine, EdTech market analyst Phil Hill summarizes the common trends, problems, and resolutions organizations face when making the jump online.

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Hill’s first observation could be either simple or subversive: “have a clear idea of what problem [you] are trying to solve.” Hill advocates for more elaborate rationales at the time of launching an online presence. Learning organizations with a time-tested face-to-face curriculum may take certain things for granted. Online education will make companies reassess their assumptions. Delving into the new platform with adequate research and planning can allow an organization to find mistakes early on, instead of thousands of dollars into the switch.

Digital is not easy, Hill warns. “Developing online education and teaching the course can cost more money, at least in the early stages, than traditional education.”

However, this does not mean that learning about how to deploy and customize an LMS cannot be done early on. Hill recognizes how Moodle, for many years now, has empowered educators and technologists in solving problems, particularly without a lot of resources. This revelation came to him on a dreamy trip down South:

“Moodle is very important in Latin America due to its almost universal and low-cost availability. The software is free, and with hosting services, schools and companies can get a low-cost, flexible system. During my visit, I got a strong sense from people that they pride themselves in being [sic] able to solve problems without a lot of resources. Moodle adapts well to this sensitivity, being open source with no software licenses required, as well as being modular and flexible.”

But the question about what comes next gives Hill and fellow Moodlers pause. A subsequent conversation with Moodle CEO Martin Dougiamas puts Moodle in front of the challenge of lifelong partnerships for organizations who go online. Does Moodle offer all it takes for full-fledged online learning offerings, or does it work as a “gateway LMS”? Dougiamas’ response might be too broad for Hill’s taste:

“Moodle’s mission is not changing at all, we are just expanding and improving how we do things in response to a shifting edtech world.”

Read Moodlerooms’ E-Learn Magazine interview with Phil Hill here.

eThink LogoThis Moodle Governance related post is made possible byeThink Education, a Certified Moodle Partner that provides a fully-managed Moodle experience including implementation, integration, cloud-hosting, and management services. To learn more about eThink, click here.


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