Dr. Charles "Chuck" Severance is a full-time faculty member at the Univ. of Michigan's School of Information and also consults with Blackboard. He has some interesting personal observations on this week's acquisitions by Blackboard. -JL
"I have been talking to and encouraging Blackboard for a long time to think more broadly about the LMS market. For me it has never been about a single dominant LMS for all kinds of teaching and learning. There is a reason that so many learning management systems exist and need to exist. Looking at Phil Hill’s infographic on Educational Delivery Models, he identifies nine quite distinct approaches and he does not even capture the differences between pre-school, K-12, community college, higher education, professional development, training, certification, and a host of other places where educational technology is needed.
"The notion that we will somehow find the “one true LMS” that will solve all problems is simply crazy talk and has been for quite some time. I am happy to be now working with a group of people at Blackboard that embrace the idea of multiple LMS systems aimed at different market segments. We will bring a diverse set of learning products to the market and place the most appropriate product(s) in the hands of teachers and students.
"However, once you accept that there will be a lot of different Learning Management Systems, we solve one problem and exacerbate another. A company supporting multiple learning management systems, needs to be able to move courses, rosters, content, and tools between those different learning management systems in a friction-free manner. That means we need to get really good at portability and interoperability and do it in a hurry."