Next Generation Course Management Systems

by Colleen Carmean and Jeremy Haefner

This is the second good CMS-wish list piece I have come across in the last few weeks. Hopefully the CMS vendors are actually reading these. As with the other piece (Elizabeth Lawley’s post on open source CMSes) some of the features they are asking for seem like real no-brainers and have been glaring omissions in CMS software since it began, and yet almost nobody seems to be addressing them.

That’s not entirely right – as hinted at in this article, some of these are being addressed in the ‘enterprise’ versions of these products, but with huge associated price tags. So maybe their will be a ‘trickle down effect’ with these features (e.g. the ability to share materials across course containers) showing up in the more basic versions of the products. For the sake of all of the smaller users who seem locked into these systems, lets hope so. But let’s also hope that both the open source developers and smaller vendors are reading these messages too. IMHO, there is still some room in this market for new players to emerge if they offer this type of functionality off the bat – I would point to Desire2Learn as a good example of this.

On this point, if anyone actually reads this, I would be interested to hear if you have come across any good studies on the factors to consider when migrating an entire institution from one CMS system to another, specifically non-technical factors, or at least those ones not specifically related to the technical issues of migrating course content from one CMS to another (things like faculty training issues, staff support issues …) – SWL

Next Generation Course Management Systems