The LMS market is one of stagnation. Innovation in this space is often the application of web practices implemented 5-8 years previously. Take as a simple example, responsive design. None of the major K12 / Higher Ed LMSs do it. They still use m {dot} and "mobile versions" of sites. They still are built off of largely the same mental model as the phpBB style discussion boards and file drops that they were built out of in the early 90s.

There is another way (this is Drupal after all).

Enter ELMS Learning Network

ELMS Learning Network (ELMSLN) is fundamentally different from other LMS offerings (even other Drupal LMS offerings) in many ways. The two biggest fundamental differences:

  • We take a Suite of Tools approach to educational technology design
  • We are course centric, not logistics centric
What does this mean?

By treating the learning experience as a collection of tools that work together to form a learning experience, we encourage divergence and experimentation from the default state of a tool. Effectively, every course is made up of several drupal sites networked together to form a cohesive experience. This means your discussion boards tool in one course can be radically different from that in another (obviously using distributions they could be the exact same in desired).

Some systems we have in the network include:

  • Course logistics (CIS)
  • Course Content (MOOC)
  • Collaborative Studio (CLE)
  • Discussion boards (Discuss)
  • Asset management (ELMSMedia)

Using web services and single sign-on systems, students don't realize (or care) that they are engaging with different systems. Often times, data is being brought together from the management side to create a course that's customized to their taking of the course without feeling like it's just another point in time.

An example of not being logistics first means we get addresses like

What will I learn?
  • Who's using it (Penn State, Wisconsin Law, training vendors)
  • The methodology and philosophy behind ELMSLN which is a unique approach to any site build (many small networked parts)
  • How to get it and get involved
  • Demonstrations / QA