Discovery Through Elearning – Blog

My 300th post is a call for LMS Help

Yippee I’m at my 300th post, but yet again I’m shouting out for some help and of course it’s about the LMS. I have the system we are using, and access to a second system that is on my wish list.

I’m having problems loading in classroom based classes. Both systems have features for in class teaching, however neither is meeting our needs. I’m curious to know how others have handled this as I can’t believe we are the only organization that operates in such a manner.

We have many, many courses that run over consecutive days or even just over many different days. They also tend to occur in many different rooms around our organization. Neither system seems to be able to accommodate this style.

As an example: Intro to Project Management. Runs 8:30am – 12:30 pm on Wed. July 30 and then again Thurs. July 31 at the same time. In the same room. Students must go to both sessions.

Each LMS that I am trying only has a Start date and End Date for the over all program. One system does allow for recurring days of the event, but they must be the standard (one a week, ever day of the week, every other week, every other specific day of the week). On this system the first day is the start date, the end date needs to be the same date (to capture the 4 hour window of the course) and the recurring can go on for as many days as you need. But the over all screen users would see is cumbersome.

Another example is: Frontline Leaders, runs 8:00am – 4:00pm on this Thursday, 2 Thursdays from that date, then 2 Thursdays from that date, then 3 Thursdays from that, and back to 2 Thursdays from that. (not a consistent pattern). The course is held in the same room for 5 of the sessions but not for the sixth.

Again, neither system seems to allow for room changes, or many modules of a course, various instructors, various times.

I know LMS’s are primarily for online learning and these typically are start date – end date, open 24/7 with no physical location to speak of. However, most LMS’s I’ve heard of are “all about thier registration and tracking” and classroom based is usually a part of that.

I’ve tried on both system to set up the various “days” of the class as individual sessions. These look prettier in the systems, however when I register into the first module as a student….then I can’t register into any of the other modules.

Even if this did work…..then ever occurrence of this course would have to be individual in the system course calendar.

i.e. Intro to Proj. Mgt June Mod 1 & Mod 2, then Intro to Proj. Mgt July Mod 1 & Mod 2.

I’m curious to know has no one else in the eLearning World had to deal with this?!? I’m sure you have, so how did you get around this issue of:

  • 1 program
  • various dates
  • various times
  • various locations
  • (maybe various instructors)

As always I truly appreciate any feedback and help I can get. Learning as I go.

10 Comments

  1. mikemike07-10-2008

    I know exactly what you’re facing. With our old LMS we had to do all kinds of goofy, creative things to get these kinds of ILT course to work right. Fortunately, our new LMS lets us mix any combination of days, locations, online/offline etc by using what they call segments. i.e a single course can have as many segments as you need.

    Not knowing your options you might see if you can repurpose something like prerequisites or lessons (sub-lessons?) to get it to do what you want it to do.

    Maybe course 1-a is a prereq of course 1-b and you need them both to get credit. Some LMS systems can do this via curricula. Not sure if that’s an option for you?

    Just trying to help brainstorm a little bit. Anyone else?

  2. TRACY HAMILTONTRACY HAMILTON07-10-2008

    I’m glad I’m not the first, this seemed to be a common idea to myself. I like your idea as well about the subsections/modules. I pondered this idea on my drive home and realized that was precisely what it was missing. The system does have a prereq component built in but again as you said, I’m probably going to have to get fairly creative in using this as well.

  3. Tony KarrerTony Karrer07-10-2008

    This is more common than you’d think. Most LMS products have particular data models that often don’t fit specific situations like this.

    Considering using text notes about specifics – often you don’t really care about having all the details in the course and you can generally say when a course is running and then provide details in a text block description.

  4. TRACY HAMILTONTRACY HAMILTON07-10-2008

    Thanks Tony. Another great idea. I was wondering if perhaps I was just getting lost in the details. Currently just a flyer goes out an people book the “dates” of sessions into their own calendars. I’m perhaps a little to keen to have the new system control everything and need to step back and make the learner more responsible for their own learning.

  5. mikemike07-10-2008

    Tony makes a great point. As long as everyone knows the when and where do you really care if the details are anything more than a note in the LMS. Personally, I wouldn’t. The KISS method is usually the best – simple is good. 😎

  6. Gary HGary H07-17-2008

    Tracy, I can’t believe more LMS vendors haven’t solved this problem. I’m in the process of choosing an LMS, so will definitely be paying attention to how they deal with classroom training. Keep us posted on how you solve the problem.

  7. TRACY HAMILTONTRACY HAMILTON07-17-2008

    Gary H. Feel free to contact me directly, hamtra@gmail.com, and I would be happy to share some of the tools I collected for narrowing down an LMS, I’m also happy to share some of the troubles I’ve had in getting it up and running.

  8. AnatAnat07-19-2008

    Asking for help on LMS – do you have an LMS requirements checklist that you can share please, need to do a needs analysis for a mid-size hi-tech company. Thanks in advance, Anat

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  10. Brian SteevesBrian Steeves02-03-2017

    I am not a Learning Designer and have no background in LMS, but I have designed many dozens of interactive forms, brochures, marketing and order forms. Each one is different and unique to a particular situation.

    I read many articles on and about Learning Design and most of them deal with set platforms that are often not suitable for individual use. I read many comments, like the ones above, and ask myself why these folks just don’t build their own. Trying to fit what you want to teach into boxes often proves frustrating and detracts from the lessons.

    Show your students the format they are used to seeing such as magazines, books, brochures or study papers. Remove the frustration of learning how to wonder through the LMS format.

    How do you do it? I design all of the forms, papers, brochures and marketing pieces using Adobe InDesign. I make sure all of the material is there and then I save it in the PDF format. I then open it in Adobe Acrobat Pro and put in all of the interactivity and links. I have even embedded video into the PDF forms. You can also use Word or Pages to design the course. You need Acrobat Pro to create the inteactivity.

    I’ve looked at and downloaded some of the software Tracy has recommended, and frankly, find them confusing and cumbersome for my purpose. I revert to PDFs again.

    Again, I say that I am not a Learning Designer, but I am able to build things that teach and inform others about my products.

    Good luck.

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