I began researching curriculum categorization and course organization within our LMS. This is actually more difficult than it should be because of several reasons: (1.) we have a slew of courses on our LMS that are inactive and/or done wrong; (2.) we have many categories created; some in use, some not; (3.) everything is currently organized on the corporate server that everyone has access to adapt/change without accountability (called PCCommon) AND the courses are also on the web server (so no one knows which is the most current); (4.) we finished our LMS pilot (1 month), after having the LMS in our possession for almost 3 years; and (5.) the implementation group has not communicated it to the entire group, but don’t get me started on piloting our LMS. So, I have been tasked with getting our hands around all the training that we currently offer everywhere (and I was given only a couple days to do it). While I believe I have gotten it done, I am not sure I have everything. Surely there is some training out there that I have not gotten.
In my internet search, there really isn’t anything out there about how to categorize your eLearning catalog. There was a draft by the WA State’s Department of Health (DOH) concerning their LMS Content Categorization. And then there is the article “10 Tips on LMS Implementation” is written by Steve Pena of SyberWorks. But other than these two articles, I could not find some basic questions one needed to consider when approaching this issue.
So here is my working strategy. There are two basic approaches one can take. The LMS committee can organize by position or they can organize by subject. OR the LMS committee can focus on being user-friendly versus organizational-friendly. Each approach and focus has their positives and negatives. For example, to organize by position means that a course will be listed multiple times in the LMS; however, to organize by subject causes issues in trying to enroll people in various catalogs. My approach has always been to provide as much information and training as I can and to allow them, the user/learner, to choose what they want/need, yet not dumping on them to overwhelm them. So the information and training need to be organized well and easily found by the user.
- Find and list all the courses.
- Arrange the courses by subject.
- Make as many courses available as possible; the more the better, yet this philosophy does not work within the course itself.
- Develop a suggested curriculum for the learner (pull) as well as a mandatory curriculum (push).
Some basic questions include:
- Are there courses that we would like for some NOT to be able to access? If so, which ones and why?
- What kind of relationship do we want to have between LMS catalogs and curricula? Are they the same or can a curriculum stretch across some catalogs?
- How much control, if any, do we want to have over the employee’s training?
I know that this may seem very scattered and incomplete; however, without help, guidance, training, or any sort of mentoring, this is what I have developed. Are there any questions that you would add? Are there any changes to my strategy that you would make?