Defining an LMS

This is higher education. It probably goes without saying what we call things, the terms, the nomenclature, is going to be debated. Maybe there’s a point. We’ll see.

Do we call it a Learning Management System (LMS)? Do we call it a Course Management System (CMS)?

A colleague of mine eschews “Learning Management System” because a mere computer system can not manage learning. I would argue that a system can be useful to humans to manage their learning and such a system might be called an LMS. Not because IT does the managing, but because its useful to us for our managing… (It’s a tool, not an end-all, be-all replacement for the human who does the learning or the instructor who facilitates it).

So, whatever. It’s a Learning Management System for now.

So, WHAT is it? WHAT does it do that’s so helpful to humans for managing their learning? A wider question, what should it do? Is there anything it maybe shouldn’t do?

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