Opinion: Content as King in the Future of the LMS

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from Somethingdigital.comThere’s been some important news lately about the partnering of content companies and publishers directly with the learning management systems that more often than not serve content to our high school, college and professional development students.  Most recently the announcement came from Cengage (whose sub brands include Brooks/Cole, Delmar, Gale, Heinle, South-Western and Wadsworth) and Moodlerooms who are partnering to make Moodle interoperable with the Cengage digital repository.  Of course, this was fast on the heels of Blackboard announcing a similar content partnership with many of the largest content providers,

To bring their digital content repositories and textbook supplements that much closer to the end-user by making the LMS a direct mode of delivery.  I’m had a chance to use a few of the Blackboard integrations with Textbook resources and the interface and interoperability is slick and easy to use.  For a hybrid or fully online course mapped to a textbook with rich digital content it can cut course development time and effort drastically.

If it’s a published content arms race, Blackboard has a huge lead over every other LMS in the market.  And as quality content grows in importance in higher education (arguably the cash cow of LMS services) it will be that much more important for LMS companies to provide a large library of possible content that’s easily accessible for integration directly to the classroom.

Moodle has taken a few important steps outside of the traditional published content repositories to ensure that teachers have options when it comes to finding easily integrated content; not the least of which is the nascent MOOCH which provides a community approach to open/community volunteered content. While the current courses listed are small in number and resources/content, there’s the potential that it could soon be a leading source for teachers looking for baseline content for courses.  With Moodle’s growing partner network I’m certain that we’ll see more partnerships between large publishers and Moodle companies.

Increasing the number of published resources available to teachers through Moodle will only strengthen Moodle’s chances for adoption in k12 and higher education (and beyond).

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