Wednesday, October 13, 2010

SharePoint As An Academic Learning Management System (LMS)?

Over the weekend I had an interesting email exchange with a business owner who runs one of the larger IT companies in Western Massachusetts. He's looking to hire some student interns from our college with Microsoft SharePoint experience. I've been a SharePoint fan for a while now and currently use it as a collaboration/file sharing/communications/etc tool for a national economic development project managed by the American Association of Community Colleges.

I got to thinking after that email exchange - with some added pieces (including a FERPA compliant gradebook), SharePoint has the potential to be a pretty nice Learning Management System (LMS). A few minutes and a quick web search later I found it is already being done by companies like SharePointLMS.

I'm not an LMS design expert but I do use one almost every day. I am sure there are shortcomings using applications like SharePoint as an LMS but - there are strengths and weaknesses with any software based application including the current crop of academic LMS's.

It makes sense to take a look at products like SharePoint and their classroom potential. The more real-world skills and experience our students graduate with the better when it comes to getting that first job.

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