Reusable Architecture Strategy: LMS + LCMS + eLearning Modules

I am just getting started with Articulate (and with the field of eLearning in general), but have been doing training (F2F, blended and online) in K-12 environments and web development for some time, so I have some informed hunches.  Feedback / amendments on this (perhaps obvious) proposal welcome!

Setting up my shop and process, I'm thinking I want both Storyline AND Studio, and to know (fluently, not via lookup) the rapid e-Learning capabilities of Presenter and Quizmaker (to import Studio creations into Storyline.)

I am thinking that as a baseline for any organization with ongoing eLearning needs, I would want an LMS (for course engagements), an LCMS (for content archiving and access, with forums and comments on content and auto-URL checking) and eLearning modules accessed from both.  eLearning modules are "re-usable" and findable through the LCMS, as well as sequenced in by the LMS.

I want to make as much of what I develop re-usable through the LCMS, so by giving learners accounts on the LCMS they can bookmark pages they want to return to as well as comment and annotate.  Maybe they don't do any of that, but at least they trust that they can return for things they learn about in courses.

Quizzes on the eLearning modules should be for learner benefit only (checking for understanding), but should NOT send data to the LMS. LMS native quizzes should be used when you want to track learner progress, rather.

Process for each client organization (I've done #1-4 already for a Google Apps training I am working on):

  1. Define platforms and what each does. In my case, LMS = Moodle, LCMS = Drupal, Modules are Storyline (supported by Camtasia and Captivate). I would also make a "cheat sheet" of particularly relevant rapid e-Learning options (visualizations, quiz options) from Studio. Create subdomains for LCMS and LMS platforms to define navigation URLs for the layouts and templates.
  2. Build eLearning module slide master and layouts with Storyline (including a link to the LCMS, which becomes "home").  No need to link back to the LMS from the eLearning, since it is re-usable ... backlinks from LCMS will do that. Push as much as possible into the master layout, and then into the sub-layouts ... leave as little as possible for actual slides.  Test them to death.
  3. Build eLearning module template(s) with Storyline.  This allows layered interactions (which slide master and layouts do not support) and defined structures (e.g. Intro => Demo => Tutorial => Application => Quiz).   Test them to death.
  4. Build the modules from the master template. Record videos as needed and separate "process" videos ("how to use the eLearning" and LMS-related) from "content" videos (what will be useful upon later return). Put the "content" videos in a youtube channel (or wherever they are being archived).
  5. Build and import rapid eLearning interactions from Studio as needed (visualizations, quizzes, etc)  into new modules when applicable. Try not to force strings of sequential interactions (you must do this before you may do that) since this slows down content access for reusability.  Provide menu overrides when you do. 

I could write more, but I'll stop here and ask for commentary. 


2 Replies
Nicole Legault

Hi there Bram!

Thank you so much for coming to the E-Learning Heroes community with your discussion! Seems like you have some great plans, that sound very exciting! Is there any possibility that you can narrow in a bit on what your specific question is for the community? Do you need recommendations for a specific tool or LMS?

Thanks! :) 

Bram Moreinis

Hi, Nicole.

Thank you for asking! 

I did not have a "specific" question, just a general one about this strategy - whether other people in the community are thinking along these lines, and if they have been actually doing such things (e.g. proposing, as instructional designers, solutions that share the eLearning through an LCMS as well as an LMS) they might share some thoughts in turn, or advice.  Maybe some propose including an SLE (Social Learning Environment) outside the LMS so that when students done with LMS-bound courses the networking connections and social learning can continue to grow.

This "beyond the LMS platform" idea came to me as a Drupal developer, and I presented on it at MIT back in 2010:

There's an article in this month's TD about "Communities of Developing Practice" - - might be an unnecessary new term/acronym but it does point to the role Instructional Designers can play in supporting Connectivism by breaking outside the LMS.  So with Articulate Storyline as our lens, we would want to see modules as reusable learning objects that work within an LMS as well as outside for later reference or other "learning events."

Anyhow ... by the lack of response up to now, I figured that this was too far out for the eLearning Heroes community to bite on...but if not, please share!