Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Convincing the Boss - The introduction

I am a very lucky woman. I have a boss who likes technology, encourages me to experiment, and serves as a teacher and supporter (rather than a dictator).

He was willing to spend significant $$$$ for a high-end learning management system. Talking around eLearnDevCon 2006, however, the only system I heard ANY excitement about was Moodle. Whenever I asked about other LMS or LCMS, I heard implementation horror stories.

I already deal with one unwieldy enterprise system. Last thing I (or the rest of the IT department) wanted to do was deal with another.

Moodle impressed me four ways:
1) It was modular. I could implement pieces as I wished and it seemed really flexible. Very important since the requirements for what the LMS should do are maleable (to put it kindly). I want the LMS to track our pre-existing eLearning tutorials and provide reports. The rest of the organization seems to want a complete HR system with credentialling database, presentation tools, and anything else they can dream up at a moment's notice.

2) It was free. So if I am COMPLETELY wrong about this technology - the only money wasted is the money they pay me and Ta for the few hours we've spent on this.

3)It had great documentation. It also has a very active user community. I don't have to wait for the vendor to come up with an answer (or ask us to solve our own problem).

4) End-users were EXCITED.

It has been a long time since I heard a group of people excited about a technology. Particularly a learning technology. I sealed my decision with a series of presentations and side conversations with Michael Armacost . The link will lead you to his small Moodle installation.

Now that I've had a chance to play with it, the next step is showing the boss. The next few posts will show you the demo courses I've built for the different types of things we'd like to do with this system.


Brent Schlenker said...

HI Wendy! I am so impressed with what you are doing I just HAD to say it again too you. Don't let anyone in the blogosphere get you down...(not sure if anyone HAS but I'm suspicious) Lots of people that attend conferences talk the talk and get all fired up, but never walk the talk. But you are actually DOING IT! I love that!
Part of Learning2.0 is also about implementing technology differently. Many people miss this point. Its about bootstrapping, turning something on a going for it...quickly...tweeking as you go. Our traditional ISD models do not allow for this. Some will try and call it Rapid Prototyping but putting something in front of a pilot group quickly is not the same thing. The other piece is the cost that you mentioned...ZERO...that beats 1mill for a license any day.
You AND your manager ROCK!!! Managers like that are hard to find.

Wendy said...

After many jobs where I have been badly managed, I consider myself incredibly lucky to have a supportive boss. At times, that is the only thing that keeps me working....