3 payoffs to sharing an LMS with another college

A shared learning management system gives greater opportunity for collaboration, standardization and staff learning—while saving costs

Sharing an LMS with another institution could improve services and reduce costs. It’s a move few schools have made, since created a joint administrator or governing body to determine its structure and other key issues seems complicated. But in these era of shared services, it may be worth the effort. Collaborating with another college on choosing, implementing and managing a shared LMS can pay off significantly in terms of student opportunities, costs and faculty collaboration.

Payoff 1: Convenience in learning

As growing numbers of students take courses from multiple institutions within their state or system—and increasingly take those courses online—a standard LMS could simplify their lives and improve educational outcomes. With multiple systems, users need to keep up with various usernames and passwords as well as remember how to use each different system, or regularly relearn systems they might use only once every couple of semesters.

A shared LMS can also offer new opportunities for faculty and staff development as well. A few years ago, one Pennsylvania university implemented an LMS for new employee onboarding and other training, inviting nearby institutions to become part of the same portal. They determine needed content together.

Also read: Preparing higher ed faculty to embrace all capabilities of today’s learning management systems


Payoff 2: Lower costs

One community college system saved about $8 million by adopting a common LMS across the majority of its colleges. Officials were able to secure centralized state funding to cover the cost of its LMS for at least two years. Rapid adoption of schools that switched over encouraged the state to provide additional funding.

Systemwide tech infrastructure typically yields savings in cost, training and data analysis, as well as in some cases shared personnel.

Payoff 3: Collaboration

Sharing an LMS can help faculty at various colleges and schools work together easily. Creating a certificate program in a shared LMS, for example, can provide opportunity for uniform response times, messaging and office hours.

Simplified collaboration among faculty is another valuable benefit. For example, in an online mathematics community facilitated by one university system office, faculty members can share ideas (such as for course resources or assignments) and seek input from colleagues.

Stefanie Botelho is newsletter editor of UB.

Read the full original article on why some institutions are saying yes to a shared LMS.

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