Companies create education and training departments to support professional development goals of employees and external clients. Although the purpose for these education initiatives may seem obvious, defining the technologies to use when it comes to curricula can be rather obscure. The University of Public Health (UofPH), an organization established to provide high-quality learning opportunities through the delivery of timely and cost-effective learning products. The university supports the mission and strategic goals of the agency to meet the training and developmental needs of the division. The target audience for courses is students (investigators and analysts) and course development team (CAG) members. The CAG consists of management, trainers, instructional designers, instructors, SMEs and support staff. The program content is objective-based focusing on mastery of public health professional job skills. A learning management system (LMS) is a “software system used to manage student data and records for online and classroom learning” (Moore and Kearsley, 2005, p. 329). Online, face-to-face (F2F), and blended learning courses are managed in three LMSs (in three different locations)—CWire, Lorepath, and UofPH Learning Portal.
This essay will examine factors to consider as a UofPH moves toward selecting one LMS to use. The selected LMS should efficiently and effectively transition existing course content, improve course records accessibility, and significantly reduce manual administrative tasks. I’ve selected Absorb LMS, a robust technology that can comply with the mandate of offering courses hosted on the portal, and to meet the essential needs of the organization: Although the essay focuses on the features of a technology as it relates to the SECTIONS model, it will suggest some ways to maximize resources within UofPH by the selecting the Absorb LMS.
In the SECTIONS model, a framework for “selecting and applying technology” within an organization (Bates and Poole, 2003, p. 77), there are eight factors to be considered. The first, Students, which centers around three topics: student target audiences, technology access, and learning styles (Bates and Poole, 2003, p. 80). Absorb’s LMS user interface and its resemblance to modern websites offer a solution that steadies the challenges of multi-generational and multi-language training environments. Technologies with content and image translation services and learner-centric user interfaces permit students to easily share ideas, participate in discussions and forums, and develop or further enhance computer skills; regardless of their background, age, spoken language or physical location. Students bring prior knowledge to classrooms and share personal experiences, because the career paths and educational goals of adult learners evolve as interests change (Hughes, 2005, p. 1). Ideally, a technology selection process will promote discussions on how,...