At e-Literate we mostly avoid blogging about our consulting work through MindWires Consulting, but we have an opportunity with our work for California’s Online Education Initiative (OEI) to share information with the higher education community on a topic of growing importance. The OEI is California Community College System’s approach to help individual colleges collaborate with their online courses and programs, including a OEI Course Exchange to be launched this Fall in pilot mode that will “allow students to register for online courses across participating colleges without requiring students to complete separate application and matriculation processes”.

Last year we at MindWires helped OEI select a Common Course Management System (yes, they use the CMS language instead of LMS) by providing market analysis and facilitating the group decision-making process. This year they asked us to review similar efforts at other consortia in the US and Canada. The point of a CCMS is not the technology platform itself but rather what the common e-learning infrastructure could allow a consortium to do – address issues such as course redesign, professional development, student support, etc. Even though the OEI was based on selecting a common system from the beginning and has experienced significant adoption already, there is still a great deal of value in learning from others that have gone before. We are releasing the result of this work with the report – “A Retrospective on Implementing Course Management Systems: Motivations, Benefits, Drawbacks and Recommendations“.

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