I would be interested in hearing from anyone with experience of using Sharepoint (the Sharepoint Learning Kit or add-on Sharepoint LMS) or the SAP learning portal as a learning management system in their organisation. Are they a viable alternative to well-known LMSs such as Moodle or Kallidus? Could they be used for competency management?
Also if you are using Moodle alongside either of these products, how well this works.
We have been using the Sharepoint - SLK all year and found it to be very good. There isn't much docuementation on it but everything in it works well. We mainly use Captivate 4 to create the scorm compliant packages that integrate with the SLK not perfectly but very well indeed.
With respect to SAP, relatively recently in my previous oragnisation, we carriesd out a full investigation of possible LMSs. After much consideration, we decided not to go with SAP, even though our main HR system and our Performance Management systems were both SAP. Our reasoning was that whilst SAP had excllent functionality, the user interface was awful, with users and line managers having to negotiate numerous screens and selections to achieve even the simplest of outcomes. Clearly the degree to which this would present an issue for an organisation would depend upon how much of a "self-service" solution you were looking to implement. We found that people who used SAP all the time loved it, as a skilled user could fully exploit its almost peerless functionality. However for less frequent users, as would be the case for most LMS users, the non-intuative, multi-layered SAP approach would present a significant challenge. We ultimately went with a SumTotal LMS populated by overnight updates from our SAP HR system.
I have have been tasked with implementing e-learning within Sheffield City Council and although i do not have experience in using the SharePoint Learning kit or the SharePoint add-on LMS we are researching using the Learning Pool system (www.learningpool.com) the system is a hosted offering that local authorities subscribe to and share content that they develop.
The system was created by the IDEA in 2002 but is now under private ownership, the system is Moodle based and so highly flexible and can be rapidly developed to meet bespoke needs.
The system has a DLE (Dynamic Learning Environment) that i would expect can be configured for competency management.
This may be worth a look if you are look for a cost effective out of the box end to end solution
We've been using Sharepoint (or Microsoft Learning Gateway, which is largely Sharepoijnt with some education-specific site templates and structures) as a VLE since 2004/5. The Sharepoint Learning Kit is very good and does what it says on the tin. The new version includes a Course Manager and Drop box feature so that your SLK content no longer needs to contain SCORM package. You can simply work with Office documents/PDFs, etc. Also allows you to plan and assess, too.
One of the nice things I like about the Microsoft Learning Gateway is that it allows you to use it as an internal VLE, a cluster VLE or a whole LEA/Borough-wide VLE (or more...I have a privately built - not to do with my 9-5 - Sharepoint site with commercial content in which is available to all schools in the UK and beyond).
Regarding competency management...we're not using our VLE for this. However, if people in your organisation have received the appropriate training in the use of the LMS/VLE and continue to avoid its use, then there may be competency issues therein.
We are rebuilding our Intranet around Sharepoint also, which comes with some wonderful freebies from Microsoft. They're called the Fantastic 40 and are simple site templates designed to do a particular job. They're free and a massive boon it ensuring that individual teams have bespoke (pre-built) solutions to their information management needs.
John ... here's a high-level view from our analyst research.
The short answer is "depends on what you want to do with your LMS"! Or "horses for courses" as the saying goes.
In our experience, the selection of an ERP LMS solution (SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft) tends to be driven by strategic IT issues rather than functional fit or the needs of learners or L&D. Whilst the SAP Enterprise Learning platform continues to improve in functionality, there is still a functional gap vs best of breed platforms. There is also a tendancy for ERP platforms to be positioned as "effectively free" as the organisation has already committed to the HR platform. This is highly misleading as there is typically an incremental license for the LMS (e.g. for SAP EL over and above SAP HR), and the implementation costs for the ERP LMS are typically larger than best of breed alternatives.
There is a lot of interest in portal-led learning solutions currently, and the integration of LMS functionality into Sharepoint is becoming a common question. Currently we would not consider either the SLK or Sharepoint LMS as an enterprise class option. That doesn't mean you shouldn't consider them, just that you need to be very clear they will meet your specific tactical requirements as they are unlikely to meet the common requirements of a corporate standard LMS platform. Our concern currently is that a corporates will get sucked into creating custom LMS solutions in Sharepoint; a strategy we certainly wouldn't recommend (with any portal platform).
Interestingly you then refer to well-known LMSs such as Moodle or Kallidus. Kallidus is clearly a corporate LMS that has historically been successful in mid-tier companies, and is increasingly winning business in larger enterprises as well.
Moodle is not however really an LMS. It is (in academic speak) a Virtual Learning Environment or Course Management System. We have recently completed specific research on the relevance of Moodle to the corporate market (results to hopefully be published in the new year). Whilst Moodle can provide an effective e-learning launch and track platform, it needs significant customisation or add-on functionality to fulfil the role of a corporate LMS. A number of companies (e.g. Aardpress, Kineo, Remote Learner etc.) have developed extensions to do this, but in our research through corporate Moodle adopters, we really struggled to find good examples of companies using Moodle as an enterprise LMS.
Hope this is helpful. Happy to discuss further offline if you want to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).