We get asked all the time, “What is an LMS?” So, here’s a challenge… express it as simply, as elementally as you can. Here’s my effort:

A tool that authenticates students, connects them to a topic, as well as each other, and provides the tools to efficiently deliver, track and assess the learning process.

– (Think you can do it better using only 140 characters? Step up and leave a comment…)

We’ve been pondering different applications and how they apply to that definition. And I can’t stop coming back to Facebook as a great candidate for an LMS of the future.

A tool that authenticates students
Social elearning with SCORM Cloud and Facebook

…connects them to a topic…
Social elearning with SCORM Cloud and Facebook

…as well as each other…
Social elearning with SCORM Cloud and Facebook
This is where SCORM Cloud comes in. Courses could be hosted on SCORM Cloud and delivered via Facebook.

…and provides the tools to efficiently deliver, track and assess the learning process.
Social elearning with SCORM Cloud and Facebook

Assessments and tracking could also be integrated:

Social elearning with SCORM Cloud and Facebook
Thinking about what could be is something we do a lot… Lately several of us have often discussed what SCORM Cloud + Facebook could be. I thought it’d be a good idea to expand the discussion and bring our followers into the mix.

Apps in Facebook are nothing new, and they’re the future of the platform:

The next five years will be defined by apps and the depth of social engagement.

-Mark Zuckerberg at F8 2011

The social learning platform has created thousands of successful virtual farms and Vills. While many of the popular apps currently on Facebook are games, the Facebook population seems to be underutilized for eLearning. Students and Facebook have a healthy relationship — the site’s popularity was born from college students. I’m willing to make the argument that the blend of eLearning and the Facebook environment would be a useful marriage.

Facebook advantages:

  • 800+ million users (and growing)
  • Easy to manage people and groups
  • Users are loyal, familiar and comfortable with Facebook
  • Streamlined registration and management process
  • Frequent log-ins, easily accessible across platforms and devices
  • Every month, more than 500 million people use an app on Facebook or experience Facebook Platform on other websites
  • More than 7 million apps and websites are integrated with Facebook
Social elearning with SCORM Cloud and Facebook

By using Facebook to facilitate learning with students and instructors, developers could create a fast and intuitive way to group students and deploy courses. Learning within Facebook provides a platform students are comfortable and familiar with. Relationships formed via a Facebook-based experience could continue past the life of the course, creating a more genuine social experience than traditional eLearning has been able to give. The possibilities of a Learning App within Facebook are exciting to imagine and one I think could become the next big movement of eLearning.

Arguably, this rush to manage learners within Facebook will start soon, and I’m excited to see it begin. We’ve built our SCORM Cloud to be flexible and adaptable with this scenario in mind. We’ve seen several integrations of our SCORM Cloud. So far it has been blended into Moodle, Sakai, Dokeos, Ilias, WordPress and Google Apps. Instead of reinventing the learning platform, just plug our SCORM Cloud into Facebook and move on.

Facebook is the next step, and one we’re excited to see someone take. Our SCORM Cloud can relieve the pain of hosting content, managing courses, tracking assessments and reporting grades. Facebook will manage students — all a developer needs to do is plug the two together. We’re open to ideas on how we can make this process easier.

Group discussions, wall posts, notifications, real-time chat with classmates, leader boards… the Facebook platform offers plenty of elements that can be combined to create something cool. What could be within this solution keeps my mind racing. I hope that some momentum for this develops soon.

Social elearning with SCORM Cloud and Facebook

So the logical question is, “If an e-learning Facebook app is such a great idea, why not do it yourself?” We have built the toolkit that can make this app possible… we’ve got a lot of development projects in cue. We’ve made it obvious we’re hiring, great ideas like SCORM Cloud + Facebook are why. If this sounds cool and you’d like to jump in and create a Facebook integration, go for it. Where it goes from here is up to you. Are you willing to take the leap and become the first to navigate these waters?

We know this process takes time and effort. We’re willing to lend a hand, let’s discuss what that could look like by dropping a comment. If you’re interested in working with us to make this happen, email me — chris.tompkins@scorm.com.

Some images from: benstein & FindYourSearch

We knew that Chris was going to fit in here when he told us stories from a prior job in which he visited various Walmarts, teaching the disinterested staff about how to sell satellite radios. When your job will revolve around explaining eLearning standards and educating people about them, patience and teaching become pretty important. That's why Chris is our director of sales.