Thanks Vance for your detailed explanation of your thinking around this.
In the corporate space people are encouraged to have magical thinking about online learning. They are told that an LMS, in one fell swoop, will manage every compliance need. You pop in a course (and there's no clarity on what a course is - it's just a thing that magically makes people learn something). The LMS tells you people have done it. You tick off your list. Compliance met. This is the story that vendors overwhelmingly sell.
In my world, my concerns are more around streamlining functions - face to face event management - enrolments, registrations, pre-requisites, reminders, job aids, capturing learning needs and licencing requirements, chasing laggards, rescheduling, reporting, evaluation etc. None of the systems seem to talk to each other. Everything has to be done 3 times and even then there's someone sitting in the office on a Saturday trying to reconcile 3 excel spreadsheets and make sense of the data. Learning seems to have no relevance to any of it - the sheer task of administration is so all encompassing.
So when I asked about an LMS I'm asking because that's what organisations are told they need. They listen to vendors and think that all their learning needs will be met - that employees will magically accept the "netflix of learning" which will come from numerous vendors as well as learning that be created and uploaded in a matter of minutes by HR folks etc. That employees will love this opportunity, complete courses, learn skills, apply them on the job, meet compliance obligations etc. However this simply isn't my experience. Over the years I've observed that you get a high number of people enrolling in something then it dies off within days and most people don't finish anything. Others spend their time, as we all do, scrolling through the "netflix" daze, not really doing anything but looking busy.
I feel like the 13th fairy in Sleeping Beauty. There's no perfect answer but I'm hoping I can find the least worst outcome. When I'm asking about an LMS I'm thinking about environments that will provide systems for administering, communicating, measuring, assigning, coordinating. The learning part of it is secondary, to be honest because learning is messy and can't really be mandated or controlled. I've been reading about Learning Experience Platforms as well and that sounds promising but all the ones I've looked at have fancy videos aimed at corporate decision makers and they all look like the netflix of learning - attractive content libraries of mostly animations or videos. I can't see anything that's suited to workplaces or likely to engender the kind of genuine learning or knowledge building that we've now been talking about in TALO for close to 20 years.
Some of the stuff I'm seeing here in the responses is academic focussed - tools for people to truly share and build and learn. That's not my experience of workplaces - only universities, schools and colleges. People still respond to face to face or nothing. And my own view of this is that learning needs to be in the flow of work anyway, so I'm secretly hoping that someone has built something that will do all the admin and clever database stuff as well as building in social tools that are genuinely useful rather than superficially social.
Holy grail maybe. But TALO is my go to when I have these kinds of questions.