Bring any three experts together and you should get at least four opinions. Yet this wasn’t the case during the Learning Experts’ panel session at Plateau Insights Rome – the European user group conference for Plateau Systems’ talent management software, held at the end of March.


Clive Shepherd, Donald H Taylor and Nigel Paine – all respected experts in the learning technologies sphere – agreed that the advent of social learning is far from causing the death of the learning management system (LMS).


“This debate is taking on the characteristics of a religious war – where everyone takes extreme positions,” commented Clive Shepherd.


Donald H Taylor agreed and added: “In learning and development you have lots of false dichotomies. The reality is that you have lots of tools with which you do different things.”


“In a big company, running training is about having the right data and, for that, you need an LMS,” Nigel Paine observed. “Where there have been problems was where people have said, ‘You can only use our LMS’ or ‘You can’t put that data on the LMS’. The key is integration not separation.”


Comment: As the three experts went on to say, in today’s business world, there are no ‘set’ answers; it’s key to see learning as a continuum encompassing informal and formal and, thus, embracing ‘blended’ learning. Moreover, in terms of an LMS for today’s needs, you need software that’s simple enough to be useful and that’s complex enough to be relevant.