By now Content Management Systems (CMS) are well established in most corporate environments — especially those heavily regulated such as transportation, energy, and legal verticals. Firms whose product is content have also invested heavily in CMS though typically these systems are optimized for rich media management which brings with it special challenges associated with video and image files.
Today another major content industry, higher education, is on the road to widespread adoption of media management systems. The benefits of being able to quickly find, view, and understand usage rights to large archives of digital media optimized for integration into courses is increasingly being recognized — not by CIO’s but by course instructors who increasingly rely upon digital material in-class and out-of-class. As a professor myself, I know I greatly prefer re-use of existing high quality content as opposed to trying to create everything from scratch. Content management systems can help greatly in easing the discovery, access, and re-use of such content.
Of course existing Learning Management Systems already do incorporate content management to some extent. However the paradigm has been courses and the major feature driver is automation and administration not rich media management. Also major publishers are now extending their extensive investments in content management outside their corporate boundaries as learning platforms onto which professors and students can pull and push content.
The important new development however is that today faculty are creating a much stronger pull for sophisticated content management systems. Software vendors and publishers efforts are now part of increasingly broad content management ecosystem that also includes robust and sophisticated digital media management systems from the open-source communities such as DSpace, Fedora, and Hydra.
To be clear content management systems are just part of the equation. Learning is not just about consuming well managed content (as the IBM White Paper highlighted in our “Noteworthy” section to the right speaks to very well). It’s always been about students creating, sharing, and discussing content — that today much of this can be done increasingly online provides many more options for students, professors, and learning stakeholders like companies and governments. As such if your institution has not already invested in a shared platform for content and media management, now is a terrific time to get started.