Is a new shared service in the works for learning management systems?

The Chief Learning Officer’s Council found agencies were paying significantly different amounts of money for similar learning management systems. And because every agency uses some kind of LMS to track how employees are meeting their continuing education requirements, they saw an opportunity.

Karlease Kelly, provost of the Agriculture Department’s Virtual University, deputy chief human capital officer at USDA and chairwoman of the federal Chief Learning Officer’s Council, said applying shared services to agency LMSs could bring some standardization in the services and bring down cost to the government.

Karlease Kelly is the Provost of the USDA Virtual University and deputy chief human capital officer at the Agriculture Department and the chairwoman of the federal Chief Learning Officer’s Council.

“We are looking with the Office of Personnel Management into the possibility of getting a few of the providers do something called shared services, which would create some type of contract using the collective buying power of the federal government to drive down the costs of actually providing this service and help us do a little bit better with standardizing this service,” Kelly said after speaking at a recent conference. “The other thing would be making it a little bit more affordable so even some of the agencies that don’t have the service could actually begin to have it.”


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Kelly said the council found in conversations with CLOs that what each agency was paying varied enough for a base set of services that the opportunity for a shared basic platform made sense.

“We know each agency probably has some customized features that may add to the cost, but we also know there is a basic service that everyone needs,” she said. “I think this is really in the beginning stages and people should be looking out…

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