A CRM for the LMS?

I’m definitely in need of a “customer relationship management” (CRM) system for the Learning Management System (LMS). Any suggestions?

I’m back teaching at University for the first time in a while. For the course I’m teaching there are 200+ students for whom I’m the “teacher”. 170 of these are “online” students, which means they rarely come on campus to lectures/tutorials. Supporting these students means covering questions about both the course and the administrative processes around it. Keeping track of 200+ students and the conversations we’ve had is hard when the interactions are spread across email, discussion forums, LMS instant messaging, the phone and other systems and medium. Not to mention student information being spread across the student records system, the LMS, the assignment submission system, the prac placement system etc. And being busy with other tasks doesn’t help recall.

In the last couple of days a student has had to remind me about a prior email conversation because I’d forgotten about it and didn’t actively search through the various archives.

I’m likely to be in this situation for the foreseeable future, so I need to think about ways to prevent this from happening again. Not to mention the benefits that could arise from knowing the students better.

One thought on “A CRM for the LMS?

  1. A CRM? No – Instead, a post-hoc question filter.

    Once the course is over (if you survive the onslaught!) apply the 80/20 rule that states that 80% of low-level student queries are about 20% of the issues, and create pre-emptive instructional advice in the course materials in order to head off these queries next time the course is taught. Then you will be left with the 20% that really deserve considered one-off responses.

    Of course, there is always the problem “but they won’t read the advice and ask me their question anyway”. While this may be true, if you build in the advice so its as unavoidable as possible (eg in templates, checklists, etc) this problem can be minimised, and if it persists, you can at least point students to the advice readily (and that’s something a CRM may be useful for!)

    From an institutional perspective, the course materials should improve in this way after each time the course is taught, thus improving the student experience every year.

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