Mark was thinking....
This got me thinking down a new lane. I had been thinking how we could serve up content via widgets for a low-threshold way for learners to keep uo to date on a range of knowledge but now I'm thinking - what kind of architectural changes will have to be made to LMSs that will allow them to track student interaction via these bite-size apps? How will we ROI the value of allowing people real-time tracking of knowledge and content directly related to their job and their performance? Do you just measure downloads? What if is a standard part of the desktop - will you be resigned to focus groups or ethnographic studies to determine their effectiveness or do we track if the organization's performance is increasing while access to standard course offerings is dropping?
The architecture of the LMS that tracks bite-size apps is an interesting question. My initial thought is that it might look more like Google Analytics. A visual representation of interaction with measures around time and/or topic, with "conversion" goals for the learner. If you want to learner to be more knowledgeable in an area then you allow those areas to be loosely defined within the management system and LMS would recognize the tagged content and record the learners interaction.
I think ROI would be primarily be tied to pre-defined performance goals. Would a measure of downloads (or views or content interactions) to performance achievement be possible? I could see where this could be beneficial but really challenging to track.
As informal learning and formal learning continue to come together this will be interesting to watch.
Good Thinking Mark.