Association LMS: An Interview with Doug Wallace of Thinking Cap

BY Celisa Steele

Doug Wallace of Thinking CapThis week we continue our series of interviews with the association LMS providers we track. In this 7-minute audio interview, I head north of the border to Toronto (at least via Skype) to talk with Doug Wallace, president of Thinking Cap, which offers the Thinking Cap LMS to associations.

Doug responds to four questions:

  1. Who is Thinking Cap?
  2. What differentiates Thinking Cap from other LMS companies serving associations?
  3. How does Thinking Camp (Thinking Cap’s annual user meeting) influence the company’s products, including the LMS, and how does the company balance being responsive and reactive to users with providing a proactive vision and path?
  4. What’s coming down the pike in the near future for learning?

Doug takes a contrarian view in his response to the second question, arguing that customers really don’t want—and shouldn’t get—a system that’s different from others. The goal of standards (and Doug is passionate about standards like SCORM) is to ensure compatibility. As he puts it:

If you really are a believer in SCORM and reusability and interoperability, your goal is to not differentiate but to adhere to standards religiously. The strength that we bring to it is that we give you so many different options—for example, you can a prerequisite for a course…and we can define new prerequisites for the second time you take that course. Every part of our LMS is very, very, very complex…but we do a really good job, through the user interface, of hiding that complexity if you don’t need.


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