Learning Management Systems Under Threat from Web 2.0
20 June 2008 1 Comment
Hot on the heels of presentations by Iain (HOD) and myself to a group of local teachers of IT comes confirmation of the problems facing learning management systems (LMS). Iain made the point that the structured top-down approach of LMS technology was not necessarily leading to better learning for the students.
We see this point echoed strongly in a Wired Campus Blog post aptly titled ‘The Battle Between Web 2.0 and the Classroom’ by Maria José Viñas who quotes Martin Weller, and education technology expert from the OUUK. He was a pioneer of classic LMS at the OUUK with the introduction of Moodle. Despite his championing of LMS he now poses the question in his guest blog post:
when learners have been accustomed to very facilitative, usable, personalisable and adaptive tools both for learning and socialising, why will they accept standardised, unintuitive, clumsy and out of date tools in formal education they are paying for?
Of course he is referring to the social networking tools made possible by Web 2.0 and which students are using before entering universities. He goes on:
the reason the centralised LMS is not the answer to the ‘web 2.0 problem’ for education is because in its software DNA it embodies the wrong metaphor. It seeks to realise the principles of hierarchy, control and centralisation – the traditional classroom made virtual. This approach won’t help educators understand the new challenges and opportunities they are now facing.
I entirely agree and will be spending research effort to convince my institution to take note and start to address and overcome the ‘web 2.0 problem’.