Tuesday, July 17, 2018

What is an academic LMS, really?

As an avid member (mostly reader) of Quora, I occasionally get an opportunity to answer a question that truly interests me. This one I could not stay away from... "What is an academic LMS?"

Here's my answer, with apologies for its slightly subversive point of view...

An academic LMS is a software system heavily criticized by teachers for requiring them to relearn some of the most fundamental aspects of teaching while taking away much of the personality and spontaneity of the classroom, and grudgingly accepted by students who are accustomed to a much a better user experience in all other areas of their lives but who are willing to put up with this because after all, it’s just school and how can you expect teachers to know about technology?

Efforts to improve on the original model developed by Blackboard and others twenty years ago have been slow and painful because even though the original model is fundamentally flawed (a low-bandwidth online classroom primarily navigated by posting written content and then writing messages back and forth), it is also heavily adopted in a field where change of any kind is always slow and painful.

But bandwidth is not generally such a challenge in the US any more, so change—both incremental and disruptive—is happening. And inevitable. Stay tuned.

If you like this definition, you can upvote it here!