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One advantage of a poor quality in a free-content resource is that you have the freedom to improve it!

Monolithic learning management systems are a barrier to widening access to education through elearning

I’ve become increasingly disillusioned with Learning Management Systems (LMSs) and I suspect that they’re constraining innovation in education. I am an eLearning practitioner and have previously been responsible for leading eLearning strategy in the university environment and have extensive experience with many LMSs - so I’m not an eLearning luddite with a nostalgic reluctance to adopt technology in education. On the contrary, I firmly support Sugata Mitra’s advice that we must use the most advanced digital technologies for the most disadvantaged learners. I’m on the side of eLearning here.

My disillusionment with LMSs fuels speculation among my peers and colleagues. I see the looks of surprise when I chat with my colleagues suggesting that LMSs are the barrier to eLearning. Their unspoken diagnosis of a temporary bout of digital amnesia is tangible. I observe the disappointment most among my free software associates that have slaved for years in the implementation of free software LMS solutions. In my view, we made an error in judgment assuming that unrestricted access to the source code of free software LMSs would facilitate innovation in eLearning. Unfortunately we have reached the point where every eLearning problem is a nail - because the only tool we have on campus is a large LMS hammer.

I think we can learn a lot from the Personalised Learning Environment cohort and the work on the eFramework - essentially a description of a web services architecture for eLearning. However this work is essentially a framework specification not an implementation. Given our experiences on the eLearning XHTML project, which has developed an authoring tool using internationally accepted specifications for interoperability, I’m not too optimistic that we will see an e-framework implementation as mainstream technology very soon. I have yet to see an elegant deployment of the LMS/SCORM specifications in any LMS (both proprietary and open source). When you view a SCORM import in all the LMSs I have tested - you feel that you are viewing alien content that is not part of the instructional strategy.

Why go through the pains of an SCORM export/import when you can simply upload and reference the relevant web content on a server using W3C protocols? (Even better, start using RSS/RDF content feeds.) The reason is that some local authority has taken responsibility to manage your freedoms to educate. We don’t tolerate these intrusions in the traditional classroom, yet under elearning we accept this in the name of cost-efficiency (or some other “justifiable” reason). This is why LMSs won’t survive - they are not aligned with the Web 2.0 culture of enabling individuals to teach as they see fit. LMSs are typically organisational installations and restrict educational freedom to work as individuals across institutional boundaries. In my view, this is why we will witness exponential growth in the technologies that service these educational needs. The phenomenal growth in Youtube, MySpace, Open Wiki installations, Flickr being an early example of the shift from organisation to you as individual.

Questions & Answers

I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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