Yes, universities use LMSes, but that does not mean the LMS is a good thing, and we need to ask hard questions about the LMS is for and how/why we are using it. I agree very much with the characterization that Maha and Jim make here: "The LMS delivers on its name: It is a closed, copyright haven that makes giving quizzes and grading easier. How does that measure up in terms of ethos? It reinforces higher ed’s refusal to push back on draconian copyright laws, their intransigent fear of openly sharing, and the continued quest for efficiency around the management tasks of teaching. All of this can make sense in some contexts, but as an ethos for a rich, web-based teaching and learning experience it tends to fall short."
Right now, we are in the process of switching to a new LMS at my school, and I was hoping (am still hoping...) that in addition to all the training (and training and more training) that we have going on, there will also be some discussion of WHY. Discussions about TEACHING and LEARNING. Discussions about alternatives to the LMS that will allow faculty and students to do things that are simply not possible in the highly restricted space of the LMS. Instead of letting the LMS features list dictate our menu, we should be developing our own goals and only then looking to see if the LMS does, or does not, provide support for those goals.
One useful way to prompt discussion might be for people to share a list of some online articles and/or videos about teaching and learning. If we all share the ideas that challenge and inspire us, we could make available a great set of questions and ideas for people to have in mind before they plunge into the "click-this, click-that" world of the LMS. I'll share this with the #BeforeYouLMS at Twitter... maybe others will join in! I'll retweet and curate with Storify if other people want to contribute resources to expand the learning horizons.
Update: I've started a Diigo collection: #BeforeYouLMS.
So, here are 10 articles or videos that I find really useful and inspiring as I continue to develop the online Gen. Ed. courses that I teach for the College of Arts & Sciences. Okay, yes, I cheated a little by sometimes including two things from the same person...
Does EdTech have an ethos? And why should I care? by Jim Groom and Maha Bali, plus Reclaiming Innovation by Jim Groom and Brian Lamb
The Five Tenets of Personalized Learning by Pernille Ripp
Unpacking the Problem of Unmotivated Online Students, plus How to Humanize Your Online Class by Michelle Pacansky-Brock
50 Ways to Cultivate a Creative Habit by Amy Burvall
Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives, an overview of Carol Dweck's Mindset by Maria Popova (BrainPickings)
The psychology of open: On wrestling your inner MOOC and Of monsters, contemplation and information by Mariana Funes
How to Give an A, a video by Benjamin Zander
The Sleeper, a video by Michael Wesch
What are 10 of your go-to articles
for thinking about learning...?
Share #BeforeYouLMS :-)