By Brian Lamb

As Jim Groom notes in his paper, there is really no fun in bashing the Learning Management System (LMS) anymore.

That particular buzz was definitively killed two years ago, when the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) published its white paper on Next Generation Digital Learning Environments (NGDLE). The ELI is not widely regarded as a hotbed of radical, anti-ed tech sentiment, yet when it consulted “with more than 70 community thought leaders” it came to a sobering assessment of what is by far the most commonly used platform for online learning:

What is clear is that the LMS has been highly successful in enabling the administration of learning but less so in enabling learning itself. Tools such as the grade book and mechanisms for distributing materials such as the syllabus are invaluable for the management of a course, but these resources contribute, at best, only indirectly to learning success. Initial LMS designs have been both course- and instructor-centric, which is consonant with the way higher education viewed teaching and learning through the 1990s.  Continue reading “Interventions”

Learning in MOOCs: The [Un]democratisation of Learning

By Allison Littlejohn, Chair of Learning Technology and Academic Director of Digital innovation, The Open University, UK & Nina Hood, CEO of the Education Hub and Lecturer in Education, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Massive open online courses have been signaled as a disruptive and democratizing force in online, distance education. This position paper critiques these claims, examining the tensions between viewing MOOCs as products and students as customers, and the perspective of students as learners who may, or might not, be able to determine their own learning pathway. The capacity, or non-ability, to self-regulate learning leads to inequalities in the ways learners experience MOOCs. While some MOOCs have contributed to change, many replicate and reinforce education that privilege the elite. This paper argues a need to support the development of digital skills and core competencies, including the ability to self-regulate learning, to ensure learners can participate in a new democracy of open, online learning.

Continue reading “Learning in MOOCs: The [Un]democratisation of Learning”

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