D'Arcy Norman started an interesting discussion about the false binary of LMS vs. Open. Here are some interesting responses:
- Sheila MacNeill: Living with the VLE dictator
- Peter Reed: The VLE vs 'Whatever'
- Amber Thomas: Why VLEs aren’t evil
- Mike Caulfield: Reply to D’Arcy
- Phill Hill: LMS and Open: The false binary is based on past, not future markets
- George Kroner: The Nuances of LMS vs. Open
In the past I used to be responsible for the Blackboard system of our university. Since a couple of years I'm responsible for the Open Education activities of the university. So this is an discussion that interests me. So here my two cents.
First of all I strongly agree with D'Arcy about the false framing of VLE versus Open. I also think that this frame doesn't benefit either side.
Secondly, I agree that most LMSs (aka VLE) look the same and users have the same objections against them. Some of theme will always complain about the institutional systems their university offers. As Goerge Kroner writes "LMSs remain the most important components of online learning technology for the vast majority of higher education institutions, and LMSs are more open today than they’ve ever been (of course as long as institutions don’t lock them down)."
Thirdly, the educational world is changing. As Phill Hill has posted in his slides there are 4 reasons to consider:
- The world around the LMS has changed
- The concept of interoperability has changed
- Open Education and MOOCs
- Just now getting broad LMS adoption
According to Phil we are just now moving into new concept of Learning Platform. I agree with that and see this happening at my own university.
Fourthly, there isn't any Learning Platform out there. So as a university we have to a three options:
- Stick with Blackboard
- Switch over to another system that might become the Learning Platform we need
- Build it ourselves.
I don't believe in option 3 for a single university and I have seen many failures in doing this with multiple universities. So there are two options left. And that is what we are investigating at this moment.