Visit Ezra’s post where he gives more thought to the post I wrote and journal article referenced here . If there isn’t more serious conversation going on around the web about what a course management system should be and what web functionality can do to support learning- then there should be! Maybe we’re starting it here…
I found Ezra’s thoughts very very interesting… his conclusion is the same one our CIO has us investigating, standing up what he calls ‘the modular approach’ next to Bb Vista, ANGEL, and Sakai (the 3 CMSs that we have been piloting and evaluating side by side).
Compared with plunking in a CMS integrated with our student information system, the modular approach is exactly the nightmare Ezra’s imagined it to be. First we have to find a platform to be the central ‘glue,’ and because we’re a Banner school, we are conceiving of this ‘glue,’ what Ezra is calling an ‘integration framework’ as our Luminis portal …then we have to find best of breed apps to do the things our faculty are currently asking for and/or using. The integration of separate assignment and assessment tools with a separate gradebook, think of it, is really complicated. My question: Why do that when a CMS already does that?
I think the solution, in the end, will be a CMS that also enables other functionality, maybe even other applications, to interact with its own framework.
I’ll have more to say about the issues Ezra raises about usability after we’ve compiled that data from our usability testing.