Hemmed in by LMS
(This is a blog post as part of the Connected Courses project)
This comic is just an extension of thinking about how some universities require faculty to use a certain Learning Management System and how that requirement hems in both the teacher and the learners in many ways. When we talk about open learning systems in space like Connected Courses, this may a roadblock for many faculty.
I like how Howard Rheingold responded to a post of mine yesterday, noting that he often pushed and pushed against these institutional restraints and then did covert online learning systems outside of the university purview. Sort of a ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ approach to open learning. I don’t know if many faculty, with lesser name recognition and clout, are willing to take those chances, particularly if they are not tenured and need to be sure to follow rules, stay in line, keep the upper folks happy (or at least, not get them angry). We need more pirate instructors. Arrr.
And that may mean using the university system (Blackboard, Moodle, whatever) but thinking through the many ways to “hack the system” to make it work for you and your learners, even as you still technically fall within the sphere of your educational institution.
Maybe change is underway, where there is more freedom for faculty to set up their own online spaces beyond the university sphere. Maybe this comic is already obsolete. I hope so. I suspect it still might be a mixed bag, depending on where you teach and the ethos of the university itself. There may be folks in the Connected Courses who follow along and think … if only. Connected Courses facilitators need to be aware of them, too. (I am sure they are)
Peace (in the frame),