Sunday, December 14, 2008

LMSs - Do Students HATE Them?

Yesterday was Bloom U's graduation. Sitting in the audience I had the opportunity to hear the class President's speech. He was very well spoken, humorous, and honest.

In his speech he said there were things that he did NOT want to remember from his experiences at Bloom. I gasped when he said -- I knew when I first logged into Blackboard, that was something we would all not want to remember. I don't remember the full quote since I was too busy thinking -- "Did I just hear that?" So, do students in brick and mortar schools really HATE the integration of LMSs into their classes? Is this a unique sentiment in the college aged student population? Is there a need to look deeper into LMS features and benefits?

I post this as evidence that creating an engaging integration strategy for an LMS is critical. We as educational leaders must recognize that if we are just now thinking about integrating tools like Blackboard, Moodle, Angel and others into our educational systems, we are already arriving late to the prom. When we think about integration, we must not revel in the spectacle of the actual integration, claiming victory over all that is educationally and technologically on the cutting edge. Getting a system up and running alone in my opinion is not what we want to accomplish. We must consider all of the hard work to get the system up and running and everyone trained as the preparation for what we really want to accomplish, engaging students!

Where the rubber meets the road -- Students will give you many answers -- listen, take their advice, take their subtle hints, listen to their speeches; they can teach us a ton! I feel invigorated by his speech. I think he laid out a challenge for Bloom and for all schools and Ed Tech leaders. His speech means to me that LMS integration has made an impact, good or bad. It made enough of an impact to create a reason to speak of it at such a monumental event.

What can we learn from his speech?


Cole Camplese said...

This is a good question -- one I wrestle with quite a bit. At PSU, our CMS (course management system) is ANGEL. Adoption of the CMS has been a wild success -- about 85% of our resident courses use it. I teach courses and I take some advantage of it -- mostly as a starting point for what I hope are more interesting technologies to support what I do in the classroom. I do know faculty who use it to its fullest ... not sure student like that, but work is work.

What I wonder is this ... as students and faculty become more engaged with online social spaces, will they like the CMS even more? When systems outside the academy continue to get better and easier to use, what will we need to think about with regard to our systems? This is the question I am most curious about.

Good post!

Mark said...

Yes Cole - I was thinking I would expand this post in the direction of LMS evolution.

This is a program for online k-12 that could be a model of sorts.

I have to look at them closer. But, in terms of how social tools are influencing content delivery, this is a good example.

Thanks for posting -- I want to expand on this for sure.