On Responses to Instructure's Value

Instructure, the company that makes/hosts the Canvas LMS, recently announced an intent to sell to a private equity firm for about $2B. That’s a lot of money. I don’t care about the business of edtech. I don’t care if a company buys another company, or what their reasons are. I care about how technologies are used to improve the learning experience for students. The business of edtech is a means to that end....

December 7, 2019 · 8 min

on the false binary of LMS vs. Open

long, rambling post alert. it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, so lots of things have been stewing. bear with me. It’s fashionable to hate the LMS. It’s the poster child for Enterprise Thinking and lazy (online) pedagogy, so it is easy to rail against the LMS as The Cause of All Educational Evil. The LMS is put into the stocks, and we are expected to stand in the town square and throw rotten fruit at it....

September 14, 2014 · 8 min

sharing LMS requirements

Jen suggested many (many) months ago that I post the requirements we used in the LMS RFP on github so people could use them, fork them, etc…. A starting point, so every institution doesn't have to reinvent the wheel each time. Considering the amount of time and effort she put into helping craft them, how can I possibly refuse? I can't, that's how. So. Generic-ish LMS RFP requirements, ala github....

June 6, 2013 · 2 min

on the new LMS

I’ve been working with people on campus for a long time to try to figure out what we need to do about our campus LMS. My oldest file for the endeavour was created on July 19, 2011. Seriously. Almost 2 years ago. We did a couple rounds of campus engagement1, ran an RFP, and wrote several reports. Provincial politics, budget crises and legal processes intervened, and here we are. The decision was formalized in the RFP system this afternoon, and it’s official: the University of Calgary has selected Desire2Learn as its next learning management system....

June 6, 2013 · 3 min

Norman's Law of eLearning Tool Convergence

Maybe more of a theory than a law, but still: Any eLearning tool, no matter how openly designed, will eventually become indistinguishable from a Learning Management System once a threshold of supported use-cases has been reached. They start out small and open. Then, as more people adopt them and the tool is extended to meet the additional requirements of the growing community of users, eventually things like access management and digital rights start getting integrated....

February 15, 2013 · 1 min

on the university of phoenix lms patent

So the University of Phoenix was awarded a patent recently, and on first glance it looks to be another round of "patent the LMS and destroy the competition". But it's not. Here's the press release. Here's the patent. It's about automatically sequencing a series of learning objects based on the activity of students. Someone does something, and the order of presentation of some items is shuffled in response. This is not a patent on learning management systems....

January 29, 2013 · 1 min

"I'm in a glass case of emotion" (or, on Enterprise Solutions on campus)

Brian Lamb wrote a fantastic post that linked to Martin Weller’s recent post that touches on enterprise-vs-twitter-scale-support. My synopsis of the important issues: People are different. They have different needs, different capabilities, different comfort levels, etc… etc… Institutions are (relatively) good at offering Enterprise Solutions. Enterprise Solutions kind of suck for individuals, and for small-scale innovation. My take on this is that the institutions need to provide a “common ground” so all members of a community have access to core services and functionality....

January 18, 2013 · 3 min

UofC LMS RFP engagement report

So, this project has taken up the vast majority of my Day Job for the last year or so. We're finally approaching the point where a decision can be made on which LMS we'll be using. I just published our working group's report on the project website, so we can share the current data with the university community. Long story short, it's a draw between Canvas and D2L, with further information needed before Those Who Are Higher Up Than I Am can make the decision....

January 14, 2013 · 1 min

Notes: Clarke & Kinne (2012). Asynchronous discussions as threaded discussions or blogs

Clarke, L, & Kinne, L. (2012). Asynchronous discussions as threaded discussions or blogs. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 29, 4-13. The article looked at students publishing online discussions using Blackboard and WordPress, and their reported sense of community, etc… Kinda perfect for use in my thesis. But the article is embargoed from our library collection, and the ISTE website for the journal locks it behind a broken paywall....

October 13, 2012 · 1 min

UCalgary eLearning Discovery Working Group report on LMS engagement

What a consultant-ish title. Anyway. The working group I've been chairing since last summer (it even has its own tag here on my blog) has been doing a bunch of stuff (i.e., "engagements") to talk to people on campus (i.e., "stakeholders") to find out what they need from eLearning in general and in an LMS specifically (i.e., "high level needs documentation"). The first report, focusing on documenting the LMS engagement itself (surveys, focus groups, vendor demos, etc....

June 29, 2012 · 1 min