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ERIC Number: EJ890469
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1528-5324
Envisioning the Post-LMS Era: The Open Learning Network
Mott, Jonathan
EDUCAUSE Quarterly, v33 n1 2010
Learning management systems (LMSs) have dominated the teaching and learning landscape in higher education for the past decade, with a recent Delta Initiative report indicating that more than 90 percent of colleges and universities have a standardized, institutional LMS implementation. While the LMS has become central to the business of colleges and universities, it has also become a symbol of the higher learning status quo. Many students, teachers, instructional technologists, and administrators consider the LMS too inflexible and are turning to the web for tools that support their everyday communication, productivity, and collaboration needs. Blogs, wikis, social networking sites, microblogging tools, and other web-based applications are supplanting the teaching and learning tools previously found only inside the LMS. Where the LMS is vertically integrated and institutionally centralized, the Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is the educational manifestation of the web's "small pieces loosely joined," a "world of pure connection, free of the arbitrary constraints of matter, distance, and time." Proponents assert that the PLE's greater flexibility, portability, adaptability, and openness make it far superior to the LMS as a teaching and learning platform. The PLE is not without its weaknesses, however. Potential security and reliability concerns abound. This conundrum leaves higher education with what appears to be an unsatisfying either-or choice that requires significant tradeoffs whichever path is chosen. In an increasingly sophisticated technology environment, however, the author contends that one can bring together--or mash up--the best of both the LMS and the PLE paradigms to create a learning platform more ideally suited to teaching and learning in higher education--an "open learning network" (OLN). An OLN is intended to be, at the same time: (1) Secure and open; (2) Integrated and modular; (3) Private and public; and (4) Reliable and flexible. This article outlines a framework that provides a blueprint for developing what KnowledgeWorks calls a "lightweight, modular infrastructure" with built-in resilience to meet the dynamic needs of today's "learning agents." (Contains 1 table, 7 figures and 36 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A