Tuesday, 23 November 2004

LMS: The wrong place to start learning

George Siemens posted an article and the main argument is very much in the title.

I prefer to call LMS Learners Management System, which most LMS does a good to decent job. In terms of content management, I am not too sure. Most LMS are good in delivering static content (albeit with some varying sequencing using Simple Sequencing) but failed miserably in terms of version management of more dynamic content or allow just-in-time creation of content by the instructor based on perceived performance abilities of the cohort.

SCORM-compliant LMS promise to support SCO/course re-use. Without a formal agreed way to separate the look and feel from content, I don't see how SCOs can be re-used extensively. See my earlier arguments here, here and here.

Of course, as the article rightly pointed out, focusing on content is NOT learning. However, content does have a place in our information needs. I argued that I would like to see e-learning industry develops into a service industry, see My birthday red egg to her birthday party analogy.

In this aspect, I resonate well with Stephen Downes' view on the future of knowledge, e.g. his recent presentation slides. I reckon the ability to "know where to find", "who is who", "what is related to what" (network-type knowledge, or information about information and their relationships) is a sensible way to handle information overload. After-all, just-in-time information for the problem at hand fits well with our limited temporary memory for processing information. Computer and Communication are extension to our cognitive ability to search and locate information. This meta-skill is properly one of the most important thing we shall need to survive in an information age. The other important group of knowledge is our holistic world view which is built on our experience - first, second or third person. Ability to learn from second and third person experience are our characteristic as a human. Hence, we should not overlook the possible of utilizing third person experience. But, again, we should not neglect the huge power of first (and simulated) experience, or see here.!

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