Vol. 13 - Issue 1 2017 - ISSN 1504-4831
Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Volume 3 - issue 3 - 2007

Editorial volume 3 - issue 3: The future of the Learning Management System

Time Magazine argued in 2006 that the person of the year truly was “You”. editorial3-3This was in deed a significant gesture to the fact that digital technologies change the way people interact and live their lives. What made “You” a candidate for “Person of the year”, was that the development of the Internet had made it possible for anyone to publish and express your personality on the Web; or rather of “Web 2.0”.
In 2007, the notion of “Web 2.0” has been on headlines for many conferences and conventions, articles and in the news. While some enthusiasts already prepare for the developments of “Web 3.0”, most people face the challenge of trying to grapple with how new technological changes affect their everyday life in the present tense. So, if “You” was the person of the year in 2006, Web 2.0 was the technology of the year in 2007. And then again, the notion of what consequences Web 2.0 might have for teaching and learning in the area of higher education, lifelong learning and adult education will be raised in numerous contexts.
Some years ago, the Australian professor of teaching in Higher Education, Craig McInnis, described how most teachers in higher education felt that technological changes were among the most important factors affecting academic life. A report on the status of how Norwegian institutions have adopted ICT in teaching and learning, found that all institutions now use Learning Management Systems for their average teaching and administration tasks. Hence, the report concluded: the LMS has successfully brought the Norwegian academic into the digital age. The LMS is more or less synonymous with ICT. What worried the authors of the said report was that the use of the LMS was not considered sophisticated or innovative. Likewise, the influential report written by Zemsky and Massy (2004), found that much of the use was trivial and not primarily for the benefit of teaching and learning.

We can predict that many teachers in higher education will think of Web 2.0 as the latest add-on to the burden of change that faces most teachers in higher education today. We can also predict that academics will adjust to these challenges as employees in most other organizations do: some will be innovators, some early adopters etc. The thing about Web 2.0 is that it is not possible to talk about a particular artefact, or a software or similar things. Some speak of web 2.0 as an “attitude”. One of the most practical solutions I have read has been suggested by David Brown, director of educational technology services at Dartmouth College. He acknowledges that those features commonly attributed to Web 2.0 technology correspond with present learning theories. Web 2.0 offers constructive creativity on the web in a new transparency that the present LMSs need to face: ”In short, the Web 2.0 models the very active engagement that is central to the learning paradigm.» Hence, the LMS need to develop into LMS 2.0.

In the present issue we offer two articles that indirectly suggests that the current LMS have much to offer and that critical and creative users might push the limits of for what is possible. Laurence Habib and Monica Johannesen from Oslo University College, using Actor-Network theory in understanding the organisational and pedagogical effects of using the LMS, they offer us a dynamic interpretation on how the various actors shape and shake assumptions and limits of its use. Anne Karin Larsen, Grete Oline Hole and Martin Fahlvik from Bergen University College presents a tale about how they produced educational material with the goal of presenting it dynamically with the LMS, using the concept of a “Virtual Book”. The article discusses how the learning material contributes to students’ learning and how audio-visual learning material can contribute to good learning in e-learning courses. These articles correspond well to the journal’s aim to understand “ the promotion of participation and reflexivity in the social construction of the development of educational technology”. Larsen, Hole and Fahlvik demonstrate how this is a dynamic developmental process. The last paper has a different topic, but relates to the first article in the sense that if the technology is the same, different users approach it differently. The authors: Neil Anderson, Carolyn Timms and Lyn Courtney of James Cook University address the rural/urban distinction in a complex project, investigated in several aspects. If the difference is systematic and in conflict with educational and political aims, the alarm goes off. In this case the troubling news are that students in rural areas are less interested in adopting new technologies.

References:

Brown, D. (2007) Mashing up the Once and Future CMS. Educause Review. March/April (s.7-8)
McInnis, C. (2001) Inaugural proffesorial lecture. Signs of disengagement? The changing undergraduate experience in Australian universities. http://eprints.unimelb.edu.au/archive
/00000094/01/InaugLec23_8_01.pdf
Zemsky, R. & Massy, W.F (2004) Thwarted Innovation. What happened to e-learning and why? http://www.irhe.upenn.edu/Docs/Jun2004/ThwartedInnovation.pdf