Future of learning: LMS or SNS?

Google and Facebook are very different companies. Google has its roots in content – their explicit aim is to organize the worlds information. Facebook, in contrast, is socially driven with the aim of helping “you connect and share with the people in your life”.

The distinction between these two approaches is important for educators to consider, as we face a similar dichotomy in how we approach teaching and learning with technology. Google’s early models viewed information as an entity of inherent worth. As a result, Google made accessing information its top priority, simplifying the disaster of Yahoo search.

But then, in early 2000, something happened: the web became a two-way medium, partly fulfilling Berners-Lee original vision of a read-write web. Google, dominant in the information/data organization space, missed this shift. Sure, they played around with social networking tools (Orkut), but somehow managed to mess up Jaiku, Dodgeball, and JotSpot.

In contrast, Facebook – in error or through brilliant anticipation – based its online model on social connections and information sharing based on those connections. This reality was most apparent for me in 2007 when I started receiving friend requests from family members and friends – people who had shown little interest in the social aspect of the web until that time. Google looked at the web and saw information to organize. Facebook looked at the same web and saw people who needed to be connected.

Facebook’s model is the one that will be successful in the long run.

Google now recognizes this, as reflected in their rapid shift to a social focus of their services: Friend Connect, Latitude, and Social Search. I could add Orkut to the list, but they haven’t made much impact in most countries. Where Google now provides content, it does so through social and contextual means, connecting friends through shared search interests or locations. Friend Connect offers an array of tools for people looking to form and foster connections with others. I’ve been a bit reluctant to use this service extensively because Google has a habit of killing off experiments (Notebook) that aren’t successful.

All is not fun and games in the land of Facebook either. FB is skilled at idiocy, evidenced by Beacon and similar boundary-pushing initiatives that seem to treat people only as entities in need of connection, not as entities with contextual connection interests. Nor am I very comfortable with their privacy contract. Who can trust an organization that can turn this nonsense into a pleasant sounding service?:

Facebook may also collect information about you from other sources, such as newspapers, blogs, instant messaging services, and other users of the Facebook service through the operation of the service (e.g., photo tags) in order to provide you with more useful information and a more personalized experience.

Really? You’ll do that for me? Aw, thanks Facebook. You are more awesome than awesome itself. Google has launched several positive initiatives recently that are helping to restore my trust – Data Liberation and Google Dashboard. Facebook still functions on the assumption that if we are able to connect with others in innovative ways, we’ll accept, even welcome, privacy intrusion.

The second flaw in Facebook is its centralized, closed structure. Data goes in. Not much comes out. Facebook is a central gathering place that is positioning itself as an alternative infrastructure to the web. Chant with me: “All I need is Facebook. Everything else to too distracting and confusing”. In order to compete, Google has opted for a strategy of openness – open protocols, partnerships (Android), and the like. That has hardly put a dent in Facebook’s growth, currently with over 400 million users. Convenience trumps openness (remember the assent of Microsoft?).

As Google continues to morph into a more open and distributed version of Facebook, educators should pause and focus on insights that can be gleaned from the FB/Google experience. There are several of significant importance for the development and future of online learning.

First: Most organizations currently use a learning management system (LMS) such as Moodle or Desire2Learn. These systems are content-centric. Their objective is to organize and manage content, just as Google did in early 2000. Because higher education is particularly enamored with content, an LMS is a critical service. It’s completely the wrong model, however, and this will become increasingly apparent in the next several years.

To survive, LMS vendors will need to transform their offerings on the social network model of Facebook. ELGG is an excellent alternative to an LMS, but most organizations are not yet willing to accept a network-centric tool as an alternative to Moodle (disclaimer or bragging – you choose: I was on ELGG’s initial advisory board that never fully materialized, and used the software for several pilot programs in 2005 with Red River College and with Duke Corporate Education). ELGG is a better model of what learning will/should look like than any of the current contenders in the space. And yes, for you open-source lovers of Drupal and Wordpress, I include those software tools in the “not as good as” category.

Second: The wild card in education today is abundance. We simply have too much information and we can’t make sense of it all. It changes too quickly. Many universities rely on a “design today, use for three years” course design model. It worked great in 1950. 2009 – not so much. Greater adaptivity of content is required. Learning resources should be tagged with a “best before date” so we’re not teaching information that is no longer accurate. LMS’ perpetuate the course model. And that is their greatest flaw.

Third: Complexity is quickly becoming a type of conceptual language that all members of society should be fluent in. When something is complicated, every piece has a place and a right answer exists. Our education model reflects this view – get the experts together, let them tell us what the answers are, then design curriculum to reflect those answers. It’s all knowable. Complexity, on the other hand, recognizes that numerous interacting elements will form and reform to produce patterns that we can’t anticipate in advance. Complicated=jigsaw puzzle. Complexity=weather.

Fourth: Managing abundance and complexity requires a different view of teaching and learning than currently forms the foundation of education. The content-centric view reflected by LMS’ must be replaced with more adaptive network models. Instead of experts and designers serving as the key sensemaking and wayfinding agents in curriculum, social networks and their ability for context-sensitivity must play a greater role.

If Google and Facebook serve as an example, some degree of transition will be required for both LMS and social networking services (SNS). While Google has adopted greater networking features in the last few years, Facebook has also increased its focus on content (images, videos, etc.). At this stage, however, LMS’ will need to make a far greater transition for long term educational relevance than an SNS like ELGG.

38 Responses to “Future of learning: LMS or SNS?”

  1. Luis says:

    Some days ago, @dvidal and I facilitated a workshop entitled “The openness dilemma” in MoodleMoot Spain 09. We tried, firstly, to expose some limits and flaws we’ve found working with Moodle and, secondly, to launch some debate about its future.

    I wish we had already known your FB/Google analogy by that time, it would have been terribly useful. Most reactions to our arguments (reactions of teachers defending Moodle) were deeply rooted on content-centric and institution-centric points of view.

    Now I can see it much clearer. Thanks!

  2. You wrote: “Most organizations currently use a learning management system (LMS) such as Moodle or Desire2Learn. These systems are content-centric. Their objective is to organize and manage content, just as Google did in early 2000… ”

    Sorry, but this is a strawman argument based on a fallacy.

    Moodle itself is actually activity-centric. Facilitators using Moodle start with an empty course container and use a handy collection of tools/apps/modules to build a collection or series of focussed collaborative activities for a group of people. Through roles, these same capabilities can be provided to any user (eg students) in the system. Moodle itself is fairly neutral pedagogically – most things are possible.

    (Moodle 2.0 is fully exposed via web services and adds even more opportunites for all participants to integrate external sites and affect the content of the Moodle site itself. And Moodle 3.0 is already being designed … :) )

    However, I strongly agree that a large proportion of Moodle administrators and teachers don’t necessarily understand all this, and end up USING the system in a very didactic and locked-down way, reducing write capabilities and focussing on “dump and pump” learning designs (resources and quizzes). I do understand some of the reasons – many of them have never had the exciting online learning experiences we know are possible, or are constrained by very outdated brick-and-mortar policies at their institutions.

    A core focus for the Moodle project is to help change these factors. Our community hub plans are basically social networking and course sharing for teachers, focussed very specifically on particular subjects and how they can be taught/learned.


  3. gsiemens says:

    Hi Martin – thanks for your comments.

    You’re threading a delicate argument between system design and system use. Use supersedes design. As you note, most organizations use Moodle for traditional education methods. I use Moodle extensively in my own teaching and certainly prefer it as a tool in comparison to most LMS options. But I can’t recall instances where I’ve seen Moodle used without a content focus. A moodle site, from what I’ve seen, cries out for a) content and b) a discussion forum. I presented an alternative view of this in socialization as information objects: http://www.connectivism.ca/?p=127 .

    While you question the validity of my assertion that LMS’ favour content, I’d like to hear your views on the main point of the post: that LMS’, in order to survive, must move to increased social networking models of learning. This functionality does exist in Moodle, but sites like ELGG make it explicit. Moodle starts with a common area (in course designs I’ve used and seen used), whereas ELGG starts with the individual space. The future LMS – and I guess you have a big say in this :) – will look much more like ELGG than it does today. I’m not sure how much Google can contort it’s offerings to incorporate socialization before it has to rethink it’s approach all together. A similar point could reasonably be directed at the LMS.

  4. James Neill says:

    I’ve wiki-blogged a response: http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Learning_management_systems_vs._social_network_systems – wasn’t sure if I can fork the post – couldn’t find a copyright statement?

  5. Jane says:

    Hi George – I’m going to be talking about creating a social learning environment/network using Elgg – with one case study from education and one from an international non-profit – at learntrends conferene in November – http://www.learntrends.com – Jane Hart

  6. I agree that LMS’ probably will move towards a SNS type of model in the near future. And indeed it may have to, in order to survive. Maybe there will be a post called “LMS as SNS” here on Connectivism soon,a s a sequel :)

    I don’t mind that many LMS starts with a common area for content. In my experience, some of the best results come when students have a core of information on which they can reflect and further the understanding of through collaboration with others.
    Core ->reflection->socialize, in that order. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned/out of date.

    Many facilitators stop at the “core ” (i.e. content) bit, others emphasize the collaboration more, but are limited by the LMS. Indeed Use supersedes Design, but design might very well enhance use? I for one look forward to LMS’ favouring both.

    Great post altogether though! Thanks for that.


  7. ThinkingFox says:

    I agree that the future you outline will work for people like me, however there are people who can only learn in a structured, linear, classroom style environment, who don’t have the motivation or mental capacity to sift through peer-reviewed/peer-suggested/peer-provided materials and work out for themselves which bits are important to learn.

    It’s true that you could provide some form of advisory tutor to keep these people “on track” in this model but IMHO this is another reason why this won’t be adopted anytime soon.

    Before anyone flames, note that I’m in favour of this model for ME. I hated being constrained by teachers and what they thought I should learn, in what order, and to what depth…

  8. hansmagnus says:


    These are always interesting discussions.

    You wrote: “Many universities rely on a “design today, use for three years” course design model. It worked great in 1950. 2009 – not so much.”

    This is perfectly true, and it seems to be the case even internationally.

    Part of the problem is also the fact that hardly anybody aims to define “what is a digital learning resource”. So not only do the ICT/edu sector miss out on how to keep up to date, they blindly try to adapt their misconceived approach to digital learning to what they experience as “Web2.0″, standards, or the “new” read/write web.

    Today digital learning is mainly a text based disaster, where students and teachers participate “socially” in blogs, “find learning resources online”, and go through suboptimal multiple choice tests.

    How do we measure the quality, skill / knowledge improvement, and real world consequences of such activity? It doesn’t matter if it’s through SNS, LMS or at the local library.

    I’m tempted to modify your quote, and put the problem in its place:
    “Many universities rely on a “embedding a YouTube video, discuss in a wiki, comment on a blog, and add a multiple choice test at the end” course design model. It worked great in 2004 (do we really know if it works?!?). 2009 – not so much.”

    Ok, so how should we learn – digitally? What should be the least a digital learning resource should be able to provide?

    I’ll claim that unless you can practice, literarily practice, the task, or parts of task, you aim to learn, through the help of the digital device, it is NOT a digital learning resource.

    By practice I mean: instant feedback and full overview over achievements, nothing less than an airplane’s black box. Because functionality is, and gives content too:

    If I can’t plug my guitar in to my computer, and my teachers can’t discover that on exercice 8, take 5, bar 9, note 5 I’m slightly off – then it’s not a digital learning resource for guitar playing.
    No, watching Mike Stern on YouTube is not enough in 2009.

    If in my text analysis tool I can’t add markup on top of the text, pull out arguments, expand and collapse, extract, sort, compare, add comments, get revisions, co-work multiplayer style – then it’s not a digital learning resource for text analysis.
    No, watching a literature professor talk about the text on YouTube is not enough in 2009.

    And the list goes on.

    Solely providing information through the Internet should not be classified as digital learning resources in 2009.

    So as long as nobody specifies the functionality of a digital learning tool, we are still in the blind. LMS, SNS, FB(I), or what ever.

  9. [...] here: Future of learning: LMS or SNS? « Connectivism Comments [0]Digg [...]

  10. chris says:

    This is brilliant. I will be reading this with my staff. Thanks for bringing this to light.

    Chris Engelsma
    Puritan Reformed Seminary
    Director of Distance Ed.

  11. gsiemens says:

    Hi Luis, Chris – thanks for the feedback – glad to hear you found some value in the post…

  12. gsiemens says:

    Hi Jane – I’m looking forward to your learntrends session. At Athabasca University, we’re gearing up for a broad ELGG roll out in early 2010. Your case studies will be helpful, I’m sure.

    I’ll be speaking to learntrends on a topic similar to this post – i.e. learning networks in contrast with LMS for corporate learning…

  13. gsiemens says:

    Hi James – fork away – it’s creative commons (I thought I’d made this explicit on the site…guess not): attribution, nc, share alike.

  14. Jane says:

    George – sorry, forgot you are now at Athabasca – where I know they have been Elgg devotees for some time. Wil be interesting to compare your work with mine.

  15. Great article, I really liked the fact that Martin chimed in about Moodle’s use and its design. I’ve been using it for several years and over that time have worked my best to educate teachers about the social features that can be used (as simply as the discussion forums). But training apparently isn’t enough, as course designs/construction almost always defaults to a content centric approach. It’s no fault of any Moodle administrators or trainers, it’s just that the Moodle tools provide a very easy way to organize content (and it’s often the very first thing taught to new Moodlers).

    I’m eager to see the new features in Moodle 2.0, however I’m not sold that they will accomplish the necessary change alluded to in this blog post.

    On another note, perhaps my biggest gripe is that we’ve provided teachers this AWESOME tool to structure courses and content that could easily be used by other teachers, but the software locks it down (or at least, it provides tools that are easily configured to “close” the content to the outside). Sure there are Moodle course exchanges, but far and wide content is closed to outsiders, difficult to procure (even if a backup is available) and not available as OER. Imagine if all the content created in Moodle were open? THAT would be a great asset to the educational community and would be ripe to transition past the “build today use for 3 years model” to more of a social approach (where the best content floats to the top of social interactions because it’s freely available).

  16. Michael says:

    I have been thinking about making the switch from moodle to a more open platform for my classes for about a year now. Any good reasons I should choose Elgg over Ning? – which has been my first choice above drupal, et al

  17. Michael says:

    I should have looked before I leaped: http://tinyurl.com/yz8smkj. Thanks Jane for anticipating stupid questions.

  18. Hi, gsiemens

    I have some observations to this article. I dont think that “Facebook’s model is the one that will be successful in the long run”. The technology panteism where we are sunk, make that all of this approach has a place in the immediate future. Google has a merit, they organiza (fix) the web, you can have a lot of a lot information, but, if you cant get hold of this, it’s like the information doesn’t exist. Facebook wants to make the Internet, and that’s wrong, because considering that they have 400.000.000 users, the Internet has about 1.500.000.000 users, and contents, information, data. . . Facebook needs that people dont go to youtube for videos, or go to flickr for picture, they need that people keep in home to make clicks on the publicity.

    Maybe Moodle is making the same error, because they wants to make a parallel Internet, they wants to be 2.0 o 3.0, but with the people inside, and students are lose the true internet. this is the dilemma of the “opening”.

  19. Javed Alam says:

    Very timely and relevant topic.

    I agree with most of it except that Facebook will win out. May be in short term. I wrote up a response to it here:

    Future of learning: LMS or SNS? http://bit.ly/4xUpPU

  20. Tee Jay Green says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about using a social network instead of an LMS recently. In fact, I started thinking about it when Jane posted the “Elgg at Harvard” article on the “All things Elgg” blog.

    It’s a very interesting topic, and I don’t think it’ll leave my head for a while. I’m planning on throwing Elgg on my server so I can play with the admin part of it, and browse the database and PHP code.

    Anyway, thanks for giving me some more to think about… and yet another feed to read in Google Reader!

    PS – Facebook has just over 300M members, not 400M. (http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics)

  21. Matt says:

    I’ve always wondered why education has to be so reactive. Why do we follow the rest of the world? The LMS is really just a concept that follows the business training programs that preceded it. Now that FaceBook is big, everyone is trying to figure out how to follow that trend in education. Why don’t we try to set out on our own, and lead the way instead of following?

    I’m always advertising for our “New Vision for the LMS” concept, but I think that is exactly what we need: dump the LMS as we know it now, turn it inside out, and start leading instead of following. What we are working on is a kind of “Social Learning Environment,” kind of along the lines of a Personal Learning Environment Aggregator. Why should we keep building bigger and better boxes, with bigger and better tools in them, constantly trying to keep up with all the cool tools out there? Why not build a simple, open box that uses RSS feeds and embed codes and permalinks to pull in student work from their PLE/N and organize it in an easy to use format? Keep the things we need from the LMS (authentication, gradebooks, etc), add the things we need from FaceeBook (a good way to quickly tell what everyone is up to), and then build it all around work from the student’s PLE/N.

    Anyways, I am just rambling here. I blogged my ideas about this a while back here:


    You can follow the “LMS New Vision” category link to read all of my meandering ramblings on the topic. We really are building a working model of this idea, and going to a few conferences here and there to present on it. It is still a really raw idea, so we could use all of the input we can get.

  22. Beverley Oliver says:

    Enjoying this post and chat…it strikes me that the underlying theme is not that the tools are not great, but that no matter what is made available, the teacher’s teaching paradigm (obviously) is the deciding factor in how the tool gets used. In universities (certainly in my country) there are many teaching staff who are “right out there” adopting all sorts of great new tools–and many many more using the tools to replicate highly transmissive teaching (eg put slides online for students). This is not going to change in a hurry: not only are academics very busy people, teaching is often the bridesmaid to research so there is lack of incentive to go and re-do all your teaching work in a whole new way. And so on….

    Here’s a thought, though…do many of the LMSs and other systems give the control of the space to the learner? (It’s a genuine question-I don’t know the answer). In the limited examples that I see and hear of, as per some of these comments, the teacher has the overriding authority to lock down or open up, so their ‘teaching paradigm’ rules. At present, at Curtin University, we are building an eportfolio system which (like others) gives control to the student–not only to post, but to form their own groups within and beyond the university and so on. This means the learner’s ‘learning paradigm’ rules, and because it’s not an LMS, the scope is not bound by enrolment in a particular course. This is a lot like the Fb idea in George’s post. My musing then is, will the next iteration of these institutional systems be a meshing of the current LMS type system, married to the ePortfolio type space where the learner has greater control….

  23. James Neill says:

    Maybe George could you blog more about why you prefer cc-by-nc-a – I seek to create materials which are public domain or cc-by-a or cc-by-sa (such as materials on Wikiversity), so probably will reference but won’t be able to work with the nc restriction.

  24. [...] Aber der wichtigste Punkt ist ein anderer: “Fourth: Managing abundance and complexity requires a different view of teaching and learning than currently forms the foundation of education.” Mit dieser Formulierung beginnen mit Blick auf die Praxis in vielen Organisationen und Unternehmen die Missverständnisse: Denn hier geht es nicht um das Management von Komplexität! Lernplattformen werden eingesetzt, um den Umgang mit Produkten, Software oder Prozessen zu schulen oder über gesetzliche Regularien zu informieren. Diese Anforderungen sind nicht komplex, sie sind oft nicht einmal kompliziert, sondern schlicht “simpel” (siehe das Cynefin-Framework von David Snowden). Wer es heute mit komplexen oder “chaotischen” Problemen im Arbeitsalltag zu tun hat, wird in den Lernplattformen dieser Welt keine Antworten finden. Da hat George Siemens Recht. 22 Kommentare bis heute … George Siemens, Connectivism, 10. November 2009 [...]

  25. I completely agree that open networked structures are the adequate solution for developing an advanced learning culture. Moodle is surely not the future of networked learning (as long as they don’t rework the whole framework).

    The question remains which kind of network solution works for non-techies. Elgg is an advanced solution, but is rather demanding and highly individualistic, as it seems to me (dashboard-centered).

    There’s another solution I’d like to point to. It combines networking features with an advanced wiki/pages system (somewhat similar to elggs pages, but pages are much more embeddable into networks). It’s much more focused on common rooms, which enhances interaction and should help building communities as well as networks of practice.

    “Opennetworx” is a free hosted (cost free, ad-free) meta-network, to be precise. You may want to check it out: http://opennetworx.org/toro/resource/html?locale=en – my teaching/learning network as a practice example: http://lehre.joerissen.name (new, not much content yet, but ready to be used; unfortunately in german, though).

    Disclaimer: Opennetworx.org is driven by a nonprofit foundation; I’m in their board of trustees . I’d use it anyway, though ;-)

  26. [...] Management Systems? Or Social Networking? – In a post on my connectivism site, I argue that the future of learning will be in social networking services, [...]

  27. [...] by Viplav Baxi Interesting contribution and ensuing discussion from George Siemens post on the Future of Learning: LMS or SNS. Had this brief discussion not long ago on Wilko’s [...]

  28. Love this thread, really … it’s this type of thinking and analysis we need in the ‘learning’ sector to push things forward versus being reactive.

    I recently blogged “The Standalone LMS is Dead” and have some similar opinions to George and many of you.


    Here is an excerpt if you’re pressed for time:

    “The LMS insinuates the notion that you ‘go to training’. This is asinine in today’s world.

    If you want to change the culture it’s surely not just about the technology. But … to change the culture, you also need to drive an organization to believe that training does not only happen in an event (ILT and eLearning) and thus, by keeping the standalone LMS alive and kicking, you exacerbate the issue.

    Employees need to constantly connect, they need to constantly share, and they need to learn from one another. This cannot happen solely in an ILT class and it surely does not happen in an eLearning module.”

  29. Jack McShea says:

    Does anyone have an opinion or experience with how Google Wave will factor into this discussion?

  30. [...] Tony Bates, on November 16th, 2009 As usual, George Siemen’s blog is being provocative in his November 10, 2009 posting: Futue of learning: LMS or SNS, in which he argues that Facebook is the model for education in the future, not Moodle. The [...]

  31. Tony Bates says:

    Just two comments on your (as usual) provocative blog:

    1. Why does it have to be either/or? An argument can be made for a tool for managing content, as well as giving learners tools to build networks and connections. For instance, I’m using a content management system (WordPress) which I find very helpful for structuring and organizing information, so I can find stuff easily, fitting my requirements (not Google’s). The same would apply to teachers (and students) using LMSs.

    2. It doesn’t matter what tools are provided if teachers don’t have a suitable philosophy of teaching to exploit fully the tools. An instructor well versed in constructivism can teach in a learner-centred way with an LMS such as Moodle, but a teacher with only a transmissive model of teaching will be lost with Facebook. So without a suitable understanding of pedagogy, it doesn’t really matter what tools you use.

  32. Joshua Kim says:

    Your post, and the discussion following, will be viewed at some future date as a cognitive inflection point on the evolution of education.

    What we want are our students to do what this community is doing now…..

  33. Javed Alam says:

    “I’m not sure how much Google can contort it’s offerings to incorporate socialization before it has to rethink it’s approach all together.”

    I don’t want to fork the discussion on “LMS vs SNS”, however, would like to make a small comment here.

    Right now the issue is whose identity- Facebook vs. Google

    Facebook offers a clear distinct identity to its users and facebook connect propagates it. Facebook service contract explicitly forbids in opening another account from their users. They want one user with preferably their true identity.

    Google profile aggregates a person’s multiple identities on the web. They are neutral as long as what kind of persona one person will assume on the net. This approach allows more freedom of expression as compared to facebook’s approach od single unique identity. Also Google’s is more difficult to manage. It is the debate between “Complicated vs Complexity”. Facebook supports old hierarchical walled garden complicated model while Google supports distributed open complex model.

    I sound like a shill here for Google but I do believe that in the long run distributed complex approach of Google will win as opposed to another one big place that holds all our identity as well the information about what we do on the net. At least that is what I hope.

    I do however agree with you completely that LMS have to evolve fast and incorporate the features of SNS. In that respect I prefer using NING over WEBCT, Moodle and EDU2.0 becasue it is more social.

    What I see in the future is the evolution of LMS into a plug and plug play platform where enlightened teachers who are technically savvy plug in the application modules like little learning module cartridges that include content and learning activity as an integral unit. It is certainly possible to do it now but not easy. It should be included as a part of the LMS platform container design.

  34. Graham Glass says:

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the article and the mention of EDU2.0. Out of interest, which social features of Ning are missing in EDU2.0, because we’d like to add them! We already have friends, social networking, status updates, blogs, etc. but I’m sure there are other things that could be added as well.


  35. [...] is George Siemens and in a recent post on his Connectivism blog he asks a very relevant question ‘Future of learning: LMS or SNS?’. The second argument that George puts forward really resonated with [...]

  36. Jude Rathburn says:

    This has been an interesting discussion. I am wondering whether you think the social networking model should be more open than what most universities can currently offer in their LMS. Issues such as user authentication (making sure that everyone who enters the space is a registered user) and privacy (protecting students’ rights to know who is viewing their posts) – seems to make it less likely that LMS will adopt an open social networking model. While I think there may be some value to having folks from outside the university participate in discussions, it seems like it might be very hard to manage the complexity. Any thoughts?

  37. J. Hamlyn says:

    With Google Wave it’s clear that Google leads the way ahead. I’ve only been using Google Wave for a short time, but I can certainly say that it leaves the competition way behind in terms of functionality, connectivity and collaboration. I’ve also used Moodle a lot and despise it to such a degree that I’ve set up a Ning site for the course I run instead. This has actually been welcomed by the university, and other courses have even followed suit. Clearly the University recognise that there’s no point in attempting to enforce use of Moodle or compete with superior systems. I’m certain that once Google Wave is beyond the Beta stage we’ll see another significant shift. Personally, I cant wait!


  38. Rani Mudaly says:

    Hello I am presently conducting research on the adoption of a LMS in a school setting for my Masters degree. I am presently writing up my literature review – is there any advice, guidance , or assistance you can provide me with regards to this – especially the theory behind this study – initially I was looking at Siemens Theory of Connectivism …….with some advice from others it was suggested that I look a Moores Theory of Technology Diffusion ……still not sure what to do here…….please help

    Thanks Rani