Online Learning Update

January 30, 2012

More Thoughts on the Pseudo LMS in iTunes U

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

by Audrey Watters, Inside Higher Ed

What will the next generation learning management system look like? What do we expect or want or need it to do? I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic lately as the promises to reinvent the LMS (and by extension “reinvent the classroom”) continue to be made by companies and institutions old and new. Of course, it’s not an LMS per se, of course, but I think Apple’s revamped iTunes U (one that I described as a “pseudo-LMS”) is an interesting example of one version — and old version too — of what it means to package educational content and manage a course. The new iTunes U now bundles materials into one place, sticks them into an app (inaccessible if you don’t have the latest iOS 4 devices), and adds some new features like task lists and links to “further reading” (and more apps to buy). Key functionality that almost every LMS touts is missing from the new iTunes U: there’s no way to really “administer” a course. Instructors can pull together all their materials, sure, but then once published to iTunes U, that’s really the extent of it.

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