LMS Metaphors

Tom Woodward, Apr 14, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is an interesting look at the metaphors used to describe the Learning Management System (LMS), including a reference to a fun paper from 2007 describing the ways people described Blackboard ("The metaphors of ‘tree branches,’ ‘7/11 store,’ ‘river of information,’ ‘fun game,’ and ‘light bulb revolution’ reveal the communication, information, educational, political, and philosophical aspects of Blackboard cyberinfrastructure implementation... the educational usage of Blackboard did not emerge as the most prominent rationality for Blackboard"). Tom Woodward suggests here that " the LMS is a fast-food franchise kitchen. It does exactly what it is meant to do. It is built for people with minimal skills to make cheap food quickly at scale. It isn’t meant to be a training ground so people can move up to gourmet cooking. These skills don’t transfer. You aren’t even meant to graduate to being a line cook at Friday’s." Heh.

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