Canvas - the undead LMS and the consolidation of managerial power

Leigh Blackall, Jul 04, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Leigh Blackall criticizes "a whitewashed illusion of objectivity through 'stakeholder consultation' to create 'user stories' and 'personas' that inform 'requirements' in a 'data-driven, evidence -based' process that hides the reality of a political process of managed dissent and controlled opposition" in the selection of a new LMS for RMIT. I think that the criticism is fair enough, but I would observe that institutions themselves are structured to optimize "managed dissent and controlled opposition". That's what makes it so difficult for them to select - or even consider -  decentralised, distributed and networked technologies. Institutions required consensus, and consensus requires that opposition remain localized. In short: the process comes with the territory.

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