While this type of data may be useful to the newcomer to the Learning Management System (LMS) marketplace or it may even help an organization start their exploration of LMS options, to the long time LMS user this picture reminds us there really are very few options when it comes to creating online learning environments. Having used most of the major listed products I can confirm we really haven’t made much progress since those early days back in 1996-97 when the researchers at University of British Columbia (UBC) presented their groundbreaking idea for a Content/Course Management System (CMS) or what we now refer to as the LMS. I recall stating back then that the UBC system had great potential to enable us to use technology to enhance the learning…if we could focus on building learning environments, not just content delivery. I used all these LMS and a variety of institutions and have also dabbled in the “Other” or “Homegrown” space and confirm except for a very small handful of active learning innovators most institutions are using their LMS as content delivery systems. The feature lists have grown the interfaces have become more polished but we really are still just using these systems to collect, store, and deliver course content, give students online exams and provide convenient places for students to check their grades.
It also really doesn’t matter who has the biggest market share or who is growing the most because we have reached a saturation and consolidation point in the LMS industry comparable to the North American Pickup Truck market. All the LMS listed can be compared to pickups. Whether you prefer the Dodge Ram, the Ford F150, the Chevy Silverado, the Nissan Titan, or Toyota Tundra all these trucks will work great if you want to pick up and deliver stuff. Most choices are a matter of preference and personal experience with previous models. Similarly, all these LMS will work great to collect, store and deliver content…it is just a matter of familiarizing oneself with where the typical controls are located and then getting comfortable with the way the tool handles. If you want to do much more then just deliver the content you have look beyond the delivery vehicle to consider how you Create Significant Learning Environments and how you give your learners Choice Ownership and Voice through Authentic learning opportunities.
Clayton R. Wright has released the 37th edition of the conference list. The list below covers selected events focused primarily on the use of technology in educational settings and on teaching, learning, and educational administration. Educational Technology & Education Conferences #37, June to December 2017, Clayton R Wright
Consider the following from Clayton email:
At the beginning of every conference list, I ask viewers to “take the time to conduct your own due diligence for any events you want to attend or submit a paper to.” Fake journals and conferences are scams. We need to be “scam-resistant” to academic communications just as we have become resistant to Internet scams.
A colleague in South Africa recently attended a conference that was presented like a symposium rather than in the multi-track format that was advertised. The 80-100 people in attendance all had submitted a paper and their papers were accepted. Then, they were charged a high fee to attend the “conference” even though there were no keynote speakers, only one room was booked for the event, and no meals were served. During the two-day event, each attendee was given 10 minutes to “read” their paper. No time was allocated for questioning the presenters. Neither were debates or other interactive sessions held.
Another colleague in Toronto said she receives “two or three invitations a day to write articles… The last one wanted $100 to review the paper and $2,999 to publish it.”
While assembling this conference list, I saw a photo of a colleague on a conference site. I contacted my friend and congratulated him on his speaking engagement in China. He said “What are you talking about? I haven’t been invited to Asia!” Apparently, without his permission, his photo and name were used to promote the conference.
As Alex Gillis recently wrote in University Affairs, academics are being reeled in by scam journals. (A number of organizations that produce questionable journals also produce questionable conferences.) Some educators have relied on Jeffrey Beall’s list of potential or probable predatory journals. But that list is now only available at the Internet archive. However, others, such as Walt Crawford and Hontas Farmer, have questioned the basis for including journals on Beall’s list. Thus, one may want to review the guidance provided here http://thinkchecksubmit.org and check your gut – if it doesn’t feel quite right, perhaps additional scrutiny is required.
It is probably true that the rise of such journals and conferences is due to the low investment one has to make to use the Internet as a distribution channel. But I wonder if we, in general, don’t bear some responsibility for this increase as we need to have our papers published or presented in order to gain credibility and to further our career. And, we want this done as quickly as possible. But, do we gain credibility if we submit our article to a journal that doesn’t perform peer-review or edit the material? Do we gain credibility if we present at a conference that doesn’t actively review and select submissions and does not allow the audience to question the content of the presentations?
The 37th edition of the conference list covers selected events that primarily focus on the use of technology in educational settings and on teaching, learning, and educational administration. I trust that you and your colleagues will find something of interest.