A great comment on current "course management systems", That Googly Feeling, from Alan Levine's blog. Thanks to my well-informed colleague P:
"FOR THE MOST PART, IMUO (In My Uninformed Opinion) the big monolithical enterprise solutions for elearning serve mostly to reinforce the learning via lecture paradigm ("record your lectures to stream via the internet!") that leave the new generation.... well yawning in ennui.
"After all these years of "course management systems" (and is learning really about "managing courses"?), they still are completely structured wrong in that the main organizational scheme for them is the course (which is ephemeral) rather than the learner (who hopefully will stick around). When the course expires or is archived or deleted after the semester, there goes all the student's work. During the brief existence of the "course" all of their work is filed away in different iron shoeboxes labeled "Chemistry" "Composition", "Sociology" with no affordance to connect between the boxes, no integration across disciplines, no record saved of achievement and progress. The semester ends, grades transmitted to the registrar, and flusssssshhhhhhhh goes all the work that took place. "