You walk to the shop with a bad headache, but you’ve decided that you want to be your best self for Mrs Mckenzie who has owned the general goods business that is near to your house. You don’t want to trouble her with your complaints because she’s just recovering from the loss of her favourite pet gerbil named ‘Louie’, has a bad hip, and her grand-kids don’t come to visit her anymore because they all live abroad.
When you enter the store, Mrs McKenzie’s face lights up and she greets you with an enthusiastic hello, before asking you how you are. You say….
- I’m fine, Mrs Mckenzie. How are you?
- I’ve got a terrible headache and I don’t want to talk right now.
- I’ve got a terrible headache, but that’s okay because I think your life is probably more difficult so I don’t want to complain about it.
- Say nothing.
- Something else.
Learning Management Systems are a seemingly unavoidable part of the online education landscape. For most users, they are a necessary evil. Despite the low opinion that users hold for the tool, learning management systems perform a range of administrative tasks well. They house course materials, results, assessment information and provide an avenue for staff and students to communicate with each other.
Louis CK performs a comedy skit which on the miracle of cell phones and flying and human apathy. In the bit, he talks about the magic that allows messages to be passed through this tiny little piece of technology, into the sky, and then beamed back down into another person’s little piece of technology. That is some kind of wizardry when you think about it. Louis CK’s takeaway: Humans complain about what the phone doesn’t do, rather than marvel at the things it does well. This analogy is applicable in the land of the Learning Management System. People take for granted the things a learning management system does well, but when it comes time to critiquing the software for what it doesn’t do – the pitchforks are out in force.
In my experience, the users (students and teachers) ire is drawn to two focal points:
- How easy is the learning management system to use?
- What does the interface of the learning management system look like? Continue Reading