This article is a follow up to one written 2 years ago by Frank Tansey’s son, now a recent graduate of the University of Puget Sound. It is of course purely anecdotal so its unfair to draw broad conclusions from it, but for me it provides a refreshing perspective on the issue.
The situation described seems to be very much a ‘blended learning’ or ‘classroom augmented’ use of a CMS (in this case Blackboard). The advantages seem to be along the lines that regular use of the CMS by instructors makes for more efficient, effective and engaged classroom work, and the biggest danger seems to be uneven use by faculty.
The recommendations reflect, unsurprisingly, an ‘outsiders’ view of how post-secondary institutions should work, giving far too much credit to the power of central authority and far too little responsibility on the shoulders of individual faculty (but then the decision making and management itself of the CMSes often naively perpetuates this mis-casting, as the LMS governance report I pointed to last week made clear.) Still well worth the quick read. – SWL