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Whither the university learning management system?

LMSMost educators would agree that it is important for pedagogy to guide decisions about technology and not the other way around, and yet there is relatively little debate in academic circles about the limiting effects of the LMS.

Why is this?

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Posted in Authentic assessment, Creativity, Online learning

Getting my head around cPanel

Computer nerd

So I sat through a recording of the second ‘call-in show’ for Connected Courses last night.

This was the one I was waiting for to be honest. I am a fairly proficient WordPress user (albeit a dotcommer rather than a dotorger), and much of the first half of the show that focused on the functionality of WordPress I was comfortable with. The critical information I’m after is how to set up the ‘mother ship’ — so to speak — so that I can create courses in a Levinesque way with Groomlike confidence.

I dug deep into my inner nerd, and clung to their every syllable, pausing and rewinding on a number of occasions, but I still haven’t quite cracked it.

If any of you #ccourses folk out there can help plug gaps and provide sage advice, it would be much appreciated.

So here’s what I know …

  1. I know I need a web host. I used to have one for my website years ago, but then I found WordPress could do everything and more, so I simply pointed my domain name at
  2. Once I have got myself some space with a web host, I think I then need to go to and do an installation.
  3. I think I also need to choose a web host that has a cPanel licence

Equipped with this basic infrastructure, I think I can then go and tinker and experiment and see what comes out the other end.

Any major oversights here? Some hot tips perhaps from @jimgroom or @cogdog ?

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Posted in Connected Courses

Nude emperors

So I signed up for Connected Courses.

It may reboot one of my blogs — if nothing else — which have become increasingly neglected as I have become more of a microblogger these days.

Amazingly, I just sat and watched a YouTube without shuffling in my seat for one hour and six minutes courtesy of Jim Groom, Howard Rheingold, and Alan Levine. (I even smiled at their blokey in-jokes.) Seriously, though, these guys need to be taken seriously. I will stick this course out if it kills me because there has to be more to life as a university learner than the ‘LMS’, and I’m confident these guys have the answers.

If I can learn how to deliver high quality courses in an engaging, creative and inexpensive way, that frees my institution of the albatross around its neck that is BlackBoard, I will be one happy little vegemite. There is no doubt in my mind that the LMS has become an anachronism, but to hint that the emperor is wearing no clothes — at this stage, anyway — is unlikely to win any popularity contest.

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Posted in Connected Courses

Connected Courses

This looks like it might be fun.

(Will I stick it out?)

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Posted in Connected Courses

The internal marketing of participatory pedagogy

I was invited to give a presentation to new students and alumni of the Griffith University MBA last night on the future of higher education. I routinely talk about this topic with my colleagues but far less so with the learners themselves. It occurred to me that what I might say would confuse, worry, or excite them, according to how well acquainted they were with the current debate about the direction of the higher education sector. In the end, I decided it was important to lay out everything that is going on in terms of the economics of higher education, the disruption caused by technological innovation and, most importantly, the latest thinking on pedagogy.

Ultimately, it’s all about pedagogy because in an increasingly user-pay system, learners must see value in their investment in higher education.  Or that’s the theory, at least! I have encountered students over the years who feel they are being short changed if they aren’t suffering a little. In other words, “this course can’t be any good if I’m not experiencing the pain of long, boring lectures and cramming for final exams”.

It is important, therefore, to manage the expectations of learners, both those who have been through the system and those just entering it. They need to understand the logic behind the restructuring of course delivery and the benefits of a student-centric learning design. Also, that they can be active stakeholders in shaping the learning models of the future.

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Posted in Flexible delivery, Online learning, Social networking

Those who teach, can

In this presentation, I argue that of all the elements within a university, the business school ought to be best placed to insulate itself from technology-driven disruptive innovation. After all, business academics write books and journal articles about how it affects other industries, so they should be especially sensitive to its dangers.

Well, not so, according to an article that recently appeared in The Economist entitled Those that can’t, teach (a play on a quote from George Bernard Shaw.)

It is inevitable that some schools will not make it because they lack the requisite leadership to ring the changes. Those that do ride the wave will have moved incisively, and built a strategy around higher quality at a lower cost, convincing prospective consumers of business education that they will get a solid return on their investment.

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Posted in Flexible delivery, Online learning
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