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Course-Management Systems Confining

The Chronicle of Higher Education did a profile on Tech Innovator Jim Groom last week as part of its 12 Tech Innovators special last week.

Groom, an instructional technology specialist at the University of Mary Washington, feels courts-management systems actually take away from the educational experience. He suggests more educators should move toward the EduPunk approach to education and make more use of open learning management tools and their own creativity.

Abandoning traditional learning management tools, Groom and his team built their own virtual classroom for a digital story-telling course and has watched the class grow into a group of students stretching across give universities with hundreds more participants.

Groom said no vendor’s learning management software could sustain such a class due to their tendency to limit access to material based on participants owning a university log-in account.

A member of Groom’s team, Tim Owens, likened the experience to building a soapbox car.

“You can either buy a kit, or you can go pick up a piece of wood and use the tools,” he told Nick DeSantis of The Chronicle. “And I feel like instead of handing people kits, we need to be handing them a hammer, and a saw, and nails and saying, Make whatever you want.”