SCoPE: WebCT & Blackboard Merger: November 21-December 4, 2005

Will Administrators Have The Final Word On LMS ? And Should They?

Re: Will Administrators Have The Final Word On LMS ? And Should They?

by Andrew Feenberg -
Number of replies: 0
That's quite a conclusion! I wonder if it's true that faculty are so disinterested. I think at SFU you could get some discussion going if you tried. As forĀ  administrators, I fear they have two liabilities: first, they may evade responsibility by delegating this as a technical decision to the technical personnel who can at least be counted on (you hope!) to get something that works; and second, they may be the least likely person to do what Corrie suggests, namely, demanding release time for training and innovation. Perhaps more faculty discussion, even if it were not enough to decide issues, would embolden administrators, who have been teachers and know about the classroom, to intervene and play a more active role.

Actually, I think there is a deep issue with administration at the core of the LMS debate having to do with class size. Discussing class material with students in a web forum takes more time per student than similar discussions in a real time face to face classroom. From this flow two possible conclusions: where equal class sizes are maintained as between face to face and online classes, faculty are likely to avoid discussion in the latter to have time to eat and sleep; or administrators transfer some of the savings on buildings and parking lots they gain from online delivery to offering smaller classes online, enabling faculty to manage discussion there in a realistic time frame. But has this choice been clearly articulated? I don't think so.