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Limitations of LMSs

Page history last edited by Xuan Nguyen 10 years, 3 months ago


One of the most commonly reported limitations of LMSs is about its primary emphasis on administrative and instructional functions over supporting the actual student learning process (Siemens, 2004a; OECD, 2005; Gautam, 2010).  For the primary purposes are delivering and managing learning, LMSs, to some extent, restrict learning, within pre-determined content and tasks (mostly assignments), a limited number of participants, and a specific duration of time (often a-course-length). In this way, though an LMS can be an excellent tool for conventional formal educational settings, it seems to conflict with the nature of learning widely known as spontaneous and multifaceted (Siemens, 2004). In an LMS, leaning, if any, happens only during the course and is terminated or not encouraged anymore when it ends (Mott, 2010). Hence, LMSs can hardly support informal and lifelong learning (Siemens, 2004a; Chatti, 2010).


Another related problem is that most of LMSs, especially open-source ones, are still not ready for Web 2.0 experience (Gautam, 2010) that they fail to create an interactive social collaborative learning environment (Mott, 2010; Gwaltney, 2012). Despite having certain tools for discussion, dialogues hardly happen and when they do, they tend to centralize on assigned tasks associated with evaluation and assessment. Students can still learn this way but there might be much more learning opportunities if they are not limited to a class-size group of officially enrolled students (Mott, 2010; Chatti, 2010; Gwaltney, 2012).


In addition, that the majority of LMSs following the inherent top-down approach is also a shortcoming (Gautam, 2010). Because of this, teacher-student relationship is clearly hierarchical; and learning is bounded by a set sum of knowledge and skills that is transferred in a passively one-way direction (Chatti, 2010). Moreover, what students are allowed to do is considerably limited, in most of the LMS platforms, teachers, having more control, tend to play a more decisive and dominant role. It is the teacher who organizes courses, uploads content, initiates threaded discussions, and forms groups. As a result, an LMS is mainly dependent on teachers and other administrators; and hence, it is less likely for learning to be personalized and self-directed (Chatti, 2010). In Mott’s (2010) words, LMS-driven learning is more “teacher, rather than student, centric” (para. 21).


Other drawbacks of LMSs in conjunction with other issues and a number of challenges are discussed in the next sections.

--> Major issues associated with LMSs


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