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Traditional Learning Management Systems are monolithic in nature. By channelling an institution's online teaching and learning resources into predictable and standardized 'learning landscapes', do they limit teachers' and learners' creativity? It is fair to say that the largest LMSs, such as WebCT and Blackboard, could be described as Web 1.0 dinosaurs, even when their more recent releases do integrate some of the collaborative Web 2.0 technologies (such as wikis or blogs).
Would teachers create more innovative online environments if they had more flexible and modular tools they could integrate and shape into environments suitable to the particular needs and interests of their students? Would this be too inconsistent and confusing for students? It would certainly test teachers' skills (both technical and pedagogical) and would also increase their workload.

So is the solution a balance between the two approaches: a large LMS, managed by the institution's IT department and actively supported in its pedagogical use, and small modular tools that can be integrated into it? It seems to be the way the large LMSs are evolving, however the pace of Web 2.0 innovations is such that large LMSs may always stay a few years behind.


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