The other day I was on the computer at work, and I thought to myself, “I should do some of my reading for one of my classes.” I was feeling pretty mature, responsible, smug, self-important; grandiose if you will. But then I realized: I don’t remember which course management system this particular class used. Was it Compass, Compass 2g or Moodle? Is this the professor who told me he would be e-mailing all of his documents? Or is this the professor who had created his own personal website because he thought Compass 2g was ugly? Or maybe this was the professor who told us to create box.com accounts. I wrote out a list. During my college career I’ve used a total of eight methods of document exchange with professors, and that is not including the modules I’ve had to use for work. Put this together with the social networking sites I use in my personal life and the numbers are well into the double digits. And I realized, this is just a tad overwhelming. I’m not inclined to visit 5 different websites each night to see if I have any new correspondence.
I am of the opinion that the university should pick one module and stand behind it, with gusto and vigor, and strongly recommend its use to instructors. Those professors who wish to continue using their own systems can still use what they wish, of course, but I believe uniformity would not only consolidate all of the information, it would also simplify the system. Technical assistance, for instance, would only need to support and troubleshoot one system. And instructors could bond over a sense of camaraderie in working together with one system. Everyone wins, and my bookmark folder could finally be cleared out, you know, for the important stuff like funny YouTube videos.