Insidious Pedagogy – some thoughts on Lisa Lane’s article

I have just read Lisa Lane’s article in First Monday entitled “Insidious pedagogy: How course management systems impact teaching”. I really liked her paper, not least because it raised some issues that I hadn’t considered before regarding default settings in an LMS and the idea of opt in and opt out learning management systems. It also described the way many academics use (or don’t use) the web in their work or play and how this effects their ability to use some of the more ‘advanced’ features of an LMS that go beyond an instructivist model of delivery. Perhaps most importantly of all it discusses the importance of emphasising pedagogy before ‘features and tools’ when working with web novices.

David Jones has provided an interesting response to Lane’s article on his blog and I agree with some of his thoughts regarding the ‘start with pedagogy’ approach. It is indeed difficult to get many academic staff to consider pedagogy in their course delivery let alone the increasing number of part time sessional staff being employed to deliver courses.

I won’t go into that aspect of Lane’s article in detail here. Instead I will make the observation that it seems to me that very little thought is given in LMS evaluations to the pedagogical approaches that particular LMS selections may lead you down. It would be nice to see some of the implications of Lane’s article be considered in LMS evaluations.

2 Comments On “Insidious Pedagogy – some thoughts on Lisa Lane’s article”

  1. G’day Mark,

    You make an important point about the general absence of consideration of pedagogical impacts in LMS evaluations. And to some extent I would agree that such considerations should be there.

    However, I can’t by the question of how you might do this. How do you predict something as complex as this? Lisa’s work may give some indications, but I’m not sure you can really tell. Based on this I wonder whether any such attempt would become about giving the impression of rationality and objectivity, rather than actually being able to make any claims about effectiveness.

    Are there any examples of where this has tried to be done?

    Of course, I am biased. I tend to think most LMS evaluations tend towards serving impressions rather than effectiveness. Do I have some stories to tell…..

    Further extending my bias, is the fact that I think LMSs are the wrong solution, but that’s a story for the coming presentation.



  2. Hi David,

    Thanks for the comment. Yes it’s a hard question as to how pedagogy might be included at evaluation time. I also agree that LMS’s are often the wrong solution – at least the way they are currently implemented.


    PS. I like your idea abt submitting readers experiences of LMS evaluations. Should be interesting.


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