A learning management system (LMS) enables teaching staff to add resources or activities to an online course via a web interface with little or no knowledge of the underlying web (html) technology. Often the design and development of this course is the responsibility of the teaching staff and this is an important consideration when looking at the adoption of features within an LMS over time. If it is the teaching staff who are adding resources and activities to a course, then their experience with the teaching medium and their conception of teaching influences the features that will be used in a particular course. Additionally, Siemens (2004) says its only recently, and in limited ways, that LMS vendors have begun extending tools and offerings beyond simple content sequencing and discussion forums.
I realize that this is an over-generalization but let’s say that LMS tools and features tend to favour content dissemination type tools. The staff teaching via an LMS were themselves most often taught via a “lecture” or “sage on the stage” modality. Does this mean that pattern entrainment comes into play and they would tend to teach in a similar way that they were taught?
The following is a figure demonstrating feature adoption over time in one particular LMS. Whilst potentially another over-generalization, I’ve grouped features that support content dissemination and features that support communication to see if there is a trend.