In the electronic world, less structure is better

Here’s a quote touching on something very important for me: people tend to try to reproduce structures they know to work in the “real world” into the eWorld. So, they create electronic management systems that are like real management: hierarchical, centralized and rigid. No, no and no! When will they learn that such things never win in the end?

What worked? Please look at what worked! Email and the Web. These are the things that worked… look at them!!! Both of these things have very minimal models of how people work. Look at google: it doesn’t assume much at all about your work process. Look at amazon: their main goals are fewer clicks and less structure.

I don’t want an electronic management system to tell me how to work. In fact, just stay away from monolithic tools: give me some simplistic tools (like a hammer) and let me work!

The general theme is that less management is better, and that individual learners could write all of their posts, assignments and papers from their own site, and these could be directed to each class as web feeds. The classes would aggregate the feeds from all the studens and instructors. The beauty of this kind of system is that each student keeps all of his/her content, and it does not get locked away in an inaccessible archive of a centrally controlled LMS.

From a post by Harold who was writting about a post by James Farmer

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Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

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