The inspiration for this post comes from reading Academica’s Top Ten (this morning). The particular story is, “The case for using blogging software instead of course-management system” from The Chronical of Higher Education.” While Blackboard is mentioned due to recent technical problems, this really refers to any Course-management System (CMS). It raises the question as to whether free blogging software can be used in place of the expensive and less customizable commercial systems.

There are obviously arguments for and against the thought of blogging software being used in place of a CMS, but the point taken is that there are options for course instructors and instructional designers. This article comes at a convenient time for me and has relevance, as I will further explain.

With a Master of Distance Education (MDE) and teaching experience, I am exploring opportunities to work in instructional design (ID). Preparing for a potential interview, I asked a couple of former program colleagues for their advice about current authoring programs that I should be up-to-date on. One referred to the changing ID world and the need to create courses at faster speeds, Just in Time (JIT). She downplayed the thought of cramming to catch up on specific authorware, instead promoting a general familiarity with Web 2.0 tools, which includes blogging software. The other colleague suggested just “scanning” the products to be able to talk about them. They can be learned as required.

The comments make sense, as I cannot make up time that I haven’t spent working with a specific product (which may may not be what an organization wants used). It also makes sense to be a leader in ID, able to consult on what is available, the trends, and the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) of each. Back to the original question of Blogs versus CMS, there is definitely a place for both that we could discuss.

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