Hi peter. first yes. Almost all things done by humans are social acts. Maybe sleeping isn’t… but yes, that is what i mean. It’s not tautological, its a claim about the human condition.
Lots of comments are written without replies. That is very tiresome I agree. I myself am often guilty of not writing replies. That does not mean, however, that it does not have impact. Yes, I’m sure some people give up. I don’t know if there’s been any research on this, nor do i know how you would do it.
My point in this blog post was to neither praise nor bury the LMS. Rather, I was trying to complexify a discussion that often degenerates to “institution bad, personal good”. My point is that even if you leave the LMS, you are not leaving the social behind, really, in the sense that you are still connected to other people.
The advantages of the LMS are EXACTLY as you describe them – training wheels, provide a centralized location, make it easy for forced interaction. The disadvantages are that most people’s work doesn’t continue from an LMS going forward, they don’t tend to create network connections that persist passed a course’s ending nor do they normally impel a given student to push beyond the limits of a professor.
Not better, or worse. different.