Hybrid Pedagogy is an academic and networked journal of learning, teaching, and technology that combines the strands of critical pedagogy and digital pedagogy to arrive at the best social and civil uses of technology and digital media in education.
The authors, Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel critique the LMS discussion forum in this hard-hitting article. They argue that applying rules in discussion forums kills any chance of spontaneous, creative engagement in discussion. "The resulting posts do not constitute participation; they constitute attendance. What’s being measured is a student’s willingness and ability to check into the course twice each week. And while the required length of a post can force students to do more “talking” than they might otherwise do, this does not necessarily qualify as real engagement."
And continuing in this vein…
"They become over-cultivated factory farms, in which nothing unexpected or original is permitted to flourish. Students post because they have to, not because they enjoy doing so."
The authors offer other solutions to use with, or replace the LMS discussion forum – the types of social network platforms and tools that students are entthusiastically using for everything else in their lives for "delightful, persistent, meaningful conversation":
Google+ / Google Hangouts
See on www.hybridpedagogy.com