The Web 2.0 Course Site idea has many flaws, hurdles or counter arguments.
A major one is the issue of trust. Why should I trust a 3rd party to keep my classes data. Won’t it just go away?
Potential responses might include
- Why wouldn’t I trust some 3rd parties to be safer than University hosted services?
Technically, this might be easy. But future business directions may not be such a sound footing. For example, I doubt many universities would claim that they will be safer, more available than Google. But who knows if Google might “go evil” at some stage in the future. And of course, not all companies are Google.
- Web 2.0 depends on being open – the commercial imperative.
A Web 2.0 service, the type I’m thinking of integrating, is based on the model of being open. Any Web 2.0 service that played silly buggers with its users data is going to go out of business real fast.
- University hosted course sites go away.
Most commercial LMS systems, as implemented in Universities, have course sites that only last for the teaching term and then the data is gone.
- University hosted systems can be unreliable.
Uptime can be perceived to be poor. I know a faculty here who has just lost 8 months of so of all email for everyone because of poor practice from technical staff.