It really does! You know who’s making it better, though? Moodle is making it better. In the software industry, selling to large organizations means sales, not product refinement. Software written for the healthcare, education, and government sectors is especially bad, because they’re especially large customers. A better approach? Build e-classroom software from the ground up, let users and volunteers refine it.

In this age of on-campus Burger Kings and Starbucks, I think it’s great whenever academia adopts the more peer-reviewed, noncommercial approach. Two more areas that I think we could improve with openness, collective ownership, and fairness:

  • Textbooks: Currently, this is a hell of a racket for publishers, at the expense of both students, who pay every semester, and authors, who get a raw deal on the rights to their work.
  • Journals: Professors write articles, give them to publishers for free, and the journal is sold back to schools for absurd prices. Students get to read the journals if their school has access, the information is kept hidden from the rest of society.