There are many things the Course Manager app from iTunes U does not do. It does not integrate with learning management systems. There are no discussion boards or blogs. There are no assessments or gradebooks. Plus, it only works on Apple devices.
On the other hand, Joshua Kim reports in his Inside Higher Education blog that it looks good and runs well. He also points out that it’s a curricular content-consumption experience that should be viewed as a supplement to a learning management system.
“Mostly, the whole experience on the iTunes U app just feels smooth and polished,” Kim wrote. “Content is easy to find, everything opens up quickly, and everything is logical and seamless.”
In an earlier post, Kim suggested curriculum content consumption supports the way students learn and that because it’s so easy to use, the iTunes U app should not be ignored.
“The fact that Course Manager and iTunes U is free to use, works with all sorts of text documents, handles video beautifully, allows for easy content downloading (hence offline viewing), and works great on an iPhone should make the incumbent coursepack platform providers take notice,” he wrote. “The iTunes U app is a significant threat to their business models.”