I like the way that #etmooc (Educational Technology & Media Massive Open Online Course) organisers have opted for a “bazaar” model rather than a “cathedral” model to structure the experience. As explained on the orientation page:
A learning management system (LMS) will not be used. Rather, an array of ‘small tools, loosely joined’ will be adopted as to provide participants with an authentic, networked-learning experience.
Rather than large monolithic tools that attempt to solve every problem, Unix supplies a broad collection of simple tools that do a limited number of tasks very well. From those simple tools, sophisticated solutions can be assembled on the run.
The disadvantage? A steep learning curve while users familiarise themselves with the various commands, options and combinations.
The advantage? Flexible solutions to difficult problems, quick solutions to trivial problems.