Another characteristic of an integrated system is that the quality of the tools available is limited to those provided by a single vendor or community.
I resonate with many of the points he brings up about the weaknesses of a monolithic LMS, and the discussion on the post is also top-notch, highlighting the requisition process and its influence on the vendors’ offerings.
When I really stop to think about it, all we (as faculty) would need is a more federated identity system, so that we could choose the tool we wanted and our students wouldn’t have to create a new account to manage on whatever platform we selected. The only real down side to my using Canvas last spring was this need to register and create an account. The students told me they didn’t mind doing that at all, but it still feels a bit out-of-bounds to have their identity managed by a non-institutional entity. I’d guess there are FERPA rules against it that I’ve probably violated, but oh well.