Monday, May 18, 2015

Preparing for a digital university - report and new learning management system alternatives

This came up a couple of weeks ago and I have been dipping into the report off and on to glean items relevant to my various projects.

2015 edited by Siemens, G., Gasevic, D. and Dawson, S.

Publication supported by the the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Overviews the history and state of distance education, blended learning, online learning, credentialing and assessment (with discussion on badges), massive open online courses (MOOCs) and a final, wrap up chapter, on future technology infrastructures for learning.

Background to the report is provided on Siemen's blog along with a reply to critique from Stephen Downes. There is also review and overview of the above discussion here from Geoff Cain.

As usual, there is no definitive way to approach the review, but as brought up by Downes, there are some omissions in the chapters on distance learning / blended learning which should have been part of the report. However, the report does provide some updates on alternatives to learning management systems, worth further exploration.

The last chapter – indicates some movement towards assisting learners to form their own personal learning environments. Tools / apps / platforms profiled include:

prosolo – has a support framework towards assisting learners to become self-directed – self direction and competency.

Others include KnewtonSmartSparrow

OLI - Domain of one’s own/reclaim, open learning initiative
LoudCloud - provides measured control, ownership between learner and institution, integration as loosely coupled or enterprise level and structure as decentralised or centralised

TEx - from the University of Texas to bring competency based education into the mix

Unizin  and Apereo

Research projects exploring the PLE landscape include Athabasca University's The Landing, federated wiki, gRSShopper, Learning and perfomance support system (LPSS) with  Canadian example, and Known - an open source social publishing site.

So there is movement across various countries at PLEs. something to keep an eye on.

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