Published on June 24, 2007
Online Course Systems: Grab Your Compass!: Online Course Systems: Grab Your Compass! It's 2006, do you know where your LMS is going? Andrea Chappell, Group Director Instructional Technologies andamp; Multimedia Services University of Waterloo Basic Premise: Basic Premise It’s hard to get there if you are not sure where there is. So, be aware of the landscape, and recognize what decisions you need to make along the way. Sort of like … Slide3: Agenda: Agenda Online course environment at UW. Get out the compasses: where do we (and you!) think things are going? UW-ACE: UW ANGEL Course Environment: UW-ACE: UW ANGEL Course Environment Mission critical system. Used by campus and fully online (Distance Education) courses. Steadily increasing uptake. Architecture is extensible for growth. Guided by campus steering committee. Robust, collaborative user support team. ANGEL?: ANGEL? Once upon a time there was UWone. Pedagogical front-end (task-based learning). Distance Ed admin and instructor tools. PHP, MySQL, JS, perl, ColdFusion, … ack! Tool set at back end. Blackboard; inflexible, no API to tie to UWone. ANGEL a better fit, good partnership. Move from homegrown to out-of-box, and ANGEL was a natural choice. Growth: Growth Pilot in summer 2004, 30 courses. Winter 2006: ~ 25% of course offerings (630/2500), mostly through word of mouth. F2005: 20% S2005: 10% (smallest term) W2005: 12% As instructor experience grows, so will the intensity of use (more feature usage). Architecture in 1000 words: Architecture in 1000 words ANGEL/IIS (Dell server) SQL Server (Dell server) ANGEL/IIS (Dell server) Data Filer Load Balancer (Cisco router) ANGEL/IIS (Dell server) ANGEL/IIS, Backup SQL (Dell server) (Servers spread across two physical rooms) Oversight of UW-ACE: Oversight of UW-ACE UW-ACE Steering Committee IST, Faculty Associate Dean of Computing, DE, LT3, Library, HR, Student and Admin Significant change and policy issues Informal UW-ACE Ops group ('Aesops') IST, Distance Education (DE), Teaching and Learning Through Technology (LT3) Upgrade planning, support, review 'other' uses, interface issues, system defaults, etc. Sample of Steering Committee issues: Sample of Steering Committee issues Review of overall upgrade plan Policy on 'other' uses (recent request for Continuing Ed courses in UW-ACE) ePortfolio – integration with UW-ACE Collaborative Support: Collaborative Support Information Systems andamp; Technology Training, docs, '2nd line' of instructor support Systems support, software upgrades, back-ups, integration/infrastructure, etc. Learning andamp; Teaching Through Technology 1st line of campus instructor support Distance Education DE instructor 1st line, and student support (moving to IST as differences go away) Library Things seem great, Andrea!: Things seem great, Andrea! So, why worry? But, what changes do we anticipate? What are the developments appearing on the horizon that affect our LMS? Impacts? How are we preparing, or how do we begin to prepare? Standards – What?: Standards – What? Descriptions of data and behaviour, and the basis for interoperability. IMS Global Learning Consortium (http://imsglobal.org/) Interoperability; more for static content. Common Cartridge*; ePortfolios; Qandamp;TI; Learning Design SCORM (http://www.adlnet.gov ) by ADL To implement reusable web learning objects, content and sequencing; dynamic data, between LO andamp; LMS. *Content Packaging, Qandamp;TI, LO Metadata, SCORM, etc. Standards – Impact?: Standards – Impact? Helps protect your time and energy, and content investments. Still vendor specific implementations that don’t quite interoperate. An exit from your current LMS Keep everything, and track the standards that will allow interoperability. UW: ANGEL contrib member of IMS Global, esp. CC and eP; SCORM 1.2 compliant. Open/free source – What?: Open/free source – What? Software based on open distribution of source code. Sakai Developed by Michigan, Indiana, MIT, Stanford, OKI, uPortal; funded by grants and institution commitments (FTEs, $s), partners. Moodle Partners contribute to development via funding or expertise. Large install base in HE. Open/free source – Impact?: Open/free source – Impact? Sakai and Moodle have potential for more growth in the HE market. Wariness of WebCT and Blackboard merger. 'Free' sounds good to universities (staff time seen as free, whereas license fees are not). May pressure some vendor LMS development. Potential standards push. Potential plug and play model to add features. UW: Tracking Sakai, moodle interest, but no plans to use centrally. ePortfolios – What?: ePortfolios – What? ' … archive of one’s work, achievements, ideas, thoughts and feelings which reflect an individual’s intellectual, emotional and social developments … a document of an individual’s learning over time.' Misunderstood as online CV. Often characterized by competencies that cross over among education, recreation, jobs. General or specific software can implement. E-portfolios – Impact?: E-portfolios – Impact? How do they integrate to your LMS? Means keeping course artifacts online and available? Introduces 'other' uses for your LMS? Are you ready to support those? UW: Consider for the UW co-op work term report, become part of programs, etc. http://eportfolio.uwaterloo.ca/ UW: Using KEEP toolkit; ANGEL ePortfolio not ready for prime time – yet. Learning object repositories – What?: Learning object repositories – What? Reusable content (the Lego of content). Small(ish), reused in various contexts. Metatags describe content and use. MERLOT, CLOE (Ontario), PALOMA (Montreal), Common Currency. Also, projects, like LORNET. Learning object repositories – Impact?: Learning object repositories – Impact? Promise of providing interactive content integrated into LMS via SCORM. Searching needs to become 'federated' so through a standard query and interface to the repositories. SCORM packaging needs to become more prevalent in LOR. UW: Participating in LO creation and projects; new ANGEL version has LOR. Mobile devices – What?: Mobile devices – What? Laptops and tablets PDAs, Blackberries Cell phones iPods Mobile devices – Impact?: Mobile devices – Impact? Laptops and tablets fit current LMS model. PDA, Blackberry, cell phone LMS interface support generally less tested, or ignored. But, more and more students use them. Students respond to LMS survey via cell phones instead of clickers? Gaming meets online learning in cell phone? UW: LT3 collaborating on student survey about use of mobile devices on campus. Accessibility – What?: Accessibility – What? Ontario legislation phasing in US software and 508 legislation W3C guidelines Accessibility – Impact?: Accessibility – Impact? Not just for those with disabilities. Supporting different ways of learning, which happen to facilitate disabilities. UW: Working with Office of Persons with Disabilities to identify ANGEL shortcomings. 'Power of IDEAS' conference in August to collaborate, OPD, IST, and LT3. “Web 2.0” stuff – What?: 'Web 2.0' stuff – What? Second generation of web. Not 'walled in' but collaborative. May include technology such as: Web service APIs Ajax (targeted updates to the web page) Web syndication (RSS) and social software (blogs, wikis). Maybe synchronous 'presence' embeddings, like live audio and video. “Web 2.0” stuff – Impact?: 'Web 2.0' stuff – Impact? Student expectations that what is 'out there' should be in your LMS too. Could be a boon for decisional support for students (more peer and mentor support). Summary: Summary 5 or 6 years ago, 'Best of breed indiv. tools, or ‘good’ LMS tool set?' … Still a good question! Open source and OKI still evolving (for best of breed and LMS combination); more value-add partnerships (Questionmark, WebBoard, Horizon Live, etc.). Standards still evolving. Content Cartridges more a reality, including from publishers. Learning object repositories still a bit more promise than reality. New issues: Mobile devices, ePortfolios, Accessibility, 'Web 2.0'isms (podcast, wiki, Ajax, etc.) The End!: The End! Comments? Questions? Other 'control points' on the map?