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  1. 1. HOW DOES IT ALL WORK: PLAYING WITH TECHNOLOGY Rosina Smith Ph.D., Executive Director, Alberta Online Consortium [email_address]
  2. 2. Learning Management Systems (LMS) <ul><li>A learning management system (LMS) is a software application or Web-based technology used to plan, implement, and assess a specific learning process. Typically, a learning management system provides an instructor with a way to create and deliver content, monitor student participation, and assess student performance. A learning management system may also provide students with the ability to use interactive features such as threaded discussions, video conferencing, and discussion forums. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Content Management System <ul><li>A content management system (CMS) is a system used to manage the content of a Web site. Typically, a CMS consists of two elements: the content management application (CMA) and the content delivery application (CDA). The CMA element allows the content manager or author, who may not know Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), to manage the creation, modification, and removal of content from a Web site without needing the expertise of a Webmaster </li></ul>
  4. 4. Frequently Used LMS in K-12 <ul><li>Blackboard – </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.blackboard.com/us/index.aspx </li></ul><ul><li>Desire2Learn (D2L) – </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.desire2learn.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>WebCT – </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.webct.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Moodle – </li></ul><ul><li>http://moodle.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Angel – </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.cyberlearninglabs.com/Products/ </li></ul><ul><li>ATutor – </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.atutor.ca/ </li></ul>
  5. 5. LMS Functionality Should Include: <ul><li>Integration with other departments within school districts/institutions (i.e. human resources, accounting) to streamline administrative tasks and so the overall cost of e-learning can be tracked and quantified </li></ul>
  6. 6. LMS Functionality Should Include: <ul><li>2. Support a Collaborative Learning Community : </li></ul><ul><li>offering multiple modes of learning—from self-paced coursework (Web-based seminars and classes, downloadable, CD-ROM and video content) </li></ul><ul><li>to scheduled classes (live instruction in classroom settings or online) </li></ul><ul><li>to group learning (online forums and chats). </li></ul>
  7. 7. LMS Functionality Should Include: <ul><li>3. Consolidate training initiatives on a scalable, low-cost Web- </li></ul><ul><li>based platform. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Assemble and deliver learning content rapidly in multiple languages. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Measure the effectiveness of training initiatives. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Mix classroom and online learning. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Integrate with other enterprise application solutions. </li></ul><ul><li>8. Centralize and automate administration. </li></ul><ul><li>9. Use self-service and self-guided services as much as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>10. Support portability and standards: AICC, IMS and SCORM. </li></ul><ul><li>11. Personalize content and enable knowledge re-use. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Evaluating Learning Management Systems <ul><li>High availability : The LMS must be robust enough to serve the diverse needs of thousands of learners, administrators, content builders and instructors simultaneously. </li></ul><ul><li>Scalability: The infrastructure should be able to expand—or “scale”—to meet future growth, both in terms of the volume of instruction and the size of the student body. </li></ul><ul><li>Usability: To support a host of automated and personalized services, such as self-paced and role-specific learning, the access, delivery and presentation of material must be easy-to-use and highly intuitive—like surfing on the Web or shopping on Amazon.com. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Evaluating Learning Management Systems <ul><li>Interoperability: To support content from different sources and multiple vendors’ hardware/software solutions, the LMS should be based on open industry standards for Web deployments (XML, SOAP or AQ) and support the major learning standards (AICC, SCORM, IMS and IEEE). </li></ul><ul><li>Stability: The LMS infrastructure can reliably and effectively manage a large enterprise implementation running 24x7. </li></ul><ul><li>Security: As with any outward-facing collaborative solution, the LMS can selectively limit and control access to online content, resources and back-end functions, both internally and externally, for its diverse user community. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Licensing and Purchasing Options <ul><li>Learning management systems can be complex and costly in terms of implementation. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning management systems require IT expertise and ongoing support. While corporate (for-profit) companies might opt to purchase, plan and implement an LMS, many companies and school ditricts are moving toward the ASP model. With this outsourcing model, a third party, often the LMS vendor, manages the IT infrastructure, either at the customer site or remotely. While outsourcing eliminates the need for IT staff and maintenance, keep in mind that the LMS must be designed for this kind of deployment. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Licensing Models <ul><li>The software is purchased and installed and managed in-house. </li></ul><ul><li>The school district buys the software, but it is housed and managed remotely by a third party. Administrators, content builders, instructors and learners access the system over the Internet. </li></ul><ul><li>The school district buys the software and installs it on its own data platform, but the maintenance and upgrades are managed by the LMS vendor or another third party (e.g., a system integrator). </li></ul><ul><li>For the cost-conscious, there is yet a fourth option. Some LMS vendors operating their own enterprise e-learning system offer to share access to their system. Basically, you lease “space” on the host data site. </li></ul><ul><li>A Collaborative model where a consortium of school districts share or pool resources to purchase one instance which is capable of supporting several districts. – more opportunity for content sharing/reusability/delivery. – each interface can be customized. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Web Conferencing Systems <ul><li>Web or Audio Conferencing systems use a desktop sharing system to allow VOIP (voice over IP, think digital/internet phone calls)-based interactivity for presentations and other learning environments. This is a great way to complete low-cost, low-tech &quot;video conferencing.&quot; Most are java-based systems that don’t require a client installation. You can buy a hosted solution through the company or purchase it for a local server installation. </li></ul><ul><li>Some LMS systems have this built in but the functionality is rarely as robust as the ‘stand alone’ and are rarely used </li></ul>
  13. 13. Web Conferencing Systems <ul><li>These systems permit synchronous collaboration among peers specific to: </li></ul><ul><li>-Professional Development </li></ul><ul><li>-Establishment of a Community of Practice </li></ul><ul><li>-Administrative Meetings </li></ul><ul><li>-Classroom Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>-Tutorials </li></ul>
  14. 14. Learning Object Repositories (LOR) <ul><li>Firstly, there is the need to understand how a ‘learning object’ is defined…but nobody really knows how to define this term </li></ul><ul><li>A learning object has been defined as a reusable unit of instruction for teaching and learning. It can include digital objects; lesson bundles, courseware – but generally does not include digital assets. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Learning Object Repositories (LOR) <ul><ul><li>Also it has been argued that with smaller granularity, there's greater potential for reuse of objects. … By keeping objects smaller, they are more likely to be able to be reused in different contexts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second, there's the opportunity to allow flexibility on the part of the learner, or even to support intelligent processing. If the objects are small enough, and instructional experiences are composed of these objects, then different learners can have different instructional experiences. (Quinn & Hobbs, 2000) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Learning Object Repositories (LOR) <ul><li>A Repository or Digital Library is a ‘one stop shop’ where content is aggregated, ‘catalogued’ or ‘metatagged’ and accessed by the learning community. </li></ul><ul><li>There are also ‘referatories’ (i.e. Merlot) which link to other resources </li></ul>
  17. 17. Learning Object Repositories (LOR) <ul><li>Present issues include: </li></ul><ul><li>What sources and methods are being utilized for the selection of learning objects?   </li></ul><ul><li>What assessment activities are being undertaken and tools utilized (website ratings etc.)?   </li></ul><ul><li>What issues have been encountered (e.g., copyright/intellectual property rights)?   </li></ul><ul><li>What benefits have been derived (ease of access, relevance, quality, costs, time, etc.)?   </li></ul><ul><li>What barriers have been encountered (ease of access, relevance, quality, cost, time, etc.)?   </li></ul>
  18. 18. Decisions? <ul><li>Before a school district/organization/institution </li></ul><ul><li>enters the world of content development </li></ul><ul><li>whether it be the development of: </li></ul><ul><li>digital assets, </li></ul><ul><li>learning object, </li></ul><ul><li>lesson bundles or </li></ul><ul><li>Courseware </li></ul>
  19. 19. Decisions? <ul><li>And whether the content is related to </li></ul><ul><li>Professional development or teaching and </li></ul><ul><li>Learning in the K-12 or post-secondary </li></ul><ul><li>Context decisions must be made around: </li></ul><ul><li>LMS systems </li></ul><ul><li>Licensing and Purchasing Options </li></ul><ul><li>Web Conferencing Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Object Repository </li></ul>
  20. 20. Decisions? <ul><li>Research supports a collaborative, </li></ul><ul><li>consortium approach to realize: </li></ul><ul><li>Cost efficiencies </li></ul><ul><li>Time efficiencies </li></ul><ul><li>Development of rigorous standards for ease of access, equity and to encourage effective pedagogical practice </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative approaches to professional development and teaching and learning practice </li></ul><ul><li>Support of ‘open’ standards in the development, sharing, repurposing and reuse of existing content </li></ul>
  21. 21. More information??? <ul><li>Contact: Rosina Smith Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>403-241-6045 </li></ul><ul><li>Or by email at: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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