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CMS Review for Wednesday, February 4, 2004

CMS Review - a resource on elearning & Course management Systems

Wed., Feb. 04, 2004




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CMS Viewpoint

The Future of eLearning in Learning Management Systems

Samuel G. Scalise, Sonoma State University

Learning Management Systems have quickly become an integral part of higher education. More and more, they deliver essential functionality instead of just serving as distance learning mediums or places to post the class syllabus. Our growing dependence on proprietary systems, however, is complicating research and development in eLearning tools—the portion of Learning Management Systems that deliver discipline -specific content and assessment. It’s a Catch 22. Without source code access to LMS, it is challenging to develop sophisticated Learning tools we need unless we also build the administrative management portion of the LMS from scratch, a costly and lonely venture.

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CMS News & Product updates

Four Major Universities to Collaborate on Open Source CMS

The University of Michigan, Indiana University, MIT, Stanford, and the uPortal consortium are joining forces to integrate and synchronize their educational software into a pre-integrated collection of open source tools. The project, dubbed Sakai, for the Japanese chef Hiroyuki Sakai, was inspired by an U. Michigan information technology project, the Comprehensive CollaborativE Framework, or CHEF. Sakai is expected to yield a framework that builds on the recently ratified JSR 168 portlet standard and the OKI open service interface definitions to create a services-based, enterprise portal for tool delivery.

The products of the project will include an Enterprise Services-based Portal, a complete Course Management System with sophisticated assessment tools, a Research Support Collaboration System, a Workflow Engine, and a Tool Portability Profile as a clear standard for writing future. The Sakai Project universities, which are committing $2 million per year to launch and support the two-year project, are committed to implementing these tools at their own institutions starting in Fall 2004 through the duration of the project.

The commitment of resources and adoption was purposefully set on an aggressive timeline to swiftly integrate and synchronize the educational software at the core institutions, according to Sakai project officials. “This will demonstrate the compelling economics of ‘software code mobility’ for higher education, and it will provide a clear roadmap for others to become part of an open source community.”

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Blogware Harnessed as Course Management Software

Elizabeth Lane Lawley, assistant professor at the department of information technology at Rochester Institute of Technology, is experimenting with using Moving Type, an open Web content publishing system, as a course management development tool. Her efforts demonstrate the advantages blogs hold over conventional course management systems, as well as what commercial course management systems offer that blogs lack. Movable Type (MT) is a Web content publishing system, though often difficult for beginners to implement. Here are the links I have found most useful while implementing Movable Type Weblogs. This list will grow as I continue to add features to my MT powered sites and need resources beyond that which the MT manual provides.

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Online Case Study: Ingredients to Successful Blended Learning ’

Michael Speed, Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean of Technology Mediated Instruction at Texas A&M University, will host a free online seminar to share the technologies he incorporates into his graduate statistics course for campus and off-campus students. In the seminar, Professor Speed will share his insights on using a virtual classroom and virtual class recordings to teach students, as well as demonstrate materials and tools that can be used for increased learner retention.

The seminar takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 17th, 2004 between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM Eastern Time.

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Coventry U. Upgrades WebCT Vista to Drive Online Learning

Coventry University selected WebCT’s Vista academic enterprise system to expand its e-learning facilities. Coventry will be implementing WebCT Vista in June 2004, and aims to go live across all modules by September 2004, with staff training taking place throughout the summer. The solution includes new features to simplify course development for teaching staff and an expanded set of Web services interfaces, which will allow the University to customize the system to meet its unique requirements.

"We have seen student participation in online lessons grow each year and have witnessed more cohesive relationships developing between students and staff through the online tutor sessions and discussion groups," said Andy Syson, head of learning technology at Coventry. "Our teaching staff is inspired by the students' positive reactions to the new lesson formats. Most importantly, the learning experience for students has been greatly enhanced through e-learning. The current uptake of online learning is 50 percent. However, by the end of this year, we anticipate it will rise to 60 percent."

CMS Case Study

When It Comes to California, One CMS D'es Not Fit All

When it comes to course management systems, one size d'es not fit all. And that is especially true at the vast University of California system, according to UC Teaching Learning Center Associate Director Paula Murphy. Some campuses have decided to go with the commercial products, some have built their own, and some have done both. But in all cases, educational technology specialists and administrators responsible for CMS share the same goal -- to make it as easy as possible for faculty to create Web sites, manage their courses, and integrate the Web into their teaching and learning.

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CMS TechNotes

A Guide to Course Management Systems and Copyright

Placing materials on a university-supported course management system (CMS) raises challenging questions about copyright. When it comes to CMS, what constitutes “fair use?” How d'es fair use apply to CMS?

This analysis by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professors Kenneth Crews and David Wong (Course Management Systems and Copyright: Oncourse, Angel, and Other Electronic Information Delivery Systems at IUPUI) show the steps that need to be taken to ensure CMS systems provide material within the context and limits of law.

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CMS Exchange
From the CMS Review Forum
Posted by: Michael D Warner, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

What is your perception of the current efforts in higher education circles at open source CMS? Should there be more consolidated effort such as the join venture with MIT or is the seeming diluted efforts of global interests going to move this form in the right direction at a faster pace?

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