eLearning Dialogue for Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Wed. Sept. 15, 2004




Sponsored By:
Migrating to a New LMS: Not as Hard as It Seems
Free online seminar removes the mystery from LMS migration. Thirty minute session demonstrates ease of migrating from other popular systems to ANGEL and highlights opportunities ANGEL provides for increased effectiveness and efficiency.

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CMS Viewpoint

How’s Your eLearning?

By Badrul H. Khan

About two years back, I asked a friend if his institution was doing any eLearning. He said, “Oh, yes, we have an LMS and we are doing all sorts of eLearning stuff.” I said, “Having an LMS d'es not necessarily mean that you are creating meaningful eLearning.” He asked, “Meaningful eLearning—what do you mean?”

I explained that an eLearning system should be meaningful not only to learners, but also to all stakeholder groups, including instructors, support services staff, and the institution. For example, an eLearning system is meaningful to learners when it is easily accessible, well designed, learner-centered, affordable, efficient, flexible, and has a facilitated learning environment. When learners display a high level of participation and success in meeting a course’s goals and objectives, this can make eLearning meaningful to instructors. In turn, when learners enjoy all available support services provided in the course without any interruptions, it makes support services staff happy as they strive to provide easy-to-use, reliable services. Finally, an eLearning system is meaningful to institutions when it has a sound return-on-investment (ROI), a moderate to high level of learner satisfaction with both the quality of instruction and all support services, and a low drop-out rate.

My friend said, “Ok, but what d'es it take to create meaningful and successful eLearning?” I answered that each stakeholder group has its own set of issues and concerns about eLearning. And they are critical! We must pay attention to these issues if we want to be successful in implementing eLearning. If you cluster these issues, they fall into eight eLearning categories: institutional, pedagogical, technological, interface design, evaluation, management, resource support, and ethical.

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Sponsored By:
How Three Institutions Transformed Their Campuses: An Oracle White Paper
Read how three schools are moving successfully into the future of information management in an exclusive white paper from Oracle. Meeting the Future in Higher Education looks at challenges faced by most higher education institutions today: shrinking budgets; growing pressure to show ROI; competition for students; demand from students and faculty for greater access to information, and legacy systems that no longer meet a school's needs. In each case, you'll learn how the challenge was met and what the solution and payoffs were after moving to technology solutions from Oracle.

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CMS News & Product updates

MIT iCampus Outreach Program Offering Tools

MIT’s iCampus program has initiated a new dissemination effort to encourage and support adoption of iCampus-developed educational technologies. Those ready for the first phase of dissemination include Robot World, Magic Paper, TEAL, XTutor, iMOAT, and iLabs. The tools have been developed as part of a 5-year, $25 million collaboration between MIT and Microsoft to develop sustainable technology-enabled teaching models, tools, and Web services.
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Penn State’s Gary Miller Honored

Gary Miller, Penn State University’s associate VP for outreach and founding executive director of Penn State World Campus received the Charles A. and Mildred B. Wedemeyer Award for Outstanding Practitioner in Distance Education, presented annually at the University of Wisconsin’s Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning.
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WebCT Certified Trainer Program Turns Out 230 Experts

WebCT announced that it has passed the 230 mark in the certification of trainers to help faculty make effective use of its course management and academic enterprise system tools. Three levels of certification include Associate Level Trainer, Senior Level Trainer, and Vista Trainer and consist of a mix of online and face-to-face sessions.
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In Defense of Duke's iPod Initiative

Duke's Center for Instructional Technology is going to measure and publish on the learning-related uses of iPods among students. (MacNewsWorld)
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OSP 2.0 Demo Released

The September release of the OSP 2.0 demo is available on the Open Source Portfolio Initiative (OSPI) Web site. The demonstration version is under development and unsupported but available for those interested to try the software as a demo.
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New Digital Resource Laboratory Opens at Auburn

Seventeen topnotch machines, three attendant technicians, and all you need for making and editing video and audio for radio, television, and film, will be available soon to Auburn students and staff. (The Auburn Plainsman Online)
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Strategic Relationship with MERLOT Boosts Blackboard Developer Network

MERLOT has joined the Blackboard Developer Network and will use Building Blocks to develop integration between Merlot's resources and Blackboard systems. (Yahoo! Finance)
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CMS Case Study

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s My WebSpace

Increasingly, colleges and universities are finding that students, faculty, and staff need to easily share documents such as homework, notes, papers, theses, dissertations, and graphics. While file servers can and do provide storage space, wide usage of such storage has often been limited to individuals comfortable with technologies such as FTP. Similarly, sharing and collaboration can be difficult if technical expertise is required for sharing and collaboration.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) envisioned a Web-accessible solution to address the campus’s file sharing needs. The result is My WebSpace, which has been deployed across the campus this year.
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CMS TechNotes

WIDS Instructional Design System

The Worldwide Instructional Design System (WIDS) is a non-profit organization (a division of the Wisconsin Technical College System Foundation) that offers instructional design software, training, and consulting services. WIDS provides advanced tools and support to help clients design effective learner-centered curriculum.

WIDS software helps users create courses and programs for a variety of delivery methods and can guide you in planning an entire course. The system helps instructors ensure no critical elements are missing from curriculum and that learning activities are designed to engage learners. The software prompts users to include learning activities--a learning activity library, which is built into WIDS, stores learning activities that are appropriate for face-to-face and online settings. The software also allows for analysis of curriculum, such as how outcomes are addressed and assessed across programs and courses.

The WIDS tool set includes a learning design model, curriculum-development software, and training. The faculty training component is geared to improve overall instructional design and increase design consistency across courses.
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Open Source Summit in December

The r-smart group and Sedona Conferences and Conversations are hosting the first Open Source Summit in Ph'enix on December 1-3. Among the keynoters will be John Seely Brown, former XeroxPARC Director and noted author; Steven Weber, author of The Success of Open Source; and Paul Elsner, noted educator and Chancellor Emeritus of Maricopa Community College. The program includes strategic and academic tracks, and several community source initiatives of interest to those working in the eLearning space will be represented, including Sakai, OSPI, Fedora, LionShare, and others.
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CMS Exchange
From the Reader Response Forum
Are LMS Anti-Web?
Posted by: cameronloudon - Austrailia

Recently I have been following the blog of Dr Peter Sefton who described MIT's Anti-web Learning Management System, Caddie as anti-web. He returned to this theme in a later entry called 'Links considered too difficult for online education software' (http://ptsefton.com/blog/2004/08/06/implementingims).

What interests me most is that this observation could be applied to all the major players in the LMS space. Why do we need an LMS to be a file system repository for PDF and Word documents? Is that the best that can be offered to students?
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Sponsored By:
Share your expertise: Speak at Syllabus2005
Plan to speak at Syllabus2005, July 24-28 in Los Angeles. Call for Papers is now open and we are accepting proposals until November 30 in six content areas applicable to higher education technology.

Click here for details

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