Web-Based Courses: The Assiniboine Model

Stephen Downes, Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Aug 01, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

OK, let's be clear now. I have one last thing to say about this Blackboard patent. Yeah, I know, half the educational community was working on the LMS in the 1990s. But for me, this Blackboard patent feels pretty personal. Here's why.


In the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Volume 2, Number 2, Summer, 1999, I published this paper based on a presentation I had originally made in 1997. It describes how to design and build a learning management system. It goes into a great deal of detail, including things like online registration, tests and exams, communications, personalized home pages, and much more. The paper, moreover, describes code I actually built at Assiniboine Community College and which was used to deliver a number of courses at the college.

Now, the Blackboard patent was filed June 30, 2000. Here it is. Read both and judge for yourself. But let me say this: what Blackboard claims to have invented in 2000 is almost an exact clone of what I described in 1997 and published in 1999. Now Blackboard may be suing a company today - a Canadian company, naturally. But my response to Blackboard is this: where do you get off taking my invention, which I shared freely with the rest of the world, in order to advance learning, and claiming it as your own? Is this the model of learning to which you subscribe, to use the legal system to deny learning to people who cannot afford it?


Vultures.

Views Today: 1 Total: 661. [Direct Link]
Creative Commons License. gRSShopper

Copyright 2015 Stephen Downes ~ Contact: stephen@downes.ca
This page generated by gRSShopper.
Last Updated: Sept 25, 2016 06:00 a.m.