Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Learning Design Tools (Demonstrations)

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Jul 15, 2009

Originally posted on Half an Hour, July 15, 2009.

Continutaion of IMS 2009 in Montreal blog coverage.

TELOS - Gilbert Paquette

IMS Learning Design (IMS-LD) is a bridge between design and delivery. The goal was to provide a containing framwork of elements that can describe any teaching-lanring process in a formal way. It is also an "integrative layer" for other specifications, such as LOM.

The main improvement compared to SCORM is that you have multiple learners and multiple roles, so you can have collaborative learning scenarios. There are also more advanced personalization possibilities. But at the same time it is more demanding - it requires support for educational modeling; you don't just have tree-like structures. You need simpler tools and methods. And you need repositories of LD patterns.

The IMS-LD moel defines an activity strcutire ina 'method', along with persons and roles, that perform roles. The activities are performed in an environment composed of learning objects and services.

It is designed to address various needs, for example, K-12 lesson plans, higher education learning patterns, or workplace training.

TELOS isn't exactly an LD designer and player, it's an educational modeling designer and player that exports to IMS-LD.

- demo on screen - TELOS desktop -

TELOS is an e-learning operating system, which is service-oriented and ontology driven. One of its main features is a visual scenario editor and a multi-actor scenario player. It has a resource manager with resources classed by a technical ontology. These resources are fed into a graph, where they are assigned certain semantical properties. These are then fed into a task manager, where the user interacts.

The TELOS visual language emerged from MOT+LD, IMS-LD and the Business Process Modelling Notation. As noted, it exports to IMS-LD. Users design a learning model through an executible graph - that is, they edit the learning scenario visually.

Demo plan:
- resource manager and repository
- scenario editor
- task manager

- demo on screen -

Wilbert Kraan - Widgets, Wookie Server and Recourse

I work for the Univrsity of Bolton; I'm here with two hats on. One is th service that we provide for the JISC - CETIS. We were activity involved in the specification of learning design. And the other thing is participation in the TenCompetence project, which I'll talk about today.

Context: TenCompetence is a big European project coordinated by Rob Koper of OUNL. It runs for four years ending November 2009. The idea is to create an infrastructure for lifelong competence development (so 'runnable' is important). The infrastrcuture is open source and (as much as possible) standard compliant. IMS-LD was a ky enabling technology. So we got new tools for running learning designs.

IMS-LD has extremely generic services. You can connect with discussions, votes, etc. The trouble is that LD simplhy enumerates them - it says you can have a chat, but not how or what or why. So if you exchange a LD from one institution to another, the service that it was dsigned for might not be available at the reuse. So we needed a new approach - we extnded IMS-LD with parameters to call widget-based services. So once you integrate IMS-LD with the widget serving platform - Wookie - the same services are available everywhere.

This was pretty challenging, and had pretty interesting spin-offs. For example, Wookie is a stand-alone thing.

Now there's lots of widget engines out there, but what they don't do is share state, so they're not very good for collaborative activities. For leanring, you want to share the state of a particular widget to a group of people. So, eg., your chat post is propagated. Or your vote is sent to a group of people.

We took as a starting point the W3C widget specification, which is now being finalized. Our contribution to the spec is the cooperative extension. Then Google came into the picture, and it Google Wave was almost the same thing. So we adapted Wookie so it now handles Wave gadgets.

So basically, you have a wookie server, and it takes care of a bunch of things - a chat forum, weatherm, etc. And it takes care of the state of each of these widgets. You can look at the widget instances from the server, choose the one you want, and instantiate it in your context. So you can have stuff like some of the things from Apple Dashboard, etc.

- demo of some widgets - esp. chat forum and vote running in SLeD Learning Design Player -

There's a plug-in for each containing platform, eg., there's a plug-in that allows Moodle to talk to the widget server. So at run time it casks for information that identifies participants (anonymized) - the individual user can be associated from Wookie back to Moodle.

Within the application, you query a Wookie server, which displays a list fo the widgets available. So in LD, you define an activity, and then associate it with a particular widget.

Version 2.0 of the ReCourse (LD) editor has been released.

Work in progress in cludes Astro, which is a new version of the LD player. It uses the CopperCore player. Each activity is instantiated separately. Then you can jump in wherever the LD allows you to. And then you access the particular service, which is to say, the widget.

That was the problem: we needed services in LD, so let's use wdgets. So then we said, we have widgets, let's just use that. But then we came around full circle and said, if we could script those widgets, we would have a learning activity. And that took us back to Learning Design.

- demo - Recourse Editor build on Eclipse -

Ernie Ghlgioame (?) too tiny to read - LAMS

At its core, LAMS orchestrates learning activities by allowing teachers to crate, run an monitor sequences of activities.

- demo - LAMS dashboard, version 2.3

On the left hand side I have all the different activities, and on the right a blank canvas. I drag and drop into the canvas, then create sequences by drawing arrows. I configure the activities by double-clicking on them; this opens a forum that allows me to create the content and to define behaviours. Designs can be saved, and I can preview it from the same view students would see.

- demo - examples of sequences

Then I can actually share my designs with other teachers. So, eg. we can create a copy of the activity we have just designed - a 'run'. The students get actual links to the design.

- demo - run

I can look at the design, and actually click on an activity and see what a particular use has done in that activity, what he has contributed. Also, we have been looking at the concept of time in activities. Time, compared to output, won't tell you much. But we're trying to explore it.

There is also the 'stuff happens' button. We may have made assumptions that were wrong. So you can change not only the content but also the sequence. But this can apply only after the point where the student has gotten the furthest is. So as not to confuse the students.

We have several integrations of LAMS - Moodle, Sakai, several other LMSs. And we are trying to incorporate other activities that are not necessarily LAMS activities within LAMS. Eg. you want to be able to offer Moodle ativities when in a Moodle environment. And we can export the sequences so someon else using LAMS Moodle can run it.

- demo - setting up Moodle Forum in LAMS

And then I can get the output of a Moodle forum to do branching as well.

Question: in Moodle, how do you control the flow within the activity

The tool brought into LAMS is basically the tool that does the workflow control. LAMS is a wrapper around the tool, and uses certain hooks. So., eg. you can have Moodle widgets running within LAMS activities.

- demo - Waveword Widget in LAMS

And that's it!

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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