The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment

Malcolm Brown, Joanne Dehoney, Nancy Millichap, EDUCAUSE, May 14, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This article describes the Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (referred to with the ungainly acronym NGDLE). It takes as its starting point the observation that while the LMS (Learning Management System) succeeded at managing learning, it was less successful as a means of supporting learning. The NGDLE will therefore be more focused toward the individual learner and to alternative pedagogical models. "To be fully realized it must address five domains of core functionality:

  • Interoperability and Integration
  • Personalization
  • Analytics, Advising, and Learning Assessment
  • Collaboration
  • Accessibility and Universal Design

I think they're right but that they need to dig deeper. For example, they write: "Personalization encompasses two aspects. The first is the outfitting and configuration of the learning environment, which is then used to construct pathways to accomplish learning tasks and attain learning goals... The second aspect is adaptive learning, in which an automated system provides learners with coaching and suggestions specific to each learner’s needs." I think this described customization, but personal learning needs to look an in individual, their community, and they specific learning context. Similarly, this article addresses collaboration, which is a mass-oriented system of networking, where I would favour cooperation, which is addressed toward individual needs.

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