By Stephen Downes
August 5, 2004

Contextualized Learning: Empowering Education
This article identifies three major features that will characterize contextual learning: a greater emphasis on organizational learning; learners that will be increasingly empowered to shape when, where and how they learn; and ways to deliver learning embedded into the job. These seem essentially correct to me, and suggest the directions the development of learning technologies should take. By Steve Rae and Tony O’Driscoll, Chief Learning Officer, August, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Preliminary Peer Study Results Enterprise Learning Services
Reflecting some comments I've made about learning design, this survey finds that "content development processes are inefficient. The manual steps required to gather learning materials and need for collaboration apparently hinder the development process." The usual caveats about online surveys apply, and the authors are careful to note the limitations of this work. PDF. This item and the next via ROInet. By Ben Bradley, GrowingCo, July 30, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Executive Coaching Has Measurable Impact on Enterprise ROI
According to the article, "A recent survey of 100 senior executives released by Right Managements Consultants, a Philadelphia-based career transition and organizational consulting firm, found that coaching strategies have had a measurable impact on ROI. Senior executives report better relationships with their direct reports, supervisors and peers, improved teamwork and greater job satisfaction." Seems to me that if it works for executives, it ought to work for other staff, and may well have a greater impact on ROI, since (one would think) there is a greater need. By Kellye Whitney, Chief Learning Officer, August 4, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Where To Find Great Images For Your Site
Robin Good is recommending FotoSearch, but I have to warn, the photos here cost a fortune (even the 'free' photos have shipping charges, and are free only if you spend a certain amount of money). There are non-commercial photo archives, such as Stock Exchange, but as Good notes, some types of photos are not available there; additionally, the server was beyond capacity when I tried to check it out. By Luigi Canali De Rossi, Robin Good, August 5, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

E-Learning Benchmark Established with Launch of the Institute of Financial Services' KnowledgeBank
The corporate community is often well ahead of the academic community in the deployment of e-learning technologies, and this announcement is a case in point. What is significant about this item is this: "RetrievalWare enables the retrieval of very specific information by 'slicing-and-dicing' search results using dynamic classification - the ability to mix concepts, terms and expressions across multiple categories to quickly isolate desired information." The key here is the concept of 'dynamic categoization' - the automated sorting of items into categories in real time (I do the same sort of thing on this website, but with nowhere near the power of this software). This functionality is provided by a company called Convera, and a perusal of their White Paper bank is strongly recommended (you'll have to register). By Press Release, Business Wire, August 4, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Manage Digital Rights with the OMA
Good overview article on digital rights management as seem through the eyes of the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), the consortium that handles content for mobile devices such as cell (mobile) phones. This market is somewhat unique in that the vendor controls the hardware, which means that DRM functionally can be integrated into the telephone's design. It is worth noting (though the article doesn't, for some reason) that OMA DRM is based on the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL). Good list of links at the conclusion fo the article. By Max Kington, IBM Developer Works, July 27, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

WebCT and MERLOT Form Strategic Partnership to Energize Inter-Institution Learning Content Exchange
The deal means specifically that "MERLOT will offer 'WebCT' as a pick list option for users searching by either subject matter or technical format." Consequently, "They will pinpoint WebCT-ready content produced by faculty, institutions and publishers, including IMS standards-based learning modules, question databases and quizzes." One wonders, in the world where learning objects are supposed to be system-neutral, why it should be necessary to search for 'WebCT ready' content. Or why, for that matter, MERLOT would find it necessary to sign a special deal with an LMS vendor at all. By Press Release, Business Wire, August 4, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter?

Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list at http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/website/subscribe.cgi

[ About This NewsLetter] [ OLDaily Archives] [ Send me your comments]

Copyright © 2003 Stephen Downes
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.