Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Open Syllabus and Sakai

There is a syllabus tool in Sakai, but it is generally just a static document. There is no semantic or tool integration. There is a need for a tool to organise all the resources in one place. This sounds like the concept around Moodle. All of the information, lessons, assessments are linked to one page. This new tool allows for greater flexibility in editing and provides a single page to deliver all components of a class. I have been wanting to add templates to our instance of Sakai. Another interesting piece is that this tool is being created by a working instructor which means that the tool looks more like a teaching tool than the product of database administrators. He is asking questions about file type that not only describe what the file is (text, video, etc.), but how it is used. You have to give a context to the materials in your class. The open syllabus provides licensing and permissions for individual files. When you publish the syllabus, it posts a message in the Announcements. Unlike most tools in Sakai, when you move the Open Syllabus, it will update the links in the syllabus. In the Sakai syllabus, all the links are broken. One cannot currently embed media in this syllabus.

OpenSyllabus Sakai 2.7 Contrib Tool from Jacques Raynauld on Vimeo.


Title:Open Syllabus: Building a Coherent Learning Environment in Sakai 2.x
Presenter(s):Jacques Raynauld (HEC Montreal)
Description:Open Syllabus (OSyl) is now a fully functional Sakai 2.7 contrib tool that helps instructors quickly organise their course's material to provide a coherent learning environment for students. It has been tested successfully in a large pilot with 9 000 students. In this presentation, we sketch the most important features of the tool. OSyl is easy to use and provides templates to organize all the resources (files, citations, urls, etc.), assessment activities (assignment, quiz, forum, etc.) and other elements (description of the course, etc.). OSyl is an XML model-based approach to syllabi so all the information is organized and kept in a general semantic format. Simple configuration rules can be set to reflect different university practices. OSyl course websites are very flexible and can be shared, exported, printed and archived easily. Osyl can also generate a public Open Courseware gateway. Osyl now includes a simple and powerful course site manager.

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