Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Open Ed Conference: A Case Study of OER from within the LMS

Steam locomotive 6233 Duchess of Sutherland tenderImage via WikipediaSpeakers: John Rinderle, Bill Jerome
Can we increase OER uptake with seamless LMS integration?: Realizing opportunities for OER discoverability and data exchange in the LMS.

A key factor in OER uptake is the ability of resources to be easily accessed, combined with other course materials, and presented in an appropriate context for learning. For many instructors, the learning management system (LMS) is the information hub of their course. To extend the reach of OER we feel it is critical for resources to be made easily accessible from within the LMS. This need is greater than providing a simple link. From the LMS, OERs should be discoverable to students and instructors who want to use, support a single sign on interface, provide coherent navigation between LMS and OER, and seamlessly exchange key data (e.g. roster, grades, learning analytics).
In this presentation, we will share the Open Learning Initiative's approach to learning management system integration. We will survey current open standards for learning tools with the LMS and discuss our decision to implement Basic LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability). We will share our usability research on the user interface affordances required to drive a productive experience. We will also discuss the technical, user support, process and policy challenges we encountered while bringing OLI to the LMS.

Looking beyond OLI, we will make the case for improved methods and standards for integrating OER with LMS. While today's standards allow learning environment to report simple score outcomes to the LMS, the more robust measures of learning required to drive learning analytics remain locked up in individual tools. The result is that it is difficult to mix resources and achieve a unified view of how learning is progressing and the overall effectiveness of the learning design. We feel this is a missed opportunity. The next generation of standards and LMS systems will need to simplify the discovery and adoption of OER and facilitate finer grained data exchange.

Notes:
They are part of the Open Learning Initiative. They feel that the LMS is all about ease of access. Increasing access to education is part of their core mission. The LMS can make things easier to find. Without standards there are too many platforms to target otherwise. They did a survey and found that the LMS use is more complicated than they thought.  Basic LTI is available in all LMSs. They have a two-click to course content design. They are using Blackboard.

Challenges:
Technology issues
  • Some LMSs need extensions
  • Some implementations are buggy
  • Basic LTI has few required fields
Processes a Policy
  • Security 
  • Audit and control - knowing what tools faculty are using
  • Support - helping instructors
User Experience
  • Using complex systems is difficult for faculty and students
  • Bad experience = unhappy students
  • Roster management - there are two grade books
  • Single sign-on
  • Bookmarking  - basic LTI does not allow it
  • Desktop support
  • Where do users have accounts in OLI or in Blackboard?
Opportunities

Feedback Loops for Learning
Student learning data is at the heart of their solutions - an outcomes centered approach to teaching. They are creating tools for learning analytics. LMS interoperability and learning analytics should be automatic, not an afterthought.

How do we build a better user expereince?
An OER app store?

Pearson is moving in this direction using commercial and open content. 

The use experience needs to be focused on the educators and learners consuming OER.

Questions:
How does OER make greater in-roads to the LMS?
Do you agree with the app store approach?
What should an OER app store offer?
Does the app model extend or replace the content package?
Open and "closed," free and commercial. side by side?

The speaker is wondering why OERs are not moving like Web 2.0 projects - skunk works a project, release the API, then everyone uses it.

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1 comment:

Jared Stein said...

I agree with this position entirely, and, in fact, have been saying the same thing since I first became involved in the OCW/OER movement some years ago. I happened to have done some early work on sharing parts of courses in Moodle, and am now working for Instructure, which provides a lot of open licensing and publishing features out in Canvas.