Updated: 10/1/2005; 9:59:39 AM.
online educational delivery applications that are primarily course management systems (for product comparisons please see Landonline.EduTools.info)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

CA Releases Patents to OSS. [Slashdot]
11:46:51 PM      Google It!.

BCcampus selects The Learning Edge to power repository.


Early this year we went (back) out to RFP for software to power a 'learning object repository' for BCcampus. OpenSchool BC and the Alberta Online Consortium, both from the K-12 world, were also partners in the RFP.

In May we reached a decision to go with The Learning Edge, an LCMS product from Australia. There were many good proposals, but overall we were very impressed with the maturity of the solution (which given the history became increasingly important), its support of standards, and its interoperation with existing repositories and CMS (all of WebCT, Blackboard and Moodle are supported out of the box). It also comes with a Java-based WYSIWYG editor, which has the potential to greatly assist with re-contextualizing and re-using content from the repository, though in the multi-institutional settings all three organizations inhabit we are cautious about how much uptake of that tool we will see.

Really, though, the fun has just begun; we are now proceeding to get our instance up and running and configured. The challenge isn't the software - that's also one of its real strengths, a very powerful administrative interface - the challenge is the process pieces, workflows, schemas, etc. We aren't starting from scratch, much of the work we did last year will still apply, but I'm also not expecting to get it perfect on the first try. Part of the trick will be devising a reasonable change management process that allows us to innovate some of the interface and logic while still fostering user adoption and familiarity. Wish me luck! We are aiming to open the doors in October, though my expectation is for a 'soft launch' that slowly grows. - SWL

2:54:41 PM      Google It!.

Remote Question Protocol.


You know there has to be something to this because a) it hasn't been widely hyped, as far as I know b) they actually seem to be shipping code and working specifications. What a nice contrast. A high level description of this web services protocol to provide remote processing of assessment items on behalf of assessment systems, independant of specific CMS, can be found in this PDF file. Apparently Moodle is already supporting this, and it is on the radar for the people working on the Tools Interoperability Profile. - SWL

2:53:34 PM      Google It!.

Software Strives to Spot Plagiarism Before Publication. After a series of damaging newspaper scandals involving plagiarism in recent years, a new piece of software looks to help editors stop wrongdoers before their articles go to print. By TANIA RALLI. [NYT > Technology]
2:48:37 PM      Google It!.

A Tutor Half a World Away, but as Close as a Keyboard. As part of a new wave of outsourcing to India, some tutors teach Americans using the Internet. By SARITHA RAI. [NYT > Technology]
2:46:47 PM      Google It!.

With the latest version of Skype, up to five Skype users can join a conference call. This combination of technologies has worked very well. Essentially, with the "Groove + Skype" combination, you can do just about everything that you can do with services like WebEX and LiveMeeting. With this approach, cost savings are incredible and everything can be done over the Internet (i.e., there's no need to tie up a telephone line).)

[Rick Lillie's Radio Weblog]
2:44:43 PM      Google It!.

Journal Article: Design and Analysis of Reflection-Supporting Tools in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning. The March edition of the International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning has an interesting article about the importance of support for collaborative reflection in online environments: Design and Analysis of Reflection-Supporting Tools in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning. by Seung-hee Lee (Indiana University) This short article provides a concise overview, theoretical foundation and design considerations for online environments that support... [Michelle's Online Learning Freakout Party Zone]
2:41:10 PM      Google It!.

Open Source Ratings System. There is a mix of scholarly discussion and excitement associated with open source software. I think all of us are struggling with understanding how to move ahead with the constant changes that take place. As well - we're definitely torn between intriguing new functionality and stability. In the "institutional" scheme of things -- faculty have already spoken - software has... [Michelle's Online Learning Freakout Party Zone]
2:40:24 PM      Google It!.

Apple Launches iPhone.

Apple, Motorola and Cingular Wireless today announced the availability of the worldâs first mobile phone with iTunes, enabling music lovers to transfer up to 100 of their favorite songs from the iTunes jukebox on their Mac or PC to their mobile phone. Appleâs iTunes software on the Motorola ROKR features easy to use menus, simple navigation and playback, and the ability to simply switch from phone to music and back again with the push of a dedicated music key.

[Science Blog -]
2:34:24 PM      Google It!.

Blogs help students think for themselves - Anna Salleh, ABC Science Online. Blogging is helping students to think and write more critically, says an Australian researcher, and can help draw out people who would otherwise not engage in debate. These are the preliminary findings of PhD research by Anne Bartlett-Bragg, a lecturer at [Online Learning Update]
2:20:34 PM      Google It!.

Students at MCC decline - Rob Adams, The Arizona Republic. Enrollment is down at Mesa Community College for the first time in 13 years. There are 307 fewer students on the roll compared with a year ago. The 1.1 percent drop has college administrators scrambling for explanations.... While overall numbers stagnate [Online Learning Update]
2:19:59 PM      Google It!.

Teaching Educational Psychology in an Online Environment - The Clearninghouse. According to David Berliner (1992), Regents Professor and noted expert in teaching educational psychology, the goal of teaching educational psychology is to influence the practice of teaching. Whether it is teaching preservice teachers how to motivate the [Online Learning Update]
2:19:12 PM      Google It!.

New Tack Against Term Paper Providers - Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed. The Internet did not create the market for buying and selling term papers, but it has undoubtedly enabled it. And while states have passed laws aiming to restrict the sale of term papers, and a few colleges have sued essay providers under those laws, they [Online Learning Update]
2:17:47 PM      Google It!.

Content Developers' Guide to IMS Simple Sequencing:. LSAL has released a first version of our guide to the IMS Simple Sequencing Specification. The guide provides a step-by-step process for using the IMS Simple Sequencing Specification and tips to make your Simple Sequencing implementation easier. (2003-05-01:001) [Learning Systems Architecture Lab]
2:14:03 PM      Google It!.

David Walker's Awesome "RSS Creator" for Libraries.

A Solution for RSS and Journals

"Here is a prototype system I call 'RSS Creator,' which allows us to create RSS feeds for any journal or newspaper indexed and abstracted in our current subscription databases.


The system leverages Ex Libris' SFX and Metalib systems (using Metalib's XML-based API) to create the feeds, but the idea behind it is not specific to SFX or Metalib, and could be done with other technology.

Here are some of the benefits:

(1) Gives a library instant access to 20,000 to 40,000 or more feeds.

The system can create an RSS feed for any journal or newspaper indexed by one of our databases, so long as that database is searchable via Metalib -- regardless of whether the publisher or database provider makes those feeds available now.

(2) Requires virtually no discovery, collection, or maintenance.

All of the information about the journals is already available (and updated) in the SFX knowledge base. A library simply downloads this information out of SFX, uploads it into RSS Creator, and RSS Creator takes care of the creation and maintenance of the feeds themselves. All of the feeds are in one place, conveniently available to our users.

(This takes maybe 30 minutes every three months or so.)

(3) All links point back to SFX

RSS Creator simply creates an OpenURL for each article title, which links the user to our SFX menu. If a faculty member sees a journal article they want to read, regardless of whether they are on-campus or not, SFX will provide them proxied access to the full-text, provide information about print availability in our library, or even provide a pre-populated ILL form if we don't have access to the article online or in print.

It is, in other words, a large, free RSS-based table of contents system. I just need to find some time in between more pressing matters to finish it up. But I'm hoping to roll it out to our faculty here this fall." [WEB4LIB mailing list]

David Walker, Web Development Librarian at Cal State San Marcos, put this handy little program together, and it totally rocks! Check out the Flash demo to see how it works. It's actually very elegant, user-friendly, and incredibly useful.

Dang, I wish I had time to play with this right now for our member libraries. I'm really going to have to start investigating ways to implement SFX (PDF) for them.

[The Shifted Librarian]
2:10:06 PM      Google It!.

© Copyright 2005 Bruce Landon.
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