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Part II of Ruth Sabean's contribution to the "OSS and OER in Education Series." In this 2 part interview, Ruth Sabean, assistant vice provost for educational technology in UCLA’s College of Letters and Science, discusses the evaluation process she managed at UCLA that resulted in the selection of the open source application Moodle.

Interview with Ruth Sabean conducted by Ken Udas. Originally posted March 12th, 2007 to the OSS and OER in Education Series, Terra Incognita blog (Penn State World Campus), edited by Ken Udas.

Selection of an open source application

KU: Although increasing numbers of colleges and universities are adopting open-source applications to support their online teaching and learning, there are still a lot of myths about the benefits and challenges of open-source software. What drove you toward considering and selecting an open-source learning-management system?

RS: We looked at this decision as being a lot more than about selecting a technology—it was about a new direction for UCLA. First, it was a commitment to becoming part of a larger community of educators and institutions; second, it was about open source; third, it was about a common toolbox to support teaching, learning, AND collaboration; and fourth, it was about UCLA units and individuals working together to provide a common service that supports rapid innovation. Our goal is to benefit through contributing to and learning from a global partnership that holds values of access and cooperation matching those of UCLA.

KU: What are some of the opportunities or benefits that you see open source providing your program and how are you ensuring that they can be realized?

RS: This is a hard question to answer right now because we are very new to this. As mentioned earlier, we see real opportunity and benefit from working with a global community on an open project that will also work with other open projects (for example, Sakai AND Moodle). We have little interest in being tied to large commercial vendors who are guided by larger market forces that have little to do with UCLA teaching, learning, and collaboration needs. It is our belief that other individuals and institutions that gravitate to open-source communities will share some common set of values. We found that Moodle had a particularly strong, mature, and sustainable community whose culture and processes were consistent with our own.

We are planning on becoming active members of the Moodle community once we have the expertise to provide value back to that community. We think this is a good start to realizing the potential of open source. We are also planning on working with institutions and organizations that share a commitment to interoperability.

KU: What are some of the challenges that you anticipate coming with your selection of an open-source platform and how are you addressing them?

RS: Like a lot of universities, we are fiercely independent at every level—as individuals, as departments, as schools and divisions. It is part of our culture and we have had success with it, seeing it as fundamental to innovation. We have not had a lot of experience collaborating with open-source communities. We have much to learn about being good collaborators internally and externally. Once again, we thought that Moodle was an open community in which we could actively participate.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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