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3. ken udas - march 15th, 2007 at 2:15 pm

Ruth, early in the interview you indicated that your team wants to support the Sakai vision and later you mention that want to work with both Moodle and Sakai. Why is that the case and how do you see that happing? That is, do you see these two communities working together, you contributing to both communities, etc.?

Does any of this have anything to do with the common service model that you mention in your earlier comment?

4. rsabean - march 15th, 2007 at 6:09 pm

Let me step back and make several separate points. At the risk of trying to speak for a committee, here’s my view of the intention of this direction. The focus of the FCET was on ‘interoperabilty’ by which they primarily meant something like ‘if I find or already have a tool that works just the way I want it to, I want to have it work with Moodle.’ They were also making a value statement about the big vision of and for Sakai and disliked what seemed to be having to choose between software platforms when what they really wanted to see was a direction that was one notch higher. Third, they wanted to be sure that UCLA was going to stay in synch with what their UC sister campuses and with what other peers (institutions and colleagues) were doing today and would be developing into the future. They rejected the notion that choosing Moodle was walking over a draw-bridge onto a Moodle-only island. The communities to whom we will be able to contribute is a tough question at this point in the process. At the moment, we have a lot to do just to implement our first tier of shared service and getting all the existing functionality working at least as well as it does in our current installations.

Yes, I would hope that we and others can work on practical bridging strategies between Moodle and Sakai and other open-source and proprietary platforms. A lot of good work is being done already to support that vision. We look forward to contributing to that work as we have the expertise and resources to make a contribution.

5. ken udas - march 16th, 2007 at 4:57 am

Ruth, thank you for this. I understand the challenge of not only representing a group decision, but articulating the rationale for one this complex. I am going to take a stab at this also, and if I get it wrong, I welcome input from others who were involved. I made reference, in the second part of this interview, some activities at SUNY that relate to our attempt at selecting a technology platform to support learning. I think that we were trying to address similar issues that the FCET was at UCLA, but we develop a solution that was rejected internally.

If this is a topic of interest it might be worth referencing two sources. The more palatable of the two is an interview with Pat Masson on “JISC eLearning Forum” titled Developing an SOA at SUNY; Lessons learned, which can be found at (External Link) . The second source is a little more dense and would require teasing out the relevant points. It is the Technology Strategy Report that was released as part of SLN’s Request for Public Comment process. The report can be found at: (External Link) .

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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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