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Some projects that claim to provide IMS LD systems, but which I haven’t seen, include:

So only 2 Learning Design systems that I know of come from the US (WISE and parts of SLN 1).

From a different angle, if you run various searches (Google, research articles) for “Learning Design” you will notice how often the articles come from countries other than the US.

Perhaps the problem is that there are systems in the US that would meet the (narrow) criteria for Learning Design, but they are not yet widely known. If so, I’d love to hear more about them. But I’ve been in this area long enough to know that many people think their software supports Learning Design (defined narrowly) when in reality it doesn’t - so here are my rough criteria:

  • Must support creation of a shareable Learning Design file that other teachers can use to run the Learning Design on a different server (preferably without needing system administrator experience) (NB: A course backup file doesn’t count in my books, but even this would be a step in the right direction) AN
  • Must support collaborative activities within the design, not just content and quiz (preferably the collaborative environments are automatically instantiated for you when you run the Learning Design, but some hand creation would be okay)
  • I think that captures the essence of Learning Design, although if some examples illustrate that I’ve missed something, I’ll post any additional requirements in follow-up posts.

Are there US systems out there we haven’t heard of, or does the mystery continue?

9. ken udas - may 23rd, 2007 at 4:50 am

James, thanks again for your very thoughtful response. I too would be interested in extending the list of Learning Design software that you provide in the above comment, from the US or elsewhere.

Although much of your treatment of “Open Source Learning” in your original post was about licensing of Learning Designs, meeting the technical characteristics that you identified in your last comment is of significant importance. What about the role of open standards, so Learning Designs can be easily run across run-time environments? Is this also a critical factor in establishing a vibrant community that supports “Open Source Learning?”

I assume too that not only are you wondering about why more Learning Design software projects have not been initiated in the US, but why more US universities or educators have not adopted the practice of deploying Learning Design Software and using Learning Designs.

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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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