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I agree that it would take a lot of time, and that teachers are already very busy, but ultimately I think the current alternative is worse. If student are mostly just memorising for automated tests, and then forgetting almost everything they memorised soon after the test, then the educational process is not achieving much real learning anyway. Given this, I think we could change our educational processes to focus on less content delivery (and hence less fact testing), and spend more time on the types of learning outlined above.

I hasten to add that I’m not advocating content-free education - far from it - it is only through a rich engagement with real content, real events, real discoveries, that the broader types of learning will come alive and be retained by students. But by changing assessment practices, and giving much more time to this element of education, we change the way that students learn (and the way teachers teach), and may have a better chance at achieving these broader types of learning.

While Learning Design could help with more authentic learning and assessment tasks, it could also help with educators’ lack of time. Instead of the inefficiencies of each educator around the world re-inventing the wheel for commonly taught topics, the re-use of existing “good practice” Learning Designs could reduce preparation times, and hence free educators to spend more time on authentic and individualised assessment.

I believe this is a dream worth fighting for, and I sense I’m not alone.

14. ken udas - may 24th, 2007 at 5:11 pm

James, thanks again for your thorough response. Am with you on the deficits of automated testing and with you on the potential of not having to reinvent new Learning Designs and content. Following from a number of earlier discussion it seems that building an economy of open educational resources is predicated on ability to easily localize content, which I think points to having a ubiquitous and reliable “run-time” environment.

James, I know that you have been investing a lot of time in this posting, and I very much appreciate it. I have another quick question that I think relates to the development of a strong community supporting the development and use of “Open Source Teaching” resources. How much complexity would having a collaborative authoring environment create? In Kim Tucker’s recent posting, we talked a bit about Commons-Based Peer Production (CBPP), which seemed to me to be a rather important notion. Do you have any thoughts about CBPP, that is, have you seen evidence of it practically in the development of Learning Designs, or is it just a good idea, but not very practical. Finally, what would have to be done in LAMS to support group development?

15. james dalziel – may 28th, 2007 at 5:06 am

Ken, Regarding Commons-Based Peer Production, I think Learning Design in general, and LAMS in particular, are very much in keeping with this idea. From one perspective, the whole point of Learning Design is to try to capture the educational processes we use in online courses so that these can be made explicit, and then shared, localised and adapted. This is compared to the usual alternative which is that an instructor does some innovative things in their Course Management System in connecting content resources to forums and other tools to foster collaborative student learning, but then at the end of the course there is no easily shared “thing” that represents this structuring of links between content, forums, etc.

So having made the educational process shareable, Learning Design supports different kinds of peer production. It could be a course team within a single institution where different individual s with different skills (content expert, learning designer, graphic artist, etc) work together to create online courses. These may never be shared with the wider world, but by making the elements shareable, collaborative development is made easier. LAMS has always supported this through both export of Learning Design files, as well as authors being part of “shared” areas with others on the same server. In LAMS V2, we now support multiple shared areas, so different teams of course developers can work together, each with in their own shared “space”.

In other cases, the focus may be more “global”, in the sense that individual educators share resources with the world in the hope that others will be able to use, adapt and improve these resources, but without this being part of any specific local team effort. I think this more global approach will usually require open content licenses to work (as it is difficult to harness the collective development effort without clear freedoms to use and adapt), whereas this not necessarily a requirement (although still desirable!) for local team production.

The LAMS Community is an example of this second kind of “global” sharing. As at 28th May 2007, we have 2262 users sharing 190 sequences which have been downloaded 5377 times - so this illustrates the Commons-Based Peer Production model applied to Learning Design. It is modest in scale compared to some other initiatives, but nonetheless it provides a first indication of the potential of CBPP applied to Learning Design.

One surprise (for me) from the history of the LAMS Community to date is that we haven’t yet seen much direct adaptation and sharing back - most sequences are new contributions, rather than modifications of existing sequences. This may be just part of an evolutionary process (perhaps we need a large body of original work before adaptation becomes common), but when I’ve talked to educators about this issue, many have noted that they like reviewing other people’s sequences for ideas and tips, but that they tend to start a fresh sequence that is *informed* by their review of other sequences, rather than direct adaptation. I’ve experienced this myself.

If this proves to be a persistent issue, it might limit the potential benefits of using open source style development processes to improve the quality of Learning Design through peer collaboration. This will be worth watching closely over the coming years.

For a more detailed article about the rationale for the development of the LAMS Community, and some reflections on experiences to date, see

(External Link)&attachment_id=311750

16. ken udas - may 28th, 2007 at 8:53 am

James, Simon, Wayne, and all others who are following along - thank you very much your thoughtful post and follow-up comments. This, and a number of other posts have me thinking about some of the similarities and differences between open source software and open educational resources relative to the creation and distribution of intellectual information products, and the organization and effort it takes to sustain an open community-based endeavor of this nature. I think that the notion of Open Source Teaching provides an interesting perspective. In the near future, I would like to tease some of this out in terms of commons-based peer production.

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
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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