what could work to build a free online university

1 Jun 2008 - 3:19pm
6 years ago
11 replies
863 reads
stauciuc
2006

Hi all,

I could use some ideas of technical solutions that could be used to build a
free online university. It's not that I want to choose the technology first,
it's just that I would like to know my options.
For example, I was thinking that one wiki might be used to create and manage
each course? Would a CMS work? What about testing student's knowledge - any
available solutions? A forum (or what?) to build community and manage user
accounts? Could different such systems be bound together seamlessly? Is
there one big system that could be adjusted to do it all?

I am a volunteering 'web designer' for such an online free university, and
the current website is horrible - wasting many volunteers' time and
patience. I want to plead for a whole new system, built from the ground up,
but the development resources are quite scarce (it's all volunteer-based). I
want to be able to approximate the amount of effort that will be needed
overall, so that I know what kind of resources I'm asking for.

Any ideas are highly appreciated!
Other advice would be useful as well!

Sebi
--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/

Comments

1 Jun 2008 - 3:47pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

On Jun 1, 2008, at 4:19 PM, Sebi Tauciuc wrote:

> What about testing student's knowledge - any
> available solutions?

Sebi,

I'm no expert on the subject, but you should be looking into an LMS—
Learning Management System. You'll probably want an authoring
language, such as SCORM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCORM

Best,
Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

My goal is to build elegant products.
The products that don't make people think
when they should be doing,
make people think
when they should be learning,
compel them by relating to them,
and simply work.

- Robert Hoekman, Jr.

1 Jun 2008 - 4:14pm
Steven Webster
2008

Disclosure ­ I work for Adobe Consulting.

But you might want to check out Adobe Connect;
http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobatconnectpro/

More specifically, you might want to consider Acrobat Connect Pro for
Virtual Classrooms, by taking a look at this URL:
http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobatconnectpro/elearning/virtualclassroom.h
tml

Connect allows you to create lessons, classrooms, conduct seminars, manage
and track learner progress, record sessions, have breakout rooms, and deploy
within a SCORM compliant learning management system (LMS):
http://www.adobe.com/resources/breeze/presenter/articles/output_scorm.html

With Connect, you can also easily create quizzes and assessment ­ we sip our
own champagne and use this for many of our own internal assessments.

Hope this helps,

Steven

Steven Webster
Technical Director
Adobe Consulting
e: swebster at adobe.com
t: +44 (0) 7917 428 947
Adobe Systems Europe Limited | Registered office: 151 St. Vincent Street,
Glasgow G2 5NJ | Company No. SC101089

On 01/06/2008 21:19, "Sebi Tauciuc" <stauciuc at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I could use some ideas of technical solutions that could be used to build a
> free online university. It's not that I want to choose the technology first,
> it's just that I would like to know my options.
> For example, I was thinking that one wiki might be used to create and manage
> each course? Would a CMS work? What about testing student's knowledge - any
> available solutions? A forum (or what?) to build community and manage user
> accounts? Could different such systems be bound together seamlessly? Is
> there one big system that could be adjusted to do it all?
>
> I am a volunteering 'web designer' for such an online free university, and
> the current website is horrible - wasting many volunteers' time and
> patience. I want to plead for a whole new system, built from the ground up,
> but the development resources are quite scarce (it's all volunteer-based). I
> want to be able to approximate the amount of effort that will be needed
> overall, so that I know what kind of resources I'm asking for.
>
> Any ideas are highly appreciated!
> Other advice would be useful as well!
>
> Sebi
> --
> Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
> http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

1 Jun 2008 - 6:26pm
Szymon Błaszczyk
2008

On Sun, Jun 1, 2008 at 10:19 PM, Sebi Tauciuc <stauciuc at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I could use some ideas of technical solutions that could be used to build a
> free online university. It's not that I want to choose the technology first,
> it's just that I would like to know my options.

Look at http://cnx.org/ (it's based on http://plone.org/)
It's "raising star" in open education movement, but I haven't seen
facts and my knowledge of CNX is... limited. It's not a recommendation
- just a hint.

> For example, I was thinking that one wiki might be used

Wiki is an idea. There are many implementations of this idea. What do
You think when You say "wiki"? MediaWiki
(http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki)?

MediaWiki is developed to support Wikipedia and for many reasons it's
not the best choice for other projects. Wolne Podręczniki (Free
Schoolbooks http://wolnepodreczniki.pl/) project in Poland learned
that lesson painfully.

Projects based on MediaWiki like Wiki Educator
(http://www.wikieducator.org/) have to deal with poorly designed
interface by creating additional roles in the community (like wiki
neighbours and wiki ambassadors) . Can You afford it?

Wiki is a tricky business. You have to dig deeper than keywords.

--
Szymon Błaszczyk
+48 609 649 819
http://2ia.pl | http://blaszczyk.name | http://przypadki.pl

2 Jun 2008 - 1:14am
stauciuc
2006

Yes, probably we do want to go the open source route. I started looking at
Moodle a bit, and it shows much more promise than what we currently have.

Now I've started looking at several such LMSs (Learning Management Systems)
and LCMSs (Learning Content Management Systems) - thanks for the hint Jack!
- and it would probably help to hear about experiences people have had with
some of them.

I'll also look at Plone (I don't think I have yet) - thanks Szymon!

Thanks all for the suggestions so far!

Sebi

On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 3:14 AM, Josh Weihnacht <joshwhynot at inputpattern.com>
wrote:

> If you want to go the open source route (and since this is volunteer based
> it sounds like you might), there is Moodle:
> http://moodle.org/
>
> I should say that I've only encountered a system that used it once and it
> wasn't especially successful from a usability point of view. Though I
> haven't explored Moodle enough to know how much of that was due to Moodle,
> how much was due to the team developing the system and how much was due to a
> general mismatch between Moodle and what they were trying to do with it.
>
> best
> josh
>
>
>

--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/

2 Jun 2008 - 1:20am
stauciuc
2006

On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 2:26 AM, Szymon Blaszczyk <szymonblaszczyk at gmail.com>
wrote:

>
>
> Wiki is an idea. There are many implementations of this idea. What do
> You think when You say "wiki"? MediaWiki
> (http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki)?
>
> MediaWiki is developed to support Wikipedia and for many reasons it's
> not the best choice for other projects. Wolne Podręczniki (Free
> Schoolbooks http://wolnepodreczniki.pl/) project in Poland learned
> that lesson painfully.
>
> Wiki is a tricky business. You have to dig deeper than keywords.
>

I guess I was just shooting in the dark with the wiki idea. It seems like
that are systems developed specifically for what we need, so no point in
trying to force wikis into the picture when there's no need for them.

Sebi

>
> --
> Szymon Błaszczyk
> +48 609 649 819
> http://2ia.pl | http://blaszczyk.name | http://przypadki.pl
>

--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/

2 Jun 2008 - 5:57am
whitneyq
2010

Have you looked MIT's Open Courseware or OpenLearn in the UK?
--
Whitney Quesenbery
www.wqusability.com

Storytelling for User Experience Design
www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/storytelling

2 Jun 2008 - 9:46am
joannawiebe
2008

Sebi,

The best solution for building online university courses, in my opinion,
is Moodle -- http://moodle.org. I have used it to build and take many
courses. The information below is current as of March 2008.

* Moodle is a free, open source Learning Management System (LMS)
integrated with forums, resources, wikis and more.

* Can be integrated with third party reporting tool, LCMS and much more.

* Runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OS-X.

* It's compatible with a huge range of databases through ADODB
integration.

* There's a whole host of authentication and enrolment mechanisms,
including LDAP.

* Moodle will allow teachers to integrate content in a range of
different formats, including SCORM, Flash, MP3s and RSS feeds. O

* n the Roadmap for future releases is a Web API which will allow easy
integration with other web-based applications.

* Highly configurable and extensible. Runs in any browser. Third party
hosting available.

* 2007 install base 25,281

* 2007 users 10.5 million

* Up to 200,000 users per implementation. Mostly academic and
governmental implementations, but has largest market share in small
industry LMS's

* 142 countries and 61 languages

Joanna Wiebe
Information Architect

Orbitz for Business
Orbitz Worldwide
500 W. Madison
Suite 1000
Chicago, Il 60661

t: 312-260-8274
f: 312-894-5001
joanna.wiebe at orbitz.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Sebi Tauciuc [mailto:stauciuc at gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, June 01, 2008 3:19 PM
To: ixdadiscuss
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] what could work to build a free online
university

Hi all,

I could use some ideas of technical solutions that could be used to
build a
free online university. It's not that I want to choose the technology
first,
it's just that I would like to know my options.
For example, I was thinking that one wiki might be used to create and
manage
each course? Would a CMS work? What about testing student's knowledge -
any
available solutions? A forum (or what?) to build community and manage
user
accounts? Could different such systems be bound together seamlessly? Is
there one big system that could be adjusted to do it all?

I am a volunteering 'web designer' for such an online free university,
and
the current website is horrible - wasting many volunteers' time and
patience. I want to plead for a whole new system, built from the ground
up,
but the development resources are quite scarce (it's all
volunteer-based). I
want to be able to approximate the amount of effort that will be needed
overall, so that I know what kind of resources I'm asking for.

Any ideas are highly appreciated!
Other advice would be useful as well!

Sebi
--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/

2 Jun 2008 - 9:53am
Itamar Medeiros
2006

I'd have to agree with Joana: I've worked in several different
distance learning platform (including heavy-weights like Blackboard),
and -- so far -- moodle scores pretty high on cost-benefit.

Check out some resources at:
http://www-writing.berkeley.edu/TESL-EJ/ej30/m2.html

{ Itamar Medeiros } Information Designer
http://designative.info/
http://www.autodesk.com/

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=29690

2 Jun 2008 - 11:47am
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> My goal is to build elegant products.
> The products that don't make people think
> when they should be doing,
> make people think
> when they should be learning,
> compel them by relating to them,
> and simply work.
>
> - Robert Hoekman, Jr.
>

Jack—thanks for including me in your email signature, but I didn't say this.
Josh Viney did<http://ixda.org/discuss.php?post=13717&search=Simplicity+is+Not+Understood>.
:)

-r-

2 Jun 2008 - 12:39pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

Oops! Right you are, sir. Thank you for that correction. I must have
gotten my Quote Levels crossed somewhere. It's fixed now.

Best,
Jack

>
> Jack—thanks for including me in your email signature, but I didn't
> say this. Josh Viney did. :)
>
> -r-

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

Questions about whether design
is necessary or affordable
are quite beside the point:
design is inevitable.

The alternative to good design
is bad design, not no design at all.

- Douglas Martin

2 Jun 2008 - 1:06pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> Oops! Right you are, sir. Thank you for that correction. I must have gotten
> my Quote Levels crossed somewhere. It's fixed now.
>

No worries. Just didn't want to steal credit for Josh's wonderful quote.

-r-

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