Posts Tagged ‘CMS’

I’m sitting at work late, prepping for several upcoming meetings and presentations so thought I’d post a set of slides on my predictions for what the future IMS, CMS, eLMS will look like for higher ed.  Those are all fairly interchangeable acronyms and stand for (in order): instructional management system, course management system, and elearning management system.

The Future IMS for Higher Education by Lesley Blicker (Nov 2008)


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Second Life may be the only virtual reality product we’re seeing being used by some early adoptors in higher education, but from where I sit, it won’t be too long before other virtual world (game) engines become more ubiquitous. I can’t imagine that the current developers, Open Source or otherwise, won’t be leapfrogging each other within another two years. SUN Microsystems and the Croquet Project are two such serious contenders. And as of today, “Rumors abound that Google is developing online ‘virtual world’,” per the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Gaming engines are intended to more easily put in the hands of experimenting faculty, the ability to create their own scenarios, virtual spaces, and collaborative communities without being gaming programmers. Before the appearance of Second Life, these imagineers had to contract with game developers to create MUVEs (multi-player virtual environments). As facts, figures, or assumptions change, the MUVEs risk being outdated or placed the chopping block for an infusion of current data. Harvard University’s River City or Indiana University’s QuestAtlantis are two such examples of excellently created MUVEs, but created at the hands of expert gaming developers. 

With game engine software licenses, faculty may have to spend a goodly amount of time (presently, anyway) learning how to create an Avatar, building objects or assets, or learning how to teleport, but the control is in the hands of those instructors excited to see how well these worlds meaningfully engage their learners. 

What follows are my bookmarked YouTube videos showing various uses of virtual realities. I want to stay vendor-agnostic, so please do not consider these plugs for any particular software.

If you have other examples of good videos on 3D immerisive learning environments for education, please submit a comment to this post (instructors, teachers, campus or school administrators only, please). 


This video (Octboer 2006) is a fascinating virtual press conference held by SUN Microsystems within Second Life. 3 1/2 minutes


The second video from SUN Microsystems, provides some first looks at their virtual world application, Project Wonderland, where distributed teams can create spaces to solve real-world problems, share documents, and collaborate as needed. Open Source, based on Darkstar game server, uses JAVA code  ~10 minutes


This is a very popular video that came out 2/15/07 on Ohio University’s Second Life Campus. 2 1/2 minutes


A Croquet software demo (August 2007) 5 minutes

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Here are some quick resources regarding the patent infringement suit filed by Blackboard against D2L in the summer of 2006. Most recent info on top.

September 19, 2007 eSchool News:  Online-learning patent dispute heats up (“Despite recent developments in the case, Blackboard’s suit of rival Desire2Learn is likely to drag on quite a while, experts say”)

Desire2Learn Patent-Info Blog

The Nose: Information Technology in Higher Education Blog: Al Essa’s blog posts on the patent suit

November 30, 2006 patent suit article involving the Software Freedom Law Center who filed a re-examination request on behalf of three open source learning management systems: Sakai, Moodle and ATutor

Even the BBC News picked up the original patent suit story, August 2006, Patent battle over teaching tools

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Great Video by Scott Leslie (The Future CMS): http://www.edtechpost.ca/gems/TheFutureCMS3.htm

I’ve pointed out this video to many of my Minnesota colleagues, but if you haven’t seen it, it’s one of the best analyses of the current and likely future state of enterprise course management systems. It was created by Scott Leslie, in November 2006. Scott is the Manager of the University of British Columbia’s Campus Learning Resources Centre. The video is 18 minutes long and extremely well worth the time if you play a role in assessing the future direction of CMS’ for your college or university.

In it, Scott says that some people say the first generation of course management systems got off to a false start; that they have rendered, in a somewhat one-dimensional way, a replication of the classroom. He continues, they are monolithic, closed systems that don’t play well with others.

Contrast this with some of the Web 2.0 tools and the emergence of ILEs (immersive learning environments) where students are creators of their learning content, rendering solutions in problem-based learning environments. I happen to agree with Scott, even though I beleive we’ve had great successes with our learning management systems thus far. We don’t yet know what we don’t know, and to the extent that they have provided an avenue for Web-based learning to occur, I’m all for that. But I also know we’re on the verge of big change in the next 3-5 years.

Whatever version of CMS we have gotten used to, don’t get too attached. I will continue to offer thoughts about what changes are ahead, over time.

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