I’m at the LAMS European Conference in Cadiz, where we’re presenting some of the
work from the OU Learning Design project. Grainne gave a keynote on Thursday
morning, along with Stephen Downes. Simon and Andrew presented their work in
the afternoon, and I got co-opted (read press-ganged) onto the panel at the
Stephen was talking about he made an Audacity recording of
his presentation, and that constituted a learning object in his view, although
it wouldn’t meet many of the strict definitions of one. Grainne was talking
about our Cloudworks project (loosely based on the Flickr for learning design
concept) and the importance of adding in the social factor to encourage
educators to share. Listening to Stephen and Grainne talk one thing struck me –
education often seems very bad at solving some of these problems. For instance,
learning object repositories haven’t been a resounding success despite being
such a plainly good idea. And yet Slideshare is very successful and could be
thought of as a repository. So why did they succeed where many smart, dedicated
people in education failed? Here are my suggestions:
tend to see all possible problems and thus create an overly complex solution –
e.g. masses of metadata fields to cover every possible element of reuse.
don’t actually like sharing much when it comes to teaching, but Slideshare is
like sharing research.
of the projects have definite deadlines, and project milestones, etc. These can
get in the way of the flexible, lightweight development you need.
learning object repositories were too content-centric and didn’t utilise the
social motivation – people put stuff up on Slideshare partly for altruistic
reasons, but also because they get ego boosts from people favouriting, or
commenting on their presentations.
So the question this raised for me was ‘is there an
equivalent change we can do for learning design that happened for learning
objects?’. I’m hoping it’s Cloudworks, but it may yet be some smart start-up in
Photo story: In the conference bags the LAMS people gave
away a lamb in a can. My bag was devoid of this item, and I tweeted to this
effect (it could constitute my travel gift for my daughter). An international
incident of bodyline proportions was thus avoided when one was donated to me.