The last in this trilogy of posts…
Several things occurred to me when playing with Stringle yesterday. I’ll try to elucidate them here:
Course design – increasingly I feel that writing course resources is a redundant activity. I think course design will move towards creating activities around as yet unknown content. For instance, we added in a feed for any content that is tagged elearning and evolution. Now it’s a reasonable bet that this will contain some decent (and not so decent material). But it helps future-proof the course. I don’t think you could quite rely on such resources but the ratio of educator derived material to external resources is surely going to decrease.
Why does HE develop tools – I know, I’ve commented on this before, but looking at the range of tools that are just out there, and the ease with which you can pull them in to a system made me wonder it all over again. I would like to propose Weller’s rule of educational software development which goes something like ‘if an educational establishment wants to develop a tool then by the time it has reached the functional requirements stage a better one will be freely available’. Allright, it’s not a snappy one, but you get the idea.
PLEs are possible – I’ve been a bit of a critic of PLEs, partly because they seemed obsessed with clients and partly because they underestimated some of the challenges I felt. But I can see how a mid-ground between the ‘it’s all down to the user’ and ‘central control’ models could be found, by providing default tools, and allowing users to pull in their preferred ones if they wish.
Openness is the new king – if the struggle to get Vista shipped hadn’t convinced me that the proprietary model of software development was dead, then this has. I kept thinking of the time I had spent getting a course ready for the UK e-university, who spent somewhere between 10 and 18 million pounds on developing a VLE. It wasn’t very good. Imagine what you could do with something like a Stringle approach for a tenth (even a hundredth) of that money.
Anyway that’s enough on Stringle.