Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Jon Mott: Bridging the Gap Between the PLE and the LMS

Back in August 2009, Jon Mott gave this presentation at OpenEd 2009. He reports on their work at BYU to create a new learning environment based on PLE principles.

I strongly encourage anyone interested in the future of the CMS/LMS to watch this presentation. I took away the following points:

1. PLE values (student-centric, openness) more closely match the values of the institution than do the values of the CMS

2. Lack of continuity for the learners from semester to semester exists in the current CMS. We typically turn off access to course sites at the end of the course. It’s the “chief demerit of the course management system” Mott says.

3. Stand-alone gradebook. This is a highly important progression in the future of the course management system. Integration with various systems will be key, but de-coupling this critical tool is the first step.

4. Get rid of the dropbox? He says that instructors can now tell students, “Don’t upload your paper, just give me the URL for where your paper lives on the web”. Furthermore, he says, "Maybe one of the requirements for being digitally literate in 2009 is being able to publish a web viewable document”. Bingo. How many institutions offer easy ways for students to publish on the web? However, I do know that many instructors value the ability to zip and download all the submitted papers for an assignment in order to more efficiently read and grade (likely after printing!) — something the digital dropbox currently offers.

Good stuff! I’ll be following Jon Mott and his work at BYU more closely these days. Some of my colleagues saw him speak at ELI 2010 recently and posted their summary and comments here.

1 comment:

doug said...

Thanks for the link, Jeff.

I really like Mott's vision for the road ahead. I agree that de-coupling the gradebook is an amazingly liberating first step.

Regarding the zip-and-go features of the current dropboxes, it seems that this would be a possible feature in Mott's stand-alone gradebook. I took from his talk that the gradebook is able to go out to the URL that the student submits, grab what it finds, and bring it back to the gradebook.

This would allow instructors to keep (and perhaps improve on) their current dropbox-based workflows.

Contingent here, are flexible-permissions web-publishing tools that are as easy or easier than the dropbox.

Good stuff!