|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Open source software more suitable for Oxford
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Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 13:05:38 -0500
From: Ruben Safir
Subject: Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Open source software more suitable for Oxford
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Can we download this and test it?
On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 09:30:39AM -0500, einker wrote:
> Education IT, Technology Open source software more suitable for Oxford
> By Xinghui Guo | 29 November 2010
> Open source software is more attractive and better suited to traditional
> education needs, the IT head of Oxford University has said.
> According to Director of Computing Systems & Services at Oxford University,
> Stuart Lee, using open source allows the university flexibility to modify
> software and make it more applicable to the Oxford style.
> ?When we were looking at Virtual Learning Environments (VLE), commercial
> VLEs, like BlackBoard, just to name one, didn?t understand that students
> want to move around the university and look at different areas of interests.
> ?And when we explained the Oxford learning experience to them, it completely
> threw them off so we went with open source product instead,? said Lee.
> The Oxford learning experience, as Lee put it, is when students have a short
> eight-week term with a crowded timetable, but are still keen to attend any
> lecture they want if it interests them?and that is why the ability to
> capture lectures is very important for the university.
> Lee told audiences at the recent FutureCampus event in Kuala Lumpur: ?We
> have to develop our own systems off the shelf for things like tutorial
> recording. No one is going to be making a product for that because it is
> really only Oxford and Cambridge who do it.?
> With open source products in hand and service-oriented architecture to boot,
> the university is able to ?take one bit in and one bit out?, he said.
> The technology that supports the campus can then be customised to enhance
> the ?immersive learning experience??letting students manage their time and
> material, moving around campus and using all kinds of technologies
> they want.
> The VLE that Oxford uses is called Sakai. Used to support the intimate
> face-to-face teaching that Oxford is known for, Sakai is an archive of
> materials for students to read.
> Said Melissa Highton, Head of Learning Technologies Group at Oxford
> University: ?When a student goes to a lecturer?s Sakai, they have links to
> the tutor?s lectures, researches, reading list recommendations and things in
> the library that the tutor thinks students should look at.
> ?Even if they can?t find the tutor, students still have access to all the
> materials and recommendations.
> Lee said that customising a technology is not easy to do when you buy ?a
> monolithic solution? like Blackboard.
> Apart from customising, another benefit of open source is that it supports
> open learning materials. Using Sakai means the university is not tied down
> by a license.
> Lee said: ?If we suddenly want to open up a big area of our Sakai VLE, we
> don?t have to renegotiate a license with the vendor.
> ?In this way, we can break down international silos in education. We can
> open up our VLE to anyone in any country.?
> Evan M. Inker