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Hi all,


Any initial thoughts on the Pearson/Google announcement about their new LMS?  Anyone had a chance to test drive it yet?




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Repurposing some random thoughts I posted on the Chronicle, earlier this morning (pardon de obvious on this list)...

This is indeed a very interesting development, but way too early to tell. Need in-depth details, public and open details. Ask me again in 2013 -- a smooth, well-planned and well-executed learning management system migration takes at least two years to complete anyway.

Below are some early comments and questions I have on OpenClass, randomly listed, in no particular order:

010 what new teaching and learning opportunities will OpenClass provide me as an instructor?

020 how pedagogically sound are OpenClass' modern tools for class communication, collaboration and social learning?

030 what granular customization controls will the institution, the faculty and the OpenClass end-user have to configure it as a campus-wide service, giving instructors and end-users ample room for personalization, sharing and opennes, while preserving student privacy, intellectual property, copyright and institutional policies?

040 free-hosting sounds great, ...but at what price? what sorts of idiosyncrasies and limitations will this cloud-based LMS have?

045 where is openClass' service level agreement? 

committing to a campus-wide LMS is serious business :: we cannot have a flaky free puppy that is unreliable and interrupts instruction. Unlike email, calendaring and other commodity services, Teaching & Learning is like a moving cargo train that does not stop, it cannot be stopped or derailed. a train that has a schedule set years in advance and one that students and teachers must depend on it at any and every single minute of time, week after week, semester after semester. there cannot be outages, storage or file limits, lethargic performance, lost assignments, grades, etc. the LMS needs to be *flawless*.

050 do we have backend access to our institutional OpenClass system and data?

060 will Pearson provide independent instances of OpenClass for each college and university? Joined tenancy SaaS are absurd, even when free. we need a private cloud.

070 our institutions must retain full say on how and when our LMS is upgraded and outfitted with new features and services (or not). will we have full SysAdmin control?

080 what IMS and other open standards does OpenClass support? we would need to easily ingest years worth of LMS course sites and educational materials. 

090 we would also need an exit strategy, and be able to take our stuff with us should OpenClass become inadequate for us. Again, suppport for IMS open standards are key.

100 Seamless out-of-the-box OpenClass integration with Google Apps is great, but that's already possible with Blackboard Learn and the free open-source Bboogle add-on from Northwestern, ...and Blackboard Learn itself is slated to have built-in Google Apps integration in 2012. In any event, I'd like to see how intelligent this OpenClass GAE integration is.

110 what other key integrations are there? Blackboard Learn gives us a rather mature set of free, commercial, open-source, and built-in integration and add-ons that extent the Blackboard Learn teaching and learning environment. Third-party tools and integrations like plaigiarism detection, voice tools, web conferencing systems, PhotoRosters, lecture capture systems, multiple publisher connections (not just Pearson), video distribution systems (like ShareStream and Kaltura, i.e. not just YouTube), text messaging systems, student response systems, personal learning networks, electronic portfolio systems, tutoring systems, student retention software, ad nauseum. 

Hundreds of LMS extensions, a smorgasboard of extensions. Many of these are also available for Desire2Learn, Moodle, Sakai and others. How can OpenClass be extended?

120 LMS mobile apps are too obvious to have, so we would assume OpenClass has them for all major mobile platforms: generic (but elegant and fluid) Mobile Web, iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile. 

hopefully, OpenClass mobile apps are feature-rich, not just for consuming content but for instructors and students alike to author, upload, post and submit all sorts of teaching and learning content, and carry out a plethora of student activities typical of today's quality face2face, blended and online learning programs.

130 what programmatic options do schools have to integrate OpenClass with our student information systems, portal systems, custom authentication systems, and other enterprise systems? 

we need access to all OpenClass technical documentation, user documentation, its cloud architecture and roadmap. we need this now.

140 we are very interested in the Open Education movement that is beginning to take root in Academia. what exactly does OpenClass provides for this endeavor?

Will all these and many other questions be answered next week at the annual Educause conference? If not next week, I hope soon thereafter.

Greetings from Chicago.

Ed Garay            
Assistant Director for Academic Computing
Director, UIC Instructional Technology Lab
University of Illinois at Chicago

ITL Blog:

** Ubiquitous Learning :: teaching and learning (while on the go) anytime, anywhere...

{{ Sent from a mourning iPad }}

It will be interesting to see how much of eCollege is included within OpenClass – many people forget that Pearson owns eCollege, giving them access to some interesting mature code….


Anyone heard of any special sessions at Educause next week by Pearson?  Could be fun to sit in on that type of meeting and learn more than we got in the press briefing packet! 8-)



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Adrian Sannier will be giving a session:

Corporate Session: “New Beginnings”

            Wednesday, Oct. 19 3:30 – 4:20pm

            Meeting Room 104 A/B

            Featuring Pearson’s Adrian Sannier


We also have 2 OpenClass demos happening in the Pearson booth.



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Also, the two 45-minute Pearson demos I spotted on the Google booth schedule now makes sense. 
--- Ed

Wednesday, October 19

Where: Exhibit Hall Booth 1641

9:45am - 5:00pm - Fireside Chats:

  • 9:45am - 10:30am : App Inventor
  • 11am - 11:30am : Security
  • 12:00pm - 12:45pm : SlideRocket
  • 1:00pm - 1:45pm : Google+
  • 2pm - 2:45pm : Pearson
  • 3:00pm - 3:45pm : Chrome
  • 4:15pm - 5:00pm : Deploying Google Apps for Faculty & Staff

Thursday, October 20

Where: Exhibit Hall Booth 1641

9:30am - 4:15pm - Fireside Chats:

  • 9:45am - 10:30am : Accessibility
  • 11:30am - 12:15pm : Google+
  • 12:15pm - 1:00pm : Chrome
  • 1:15pm - 2:00pm : Pearson
  • 2:15pm - 3:00pm : App Inventor
  • 3:30pm - 4:15pm : Deploying Google Apps for Faculty & Staff

--- Ed Garay  
Assistant Director for Academic Computing
University of Illinois at Chicago
Academic Computing and Communications Center
Director, UIC Instructional Technology Lab

** Ubiquitous Learning :: teaching and learning (while on the go) anytime, anywhere...

{{ Sent from a mourning iPhone :: sorry for typos, mine or iPhone-induced }}