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Hi, Based on our experience with LON-CAPA, earlier this month we launched the CourseWeaver initiative, http://www.courseweaver.org/ We would like to keep this open instead of going the commercial route, but that needs partners, funding, etc. Since we have a lot of the pieces in place, we believe it will initially take five good programmers about three years to pull this off - probably around $3M in initial funding if this is supposed to stay in the university realm. As this is not a research project, the typical funding avenues like National Science Foundation, etc, are not an option. Then, of course, there is the small problem of longterm sustainability … is there really no other way than going commercial? Any ideas or feedback from this group would be welcome. Thanks, - Gerd. -- Gerd Kortemeyer, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Physics Education Director, LON-CAPA Project Michigan State University Currently on sabbatical: Massachusetts Institute of Technology http://www.lite.msu.edu/kortemeyer/ ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

Gerd:

I admit my own great ignorance that your email was the first time I became aware of LON-CAPA and CourseWeaver. Thank you for bringing all this very interesting work to my attention.

Looking at the goals of CourseWeaver, I notice substantial intersection with the goals of the Sakai Open Academic Environment (Sakai OAE) project and community (http://www.sakaiproject.org/welcome-sakai-oae).

Even if CourseWeaver and Sakai OAE were always to remain independent products and projects, I believe there could be substantial advantages for both our two communities through deeper collaboration and connection.

One possible pathway that may help with your ideas about CourseWeaver's sustainability is a new initiative between the Sakai and Jasig (http://jasig.org) communities, where we are working to combine our two communities to better support existing and new open educational projects. You can learn more about this process at the website for the new proposed, combined organization, Apereo Foundation (http://apereo.org).

Other projects attracted to the Apereo model are beginning to engage now by joining Jasig's existing project incubation process:

I'm happy to talk more about deeper collaboration with Sakai, and can connect you with Jasig folks also if there is interest.

--
Nate Angell
Sakai Product Manager
rSmart
http://www.rsmart.com
http://twitter.com/xolotl
http://xolotl.org


Gerd, I too admit, embarrassingly, I was not aware of either LON-CAPA and CourseWeaver. Unfortunately my ignorance seems to be growing at an ever increasing rate as I am continually finding out about new open projects: new OER consortium, expanded OCW initiatives and, like this open source course/learning/content management systems. I recently gave a presentation at the SUNY Conference of Instructional Technology and referenced over 40 open source LMS' (not including LON-CAPA/CourseWeaver). With such large adoption, apparently the questions over the feasibility of open source as a development methodology have been answered (i.e. can such an approach yield quality software that meets the needs of users). Indeed MIT has announced they plan to develop another open source platform to support the MITx (edX) initiative. However, I think we might now be up against a few viability questions, that is, are the user and development communities of these initiatives capable of sustained support? And, are there enough participants in, not just the open source community, but the sub-set of that community interested in online educational tools, to support multiple platforms? It looks like this might be the issue here: sustainability? How does one ensure the continuous support, development, promotion, etc. of an open source project? Interestingly, I am wondering if the best step forward for many of these projects are to merge. Nate offers an interesting option. That is, would it be possible to find a like minded, community and offer to contribute to, merge, absorb, combine, etc. the LON-CAPA and CourseWeaver projects? Looking at the information it looks like LON-CAPA is written in Perl, maybe reaching out to another educationally oriented project developed with Perl might be an option (I think these are built with Perl, not sure: OLAT, http://www.olat.org/website/en/html/index.html; eFront, efrontlearning.net; WebWork, http://webwork.maa.org/). Of course, you could try and extend out to another platform, like Sakai OAE as Nate mentioned. There might be some opportunities there. I suppose I am simply suggesting to build on what you are already doing, as stated in the collaboration page of Courseweaver (http://www.courseweaver.org/concept/collaboration/): No single instructor, no single institution, no single school district, and no single textbook publisher will be able to compete in the changing landscape of education. Fortunately, they don’t have to. At CourseWeaver, we are assembling a diverse group of collaborators and stakeholders to build the next generation of learning content management. How about including other LMS or open source educational communities as collaborators just like institutions, publishers, school districts, college systems, etc.? Nate mentioned Jasig, which has a long history within higher education, working with uPortal and CAS, and now possibly Sakai. This might be a way to introduce your project and leverage existing communities. As a Jasig Board member I would be happy to discuss this possibility or introduce you to others who might be able to offer further assistance. Best of luck, Patrick || |||| ||| || | | || ||| || ||| || | | ||| || ||| || Patrick Masson Chief Technology Officer, UMassOnline The University of Massachusetts, Office of the President 333 South St., Suite 400, Shrewsbury, MA 01545 (774) 455-7615: Office (774) 455-7620: Fax (970) 4MASSON: GoogleVoice UMOLPatMasson: AIM massonpj: Skype Web Site: http://www.umassonline.net Blog: http://www.umassonlineblog.com ________________________________________ From: The EDUCAUSE OPENNESS Constituent Group Listserv [OPENNESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Nate Angell [nangell@RSMART.COM] Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 4:53 PM To: OPENNESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [OPENNESS] CourseWeaver Initiative Gerd: I admit my own great ignorance that your email was the first time I became aware of LON-CAPA and CourseWeaver. Thank you for bringing all this very interesting work to my attention. Looking at the goals of CourseWeaver, I notice substantial intersection with the goals of the Sakai Open Academic Environment (Sakai OAE) project and community (http://www.sakaiproject.org/welcome-sakai-oae). Even if CourseWeaver and Sakai OAE were always to remain independent products and projects, I believe there could be substantial advantages for both our two communities through deeper collaboration and connection. One possible pathway that may help with your ideas about CourseWeaver's sustainability is a new initiative between the Sakai and Jasig (http://jasig.org) communities, where we are working to combine our two communities to better support existing and new open educational projects. You can learn more about this process at the website for the new proposed, combined organization, Apereo Foundation (http://apereo.org). Other projects attracted to the Apereo model are beginning to engage now by joining Jasig's existing project incubation process: http://www.jasig.org/jasig-project-incubation I'm happy to talk more about deeper collaboration with Sakai, and can connect you with Jasig folks also if there is interest. -- Nate Angell Sakai Product Manager rSmart http://www.rsmart.com http://twitter.com/xolotl http://xolotl.org
Patrick,
Gerd:

Reading your responses to Patrick Masson I keep noting how the weaknesses you point out for educator-led technology projects are in fact the strengths and focus of communities like Sakai and Jasig, that I believe are already highly practiced in addressing issues around sustainability, continuous technology development, and bringing together disparate agendas and needs to find common ground.

Based on my very new understanding of the goals and capabilities of LON-CAPA, I actually see a lot of room for overlap with various Sakai and Jasig projects, especially the Sakai Open Academic Environment (Sakai OAE) project, which has strengths in content creation and sharing, academic social networking, and integration. I would expect a very fruitful intersection between these communities rather than tension or a dilution of interests. We would welcome your 450,000 learning objects and 800 faculty authors with open arms! Sister communities like DuraSpace also come to mind.

I would also suggest that EDU CIO's who do not consider open/community-source solutions as viable alternatives are in the minority, given the wide variety of such technologies in active use across EDU and the vibrant commercial ecosystems in place to assist those that need help in developing, deploying, and/or maintaining them.

As you lay it out, LON-CAPA's needs and strengths seem a highly complimentary match for Sakai and Jasig's strengths and needs.

I would love to see this conversation continue!

= nate

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