Week 5 and 6 Recap

For Guide to Everything eLearning.

Some trends emerged from some recent work that I wanted to share in totality.  Also, be sure to look back on the comments on your journals (I’m still working on them for this week.)  Make sure to read the feedback in the rubrics that are attached to your gradebook items.  And let me know what you need!  Always available via email or text.  Or Google hangout!

Word to the wise – if you did not cite something in an assignment, I’m sending it back to you to cite before I grade it.  This is a core expectation of graduate level work.  You would not submit a paper that had no citations, or only cited a handful of the components of the content addressed. 


One of the things that popped up several times was the complexity of integrations between college systems.  A current trend in higher ed tech right now is looking at implementing something called “middleware,” which is basically a central hub of integration.  All the applications and platforms would integrate into the middleware, which then would integrate into all others.  The data can be stored where it’s preferred (sometimes a data lake, etc.)  This enables technology systems to be switched out more easily, in a plug and play manner.

On Use of Big Data

For those of you who expressed concerns about security and privacy in the use of Big Data in education, I have good news and bad news.  The bad news is, there really is no privacy here.  Apparently that’s true of the internet at large, but also for institutions looking to target students for interventions, improve persistence, etc.  But what’s to keep institutions from putting learners in a box?  What if a learner doesn’t need interventions?  Or an unidentified learner does?  If it makes you nervous, feel better knowing that very few institutions a) do this, or b) if they do it, do it well.  Amazon is far more likely to predict something you’d like to buy, or even Netflix something you’d like to watch.

LMSs:  Distinguishing Characteristics –

Though Canvas is technically open source, the vast (vast!) majority of institutions that use it have Canvas host it because of their SaaS and continuous delivery model.  Canvas does benefit, however, from the large number of developers at universities who contribute back to the code.  Pretty smart model from their perspective (saves on development costs -LOL!)

Some of the descriptions of the different LMSs were a little overly optimistic about their functionality.  This is likely due to the fact that most folks were referencing the sites of the LMS companies for information about the LMS companies.  Which provides a rather rosy-colored view of themJ

It’s also important to note that some of the significant functionality listed as part of the various systems are optional, and therefore not a part of the base product.



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