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Friday, November 21 • 2:30pm - 3:00pm
ELMSLN: Open system design for open content production

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What if the reason everyone seems so anti-LMS is that they are not structured correctly? LMS design, as one large single system, is setup to fail the OER community. MOOCs are at least a push in the right direction, but their frameworks are often closed, discouraging open development. If we had truly open, community driven platform for the creation of educational resources, we might see more truly OER materials being created.

This is the position ELMS Learning Network (ELMSLN) takes in its approach to edtech design. ELMSLN takes the major functionality of an LMS and spreads it out across a suite of open source tools. The experience is glued together by single-sign-on technologies like LTI to enable the best system selection for the job without sacrificing user experience.

These tools a built on a framework that includes other open systems such as Drupal and Piwik. Piwik allows for a Google analytics style framework but open source and data is hosted with whoever is utilizing it. This can used both for tracking and general data about students, or for statistical analysis of how effective OER are in reaching different global audiences.

Drupal 7, is a highly flexible yet complex CMS used to power high scale development projects. While Drupal is traditionally difficult to work with, ELMSLN packages it up in such a way that's easy both for code developers and content authors to understand. What it brings with it is a community of experts authoring functionality that can all be utilized to deliver courses and OER. The best part is that by aligning with this community, ELMSLN has access to the knowledge and expertise of thousands of contributed modules and highly trained developers who don't need to have any understanding of edtech in order to help improve it!

ELMSLN also comes packaged with support for LTI 1.0 provider capabilities for integration with current LMS offerings. This enables faculty at existing universities and colleges to keep their materials outside the LMS, yet still securely pass their traditional students through to their content seamlessly. ELMSLN's networked approach to edtech development, can allow OER material to reside in one toolset (out in the open) without fear of opening oneself up to PII or FERPA violations.

Part of the resistance to OER production is the technical and privacy barriers to participation, which are at the heart of how ELMSLN has been constructed. Attendees will walk away with a sense of the transformative nature of Drupal, who's using ELMSLN and how to get involved.


Michael Collins

Assistant Professor of Art, Penn State University
avatar for Bryan Ollendyke

Bryan Ollendyke

HAXTheWeb Project Lead
HAXTheWeb is a movement to build and deploy applications differently. By shipping pieces of functionality in their most granular form using a standard called Web Components, we can turn any application into a learning ecosystem without having to sacrifice capability just based on... Read More →

Friday November 21, 2014 2:30pm - 3:00pm EST
Virginia Ballroom

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