Category Archives: Architecture

MyOU: A seamless online experience for learners

Accessing online content and services has become a vital part of the OU experience. The virtual learning environment has been carefully designed over the last seven years and has some excellent features such as a custom-built forum tool and quiz … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, OU VLE | Comments Off

The Distributed Learning Environment Comes a Step Closer

Fed up being force-fed a whole lot of stuff of no great interest to you in your university’s virtual learning environment? Want to view only the parts of most relevance to your own learning – and blend them in with … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Moodle, OU VLE, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Facilitating group interaction in Google Apps

Our pilot roll-out of Google Apps is going well.  To date we’ve invited 12,000 students and nearly 2,000 of them have signed up.  At the moment it’s up to students what they do with the tools and we’re staying out. … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Collaboration, ePortfolios | Comments Off

Now learners control their VLE/LMS

Much of the criticism levelled at virtual learning environments / learning management systems relates to the control of the environment by the institution rather than the learner. The individual student has minimal ability to upload their own content or to … Continue reading

Posted in Announcements, Architecture, Collaboration, Moodle, OU VLE, Web 2.0 | 6 Comments

Reports of the demise of the VLE/LMS are greatly exaggerated

The Association for Learning Technology’s annual conference currently underway in Manchester included a well-hyped session called “The VLE is Dead”. The debate included a number of well-rehearsed viewpoints on both sides of the divide between those who would like to … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Web 2.0 | 8 Comments

Principles for future VLE/LMS development

A group of us met earlier in the year from my office and from Learning and Teaching Solutions at the Open University to discuss some of our ideas around the future development of our Moodle-based VLE/LMS. Out of this discussion … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Moodle, OU VLE, Policies | 13 Comments

Opening up the Open University online

I’ve just been at a workshop with my colleagues Tony Hirst, Ross Mackenzie, Martin Weller and others looking at how the OU’s virtual learning environment could be enhanced by closer integration with other systems elsewhere. This could work both ways … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, OU VLE | 2 Comments

Dancing with the devil: a view from Blackboard's European conference

In the heart of downtown post-industrial Manchester, currently basking in sweltering Mediterranean temperatures, Blackboard is hosting its European Conference, BbWorld Europe ‘08. Michael Feldstein has described the attack on Blackboard’s market share from Moodle. Whether this has anything to do … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Moodle, Web 2.0 | 2 Comments

How to integrate VLEs/LMSs with other student-facing systems

This is a major issue for universities. Back-end integration work is carried out so that details of which courses students are signed up to and which lecturers/teachers/tutors are assigned to them are generally passed from the central systems to the … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Moodle, OU VLE | Comments Off

Blackboard to integrate with Moodle?

Unless I’m missing something it’s not obvious from Blackboard’s website what their future development roadmap is but a recent posting to the Blackboard Midlands User Group, pointed out by A.J.Cann shows some of the things that are being talked about … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Moodle | Comments Off