Remote Learning Development
This is the area for discussion of a Remote Learning Development Project.
Ideally, the project would use text, audio and video components, to enable students and facilitators/teachers to exchange ideas. A whiteboard or distributed writing surface of some kind might be interesting too.
It should be easy to use and extensible - while initially it might be something for the Computer Science area, it could be used throughout Wikiversity to allow online exchanges.
A consideration should be recording/playback, for participants that aren't in the same timezone.
What other existing systems (e-learning) offer
- Electronic communication support including e-mail, threaded discussions and a chat room, with or without a moderator
- Differential access rights for instructors and students
- Production of documentation and statistics on the course in the format required for institutional administration and quality control
- All these facilities should be capable of being hyperlinked together
- Easy authoring tools for creating the necessary documents including the insertion of hyperlinks - though it is acceptable (arguably, preferable) for the VLE to be designed so that standard word processors or other office software can be used for authoring.
In addition, the VLE should be capable of supporting numerous courses, so that students and instructors in a given institution (and, indeed, across institutions) experience a consistent interface when moving from one course to another.
Software/Technologies to consider
Approach to this project
While we should examine and consider exisiting software, it should be recognized that Wikiversity is different then traditional e-learning tools. The usual approach involves packaging a course already taught in a classroom into a non-interactive form (usually video).
This project should be a joint research and practice project. The participants would be using new tools, then evaluating and providing feedback so that the effectiveness of the tools can be judged. This could spawn new tools, improvements to existing tools, or even new approaches to various types of tools.
Benefits of this project
One of the major benefits of this project would be to extend the classroom beyond what it is now. It could allow lessons to be listened to over the phone, on an iPod or at a workstation.
Another key benefit is accessibility.
Blind persons could utilize this to "attend lessons" and interact with others without the need for costly and difficult to install software. Lesson material could be sent through a text to speech system, or a reader could generate OGG files.
For persons that have difficulty traveling, especially during the winter time, this could open up new possibilities for participation.