Key Innovation Drivers for Learning Environments

julie-smallPosted by Julie Delazyn

It seems we’re in the midst of a revolution that will dramatically change the way we learn. In a recent post  about Key Innovation Drivers for Learning Environments on his own blog, our CEO, Eric Shepherd, suggests that key goals of these new environments will be to:

  • Use competency maps to understand where  learners are and help them navigate to where they want to be
  • Magically expose content at the moment of need and in the right context

Inter-system data sharing to allow personalization

Eric regards technology as crucial to turning us away from the formal, academic learning model (reliant on hard-to-find content  such as  books stored in libraries) to learning that is more personalized, accessible and shareable. This change will rely on learning content that is available and discoverable, inter-system data sharing that allows personalization and data flows that keep stakeholders engaged.

Eric describes innovation drivers that would help make all this happen and in the process reduce learner distraction, make learning easier anywhere, anytime, and create a more enjoyable, personalized learning experience. These drivers include:

  • Funding of open educational resources base on open standards
  • Inter-system data sharing to allow personalization
  • Standard integrations that allow one environment to launch another system with learner context, and
  • The creation of registries that make learning resources  easier to find and share.
  • Inter-system data sharing
  • The user of library science techniques for content classification

There’s a lot more detail in Eric’s post, so click here to read the whole article.. If this and other topics about assessment and learning interest you, check out Eric’s blog.

Learning Environments – Identity Clouds

julie-smallPosted by Julie Delazyn

Behind Questionmark’s efforts to be at the forefront of technology is the desire to bring assessments to people in ways that fit in with their learning needs and preferences, schedules, delivery devices and so on.

This has resulted in a number of innovations such as accessibility controls, multilingual participant interfaces and a Translation Management System, as well as mobile delivery capabilities for learners on the move. We are constantly exploring ways to provide assessments at the right time, in the right place and in the right context.

With those ideas in mind, Questionmark CEO Eric Shepherd has been using his own blog. to explore ideas about learning environments, assessments and identity management. Following up on a post about how Content Clouds can make up learning environments, Eric has been considering how “identity clouds” can help us tailor learning experiences to an individual. He describes how accessing  information from identity clouds, made up of 6 interconnecting sub-clouds, could help provide reliable, personalized learning experiences.

These sub-clouds provide details about:

  • Personal Data
  • Access Control
  • Drivers (Goals)
  • Trust Networks
  • Experience
  • Preferences

For more on this topic, read Eric’s entire post: Learning Environments – Identity Clouds.

Learning Environments: Content Clouds

julie-smallPosted by Julie Delazyn

I’d like to draw your attention to a blog post by our CEO, Eric Shepherd, on “Learning Environments – Content Clouds.” 

Eric uses the “cloud” metaphor to discuss the nature of learning environments, viewing them as a collection of functions clustered together. Made up of meta tags, “folksonomies,” catalogs and other elements, content clouds and sub-clouds help store learning content in a way that can help us find the information we are looking for when we need it.

The increasing amount of useful but hard-to-discover information contained in these clouds presents some serious challenges, though. With so much content becoming available, how will we store, search and find content that is personalized for the learner and suits the learner’s context?  How will we deliver content at the right time, in a form that can run on the learner’s device?  This post puts forward some ideas about how indexing and cataloging could be used to address these issues and the challenges posed by numerous repositories, data structures, tagging methodologies and content types.

For these and other ideas, check out Eric’s blog.