Posts tagged ‘blogs’

Learning Mashups

Every day I am asked to explain mashups and their impact on the world of learning and assessments and I felt that it was about time that I shared something more widely.  In the context of learning and assessments mashups can be categorized as follows:

  1. Portlet – configured by an end user
  2. Page (Web, Wiki or Blog) – configured by a web author
  3. Data – configured by a programmer

Portlet Based Mashup

image Portlet based mashups provide different “windows” that interact with different and separate applications and users can move these portlets around their screen to meet their own personal requirements.

This is explained in the YouTube video below:

How is this applicable to learning and assessment?

As organizations standardize and align on their IT architecture there will be a framework in which to view applications in the context of someone’s job role.  The job roles for CLOs, Training Managers, Instructors, Teachers, Professors, Instructional Designers, Psychometricain, students and other stakeholders are different and have different preferences, priorities and organizational styles.  Portlet based user interfaces allows users to view their screens in the way that they find them most useful to perform their tasks.

Page Based Mashup

Page based mashups are configured by the author of the web page, wiki and or blog to determine where application data and interactions might occur.  As an author of a blog I have inserted a YouTube video above and another below that explains how to embed a video and assessment into the same wiki page:

To learn more about inserting assessments into web pages, blogs and wikis check out: http://questionmarkdemo.wikispaces.com/

Back to mashups…

This blog posting is presented as an HTML web page, with HTML text and a video feed from YouTube and a assessment feed from a Questionmark server.

image The diagram to the left shows this diagrammatically.  The main page contents are coming in from the web server, and in this case, a Questionmark assessment is coming in from another server.  The author of this web page is the person that chose how this design would be rendered.

How is this applicable to learning and assessment?

Documentation, learning content and assessments are often available throughout an organization’s infrastructure but challenging to find and they are especially difficult to find in context.  Wikis, blogs and web pages can be used to expose existing resources, wrap context, to provide a meaningful learning and/or assessment experience. Learning mashups can improve learner experiences and learning outcomes.

Data Mashups

image

A data mash up is where data is drawn from different data sources and displayed within a single page.  In this style a programmer constructs a program to retrieve the data, from different data sources, and then display it within a web page.

image

The diagram to the right illustrates the data that is mashed up to provide a presentation of the price of taxis in New York City.

This form of data mashup used to require that the application had direct access to the database.  These days, with web-services, it is possible to read and write data anywhere in the world with a single application.

How is this applicable to learning and assessment?

With more data being accessible via web-services, applications can now provide powerful reports to assist decision making to improve learning outcomes, drive qualifications when required and boost performance.

Conclusion

Standard tools and technologies supporting blogs, wikis and web pages can provide new styles of easy-to-maintain stimulating and powerful learning environments.

Did you learn something from this mashup?

September 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm 3 comments

Wikis and Social Constructivism: “Learning is best when learners collaborate to create…”

I wanted to share an article with you, that is short, meaningful and useful, on how wikis not only provide the benefits of knowledge sharing but also assists learners learn: Practical Applications of Research: Wikis for learning – what to expect by Dr. Irene Boland

From Dr. Boland’s research the key learning benefits of wikis appear to me to be:

  • Receive immediate feedback from others
  • Curiosity about how others are responding to, or modifying, their work causes learners to return to the wiki and refresh their memory regularly.
  • Learners can chart their own course for learning based on their interests.
  • Learn by reading other’s postings even if the leaner does not post.
  • Develop their own methods of classifying content in ways that make sense to them, rather than using existing systems of classification.
  • Help their peers find relevant content by assigning tags or keywords to pages

Enjoy!

July 6, 2009 at 9:24 am 1 comment


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