Tuesday, 11 April 2006

Revisioning the LMS: an examination of formal learning management systems and component-based learning environments

by Christopher D. Sessums

I am not interested in LMS, so I will focus on the component-based part. I am passionate about component-based learning system, see Virtual Apparatus Framework which was part of my research in the early 90s.

Christopher has spelt out a number of merits and disadvantages of using a component-based approach.

With current Web 2.0 tools available, we need to ask what do we mean by "component". This will end up like the debate of "learning object" - just another name for the concept of using fragments of resources.

If we really want to push in this direction, which I still believe worth doing, we need to be really clear about:
1. what are the required behaviour of the components, and
2. the glue which will hand all the components together and ensure that they can work both independently and co-operatively.

When I first started the concept of "virtual apparatus", I depended on a Netscape technology called "live connect" in order to make sure that the components on a webpage were able to communicate. I ran into lots of problem each time a browser was updated. (Back in those days when MS and Netscape were fighting for the dominance of the browser, updates were frequent.)

With Web 2.0, one is likely to use "web service" as a basic component. However, we shall run into "cross domain scripting" issues.

While I have solution to overcome the problem, I don't have time to implement! Any taker?

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