Currently I am participating in a German online course “TBDL 04″ (technology based distributed learning, modul 4: pedagogy II - online instructional design).
It is designed as a planning role game, and it has great contents: lots of diligently and fondly crafted scenarios, stories, settings, role descriptions, challenge descriptions, teams and groups and so on. We are playing five fictituous universities planning 5 modules for a program called “key literacies in learning and teaching”, and lots of the accreditation details are lifelike modelled, even including the contact to the ministry.
The only problem is that it is a closed group. Nine people paid 410 Euros each, and so all of this great setting is only available to the few of us, which is really a pity. Many of the resources and discussions are hidden within even smaller groups which, by default, cannot see what the others are doing.
Here I noticed that I am not at all comfortable with this closedness. When CCK08 started, I was similarly unconfortable with its extreme openness. Is this openness addictive? Right from the beginning of TBDL04 I missed the medium where I could note down my impressions and reflections to share it with the others. CCK08 made us accustomed to share our messy learning and think “in the open”. Of course I could have created a wiki page “x28’s musings”, but if the general atmosphere is more silent, this would not help much.
The opensource LMS platform “OLAT” (which was new to me) does have RSS working in the authenticated intranet, but I have not yet figured out how it could be used for blog-like pull/push combination. Probably this is not intended. My first impressions of OLAT is that it seems very patronizing and linear.
- Only predefined backward moves are allowed (the browser’s back button is prohibited),
- and branching via “open in new window” is impossible, too.
If attempting the latter, the ironical answer is “In Web 2.0 mode, you cannot open links in a new window.” (emphasis mine), which makes web2.0-like collaboration via a wiki almost impossible, since you cannot lookup previous pages while thinking about a new text. In page-turner inspired applications, the linear route seems efficient. But I don’t like to be walked-through as a bobsleigh in the ice channel. Probably I am spoilt by openness.