Developing a Dynamic and Responsive Online Learning Environment: A Case Study of a Large Australian University

Developing a Dynamic and Responsive Online Learning Environment: A Case Study of a Large Australian University

Janet Buchan (Charles Sturt University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-917-0.ch006
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Abstract

Charles Stuart University adopted the open source software, Sakai, as the foundation for the university’s new, integrated Online Learning Environment. This study explores whether a pedagogical advantage exists in adopting such an open source learning management system. Research suggests that the community source approach to development of open source software has many inherent pedagogical advantages, but this paper examines whether this is due to the choice of open source software or simply having access to appropriate technology for learning and teaching in the 21st century. The author also addresses the challenges of the project management methodology and processes in the large-scale implementation of an open-source courseware management solution at the institutional level. Consequently, this study outlines strategies that an institution can use to harness the potential of a community source approach to software development to meet the institutional and individual user needs into the future.
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Background To Sakai

“Sakai is an open source, web-based, collaboration learning environment (CLE) that is focused primarily on higher education. It supports the activities of students, teachers, researchers, and Sakai administrators. Sakai is flexible and enables users to configure it for their own specialized audiences. Sakai is mainly a courseware management platform that provides users with learning, portfolio, library, and project tools…” (Berg & Korcuska, 2009. p.5)

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