Friday, June 3, 2016

OER, LMSs and LTI

If you happen to be reading this and don't know what the three acronyms in the title of this post mean, you're in good company. Lot's of people don't know what they mean. I have some experience with each of them, but I'm still not sure what they mean. I think the terms are evolving.

Yesterday, Phil Hill, someone I follow on Twitter, posted this tweet 'Lumen Learning – Announcement: Open SUNY Textbooks scales up OER Adoption http://ow.ly/2WXo300Rpv6 .'

I read the announcement and was puzzled by this - "They will further develop a formalized approach to OER adoption that provides faculty with a suite of services to assist with curating, adopting, remixing and creating new OER content, along with a platform that makes it easy to maintain and deliver OER within SUNY courses. The platform supports Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), allowing for easy integration with any Learning Management System (LMS), and easy access for students through the LMS."

I was puzzled by the last sentence - "The platform supports Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), allowing for easy integration with any Learning Management System (LMS), and easy access for students through the LMS." I didn't understand how LTI makes accessing the OER through the LMS easier. I write and curate OER content for use with LMSs. I don't get why having another platform that sounds like it's another LMS except it's not being called an LMS, just a 'platform' and is connected to the LMS via LTI makes accessing the OER easier.

Lumen's website talks about the things they can provide in their packages that cost what looks like as much as $25 per student per book. That's a whole lot cheaper than the price being paid for textbooks that aren't OER, so that seems like a very good deal. The problem I have is that it is not clear how to get the OER material without paying the upcharge per book for the extras that Lumen provides in addition to the OER which is free.

I tweeted back to Phil that this didn't make sense to me and he tweeted some vague jargon back to me and said he'd ask David Wiley, the Lumen founder, to weigh in when he could, which he did. But David's tweets were just as vague and confusing as Phil's.
Then, this evening, 2 hours ago agree with Phil some things are done better by interoperability tools off the LMS,
to which I tweeted - "Some things' Like what ? 'Some things' is not a convincing argument." 
he replied - "e-reader software for example. Downloadable content so can access offline when not connected." 
Phil and Rich have both said this is not a topic that Twitter can handle, so I'm offering this blog for longer comments. I'd really like to know why the Lumen platform that supports Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) that allows for easy integration with any Learning Management System (LMS) is supposed to be a good thing and not another pay wall by a different name and another repository of data that is housed where faculty and students can only get at it by going through Lumen?


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post. I have only read about LMS this is the first time I am reading something about OER. The post is very useful and interesting also, I will share this with the friends and colleagues. Once again thank you for sharing post full of valuable information. Very Informative! Software Customer Training

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