Welcome to W2C: extending the VLE through Widgets, Web- and Cloud-services

MMU has recently (and publicly) reviewed its learning technologies and will be making significant investment in a new integrated VLE and Repository. The W2C project plans to enhance and extend this investment by opening up new development paths and will share with the sector the experience of pursuing them on an institutional scale.

The W2C project will demonstrate in particular the potential of Widgets, institutional Web-services and Cloud-sourced services for delivering an institutional vision of convenient, integrated and extensible learning systems.

MMU has recently (and publicly) reviewed its learning technologies and will be making significant investment in a new integrated VLE and Repository. The W2C project plans to enhance and extend this investment by opening up new development paths and will share with the sector the experience of pursuing them on an institutional scale.

The W2C project will demonstrate in particular the potential of Widgets, institutional Web-services and Cloud-sourced services for delivering an institutional vision of convenient, integrated and extensible learning systems.

It will do this by:

  • sharing as widely as possible our vision for learning systems, our scenarios and threshold user expectations that emphasise convenience, integration, personalisation and extensibility
  • sharing the business rationale for our recent decision to adopt a “core plus” model for our learning systems in which a core VLE and Repository is extended through widgets, web-services and cloud-sourced services
  • mapping the processes in which institutional data necessary for delivering key user requirements are created and maintained (using standards such as BPMN), suggesting change where necessary to maximise opportunities for interoperability and data re-use
  • developing, to open standards where possible, web-services for institutional systems that hold definitive data required to meet user requirements
  • developing or downloading open source widgets to consume our web-services
  • deploying the widgets and selected cloud-sourced services into our VLE
  • evaluating student and staff experience of using the widgets and cloud-sourced services in the VLE and on personal devices
  • evaluating teaching and administrative staff experience of working with usage data available from institutional systems and cloud-sourced services
  • summarising lessons learned from the widget/web-services/cloud-sourced services approach for delivering convenient, integrated, personalised and extensible learning systems
  • critiquing the value of the CETIS DLE model for explaining our approach and the e-Framework for guiding our web-services design
  • blogging project progress and encouraging feedback on our dynamic case study via blog comments and twitter (hashtag = #MMUW2C or follow @mmuw2c onĀ Follow mmuw2c on Twitter)

We expect this activity to:

  • enhance the capability of our VLE to meet existing and emerging user requirements
  • enhance user satisfaction of our learning systems
  • heighten awareness about patterns of student engagement and success
  • facilitate discovery of learning resources that others have found useful
  • accelerate development of a community of practice for educational widgets
  • improve, by providing practice-informed feedback, key sources of information available to others in the sector contemplating similar endeavours.

The W2C project is funded by the JISC’s E-Learning Programme, under Strand B of the 03/10 Distributed Virtual Learning Environments call. It started on July 1, 2010 and will complete by December 2012. Further posts will provide more detailed information on timing of the deliverables listed above. Please check back regularly for details of project progress.

One thought on “Welcome to W2C: extending the VLE through Widgets, Web- and Cloud-services”

  1. Interesting project.

    Seems similar to our DOULS project here at The Open University (which is in the same JISC programme and strand).

    Looking forward to seeing some of the work you are doing.

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