Three weeks ago I attended the SURF Challenge Day. This day was organised to let suppliers show how their solution fitted with the SURF framework for flexible and personalised learning environment (in Dutch). 15 suppliers presented their solutions.
This framework is based on Educause Next Generation Digital Learning Environment. Both models use the metaphor of LEGO.
Personally I think that metaphor oversimplifies the process of a learner and it doesn’t help to solve the challenges that many universities face regarding their educational technology. A couple of reasons why it is flawed:
- Not all educational technology tools that are used as part of the learning experience are created equally, there is much more variety in the ‘bricks".
- Just sticking bricks together doesn’t make it a learning experience. The flow and interactive design are important.
- Accessibility is much harder to guarantee, especially if instructors can add their own bricks via LTI.
- Learning is much more complex.
We need to intelligently orchestrate all these different “bricks” to serve the student. In some situation it can just be as simple as IFTTT: if student has passed this quiz, he can go to the next chapter. But in many cases this process is far more complex than an IFTTT recipe of course, especially if you connect it to all the context. It is more like a central nervous system.
Photo Credit: CC-BY-SA Joe Miserendino