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  • eTech Ohio Sakai Wish List
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Provided by Matt Howard

To share briefly what eTech Ohio and Ohio Learning Network are doing
with Sakai:

  • We're jointly offering the Open Learning Partnership Ohio (OLP
    Ohio). Currently, we're halfway though our 2-year pilot offering hosted
    Sakai CLE and OSP instances directly to two higher-ed institutions and
    indirectly to about a dozen K12 schools districts through a regional
    support center. The CLE tools have been well accepted, particularly
    assessment at the K12 level and there is significant interest in OSP.
  • eTech Ohio offers a competitive Professional Development grant
    to K12 schools in Ohio. During this two year grant, we are working with
    more than 20 schools to develop teacher portfolios in year one, and
    student portfolios in year two. Our goal is to allow a custom student
    portfolio for each school - we'll see how that does.
  • The D3A2 project has been going for about 3 years in Ohio. It
    is a confederation of content and service provider organizations from
    around the state focused on building "safety net" tools that will be
    available to all public districts in Ohio. Currently, we offer two
    • a data warehouse that offers a set of standards-based
      item analysis tools that let teachers examine their student's
      performance on State graduation and achievement tests.
    • A resource exchange where public content providers share
      metadata descriptions of content aligned to the State academic content
      standards. These resources are available through web-based
      search/browse interface as well as a REST-based API for other
      applications (including the data warehouse) to access.

The goal is that when a teacher drills-down into the data, she/he can
instantly find resources that relate to a trend (weakness/strength)
identified in the data. The challenge we're facing (and this is where
Sakai comes in), is the assessment data sets are focused around
statewide assessment, not classroom-based assessment. I've proposed to
the D3A2 community to use Sakai as a delivery platform for
teacher-developed, classroom assessment. We would also like to add
district and state items banks to the resource exchange so that
districts can share items.

To support all of this work, I see a few high-level features that will
need to be added to Sakai. My organization, eTech Ohio, is interested
in seeing these come into being, but we can't do it alone. Some of
these use cases come from our work with SIF (
<>) as well:

  1. Alignment to standards. The ever-increasing demand of resources
    being aligned to district, state and national content standards (and
    standard intermediaries) means we need a rich metadata profile that can
    be associated with almost everything in Sakai. The system should be
    able to extract what standards/objectives a given piece of information
    is associated with, regardless if the information is a document in the
    Resources tool, an assessment item (or Assessment Part), a lesson, a
    grade book result, or a portfolio template. Everything needs the
    ability to point back to some standard. To help with this, SIF is
    working to develop a national standards clearinghouse to host a central,
  2. Assessment Item analysis. This fits in with the more general
    conversation about data reporting from Sakai, but it's an area that's
    caused concern in the past. We need a facility to analyze
    sub-populations of learners and their results according to standards.
    We're currently doing this in our D3A2 data warehouse, but the
    functionality should be available in Sakai. We've talked about exposing
    some the analysis functions through APIs, but that work is somewhere in
    the indefinite future.
  3. A SIF agent for Sakai - SIF is becoming the standard for
    interoperability in the K12 world. Several states have adopted SIF as a
    method for local district - to - federal reporting, and districts are
    adopting it for local administrative data management. Producing a
    functional agent to allow Sakai to participate in a SIF Zone should be a
    priority of the Sakai K12 community. An agent would facilitate
    streamlined course and account provisioning, data reporting, content
    transfer, etc.