A Strategic Vision for SakaiNG
** DRAFT **
Editorial Note (2/19/2014): The following are notes developed by Joshua Baron and reflect his initial and early thinking around a vision for the next generation Sakai. The intent at this stage is to simply surface this early thinking as means to stimulate a broader dialog. Also, many of the terms used below come from the Sakai Learning Design Lens work which were developed in 2010-11 by the Sakai Teaching and Learning Group. We have linked key terms used here to the Learning Design Lens definitions as a reference for those not familiar with that work.
Sakai recently celebrated it's 10 year anniversary. Over the past decade it has not only achieved tremendous success as a project and product, it has had a strategically significant impacted on the entire global Learning Management System market place. From open standards such as LTI to just the concept of openness in education, Sakai has been a driver for a great deal of innovation and change in the industry. At the same time, it is important to recognize that Sakai was launched before Facebook, YouTube and the iPad which have been important mile markers on the wildly steep and curvy "information superhighway" that we've been speeding down now since the beginning of the Internet that point to the constant need for technology projects to be re-inventing themselves in order to remain relevant in this super dynamic market.
The following outlines early thinking around one possible direction for Sakai to take as we continue down the road we began 10 years ago and work to remain relevant over the coming decade.
Sakai began before Facebook, YouTube and the iPad.
Why unbundled the LMS?
- Provides users with the ability to "install" their own learning apps to create a personalized learning environment
- Facilitates the ability to swap out "learning devices" as means to replace major categories of capabilities easily and efficiently
- Increased choice and ability to customize more significantly
- Truly Open - We believe in truly open systems that go beyond marketing hype and provide open source code, open communities, open APIs, open standards, etc. which support tools that are both "consumers" as well as "providers"
- Delightful User Experiences - We believe that powerful learning capabilities developed on robust code are useless unless the user experience is one that delights to the point of users wanting to use the system more and more over time
- Cloud-Ready Scalability - We believe that the Next Gen LMS will need to highly scalable within cloud environments that can facilitate use by large number of users and sharing "above the institutional layer".
Core Learning Services – Core Learning Services that are (or will be in the future) fundamental to teaching and learning.Learning and Teaching Management Services, which might include:
- Learning and Teaching Management, which might include:
- Roles and Permissions (Individuals and Groups)
- Event Messaging/Enterprise Service Bus
- Data Capture and Secure Sharing
- User Autonomy and Networking, which might include:
- Academic Networking
- User Interface, which might include:
- User Experience Framework – Technical and UI specifications which are “enforced” by the Core Learning Services to ensure consistent UX.
- Openness, which might include:
- Open Standards and APIs
- Open Licensing – ability to support use of Creative Commons licenses
- Open Educational Resources – ability to integrate with OER projects, content, etc.
Core Learning Devices – Teaching and Learning tools which are developed independently from the Learning OS and which are designed to “run” in any compliant Learning OS.
- Core Learning Apps – Apps deemed by the community as being essential to teaching and learning. These would require strategic investment by the community in order to become a viable LMS solution.
- External Learning App – These would be developed independent of the larger project and easily deployed in Sakai or other complaint LMS. Apps could be developed without advanced programming skills.
- Data Visualization tools
- Mobile tools
- Learning App Market Place – Supported by the Apereo Foundation, this would be an online store for individuals and institutions to purchase Apps (which would be reviewed and approved before becoming available). This could become a revenue stream for the project if desired.
Learning Cloud – A set of services and infrastructure that would site “above the institution” and facilitate sharing, collaboration and research.
- Instructional Content Repository
- Pedagogical Best Practices
- Research Learning Record Store
- Academic Networking