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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2009

Michael Staton

This paper seeks to describe the evolution of the web outside academia and the Academy's struggle both to adapt and to cope, and to recommend policy changes vis‐à‐vis the barriers

356

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to describe the evolution of the web outside academia and the Academy's struggle both to adapt and to cope, and to recommend policy changes vis‐à‐vis the barriers to innovation in the higher education market.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first describes the evolution of the web and the Academy's struggle and goes on to deal with breaking down the barriers to openness and monetization.

Findings

The paper finds that there is a giant usage gap between the way computing has been used and the new approach to social computing. Also there is a growth model gap vis‐à‐vis the growth model and user experience. Finally, the interoperability gap – educational institutions should look towards request‐driven interoperability.

Originality/value

The paper suggests recommendations – minor policy decisions, which will help to create an ecosystem of innovation in higher education.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1986

MICHAEL T. BOND and GERALD E. SMOLEN

According to independently developed hypotheses by Michael Darby (1975) and Martin Feldstein (1976) nominal interest rates will increase during an inflationary period by an amount…

Abstract

According to independently developed hypotheses by Michael Darby (1975) and Martin Feldstein (1976) nominal interest rates will increase during an inflationary period by an amount which is greater than the expected rate of inflation. This occurs in order to compensate lenders for the expected loss of principal and for the taxation of the interest earned. While many authors comment on the plausibility of the Darby‐Feldstein effect, it has been difficult to support this hypotheses empirically.

Details

Studies in Economics and Finance, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1086-7376

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 August 2009

Michael Feldstein

531

Abstract

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2009

Glendon L. Moriarty

The purpose of this paper is to explore the opportunities in moving to a Web 2.0 global learning environment. NIXTY, a Web 2.0 platform, is utilized to illustrate how OpenSocial

370

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the opportunities in moving to a Web 2.0 global learning environment. NIXTY, a Web 2.0 platform, is utilized to illustrate how OpenSocial, OpenID, and OpenCourseWare can be implemented to facilitate open education.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a system that implements the OpenSocial and OpenID standards as well as OpenCourseware imports. First, OpenSocial is discussed as a common way that developers can build applications that promote relational and social learning. Next, the promise of OpenID is explored. People are now creating their identities independent of organizations and they want to be able to translate that identity across formal and informal educational environments. Third, OpenCourseWare is covered with an emphasis on finding ways to further unlock material so it can easily be used to facilitate self‐directed and communal learning. Finally, tensions between learning inside and learning outside the university are explored.

Findings

Results of this preliminary review suggest that there are significant benefits for individuals and institutions.

Originality/value

Accreditation issues are addressed in both a developed world and late‐developing world context.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2009

Scott Wilson and Kamala Velayutham

The purpose of this paper is to explore technology strategies and policies in the areas of standards, repositioning of technology, and service‐oriented architecture that focus on

1402

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore technology strategies and policies in the areas of standards, repositioning of technology, and service‐oriented architecture that focus on enabling innovation while retaining coherence and viability.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses the concepts of shearing layers and Personal Learning Environments to define appropriate boundaries between individual, departmental, institutional, national, and global network control.

Findings

Education systems today can be characterised as a recursive metasystem of separate systems. Each system uses innovation as part of strategic planning to try to realise its potential and release its latency. However, these strategic activities generate friction with the metasystem, which puts the brakes on innovation in its subsystems. The architectural concepts of shearing layers and flexible couplings provide a model for reducing this friction. One way of enabling shearing layers in educational technology is to offer polymodal access to services.

Research limitations/implications

In managing technology, institutions should actively consider relocating functions to other layers of the education system, including technologies owned by individual learners and teachers. They should think of technology in terms of supporting flexible shearing layers between rapidly changing organisational structures. The concept of polymodal access should be used when looking to deploy services at any level of the organisation. Critical cross‐cutting issues of privacy, identity, and business intelligence need to be designed into the institutional and departmental service infrastructure. Institutions should develop innovation‐oriented technology policies. At the department or course level, policies should also reflect the position of the organisation with regard to the equitable experience of education.

Originality/value

The approach outlined demonstrates that institutions have the capacity to reinvent their technology strategies and policies in such a way as to unlock innovation at the departmental and personal level, without creating a crisis in IT service management. On the other hand, it also shows that the PLE perspective needs to be balanced with a broader view of student disposition and institutional goals to become recognised as part of the institutional technology strategy and policies.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2009

Andrew G. Booth and Brian P. Clark

The purpose of this paper is to present a prototype pluggable service‐oriented virtual learning environment, enabling teachers to create an integrated teaching environment using

1022

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a prototype pluggable service‐oriented virtual learning environment, enabling teachers to create an integrated teaching environment using tools that have been chosen to best meet their academic requirements.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an implementation of a WAFFLE Bus. A microkernel software design pattern is used to enable tools to be added and removed from the system. An enterprise service bus is used to provide workflow and message transformation functionality. Tools are managed through web service interfaces and Shibboleth is used to effect interoperability at the web application user interface. The initial services for the prototype were chosen to implement a simple web service teaching workflow.

Findings

First, Shibboleth is shown to provide a solution to the virtual learning environment tools' interoperability problem. Second, the service‐oriented virtual learning environment naturally leads to the ability to operate with many different types of information channels in and out of the system. This leads to a multiplicity of possible types of context‐dependent user interface. Third, immersive 3D, possibly the most interesting interface, will provide a context amenable to even the smallest development teams for the introduction of artificial intelligence into teaching. Finally, web service workflow is shown to provide a viable option for the implementation of learning designs with advantages and disadvantages compared to existing approaches.

Research limitations/implications

Different types of information channels are associated with different security problems. It will be important to determine what the best ways are of establishing secure channels to student personal learning environments. The present web service workflow design tools are of the highest quality and usability, but the design process is still a job for a specialist. It might be possible, however, to modify these open source tools to bring the design process within the grasp of non‐specialists.

Originality/value

The software system presented herein represents one possible path leading away from VLE monolithy using a service‐oriented approach. A new solution to the tools' interoperability problem is presented along with a multi‐faceted approach to the user interface. The enterprise service bus creates a flexible platform for the delivery of web service teaching and learning workflows. It is posited that the use of an immersive 3D user interface will create a context that facilitates the introduction of an artificial intelligence layer into the virtual learning environment that can serve robot teaching avatars.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2009

Martin Weller

The purpose of this paper is to show that the online learning environment can be seen as the means by which higher education can explore the challenges and opportunities raised by

2424

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show that the online learning environment can be seen as the means by which higher education can explore the challenges and opportunities raised by online and digital society.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper argues that the online learning environment can be seen as a metaphor for how universities respond to the requirements and challenges of the digital age. Current learning management systems (LMSs) are examined, and compared with the values found in web 2.0 and social media. Current thinking on pedagogy for online learning is then examined. The SocialLearn project at the Open University in the UK is then explained, which seeks to create a disaggregated, decentralised, social system for learners.

Findings

The conclusion from the analysis is that there is a conflict between the centralised learning management system (LMS) and the requirements of online pedagogy. The traditional LMS can be seen as embodying the wrong metaphor, that of the traditional classroom. The paper concludes by arguing that such learning environments will be more useful to higher education in coming to understand its response to many of the changes being seen in society, which are facilitated by the new technologies.

Originality/value

The paper provides a framework for considering LMSs and their relation to universities and pedagogy, and an argument for the promotion of more decentralised systems.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2009

Patrick Masson and Ken Udas

The purpose of this paper is to show that pointing to patterns of change in the adoption and institutionalization of educational resources, the appropriateness of traditional

868

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show that pointing to patterns of change in the adoption and institutionalization of educational resources, the appropriateness of traditional heavy and front‐loaded planning and management regimes is challenged in favor of alternative Agile Methods.

Design/methodology/approach

Starting from the simple observation that the original introduction of Course Management Systems to support online learning was ad hoc and evolutionary, rather than planned at an enterprise level, the paper points to the conflict between, and offers a solution for, open and decentralized resources and traditional teaching, learning, support, and management. By developing a logic to decentralization, a number of managerial strategies to improve agility are provided that address the changing nature of the university from one fundamentally designed to control, to one positioned to influence and adapt under the assumptions of change.

Findings

It is found that many components of the university including teaching, learning content, learning design, content development and management, and core infrastructure are shifting from centralized to decentralized models, while current management and governance practices remain centralized resulting in lagging development and increased risk.

Originality/value

The connections made here open a dialog for challenging and changing traditional management and decision‐making approaches within the organization, to better account for the environment that decentralized systems create.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2009

Nathan Garrett, Brian Thoms, Nimer Alrushiedat and Terry Ryan

The purpose of this paper is to show the practicality of a new portfolio design that incorporates distributed content, emphasizes student ownership, encourages social learning

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show the practicality of a new portfolio design that incorporates distributed content, emphasizes student ownership, encourages social learning, and acknowledges the central importance of ease of use.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach's practicality is demonstrated through survey results and usage logs from two case studies.

Findings

Students enjoy using this system, and report that its social aspects improve their academic performance and motivation. They also report it as being more social than their past experiences with BlackBoard.

Originality/value

The paper provides support for a vision of distributed educational software centered on portfolios, anchored by course tools, connected to assessment outcomes, and opened for public learning.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2009

Ian Boston

The purpose of this paper is to explore the driving forces moving Sakai to join the new era of social applications by adopting a content‐focused methodology.

784

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the driving forces moving Sakai to join the new era of social applications by adopting a content‐focused methodology.

Design/methodology/approach

The exploration is performed by looking at the way in which the role of content has developed through various phases of the internet, and how educational computing has leveraged those developments. The paper then goes on to relate these developments to the way in which initiatives like OpenSocial are changing the nature of application development and hosting, discussing the impact of the new world of cloud‐aware and cloud‐based applications on the development of Sakai.

Findings

Shifting to a modern web development paradigm that includes heavy use of client‐side programming methodologies such as AJAX, a content‐centric architecture, and an implementation of social networking capabilities will increase student satisfaction, while reducing development time and cost for systems like Sakai.

Originality/value

The paper will be of particular interest to those readers considering the tensions between institutionally provisioned applications and global free‐to‐use web services.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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