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GAFE or LMS

Started by Michelle Robison 24 Apr 2014 6:36pm () Replies (5)

Does GAFE do it all, or do we still need to have an LMS like Moodle?

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  • Stephen Lowe (View all users posts) 28 Apr 2014 10:46am ()

    I think in terms of walled gardens. Sometimes I use the word sanctuary, or habitat. As an online instructional designer I see myself as like one of the keepers at Zealandia or some other wildlife sanctuary... my job is to set up little enclosures, all decked out with suitable vegetation, cover, water, drainage; then the students come and fossick about in there and it's my job to make sure they thrive. As a zoologist it's also my job to isolate variables, make small incremental changes, and observe the results. That's why I like Moodle: predators are kept out; enclosures are compartmentalised and labeled; every action is logged. Google Apps is like releasing them into the wild. There is a time when some students are ready for that. Some students are never ready for that, and they should remain in the sanctuary. Being adult doesn't necessarily make them ready for release, but many young adults today thrive in the wild. Hapara is a way to wrap a little protection, tracking, and sign-posting around Google Apps, and that really is excellent. That would be like moving them from Zealandia to Tongariro National Park. A lot of metaphor there, but it helps me to visualise the situation.

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 28 Apr 2014 10:55am ()

    Thanks for this fabulous analogy Stephen, with you permission I will be quoting it and using it with some of my schools as a way of explaining the benefits/constraints of different LMSs : ) 

  • Stephen Lowe (View all users posts) 28 Apr 2014 12:11pm ()

    I think that something we're starting to do on the Enable and Empower programmes is a good way to go. You bring your students into the Moodle where they have a profile, record of their activity and so on. Where Moodle has suitable built-in functionality (wiki, glossary, choice, feedback, hand-ins etc) you make use of that, and where you want to extend it (Lucid Chart, 3D Functions Plotter etc) you make use of the iframe tag to embed that particular app in a Moodle page. In recent versions of Moodle, and given a little technical support, there may even be an exchange of data between Moodle and the external Google App. Hapara is OK with school students, but when I spoke with them about adult students they felt there were potential breaches of Google's privacy policy. We're looking into the detail of that just now, because we would like to offer it as one possible solution for industry trainers.

  • Michelle Robison (View all users posts) 03 May 2014 1:56pm ()

    Great Stephen. Thanks for the reply. I love the analogy too and will also use it with my schools. It has really clarified it for me. Having used GAFE quite a bit, and Moodle only a little it was hard to know the answer to this. It is great to have someone who knows both and can see the differences.

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