The End of the LMS

Working around the LMS

Curtin is now using Blackboard as its LMS. One way to work around the constraints of the LMS is to host content, forums, and other web-based material and activities either/ or/and as

  • normal HTML within Blackboard as a webpackage (which can be accessed and used without the Blackboard interface)
  • third-party applications and sites which are open source / free hosted on other servers which our students can use in a way that involves them privately doing things (not otherwise visible to public)
  • third-party applications and sites which are open source / free hosted and which are public and which our students contribute to (ie the design and use of the sites is at someone's control, but we use them anyway)
  • Curtin hosted sites and services which could be either private or public

Most of the key questions here are not technical but policy and pragmatic. Critical to working around an LMS are:

  1. workload increase based on need for more direct identity management (ie just getting people's logins working!) by net studies, rather than through OASIS
  2. risks relating to unmoderated publication associated with Curtin
  3. formal rules actively preventing us from doing these things.

Of these three concerns, I believe 1 could present the most time-consuming challenge; and 2 is likely to involve some manual transacting of activities (ie copying from private to public). 3 is probably not an issue, so long as I speak to the right people.

One possible solution is to create a portal page that is reached from OASIS. Students login in and, if enrolled in any of the units listed in the DB as ours, have access to that portal page. The portal page grabs and stores their login details, and then uses them to provide access from that portal to various websites and services in the student's name. Also, from the portal, they access our stuff that is not in Blackboard.

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