The Frameworks and Tools Strand
It is stating the obvious to say that e-learning relies on the presence of a technical infrastructure. Those involved in e-learning may be unaware of the underlying design of this infrastructure, but they are likely over time to develop an awareness that the technology they are using is great for some things, but not for others, and may even be preventing them from working in ways they might like to.
One of the big problems faced by software and system developers is how to ensure that users have the tools they need. There are two dimensions to this, the technology itself, and the kinds of things people want to do with it. Technology is changing and developing at an enormous speed, and often our understanding of how we can use and exploit it trails far behind.
The Frameworks and Tools strand of the e-Learning Programme is exploring the possibility of developing a more flexible approach to technical infrastructures for e-learning. This is based on the concept of a move from the use of large ‘monolithic’ systems to a more flexible ‘service oriented approach’. An explanation and guide to this approach has been written to explain the technologies being explored and their relevance for e-learning, and the e-Learning Framework (ELF) in particular. This is aimed at those who have some experience of e-learning but not necessarily of the underpinning technologies.
The e-Learning Programme is considering the development of technical infrastructures alongside the issue of the effective practice of e-learning, which is the focus of the e-Learning and Pedagogy Strand. This will mean that our understanding of the pedagogy of e-learning can inform the development of technology, an ambitious but essential step.
The Frameworks and Tools strand involves a series of projects, information on these maybe found on the JISC website, they will be reported on here as they appear, and on the e-Learning Framework website which is dedicated to the development of the ELF.
There are a number of key documents that provide the thinking behind, and rationale for, the Frameworks and Tools strand. More papers are regularly produced, along with articles and news items which maybe found in the Key Resources folder of this section.