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eXe use case: Discussion forum iDevice


This use case is evolving from ideas that have emerged from discussions between Marielle Lange, Michael Feldstein, Martin Langhoff, Wen-chen Hol, Brent Simpson and Wayne Mackintosh in the eXe discussion forum on Moodle integration. Worth reading if you want to contribute to this use case.



Version 0.1.1

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Author, country and date

Wayne Mackintosh, New Zealand, 4 June 2005. [-- BrentSimpson DateTime(2005-07-15T23:28:39Z)?]

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Summary statement

This describes a new iDevice in eXe that will enable the user to create an external discussion forum with "deep" links from eXe generated content. When this content is imported into the LMS used for delivery, the relevant discussion forum content using the specified settings is launched within the discussion forum tool used by the LMS concerned.

If you want to talk about any aspects before refining the text in this wiki, you can do this here.

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Scenario summary

Professor Byte is working with six colleagues from four different universities on the development of a new paper in a Masters course called “next-generation e-learning”. While selected components of the degree are being developed collaboratively, each university will retain the right to teach this content in their own qualifications. Each participating university uses a different learning management system. The development team have decided to use eXe as the authoring tool for the course content.

In the module covering digital learning objects, Professor Byte has developed a section on “Reusability and Contextualisation for different pedagogical situations”. The learning design adopted for this course relies on a high level of student-student interaction through asynchronous discussion. Using eXe Professor Byte has created an "authentic" example of a learning object which includes a statement of the intended outcomes, a video clip, a few student-content interactions using multiple choice type items based on the video clip, and finally an essay type assignment requiring students to apply the new insights in their own situations.

He would like the students to work through the learning object example he created and then to discuss a number of key questions and issues relating to the example within the student group. At appropriate points within the learning object example, he inserts a number of discussion forum links using the eXe iDevice for discussion forums.

An example of one discussion forum:

After the video clip he creates a forum with the heading “Analysing the contextual relevance of the video insert”. When the web-content is published as a SCO, it creates the hyperlink at the appropriate place to launch the LMS discussion forum tool. Professor Byte wants to set up three main threads in this discussion forum:

  • Thread 1: Reflecting on your context (in this first thread it is not appropriate to provide the capability for students to introduce new threads. Also this thread should have a target date for completion). He authors the introductory text for this thread: “Describe your own learning context. You may want to include thoughts about your prior experience, why you are doing this course, specific needs and interests etc.
  • Thread 2: Discuss the relevance of the video clip for your own context (in this thread it is appropriate for users to introduce new threads and is conditional in the sense that it should only appear after the target date for completion of Thread 1 above)
  • Thread 3: Identifying aspects you would like to change (again students should be provided with the capability to introduce new threads and it should appear at the same time as Thread 2 above.)

eXe provides the functionality for Professor Byte to set up the requirements for the discussion forums as well as the introductory texts for the different Threads. When the eXe content is imported into the local institutional LMS, these forums are automatically set up in the relevant LMS.

If you want to talk about any aspects before refining the text in this wiki, you can do this here.

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With reference to the eXe discussion forum iDevice, we envisage the following preconditions:

  • The learning content is usually authored before the identity of individual student participants is known;
  • Ideally, the "interoperability specifications" for stting up asyncronous discussions have been implemented by the mainstream discussion forum tools;
  • The discussion forum engines of the leading Learning Management Systems have implemented these open standards/interoperability specifications to deal with the set-up parameters and text imports that were set up in eXe and other authoring environments.

If you want to talk about any aspects before refining the text in this wiki, you can do this here.

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  • While authoring content in eXe, the author selects the "discussion forum" iDevice provided by eXe to included a discussion forum activity in an eXe "learning object".

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Basic course of events

  1. Content author is using eXe to author a SCO;
  2. Author has already used a number of iDevices (e.g. Objectives, Free Text, Multi-mode, Reading Activity, and Multi-choice) to generate learning content;
  3. Author wants to embed a discussion forum hyperlink in the content resource that will launch in the relevant LMS used for delivery or corresponding web service.
  4. Author selects the eXe discussion forum iDevice;
  5. Author specifies name for the forum, and introductory text if required;
  6. After specifying the discussion forum name, the user is presented with the following options:
    • Specify the type of forum required, for instance: (a) Single thread discussion (b) Each user posts their own new thread (c) standard type discussion forum.
    • Nature of student participation: (a) Students allowed to create new threads and replies to individual posts are allowed (b) Replies to individual posts are allowed, but new threads are not permitted (c) Only teachers can create threads with no replies allowed (used for news posts).
    • Forum subsciptions: (a) Users are forced to subscribe (b) Users are not subscribed (c) Users are intitially subscribed with the option to discontinue (d) Subscription is optional.
    • Group options: (a) No grouping is required (b) In cases where the LMS has set up groups - specifying that this discussion takes place in separate groups the are invisble to other groups. (c) In cases where the LMS has set up groups - specifying that group discussions are visible to other groups.
    • See: (a) Brent's thoughts about Moodle integration;
  7. User is prompted whether or not preplanned threads for the forum will be required;
  8. In the case of preplanned threads, users are provided with the following fields:
    • Title of the thread;
    • Introductory text for the thread;
    • Reconfirmation of the defaults specified in 6 above which can be modified for each thread;
    • Specification of conditional threads, eg date when thread is displayed.
  9. User publishes/exports eXe content in the usual way.

If you want to talk about any aspects before refining the text in this wiki, you can do this here.

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Post conditions

When exporting eXe content that contains discussion forum iDevices, an XML file (similar to the IMS manifest) is publishes for LMS systems and discussion forum engines to set up the discussion forum service required.

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Fields & attributes required for different LMSs

We want to package an XML file with eXe content exports that will enable different LMSs to set up a discussion forum. To facilitate this process we would like to compare the requirements for different LMSs.



Possible XML files for creating discussion forums have been provided by the following LMSs: Navigation(children)?

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We have successfully prototyped an iDevice to accomplish the above in Moodle.

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Last modified 10 years ago Last modified on 2009-05-22T06:13:46+09:00