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Defining a lingua franca for the ELIXIR/GOBLET e-learning ecosystem

Attwood, Teresa K.; Leskosek, Brane L.; Dimec, Jure; Morgan, Sarah; Mulder, Nicola; van Gelder, Celia W.G.; Palagi, Patricia M.


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{
  "publisher": "Zenodo", 
  "DOI": "10.5281/zenodo.166378", 
  "author": [
    {
      "family": "Attwood, Teresa K."
    }, 
    {
      "family": "Leskosek, Brane L."
    }, 
    {
      "family": "Dimec, Jure"
    }, 
    {
      "family": "Morgan, Sarah"
    }, 
    {
      "family": "Mulder, Nicola"
    }, 
    {
      "family": "van Gelder, Celia W.G."
    }, 
    {
      "family": "Palagi, Patricia M."
    }
  ], 
  "issued": {
    "date-parts": [
      [
        2016, 
        11, 
        13
      ]
    ]
  }, 
  "abstract": "<p>Today, the term <strong>e-learning</strong>&nbsp;is widely used in a variety of contexts. Many of us are familiar with concepts like <strong>Massive Open Online Courses</strong> (MOOCs), such as those provided by Coursera, Udacity, edX or MIT OpenCourseWare; <strong>Content</strong>- or <strong>Learning-Management Systems</strong> (CMSs, LMSs), like Moodle or Blackboard; <strong>Virtual Learning Environments</strong> (VLEs), like EMBER; problem and tutorial portals, such as Rosalind and Train online; repositories for uploading and hosting <strong>Educational Resources</strong> (ERs), such as that provided by GOBLET; <strong>ER aggregators</strong> that harvest and disseminate training information, such as TeSS; and so on. Resources like these are seamlessly discussed under the umbrella term &lsquo;e-learning&rsquo;; however, they are heterogeneous and do not mean the same thing from user, developer, trainer or content-provider perspectives. Confusion can therefore arise if those using the term generically have not grasped each other&rsquo;s specific meanings.</p>\n\n<p>In the context of ELIXIR, this situation came to the fore in preparations for the EXCELERATE project, whose training programme (WP11) includes an explicit e-learning subtask (11.1.3) as part of the commitment to build an ELIXIR training infrastructure. The ultimate deliverable of the subtask is to develop an ELIXIR e-learning policy and deploy e-learning platform(s) at the ELIXIR level. But what does an &lsquo;<em>e-learning platform for ELIXIR</em>&rsquo; mean? Is it an instance of a <strong>MOOC platform</strong>, a customised LMS, a bespoke VLE, an ER repository, an aggregator, or something else? Clarification of this question was important, because each of the possible answers has very different implementation and resource requirements.</p>\n\n<p>To try to address this question, and to facilitate communication both within ELIXIR, and between the ELIXIR and GOBLET trainer communities, an initial workshop &ndash; <em>Defining an e-learning lingua franca</em> &ndash; was held in Ljubljana (SI), 15-17 September 2015. At one level, the aim was to develop an overview of some of the e-learning approaches and applications developed or used by representatives from ELIXIR, GOBLET and other organisations &ndash; participants were therefore asked briefly to describe the systems they&rsquo;d developed, to allow them, and their respective strengths and weaknesses, to be compared. At another level, the aim of the workshop was to try to converge on a common e-learning &lsquo;language&rsquo;, to help the ELIXIR and GOBLET trainer communities to communicate more coherently. To broaden the picture and gain a wider understanding of the challenges, a follow-up event was held during the GOBLET Annual General Meeting in Cape Town (ZA), 18-20 November 2015. Here, the outcomes of the first meeting were further discussed and refined.</p>\n\n<p>Gaining a clearer view of the current e-learning landscape, and consensus on what we collectively mean by e-learning, were the necessary first steps towards formulating appropriate e-learning strategies for ELIXIR and GOBLET, and suggesting solutions that can feasibly be implemented. In the event, the issues were more deep-rooted than we expected, and many additional discussions were needed. This paper reflects the results of those discussions and of the deliberations of the workshop participants.</p>", 
  "title": "Defining a lingua franca for the ELIXIR/GOBLET e-learning ecosystem", 
  "type": "report", 
  "id": "166378"
}
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