16. The MOOC and the LMS

The EdFutures MOOC (officially titled 'Current/Future State of Higher Education') was a collaboration between Georgia Tech, Athabasca University, the Gates Foundation, EDUCAUSE, National Research Council, Desire to Learn, and others. It involved the use of a main website (hosted at Athabasca), the gRSShopper MOOC software system (hosted at NRC) and content delivered through an API to Desire2Learn.

The intent - beyond exploring the subject matter regarding the future of education - was to explore the role that the learning management system (LMS) could play in the MOOC ecosystem.

Not surprisingly, the most difficult part proved to be the opening up of LMS content to a wider (and unauthenticated) world. It was not without its glitches.

For example, "I was planning to put D2L discussion board postings into the newsletter (not the into messages though) but the RSS feeds created and tested sent out the same link (to a basic contents-frame) for every item. I hadn't even considered that they would do this."

Still, the Ed Futures MOOC marked the beginning of the entrance of the traditional LMS into the world of open online learning.

The participating institutions have removed this MOOC from their servers; the only remaining content from this MOOC is hosted at edfuture.mooc.ca and on the Wayback Machine.

Some references:

Presentation from George Siemens, Andy Calkins, Malcolm Brown
Presentation to EDUCAUSE by George Siemens
Presentation by Stephen Downes