This is a diary of my involvement in a project on collaborative learning in the psychology department at the University of South Africa. Most recent posts below and links to previous posts on the left.
George Siemens makes the excellent point that "most training in workplaces is geared to courses and workshops...yet that is the last place I go for help". Like most of us, if George needs to learn something he searches for it on Google, asks somebody, reads a book - and will only go on a formal course as a last resort. Given this, here are his suggestions for how learning environments should be structured:
A space for gurus and beginners to connect (provide mentorship)
A space for self-expression (blog)
A space for debate and dialogue (discussion forum/listserv)
A space to search for archived knowledge
A space to learn in a structured manner (tutorials)
From the site: "Segue is an open source content management system designed for e-learning that combines the ease of use of course management systems with the flexibility of weblogs for creating various types of sites including course, news, journal, peer review and e-portfolio." Of course there are many commercial and open source e-learning management systems, but what I find unique and exciting about Segue is the following: "Segue is really a collaborative learning system...students can contribute as much as the instructor or more to a course website. In addition students can make their own websites that can be associated with a course website or can build a website for their own personal use such as a weblog or an e-portfolio." And:
"Segue is based on a publishing model of content delivery which regards faculty not as course managers but as authors and/or editors and students as contributors/collaborators. Indeed, Segue encourages the publication of course work (where appropriate) and opens the classroom to the world community. At the same time, Segue allows for a site to become a personal workspace, where site owners can develop ideas in a private web-based environment accessible anywhere; or a community workspace, where individuals or groups can share ideas amongst only themselves."
It may be open source, but by the looks of it, it is still the kind of juggernaut system I have expressed doubts about before. Will the stuff people create in Segue be trapped inside Segue?
There's no online demo to play around with. Wish I could try it out without having to battle to get it installed on our university's server.