eXe Through the CUBE

eXe (http://exelearning.org) is an open source e-learning XHTML Editor I came across through the Commonwealth of Learning link on the International Development side of the mind map. The tool is developed in New Zealand and supported by CORE Education.

As an aside, this tool looked quite interesting so I downloaded the software and gave it a quick tryout.  I wish I’d found it sooner, as I think it might have been useful in some of my other courses such as the lesson development projects in ETEC 531, and ETEC 510.  Perhaps others may find it useful this way as well.

Face 1:   Market Focus
The market focus for eXe is probably largely higher-education, but I can also see it being used in the K-12 or corporate markets in cases where CMS’s are also being used.

Face 2:  Types of Offerings
eXe provides infrastructure.  It is a software package that allows teachers and academics to develop content, and publish in a variety of formats including SCORM, HTML, and iPod Notes. It also provides infrastructure that students could use directly to develop eportolios.

Face 3:  Who is the Buyer?
Since eXe is Open Source there is no buyer per se.  It doesn’t really require a local guide.  It is a single user software application and can be downloaded and installed for free by both teachers and students. It is available for Windows, Mac OS/X, and Linux machines.

eXe is basically a fill-in the blanks tool that doesn’t require much technical expertise or understanding. As such, I could see the tool helping Learning Technology department staff in post-secs work with teachers to facilitate course content development.

Face 4: Global Markets
Interface translations for eXe have been developed (remember it is Open-Source) to meet user requirements for a diverse range of languages. The eXe website lists 33 language translations including Norwegian, German, Japanese, Maori, Zulu, and Twi.  The markets would include portions of all the global markets on this face of the CUBE. The key barriers for the eXe market would be language (is there an available translation for the market, or is there someone willing to customize one), and network access (eXe could be used in a LAN situation, or an Internet situation depending on the market need).

Face 5: Development of the Market
There appears to be some local (Canadian) interest in eXe.  The eXe website publishes a frappr map (http://www.frappr.com/exe), but it isn’t clear whether all the pins indicate developed markets.

Darcy Norman has done a screencast, and a static eportfolio demo of his test with eXe, that also includes some discussion of his take on aspects of the market for eXe.

I am still working on my understanding of this face of the CUBE.  Wondering if someone might give me some insights on this?  Or perhaps I’ve misunderstood the whole exercise!?

Face 6: Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning
Content developed with eXe can be exported in a range of formats that can then be imported into most content management systems (CMS), including Moodle, WebCT, and other Open Source CMS systems. eXe would integrate well with most other learning systems that might already be in place.  It could work within a well developed learning system, it could substitute for other forms of learning, and because it is easy to use, it could also provide a bridge when working with other learning technologies has been imposed.

September 16, 2008   4 Comments

Cubism take on E-learning Products

The e-learning program that I would like to look at is probably very familiar to everyone. I wanted to look at the WebCT platform (Blackboard) because it is really the only one that I have had any experience with. Specifically I would like to look at how it is used within our own school district (SD 27 Cariboo-Chilcotin). Two years ago our school partnered with the distance learning school in Kamloops in order to offer more options to our students so that we could retain more of them. The idea was that we would offer courses to students that perhaps had a need to do their courses electronically for a variety of reasons. Some students were looking for ways to complete their high school studies at a quicker pace, others wished to take courses that simply were not offered in our regular timetable simply because of very low enrollment (i.e. English Lit 12). Still others, for a variety of reasons, felt that they could not successfully participate in a “regular classroom”.

In terms of the cube, the market is clearly K-12 although it really is only being offered through our school at the grade 10-12 level. The actual development of the courses/program was left up to the Kamloops school district.

In terms of the global market it is fairly limited. The students accessing this resource are really only those that fall within our catchment area. Theoretically we could be offering these courses to students outside of our area. Initially there was some attempt at being the hub for the whole school district but that never really got off the ground. The advantage form our school’s point of view was an increase in FTE. This is probably why it never happened as there does seem to be some competition between schools for FTE.

The development of the local market has not been very strong. The number of students who have taken advantage of these courses has been very small. The students that I have spoken to who have attempted these courses do find that there is a disconnect because they miss the face to face interaction with an instructor and their classmates. The delay in response to their questions (via email) is another common complaint.

The integration of the technology can be somewhat problematic. It is not that unusual for a student to have no access to high speed internet at home. In some cases, students have no access to internet at all. Because of this, the students are often tied to the computers in our school. Access to computers within the school can be difficult at times because of a lack of availability.

While I might be sounding negative, I do see a positive use for this type of program. The availability of these courses to students allows us as educators to fill a niche that perhaps a traditional timetable cannot fill. Despite the alarm expressed by some of my more senior colleagues on staff when we first introduced this new program, these courses are not being offered to replace staff. Instead, they are in place to meet the needs of students who, perhaps, would not have those needs met in a regular classroom setting.

Georges Braque, Woman with a guitar, 1913

September 16, 2008   4 Comments

Three Deal Making Principles

According to Joan Wood Moser, “Intrigue opens the deal, Facts justify the deal and Emotion closes the deal”.

Read about Why Investor Pitches Fail to Deliver.

September 16, 2008   4 Comments

Q for David & David

For the Module 3 post – is it ok to analyse the cube characteristics for an e-learning program that was piloted in a few countries, about few years ago, but never took off – one that I know of? I do not have another elearning software or environment in mind as of now. If this would not be ok then do I have the permission to analyse this MET program?


September 16, 2008   2 Comments