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.


1 davidp { 09.16.08 at 10:18 pm }

Yes, eXe is a cool little tool and works as a plugin to Firefox.

The language localizations make it a perfect play for Face 5, where it can be used by instructors and teachers in various global markets to take ownership of instructional development to suit local needs, using nice open source tools like eXe.

One of its really nice features, and one I’ve tried promoting locally, is the ability to keep content and presentation separate, and specifically to keep content “clean” throughout its lifecycle.

This means you could future-proof instructional content by authoring in an environment like eXe and then moving it into a “delivery” environment, such a learning management system only when needed.

Nice summary, Joey. Thanks.

2 Cheryl Milner { 09.17.08 at 4:57 pm }

Hi Joey,

I had a look at eXe, and agree it serves higher ed and perhaps K-12, but don’t think it has the functionality that the corporate community would expect in their e-development.

The fifth facet of the cube – Global market delves into where this type of learning technology could take off on the world stage. As an open source editing tool it has great possibilities because it isn’t to any particular application.

Great choice in selecting a tool!


3 Joey Dabell { 09.18.08 at 2:00 pm }

David, Cheryl:

Thanks for the feedback. I have a much better grasp on face 5. I agree that the open aspects and the available languages give this tool an advantage in the global arena.

I also suspect you are right Cheryl about the tool finding its strongest markets in higher-ed, and K-12 (perhaps to a somewhat lesser, but growing extent).

4 Bruce Spencer { 09.20.08 at 7:39 pm }

Hmmmmm … interesting …

Thanks for sharing eXe with us, Joey. I’ve bookmarked it for future research as I’m curious to see whether or not I can apply it to my work situation somehow.

FREE is good!

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