Wednesday, June 13, 2007

LAMS V2 and Sakai

Many interesting new options in LAMS V2, shame James Dalziel couldn't make it in person. One interesting change is the change in approach allowing for a combination of online and offline activities. Reports and materials used in offline activities can be included in the LAMS flow of activities. Export to portfolio is possible: this simply produces a zip package with html report of activities. Branching and conditionality is coming up in V2.1.
Technically: service based architecture which will allow it to work with various VLEs. Gradebook is not integrated yet, but there are looking at it. There is a new more complex option they are looking at: dragging and dropping Sakai tools in the LAMS authoring environment.
They have set up a LAMS community for sharing sequences and rate and comment on each other's sequences.


Esther van der Linde said...

Hi Keith,

does the new version of LAMS allow for more student oriented approach to learning? I love LAMS because it is not content but activity based and is very intuitive to use. Yet I was a bit disappointed with the limited possibilities to give more control to the students.

Esther van der Linde

Keith Russell said...

Hi Esther,
I am sorry to say the learning activities are still maintained by the teacher. The teacher can offer the student a choice of activities.

James Dalziel said...

Hi Keith and Esther,

Regarding student control - the core concept of LAMS is that a teacher provides students with a sequence of activities to achieve one or more learning outcomes - so there is always some level of teacher direction.

When authoring a sequence, a teacher can provide students with lots of choices about what they do (particularly using the "Optional" box) - so the level of student control depends on how the teacher authors the sequence. In some contexts a teacher want to provide lots of student choice, and in others students may need more guidance/scaffolding.

From a different perspective, it is possible to give students authoring and monitoring rights in LAMS if you want. We've seen some great work along this lines in Teacher Training courses (where students built LAMS sequences as part of their assessment). You'll find quite a few of these also posted to the LAMS Community -

For more on this work, see Leanne Cameron's slides at

Hope this helps!