Rich Internet Applications technology is gaining ground in learning development as a means of providing feature rich functionality, extensibility and highly interactive user interfaces at the level of a web browser. The Servitium team recently developed the prototype of a concept that merged the developments in RIA (with Flex), social constructivism and Web 2.0.
Apart from featuring a mini-PLE, community building tools, highly interactive user experiences and extensibility through web services, the concept talked about being able to extend and shape the entire learning experience in a personalized manner with learners taking control of what they wanted and when they wanted it.
One of the highlights was the thought of using business intelligence tools for continuously evolving and adapting the user experience. With detailed tracking features for every user interaction, it is empirically possible to understand how learners use electronic resources to advance knowledge and collaboration. This is also extremely useful in building systems for adaptive personalization – personalization that provides probabilistic recommendations to shape the learning experience.
Structured learning is easy to provide but needs user discipline. Traditionally we have been trying hard to build systems that enforce discipline in users towards learning (structured). SCORM & other such protocols define intended user behavior and try to impose and track the user responses. This is good when intent is to make user learn (any how). This approach shows spikes of constraints when we think of building knowledge and experience.
In such an ecosystem where intent is to build knowledge, user participation in acquiring knowledge becomes a key factor. We need to realize the importance of user learning styles and preferences if we want to achieve this. Not to forget the infinite learning sources available to us. Only when a user’s sub-conscious mind is able to accept a particular information source as an enriching experience, it allows the experience (information source) to be registered as something beneficial in user’s neural system and thus in turn allows it to be added to the knowledge base of a user.
The blend of Web 2.0 & e-learning 2.0 has provided us a way to empower user with such adaptive personalization tools. At end of the day everything boils down to learning experience. If you have a good experience you will remember it, especially if you were in control!