New report by Educause on Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (p.s. I had light involvement in one meeting plus review of draft).
An early conclusion from our research is that although the NGDLE might include a traditional LMS as a component, it will not itself be a single application like the current LMS or other enterprise applications.7 Rather, the NGDLE will be an ecosystem of sorts, characterized by the following:
At the built layer, it will be a confederation of IT systems, including content repositories, analytics engines, and a wide variety of applications and digital services.
One key to making such a confederation work will be full adherence to standards for interoperability, as well as for data and content exchange.
_ Instead of uniformity and centrality, it will need to support personalization as an option at all levels of the institution. The NGDLE will not be exactly the same for any two learners,
instructors, or institutions._
For users, it will be a cloud-like space to aggregate and connect content and functionality, similar to a smartphone, where users fashion their environments directly with self-selected apps.
If the paradigm for the NGDLE is a digital confederation of components, the model for the NGDLE architecture may be the mash-up. A mash-up is a web page or application that “uses content from more than one source to create a single new service displayed in a single graphical interface.” Hence it uses a heterogeneity of components to produce a homogeneity of function. The confederation-based NGDLE will be mashed up at both the individual and the institutional levels, as opposed to consortia forming to create open enterprise applications.