Design Bash 09

Summer is the time for festivals, and at the OU in Milton Keynes this week there was a bit of learning design festival spanning the first three days of the week. In conjunction with the LAMS European Conference on Tuesday there were a couple of fringe events. On Monday there was a pedagogical planner summit and on Wednesday a Design Bash which we (CETIS) hosted in conjunction with LAMS. After two days of fairly high level discussion and presentations, the design bash was a much more of a hands on affair giving people the chance to create and and share their designs and systems.

The design bash builds on the tradition of the CETIS codebashes and we held our first design bash as part of the JISC Design for Learning programme. This time around we had a much more open event with a much larger range of design tools – from pedagogic planners such as Phoebe, through authoring tools such as LAMS, ReCourse and Graphical Learning Modeller to sharing sites such as Cloudworks.

The day was fairly free form but we had identified 3 main areas of activity which we used initially to break into three groups:.
*System interoperability – looking at how the import and export of designs between systems can be facilitated.
*Sharing of designs – ascertaining the most effective way to export and share designs between systems.
*Describing designs – discovering the most useful representations of designs or patterns and whether they can be translated into runnable versions.

One of the main topics for discussion from the sharing group was centered around was the development of simple previewing tools so that users could easily view for example a LAMS sequence without having to log into the the LAMS environment. There was definite interest in developing easily embeddable preview widgets.

The authoring interoperability group were able to recreate a design originally developed for LAMS in the Graphical Learning Modeller (GLM) tool the export that design into the ReCourse authoring tool and preview the design. There were a few wee glitches (mainly around the resource folder export) and these are documented in the cloudworks site. We also had a live demo of creating a LAMS sequence from a high level design pattern stored in the Design Principles Database (DPB). The sequence was then added to the LAMS community site. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to recreate/import/export this design into the other systems, but both Susanne (GLM) and Dai (Recourse) have committed to do that. So we did actually manage to get a bit of daisy-chaining of designs in and out of systems. If we had had more time I’m sure we would have had more examples of this.

There was also a lot of discussion about the integration of widgets and web services in general into various design systems. Recourse and LAMS can both now integrate the wookie widget server. The Compedium LD team from the OU had some very interesting discussions about the possibilities of using widgets to extend the collaborative capabilities of their design visualisations through for example the integration of a chat widget.

Central to the day was the use of the Cloudworks site being developed by the OU LDI team. At this point I would like to give a special mention to Juliette Cluver who had just rebuilt the system and launched it on Tuesday – it worked at treat! The cloudscape for the day has links to all the sytems, designs, twitter messages and photos from the day. A great record of the day something we hope that can be maintained and extended. So, if you are interested in finding out more or adding a design/system the please go and have a look at the cloudscape for the day and add your contributions.