The objective of this chapter is to create an understanding of the importance of open source software and open standards (OSS/OS) for e-learning research. Open source is a fundamental new way to develop software, and open standards are needed to make software components work together. It is argued that OSS and OS can improve the convergence of knowledge in the e-learning field, improve the general quality and interoperability of e-learning applications, and improve collaboration between researchers and users. All of these are beneficial and necessary requirements for e-learning research. After a general introduction into basic OSS and OS concepts, the following questions will be answered: a) How does OSS/OS facilitate the technological activities of the researchers in terms of methodology, collaboration and dissemination of results? b) How does OSS/OS facilitate the development of technological knowledge in the field? c) How does OSS/OS facilitate the development of technological artifacts in the field? The development and use of the open standard “IMS Learning Design” (a formal design language for online courses), and the open source applications that are developed to run and present IMS Learning Design courses will be used as an example to demonstrate the use of OSS/OS in e-learning research. In the concluding section we provide some practical information for researchers how to get involved in OSS and OS and how to use it in e-learning research.
|Title of host publication||Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology|
|Editors||J. Michael Spector, M. David Merill, Jeroen van Merriënboer, Marcy P. Driscoll|
|Place of Publication||New York|
|Number of pages||14|
|ISBN (Electronic)||9780203880869, 9781135596910|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|