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Voyager Virtual Learning Environment ( Overview of the Voyager Learner Suite (runs automatically)

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1 Voyager Virtual Learning Environment ( Overview of the Voyager Learner Suite (runs automatically)

2 Introduction Most current learning software is primarily content-based – it simply presents learning resources to the user (common learning systems like this include Blackboard, Moodle & WebCT). This presentation provides an overview of Voyager, a prototype learning system based on the IMS Learning Design Specification. The specification provides a model for learning systems to present information focused on learner activities, rather than content. More than this, it allows workflows with multiple roles, collaborative peer- interaction and personalization, giving the educator the ability to provide a rich learning experience. Voyager has been developed to explore the benefits and disadvantages to learners of using a system based on the IMS Learning Design Specification. This presentation focuses on the parts of the system that learners would see. Test data is based on the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. We are going to look at how George Weasley would see the system. This demo runs automatically – just click the “Next” button to move to the next sequence.

3 Main Learner Screen The Learner’s activities (to do list, for all courses) The resources needed for this activity The activity details Other learners in the group. Fred and George are working together on this activity. Key Features: Action buttons: “Start” records date/time & makes resources available “Done” marks activity as complete. “Back” & “Next” scroll through activities in this course.

4 A quick tour …

5 Quick Tour - Login Once you have logged in from the home page you see your to do list and messages.

6 Quick Tour – Activities When you click on an activityand choose a role, the activity details are displayed.

7 Quick Tour – Doing Activities When you start the activity the resources and services for that activity become available. When you finish the activity, mark it as completed.

8 Other people in your group are then shown on the main screen. You can’t start an activity until all roles are filled. Quick Tour – Group Activities For group activities, you choose a group and role together.

9 Once you have started the activity you can use the services to communicate with others. Quick Tour – Group Activities Group members receive messages as people join. When all roles are filled, all group members receive a message saying they can start the activity.

10 Additional Information The Learning Design Specification is very flexible. Educators can set up simple, individual activities or complex, multi-role activities. The specification is not based on a particular educational theory (pedagogy) – educators can set up whatever sorts of activities they think are best. They might be traditional activities such as “read this article”, “attend this class”, or practical exercises. They might be computer-based, using the resources provided (maybe a web site or software application), or away from the computer. Voyager is web-based, so people don’t need to be in the same place. It can be used in class, at work or home. Voyager allows for immediate or delayed communications, so people don’t have to be logged in at the same time. The resources needed for the current task are shown to the learner, so they don’t get overwhelmed, or have to “figure out” what resources they may need. The system stores data about when learners took roles and started and completed activities. Educators can use this monitor learners’ progress or compare it with others.

11 Summary Based on activities, not content (although an activity might be to read specific content) Group or Individual tasks Only relevant resources shown to guide user Web-based - place & time are flexible Wealth of data so educators can monitor progress. This sounds good, but how might it benefit learners in reality? What problems might it create? To help me answer these questions, please try out the system then complete the questionnaire (approx 15 minutes). This exercise will walk you through the system as a learner would use it: The system is online at Start Again

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