July 24, 2006

I went to the launch of an updated version of James Dalziel’s LAMS software at the London Knowledge Lab (July 4th). James as usual was very good with a great mix of grounded ideas, real implementations and ambitions. The enhancements look well worked out so that it should be possible to build much more attractive sequences witin a friendlier interface. As well as getting the basics right LAMS has added some interesting features including scope for notes and instructions helping to capture the ideas and intent behind a sequence.

Diana Laurillard followed up by describing the LKL’s part on one of JISC’s pedagogic planner projects; with these improvements LAMS 2 looks like a very good starting point for such a tool. We discussed this idea when James visited in February but didn’t get the bid together so well done to both James and Diana for their work on this.Another major feature of this version is the tools contract. Alex Little explained how he had worked through an example. While he did not get quite as far as he hoped in the couple of weeks he spent on this in Australia he did a thorough job of documenting his work on the wiki and I am sure this will be abig help to anyone else trying to use the tool contract. James commented that it would be great to get more innovative tools emerging as VLEs have been stalled with the same 10 tools for the last 10 years. A very good point indeed.James also mentioned the RaMS project with R for research replacing L for learning. There wasn’t enough time for much about this but I had looked at the sildes available from educause beforehand and it looks interesting.At the end I had a chat with James about possible connections.

  1. Get our open content into LAMS. As LAMS runs in Moodle there is a chance that this might be part of the project but a more likely option is to rework some examples once they are available and load them up on the lamsfoundation.
  2. Work with the new RAMS project on a research environment for open content. As this is my area of responsibility this is possible and James offered to pass on more detail about the proposal.
  3. Work more directly on RAMS by linking into a project – one possibility here is to build on Simon Buckingham Shum’s work with Compendium as a possible research oriented tool.

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