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Part II of Ruth Sabean's contribution to the "OSS and OER in Education Series." In this 2 part interview, Ruth Sabean, assistant vice provost for educational technology in UCLA’s College of Letters and Science, discusses the evaluation process she managed at UCLA that resulted in the selection of the open source application Moodle.

Interview with Ruth Sabean conducted by Ken Udas. Originally posted March 12th, 2007 to the OSS and OER in Education Series, Terra Incognita blog (Penn State World Campus), edited by Ken Udas.

Selection of an open source application

KU: Although increasing numbers of colleges and universities are adopting open-source applications to support their online teaching and learning, there are still a lot of myths about the benefits and challenges of open-source software. What drove you toward considering and selecting an open-source learning-management system?

RS: We looked at this decision as being a lot more than about selecting a technology—it was about a new direction for UCLA. First, it was a commitment to becoming part of a larger community of educators and institutions; second, it was about open source; third, it was about a common toolbox to support teaching, learning, AND collaboration; and fourth, it was about UCLA units and individuals working together to provide a common service that supports rapid innovation. Our goal is to benefit through contributing to and learning from a global partnership that holds values of access and cooperation matching those of UCLA.

KU: What are some of the opportunities or benefits that you see open source providing your program and how are you ensuring that they can be realized?

RS: This is a hard question to answer right now because we are very new to this. As mentioned earlier, we see real opportunity and benefit from working with a global community on an open project that will also work with other open projects (for example, Sakai AND Moodle). We have little interest in being tied to large commercial vendors who are guided by larger market forces that have little to do with UCLA teaching, learning, and collaboration needs. It is our belief that other individuals and institutions that gravitate to open-source communities will share some common set of values. We found that Moodle had a particularly strong, mature, and sustainable community whose culture and processes were consistent with our own.

We are planning on becoming active members of the Moodle community once we have the expertise to provide value back to that community. We think this is a good start to realizing the potential of open source. We are also planning on working with institutions and organizations that share a commitment to interoperability.

KU: What are some of the challenges that you anticipate coming with your selection of an open-source platform and how are you addressing them?

RS: Like a lot of universities, we are fiercely independent at every level—as individuals, as departments, as schools and divisions. It is part of our culture and we have had success with it, seeing it as fundamental to innovation. We have not had a lot of experience collaborating with open-source communities. We have much to learn about being good collaborators internally and externally. Once again, we thought that Moodle was an open community in which we could actively participate.

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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