Friday, 25 January 2008

CourseFeed-Facebook-Blackboard

I've had the following email reply from Jared Allgood of ClassTop in reponse to the issues posed at: http://dmupathfinder.blogspot.com/2008/01/facebook-blackboard.html. Note that I also posted at: http://dmupathfinder.blogspot.com/2007/11/great-blackboard-facebook-mash-up-part.html and these are still the key questions for me.

Jared agreed to my posting his response so here goes...

"I’ve been reading your blog posts about CourseFeed and I’d like to address some of the concerns you bring up. Firstly, I appreciate your passionate support in e-learning and learning in general. Any discussion about the direction of learning is beneficial to learners and to companies like mine that attempt to add valuable tools to the learning experience. Please allow me to address your listed issues from your most recent post - http://dmupathfinder.blogspot.com/2008/01/facebook-blackboard.html.


  1. Yes, these are big claims. Introducing a social element to existing e-learning platforms has to happen. Social learning is a term that is too broad to be defined by an application like CourseFeed. CourseFeed is the first application that leverages both the power of e-learning platforms (i.e. Blackboard) and online social networks (i.e. Facebook) to create an enhanced social/learning experience online. While we make no claim to have invented social learning (this has gone on since the first classrooms and before) CourseFeed comes closer to mirroring the classroom experience online primarily because of its wide adoption among students. CourseFeed’s integration with both Blackboard and Facebook make online learning social, which is quite different than requiring students to comment on a discussion board in exchange for a grade. In fact, that’s what’s great (and powerful) about CourseFeed – students choose to access learning content and interact with each other when they use CourseFeed.
  2. We are very concerned about privacy and security and are willing to alter our privacy policy if the need exists. The email you receive was an announcement that CourseFeed is now available in a flavor that does not require students to enter their login credentials; delivering the same functionality with higher security. This development was in direct response to requests from institutions like your own. If you have specific questions/concerns regarding the type of data CourseFeed accesses on behalf of the student I’d be happy to address those.
  3. In short, yes, students want this. At beta-sites between 15% and 20% of all students started using CourseFeed within 2 weeks. I don’t know of any other e-learning tool that is that widely and quickly adopted by students. The best part about CourseFeed is that students choose to use it – it’s not like a new enterprise system, purchased by the school, and adopted by no one.
  4. Every time a school installs an extension to their enterprise learning management system questions should be asked about the impact on network performance. CourseFeed was designed in such a way that it reduces load on the server. Updates are made to courses and feeds are sent to Facebook users on a one-to-many basis. When one student’s course is updated that update goes to all students enrolled in the course. The burden is much lower than if all students were to login to Blackboard and click through the course looking for new content.

You pose great questions. I hope I’ve been able to put some of your concerns at ease and I’d like to make myself available if you have any other questions, concerns, or feedback about CourseFeed."

8 comments:

Rudy said...

Curious... Coursefeed brings nothing to the table apart from being a bridge between two existing platforms, and yet claims to be the "first social learning mashup of social networking and e-learning."

College-Cram.com has been around for years as an e-learning resource library, and incorporated social learning last August, three months before Coursefeed.

By my calendar, Coursefeed's "first" doesn't seem quite accurate...

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