Action Learning Environments

A collection of information on the use of action learning environments in education to support experiential or interactive learning communities that may be (or not) distributed over arbitrary distances in time and space via the Internet.

If you're new to the topic, begin with the Review of Taming the Electronic Frontier by Marilyn Eggers. It explains exactly why I'm so enthusiastic about web-based action learning in education.

Review of Taming the Electronic Frontier by Marilyn Eggers (PDF)
This review of the author's Taming the Electronic Frontier course is a solid introduction to web-based action learning in practice. The article describes the original Perl version that has since been reimplemented in Java/XML and released in open source as Action Learning Environment (ALE).
Nailing Jello to the Wall: by Starla J. King
Master's Practicum, "Communication Analysis: Programmers and Users", by Starla J. King. The implications of Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on the communication between programmers and users in the context of Taming the Electronic Frontier. A great introduction to the chasm between those who live on opposite sides of the terminal's glass screen, and to why communication so often breaks down between them. For example, Scott Adam's Dilbert is a never-ending stream of poignant examples of communicaton breakdowns between Dilbert and his pointy-haired boss.
Taming the Electronic Frontier: Fall 1998 by Brad Cox
The last semester of the Taming the Electronic Frontier course. This course won the $25,000 Paul Allen Foundation prize as the best distance education course nationwide.
Plan for a New University by Brad Cox
Written at the request of Alan Merten, GMU's president, to explain how the author's approach to education could be expanded university-side.
Action Learning Community (ALE)
Open source project in Java and XML, to make action learning technologies available to anyone prepared to learn XML. ALE's goal is the opposite of most of the "distance education solutions" on the market today, whose primary goal is for any one with a detectable pulse to put couseware on the internet and pretend it's a "course", ore share the result across institutions (see SCORM). ALE's goal is more ambitious, providing a better educational experience over then internet than is even possible in face to face classrooms. The difference is in the priority: other systems put instructional or institutional needs first while ALE puts student needs first.
Middle of Nowhere
Eclectic collection of material on various topics as a resource for distance education students. Academia, BigBrother, Bionomics, CEM, CaseStudies, Crypto, CyberPorn, DistanceLearning, Economics, ElectronicCommunity, ElectronicFrontier, ElectronicProperty, Internet, K12, ObjectTechnology, Outlaws, Quality, Quotes, SocialConstruction, SoftwareEngineering, Superdistribution,
Interactive Learning Community
An older open source project, written in Ruby, with exactly the same objective as ALE. Currently non-functioning (the download link does work) because the third party ocelot servlet engine failed when I moved the site to a new server and I've not had the time to fix it.


Modification date: March 27, 2004 © Copyright 2004 by Brad Cox
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