Talk:History of virtual learning environments

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Education (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Education, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of education and education-related topics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Alternative education (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Alternative education, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of alternative education on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
 
This article has been mentioned by a media organization:
This article has been mentioned by a media organization:
WikiProject Wikify
WikiProject icon A version of this article was wikified by Sumsum2010, a member of WikiProject Wikify, on December 4, 2010. The project welcomes all editors with a good grasp of wiki markup to help to improve articles. Visit our project page if you're interested in joining! If you have questions, please direct them to our talk page.
 

General Discussion[edit]

It seems to me that there are several fundamental reasons for opposing this patent.

First, but not least, the fiduciary responsibility that universities have toward the taxpayers and private donors who provide their funding, and to the university researchers who actually did develop innovative education technology. As it stands, our institutions are faced with the prospect of paying royalties to a third party for their own inventions. Regardless of how one feels about software patents (and I am personally opposed to them), I hope we can all agree that if royalties are due, they should be paid to those who actually invented the technology, not to those who simply managed to bulldoze a patent examiner.

Second, scholarly responsibilities. Academics have a strong obligation to provide credit where due. Allowing Bb to claim "inventions" that were in fact the work of others is utterly inconsistent with that responsibility. This work has been going on for almost five decades; Blackboard's claim to have "invented" it all in the late 90s is repugnant. One must also consider the chilling effects on future research. If educational technology researchers must work under fear of lawsuits, it's a near-certainty that research and innovation will suffer.

Third, pedagogic responsibility. Academia is ethically bound to provide education of the highest possible quality. Does anyone believe that the current systems represent perfection? Or that this patent won't create a chilling effect on future research aimed at improving on-line education?

Most universities have IP lawyers on staff (or on retainer) to handle the genuine inventions of university researchers:

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/speeches/05-18.htm

I see several institutions on that list that are well-represented in the lists of prior art that have been compiled. I urge those institutions, in particular, to have their legal staffs prepare amicus briefs in Blackboard v. Desire2Learn.

Several have noted that Bb management is backpedaling on their outrageous claims, using spin-speak with null semantic content (marketroid phrases such as "enterprise" are utterly meaningless in this context). I suggest that, in addition to the amicus briefs, the university IP staff demand a detailed explanation of what, if anything, Blackboard actually invented, and how these claimed inventions can be distinguished from the dozens of examples of prior art that have been cited. Again, this should be done for fiduciary reasons if nothing else. Given the present undefined nature of Blackboard's claims, how can a university guarantee that it won't inadvertently infringe the patent? Are we expected to get approval from Blackboard's legal staff before doing any kind of on-line teaching? Or should we merely forge ahead and wait to see if Blackboard sues? Neither prospect seems appealing. -- G. Bolstrood (who uses "another brand" for teaching, doesn't want to get sued, and, most of all, doesn't want to see his students forced to use the crapfest that Blackboard calls a course management system).

Prior art Work form NJIT efforts (Virtual Classroom) and realated work at OEP in 1971-1973, now on the web via the NJIT library. the items below have not been in electronic form before.

Those of you following the blackboard patent review might like to see some the documents now on this website. they were not in electronic format till now. they include early EIES user manuals and even manual from teh EMISARI system from the Office of the Emergency Preparedness (1971) that had roles and and similar concept in it.

http://www.library.njit.edu/cccc-materials/index.cfm

the njit library has started to put some of our old reports on the web and i asked them to put up first some of the user manuals which i think you will find clearly document things like single interface and multiple roles and linking of relevant materials. You can get the whole document from the above website.

what is there now is the following items and i have made a few quick comments under each title. If any one has looked at the prior art that blackboard submitted i would be curious to know if NJIT was included at all. I suspect not. Also i discovered a two page copy of the original trademark document for "virtual classroom" should i scan it and send it to you. (it is still held by njit)

Doc Title Date Author RR#13 Guide to the topics system Jan. 1981 Peter Johnson-Lenz, Trudy Johnson Lenz this was a system with roles for editor, indexer as well as the normal administrator roles and it linked relevant messages into a discussion thread. this was the user manual

RR#14 The evolution of a tailored communications structure : the topics system Jan. 1981 Peter Johnson-Lenz, Trudy Johnson Lenz more detail on the design

RR#25 Learning in a virtual classroom : volume 1 of a virtual classroom on EIES : final evaluation report 1988 Starr Roxanne Hiltz a major early evaluation report but did confirm that you could be a student in one conference and an instructor in another with only one sign on. also a single interface inside the class conference to link to any other material and other related conferences.


RR#26 Teaching in a virtual classroom : volume 2 of a virtual classroom on EIES : final evaluation report 1988 Starr Roxanne Hiltz discusses the methods of teaching and the software design to support those methods

RR#29 Teaching lower level computer science courses via virtual classroom and video : course reports by faculty n.d. Starr Roxanne Hiltz, Fadi Deek, Maura Deek, James Geller, Ajaz Rana expeerineces by teachers in teaching

RR#30 Teaching upper level computer science courses via virtual classroom and video : course reports by faculty 1995 Starr Roxanne Hiltz, Julian M. Scher, Michael Bieber, Murray Turoff more experiences in teaching

TM-225 Conference system user's guide Assistant Director for Resource Analysis, Office of Emergency Preparedness the library put up the user guide for the system i designed in the us government in 1971 which was used through 1985 and for which quite a bit was published.

this had numerous roles that were created on the fly for people responsible for reporting different things and it also was integrated into the communications with a directory that showed what everyone role was and what they were responsible for. the concept of roles is very clear in this user manual and what constituted a role could be changed and each individual could have many roles, editing a notebook, reporting date, etc.

TM-230 EMISARI : A management information system designed to aid and involve people Feb. 1973 Assistant Director for Resource Analysis, Office of Emergency Preparedness this is an overview of the same system explaining the design. if roles were present in numerous applications over the years it is hardly something you should be able to patent as a general concept for one application.

there was a host of applications of roles under the title of hypertext systems as to could create and manipulate the different aspects of hypertext structure and this is well summarized ina thesis of one my students Usha Rao in the early 90's if you want ot get it from university microfilms. these were systems build at a great many R&D labs at places like xerox park and SRI. but emisari was the first except for the "delphi conference system" in 1969 which i build at OEP as well in 1969 and is published in the Journal of Technological Forecasting and Social Change.

the other paper i dont recall if i sent you was "party-line and discussion" computerized conferencing systems in 1972 at a conference which even included chat and IM in its capabilities. I was not sure how to break this up and stick in the main text but anyone who would like to should feel free to do so. There is also early work on the home pages of Roxanne Hiltz and Murray Turoff http://is.njit.edu/turoff and http://is.njit.edu/hiltz the above was the text of a message i sent to a number of people interested in prior art, Murray Turoff turoff@njit.edu

67.83.101.28 07:51, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

- 07:51, 21 February 2007 (UTC)67.83.101.28


See copy of article at http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=35542 . Note that the person who started this page, Michael Feldstein, did so partially in response to the Blackboard patent. He has since blogged about it on his blog. See also http://www.WikiPatents.com/ .

Unknown Dates[edit]

  • History of any art prior to 1990 with regard to remote teaching and interactive communication.


This is a correction regarding one commercial computer assistead learning system. The article on the history of virtual learning environments mentions in the late 90's "The Learning Manager (TLM), from Campus America, Inc." I brought the predecessor of TLM to Laurentian University in 1991. It was then caled CML (Computer Managed Learning), later LMS (Learning nmanagement Systems) and had been in use in Alberta and Australia for some years at that point. The Company Website claims it has been operating for more than 20 years. The program was developed at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) beginning and it was spun off as a private company, later sold to Campus America, where it apparently failed and returned to the Learning Management Corporation.

  • MIT School of Management's dotLRN (See [1]) Start date unknown - around by at least 2002... anyone have a better date?

In the late 1980's IBM had a system that ran under Novell called ICLASS for MS-DOS based, Token-Ring attached, stations in K-12. The system provided course/class management. The successor program for MS-Windows was called School Vista. I couldn't find many links, but here are a few:

http://www.gp.k12.mi.us/technology/mary/svinstructionalplans/instructionalplans.htm

www-03.ibm.com/industries/ca/en/education/k12/technical/updates/svyearend.pdf --Igoldste 17:28, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

http://web.archive.org/web/20011204023947/http://dotlrn.mit.edu/

  • I have an e-mail from Sloan dated 8/1/01 which states "I'm writing because OpenForce is ready to begin porting SloanSpace to ACS 4". I would call this the start of the dotLRN effort. Does anyone have any better info?
  • I believe that .LRN grew out of Randy Graebner's master's thesis at MIT, published in May, 2000. That's already referenced on the main article page. Not 100% positive on this, though, as there may be differences between the version in the thesis and what was actually implemented in .LRN. -- anonymous guy who doesn't want to get sued by Blackweb.
  • CAI learning environments in the military: The US military has traditionally been the greatest consumer of computer based education as early as the 50's and 60's.

1999[edit]

Note that for purposes of prior art against patent 6,988,138, the art must have been used or published one-year prior to the application (1-year grace period) on June 30, 2000. --AriConsul 23:05, 3 August 2006 (PST)

The inclusion of these references does contribute to the case that states that patent 6,988,138 is obvious - see: person having ordinary skill in the art. --Sambauers 09:09, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

From the article: "Serf was invented at the University of Delaware by Dr. Fred Hofstetter during the summer of 1997." Prior to Serf, Dr Hofstetter had developed a program called 'Podium'. www.udel.edu/podium

While it may be true that prior art must be found from before 30 June 1999, it is not true for the reason mentioned, unless that prior art originated from a publication by the inventors. I've addressed this and a number of other errors concerning the patent in my recent edits. I thought it would be worthwhile highlighting some other common misconceptions concerning patents.
One important change is that I think it is wrong, or at least misleading, to state the the patent "covers many aspects of VLE" and other similar phrases. The text of the patent may well describe many aspects of VLE, but that is just there as background information. eg just because they describe a computer in the patent doesn't mean that the patent "covers" computers. Rather it only covers the specific combination of VLE features that are listed in the independent claims. For this reason, I have added a brief, plain-language summary of the features that are actually recited in claim 1 to the 2006 section of the article.
If any potential infringer fails to do all of the things listed in claim 1, they do not infringe claim 1 or any of the claims that depend on claim 1. Conversely, it is necessary to show that each and every feature in claim 1 was known (or would have been obvious) in combination to invalidate claim 1. Taking the claim apart piece by piece is not normally the way it works in patents since the whole may be greater than the sum of its parts. eg A new engine may still use the same springs and cogs as an old engine, but if the way all these bits has been put together is new and not obvious, that engine could still be patented. The old engine is also not "covered" by the resulting patent even though they have features in common.
Hope this helps in the search for and identification of relevant prior art. GDallimore 12:17, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

1989[edit]

I added this is on behalf of one of the authors of the paper, who didn't have a wikipedia account. It's pre-web though, and whilst there are references to it online, we couldn't find a direct source to refer to. --Straycat 20:41, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

The claims section of the patent only specifies client-server. A pre-web client-server system may count as prior art. Mfeldstein 17:04, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

1992[edit]

I don't have good information on this product, but here is a start Nils Peterson 15:15, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Approximately 1992 Washington State University experimented with a product called Pacer Forum, for collaborative writing. Pacer Forum ran on an intranet in a client-server model; the client would now be understood as a web browser. No published results by WSU. This link indicates use at Syracuse.

(I think it was called PacerForum and ran on Mac. We tried it at the OU but decided in favour of FirstClass. I can find no files from the period but see http://www.pjb.co.uk/8/Exchange.htm. Paul Bacsich 12:39, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

1960[edit]

There's just way too much detail on PLATO for this sort of a summary page. Some of this should be moved to PLATO's own entry, while some of it belongs in a separate, non-Wikipedia document that focuses specifically on the Blackboard prior art issue. I understand the motivation for this, but I think it goes to far in terms of turning this page from a list of historic events to specific legal documentation.

This is a fair point but one that is not going to go away; there is going to be a continuing temptation to put more detail than is appropriate for a standard encyclopedia article, since part of the motivation for writing this article is to help in the production of a legal document (as mentioned in the Desire2Learn article). Is there any chance that an exception might be made in this case, bearing in mind a possible (or even strong?) parallel between the motivation for this article and the ethos of Wikipedia? Failing that..."Wikipriorart"?
I see that you (Mfeldstein) did this. However, it would've been nice if you'd a) inserted a link to the new location in the body of the article here, b) cited the original source in the body of the text in the new location, and c) not screwed up the reference list. I spent quite a bit of time formatting that wiki-style (not to mention the time spent poring over dusty manuals in a research library on a nice weekend). :-(

Online Testing[edit]

Is online testing relevant?

1995 Online multiple choice quiz script released by Eric Tachibana (Selena Sol) et al. of eXtropia, earliest download page available at the Internet Archive is from 1998 with various educational site examples[2].

1996 Quiztest inspired by Eric Tachibana (Selena Sol)'s multiple choice script above, an online testing system capable of displaying content such as a text prior to the test, was released by Kristina Pfaff-Harris.

Sorry, I added both of these and they are probably not. However, they are pre 1999, they do allow for an administrator (teacher) verus student ditinction in roles, and some of the early entries also seem to be methods of online testing. --Timtak 09:57, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Early[edit]

I'm posting this because of my surprise and disgust at that appalling Blackboard patent and it's only an observation but I see mostly academic and recent stuff here, yet there was a plethora of what was called CBT (Computer Based Training) software around in the commercial mainframe computing world in the 1980s (and probably earlier) and the article looks grossly incomplete without a mention of it - to me at least. I couldn't dig up anything much from this newfangled Internet thing other than this http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0SMG/is_n15_v8/ai_7206477 but it was a long time ago. --Straycat 20:41, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I think the reason for the relatively recent and academic nature of the history is the current interest around the Bb patent and the web-based nature of current Course Management Tools. I agree that there were client-server or mainframe-terminal systems much earlier and those also foreshadow some of the prior arts, including selective release, quiz/test, and content managment. The one I recall was called PLATO, ca 1980, but probably earlier.
It is not surprising to me that the early history of web-based VLEs comes from academic settings. If you look at the timeline that is developing, the pioneering work happened at universities and then began spinning out into the commercial sector. WebCT is the story I know best. If we are able to get the early history of CBE, I'm guessing it will have similar origins in research labs and universities. Nils Peterson 14:34, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Most of the pre-Internet CBT was self-paced. The patent specifically addresses a networked multi-user environment. Mfeldstein 17:07, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
By this last comment do you think this Bb patent only applies to system where multiple users are collaborating, learning live, etc?

Scope issues[edit]

Postings over the August 26-28 weekend period have broadened the scope of this article to include "distance learning". Interesting, because even without a software or algorithmic core, such approaches might have been, or might be, patentable "business methods" (in US anyway). But there are other broadenings of e-learning beyond the VLE/LMS core that are not included: quality, benchmarking, etc. Some other things creep in from time to time but not systematically, e.g. e-learning hardware. A quick scan of Wikipedia suggests that there are no "History of X" articles close to this article - and I detect no drive from elsewhere to create such. So how far should we extend this one? Presumably the working view is "keep broadening till lots of people shout"? Paul Bacsich 08:29, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Keep adding sourced encyclopedic unbiased content until it gets to the point that it makes sense to break pieces out of it. The current timeline might wind up becoming two sets of articles : one based on time (eg pre1980, 80s, 90s, 00s) and one based on conceptual subdivisions (eg benchmarking e-learning, e-learning algorithms, e-learning software suites, e-learning businesses, etc.). Then you can place a navigation box (template) at the top of each article pointing to your suite of articles. WAS 4.250 08:49, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Alternatively, insert a preamble stating that use of VLEs relates other fields of education and technology (distance learning, expansion of education (esp HE), computer networks, Internet, WWW) and point to articles that can deal with the history of those topics more thoroughly. --Philbarker 11:35, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
As long as multiple people are daily using this page to accumulate and organize their data, keeping it all here for now makes sense. I'm expecting continued interest in adding stuff and organizing what is added so long as the patent thing is considered a threat. I could easily be wrong. WAS 4.250 13:58, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Interactivity[edit]

Note that "Virtual Learning Environment" as defined in this article excludes the original NON-INTERACTIVE "distance learning" modality: pedagogic text. Text on paper was first primarily used to span distance in time, but eventually would typically span distance in space as easily via postal service, dispersed publication, et cetera. See Library. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 216.78.53.129 (talk) 05:50, 14 March 2007 (UTC).

article size, etc.[edit]

This article is way too long. Very few people would actually have the attention span to read this whole thing. In my opinion this article needs to be summarized with descriptions of only the most important events and also of visible trends; the more detailed information could be placed in seperate articles by decade. For info on how to do this, see WP:SIZE I'd do it myself but I don't know anything about the topic. Ahudson 18:51, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

The claims about the "average adult" having a "20 minute attention span" in the WP:SIZE page are dubious. No evidence is cited -- one reference is to a discussion of driving (not reading), the other two are to secondary sources that merely make this claim without providing any evidence. I think the article is fine as-is.

Breaking it into smaller articles would be fine, but please don't delete anything. I refer to this all the time. Computerhag 15:04, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I re-factored the list of 1990s publications out to its own article. Each of the two articles are about 100 kilobytes long.--SallyForth123 21:44, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I think refactoring the 1990s into a separate article is questionable, given that much of the discussion on prior art regarding Blackboard's patent happens to hinge on the 1999-2000 time frame. It was good, in that it halved the size of the article. However, this action could also be viewed as 'convenient'. I agree with Ahudson, that highlights should be covered in this article and details should be broken out into separate articles. Perhaps someone can start by bringing them in from the 1990's. --Todd —Preceding comment was added at 18:52, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

ANGEL Learning[edit]

There's no mention of the IUPUI effort that created ANGEL Learning, FYI. http://www.iupui.edu/news/angel2.htm I don't have time right now to incorporate it, but hope to come back to do it. Computerhag 15:16, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Public participation in patent examination[edit]

There is a new article called public participation in patent examination. I've put a link to this article as an example. Any others?--Nowa 14:02, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Feedback from a US patent examiner[edit]

I posted a link to this article over at "Just N examiner" blog. The topic of discussion was prior art searches. I asked the examiner community there if the format of this particular article was useful. Here is the response from a biotech patent examiner (posted with his permission):

Yes, in general I could see this being helpful. I am a biotech examiner... Often I would like to have background on the field I am working on in a concise format. The Wiki article cited above is helpful because it cites references! Whether it is wiki (i.e. contributed by multiple users) or not is immaterial -- that it is correct and footnoted is what's important. (emphasis added)

So in short, nice work to all.

Any other patents or pending patent applications that we should develop histories for?--Nowa 23:03, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:PLATO Davis 1.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:PLATO Davis 1.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 14:42, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

VLE / LMS Definitions[edit]

There is an ongoing discussion about the nature of VLEs and LMS systems. It is increasingly being accepted that a Learning Management System is not a direct equivalent of a VLE but a larger system that could include a VLE and a host of other pieces of software or hardware. See discussion at the LMS entry. Gillorien (talk) 16:54, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 6 external links on History of virtual learning environments. Please take a moment to review my edit. You may add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it, if I keep adding bad data, but formatting bugs should be reported instead. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether, but should be used as a last resort. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 16:18, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 5 external links on History of virtual learning environments. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 18:07, 3 April 2017 (UTC)