SLN, for those of you that don't know, has existed since its inception on a Lotus Notes platform. Yes, you heard me correctly; stop laughing. You have to recall that at this particular point in time Web-based learning systems were in their infancy. In fact, some of the prime contenders from that day and age have since disappeared (go dig up my sparkling review of TopClass from that era if you want a chuckle). So, given the systems at hand, and apparently at least a smidgeon of Notes development know-how, SLN was born.
Now, generally speaking, we all grow and mature over time. Software does this too, though often in ways that are described as "software bloat" (cf. any Microsloth app you can think of). SLN, because of it's unique neither fish nor fowl deployment of Notes as an LMS, has existed in a bit of a Bizzaro World parallel universe ("Bizzaro World Learning System am painful and non-intuitive for faculty users. Bizzaro LMS am complicated, thus good"). Possibly recognizing this, but more importantly realizing that IBM is finally letting the sands of time run out on Notes, SLN launched and RFCPR2D2 (ok, I can't really think of what to label it, got it?) that outlined the proposed structure of SLN 2.0. In what some might deem a clear case of hubris, the Albanian Faction came up with an amalgam of best of breed components to comprise an open source learning management system. Other than the fact that I keep hearing the Johnny Cash song "one piece at a time" in my head (Cash's character builds his own "dream car" by brining home components from the assembly line where he works), the plan as described needed a lot of stars to align in a big hurry. While I think there is great promise in the LAMS interoperability framework and other open source LMOS intiatives that has been proposed, a standard doth not a product make. Anyone ever measure the life cycle of an Internet standard?
One key item of interest to the campuses should have factored into this recommendation: our track record on the existing SLN 1.0 as a revenue stream. My impression is that the SUNY community at large recognizes the alternative/additional/supplimental revenue that is generated by online courses. Thus, CIO's and other responsible parties are loath to place a key financial operation on an untried platform that has no second tier commerical support.
Thus, (don't you love paragraphs that start with "thus.."?), the largest system user of SLN, Empire State College, has opted to go out to bid with it's own RFP for an LMS. ESC provides the lion's share of online courses within the SUNY system, which isn't suprising considering that it always has been a "virtual university" since it's inception. The key question here is whether so goeth ESC, thus goeth the rest of the pack. (OK, too many "thuses" in one paragraph-it's starting to sound too Old Testament).
X can't offer any further insights, because X, like Mongo "is pawn in game of life". It would appear that other fellow MIDs feel much the same way; thanks to one comrade's bold charge, the Provost will be present at the AC/MID summit to provide a system update.
Will this provide earth-shattering news? Will our heros survive? Tune in again-
same bat time-
same bat channel