Learning Technologies, Open Education


Online learning requires motivation and engagement for success. Learners need to feel connected and empowered to support their involvement for online education. Curt Bonk explores motivation and retention in various e-learning environments. His latest publication, The World is Open, explores how technology is revolutionizing technology itself.

bonk bobble

Here are a couple of other worthy finds from Curt that may be useful for your next your virtual learning environment planning:

  1. Empowering Online Learning
  2. Tech-Variety – guide for motivation and retention online
  • Tone – how do learners describe themselves? set expectations & set goals?
  • Encouragement – provide means to give feedback to learners
  • Curiosity – online field trips, activities, remote sites, local correspondence, etc


  • Variety – hands on, visual, reading integrated text, providing options
  • Autonomy – choice, empowerment over learning, options, scaffold learning skills
  • Relevance – meaningful activities that relate back to the content
  • Interactivity – problem solving, case studies, working with a group, discussion threads, blogs and more!
  • Engagement – drafts due for projects, check-ins, experience the process of learning
  • Tension – role-play, alternative perspectives, controversy, e.g. devils advocate for positions
  • Yielding products – post to the web, present a gallery of students’ best work, showcase, share with an audience beyond a teacher – experts, peers, etc.
Higher Education, Learning Technologies, Open Education


There are many Learning Management Systems (LMS) software that are available to purchase or as open-source content to best support online learning environments. I am currently exploring a few different options for a piece I am researching/writing about. I welcome any contributions to this topic: experience, recommendations, research, reviews, etc.

One of the first few LMS systems I used as a student was Blackboard. Often higher education institutions prefer to purchase commercial software for a university-wide learning platform. Other platforms include: WebCT, Angel, PeopleSoft (now owned by Oracle), Confluence, etc. These domains assure assistance and ‘security’ for the university, however how do faculty, staff & students optimize these learning environments.

In my later years of work & education, I have been introduced to open-source LMS platforms like Moodle. There seems to be a bit more flexibility in sharing information, opening up the classroom broadly and engaging learning.

Other LMS/LCMS platforms to review:

Here are a few reviews & articles for various LMS:

I am interested in expanding this list for both commercial and open-source LMS/LCMS platforms. Please share any that you have liked (or disliked), and why.