Interesting discussion today with Oleg Liber, director of CETIS here in the UK. He and the team at CETIS have been working on a variety of eLearning projects in recent years, one of which is Colloquia , an personalised learning environment (PLE) that resides on an idividual’s computer. Colloquia is is an alternative to the traditional, server-based, institutionally-owned LMSs that underpin so many of our eLearning programmes, working in a peer-to-peer paradigm.
I am incredibly impressed with this product – originally developed in the late 1990s and operating in it’s current version since 2002! The significance of the fact that it operates on the users own computer provides the highest level of personal control over the environment. The only other product that approaches things in a similar way is called Groove, developed by the originator of Lotus Notes, and bearing many similarities in structure and interface. Groove was recently acquired by Microsoft who plan to incorporate it into their Office Suite.
Groove operates within a dotNET environment, and works only on PCs. Colloquia is developed in Java, and operates on PCs or Macs. It’s also free, which makes it pretty attractive. I’ve been discussing with Oleg the possibility of using Colloquia in NZ within some projects there. Hope we can make that happen!