I have many "Aha" moments in the shower crying out for documentation.  I will also use this blog to document my new startup, "Going One to One", an online course for schools who need help doing three big shifts at once: purchasing computers for each student, promoting student-centered learning, and adopting Google Apps for Education.

- Bram Moreinis

Bridging the LMS for Situated Social Learning

Reflecting on a Coursera MOOC about Jazz Improvisation (taught by world-class musician and educator Gary Burton) led me to imagine a design scheme for extending course activities beyond a Learning Management System (LMS).  A course designed to initiate students into a knowledge domain (in this case, Jazz) should not merely present theory and readings in the arid climate of an LMS, but rather introduce learners to what Activity Theory asks for: the Tools, Roles, and Community associated with participation in that domain. This encourages learners to make connections to that community during the course, and to each other, so that they may be more likely to stay active and connected afterward.

This design scheme relies on some arguments (George Siemens and Stephen Downes', and John Seeley Brown's) that knowledge and knowers are not separate. Where there is a real-world practice community for the course content, interacting with this community using the learning objects and tools it favors should be part of the course, or at least emulated within the course. This puts the community, rather than the learner, at the center.

My presentation below introduces these as illustrated concepts, and presents a model for developing online courses that gives weight to external connections to real communities.