Our job in KMi is to prototype the future of the learning society, typically from external research grants which are only awarded to investigate a ground-breaking challenge. We then engage the OU with these inventions when they are ready for adoption, so it’s always a pleasure when those technologies then help OU courses win awards.
The Compendium software tool was our research vehicle to investigate the new literacies associated with reading and writing networks of ideas and arguments, as a complement to conventional prose documents. So we were delighted when in 2010 Peter Lloyd, leading the OU course team planning Design Thinking: creativity for the 21st century saw the potential, as a new way to engage design students in their assignments. The team has just picked up another award, this time the Scottish eAssessment Product award, for their version of the tool, CompendiumDS (Design Studies). Read all about it in their briefing [pdf] and U101’s Derek Jones blog. The team is also documenting their experiences with the tool over several years, in a paper for the Journal of Learning Design.
This is just one way that Compendium has impacted the OU. The Learning Design group in our sister Institute of Educational Technology has customized it for visual modelling of learning design patterns, with their version called CompendiumLD.
Compendium was funded by a series of research grants by the UK Research Councils, eScience Programme, and the Hewlett Foundation, in collaboration with research partners at Verizon, NASA, CogNexus Institute and many other practitioners who were trialling the tool in authentic contexts. Compendium brings advanced hypertext functionality to the masses, and it has become the tool of choice for thousands of people — see what our community says on the Compendium Instiitute, the global community hub that we host in KMi. It serves as one of the Computer Science & Informatics Impact Cases for the forthcoming UK Research Excellence Framework (REF).