I am trying to decide whether OpenEdx is the right choice as the base for an open research project (at least a PhD) I am starting. The project will (eventually) integrate both structured learning of the online/blended variety where the notion of a “course” makes sense and life-long, discovery-based learning that provides tools that are intended to accompany the learner long-term (so potentially decades, with no notion of “finished”).
OpenEdx clearly has the structured/formal, teacher-lead side but I fear I may be trying to fit a square peg in a round hole to use it as a portal also for things where the idea of an end-date, teacher or grade don’t make sense. The idea is to provide a learner’s “home-base” for a “Personalised User Model for Life-long, life-wide learning” (PUML, see Kay and Kummerfeld 2019 in BJET) where courses are contributors to learning, not “the goal”. For example, a Flashcard SRS can usefully be used for maintaining knowledge over the long-term, independent of a given course. Courses could provide input to the SRS (eg, this week’s vocab) but also potentially tailor instruction based on the existing, course-independent learner model - so not “Passed ABC301” so should know knowledge element X but actually “provided evidence for knowledge of knowledge element X (somewhere, at date Y)”.
OpenEdx also has a lot of testing infrastructure which will be useful for bootstrapping the initial learner model, which could usefully be done with a “course”, and other testing for research experiment purposes.
My understanding is that LTI would allow me to both get OpenEdx data out to an outside portal and/or get outside data back into OpenEdx. I am attracted to OpenEdx for the community but also the fact it’s Django-based, which is what I’m developing the external stuff with.
So basically, is the notion of “course of instruction” so basic to OpenEdx that trying to fit any other learning strategy/tools won’t fit? Any suggestions most welcome!