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The Assembly of a Learning Management System (LMS)

1970-1992
1976
Some Rough & Incomplete Thoughts about the Assembly of an LMS at SAIT, 1972-1975
1989
In a 1975-1976 pilot project, the Southern Alberta
Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary, Canada created
a Computer Managed Learning System (SAIT-CML) to support
an Individualized Learning Program (ILP) during a
first-year Electronics Program.
Computer Based Training Systems Ltd., a Calgary-based company created by
some of the original SAIT-CML designers, has its LMS system (CBTS-LMS) being
used in Canada, Australia, U.S.A., Europe, South-East Asia, and Africa. The
community of users holds the first international conference on Learning
Management Systems at the University of Limerick, Ireland.
Question:
How did this assembly
happen? OR How does
software walk around
the world?
Alan Stephen AlanJStephen@gmail.com
Learning Management Systems - for good or bad, many use them but
few know where they came from. Or they assume. Or they are
inaccurate. Most especially, they are fuzzy about real examples.
This document is an experiment to show how one LMS moved from a
Canadian technical institute in 1976 to five continents by 1989.
2014 Alan Stephen. All Rights Reserved.
ROUGH DRAFT ONLY v0.2 d1 March 1 2014
Program Anti-Program
Assoclatlon / AND
S
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POL ECON
NOT SATISFIED WITH
LEARNINGENVIRONMENT
e.g. ln one case,
50%Student Drop-out Pate
POL ECON
TASK FORCE ON
INSTRUCTION
l972-l973
A hlgh-prole Taskforce ls created to
look at state-of-the-art learnlng
theory and management to ensure
SA|T ls provldlng the best educatlon.
All Quotes from: Stephen, A. & 8ally, A.D. (l977). |ndlvlduallzed Learnlng Pro[ect Plnal Peport. Calgary, A8: Southern Alberta |nstltute of Technology.
POL ECON
TASK FORCE
REPORT
The Task Porce makes 26
Pecommendatlons for learnlng
practlce at SA|T.
e.g. master learnlng, crlterlon-
referenced testlng, learnlng
outcomes
POL ECON
IPF FUNDINGREQUEST FOR
SAIT INDIVIDUALIZED
LEARNINGPROGRAM ILP
PROJECT
November l974
A request ls sent to Advanced
Lducatlon and Manpower for |PP
fundlng to support the |LP pllot
pro[ect (the pro[ect ls set up so SA|T
wlll pay 50%of the costs and AALM
wlll pay 50%)
POL ECON
IPF FUNDINGAPPROVED
Pebruary l3, l975
The pro[ect was approved Pebruary
l3, l975 by P.A. 8ossettl (Asslstant
Deputy Mlnlster, Program Servlces
Dlvlslon).
POL ECON
SAIT INDIVIDUALIZED
LEARNINGPROJECT ILP
Pebruary l3, l975 - March 3l, l977
POL ECON
SAIT INDIVIDUALIZED
LEARNINGPROGRAM ILP
PROJECT PROPOSAL
l974
An lnstructor ln the Llectronlcs
Department of SA|T prepares a proposal to
full the mandate of the SA|T General
Councll - to create a pllot pro[ect focused
on mastery learnlng strategy wlthln the
rst year of an electronlcs program.
POL ECON
ALBERTA ADVANCED EDUCATION
AND MANPOWER AAEM
INNOVATIVE PROJECT FUND IPF
l97I-II
The mlnlstry responslble for advanced
educatlon creates a fund to spur lnnovatlon
ln learnlng practlce by hlgher educatlon
lnstltutlons.
POL ECON
SAIT GENERAL COUNCIL
APPROVES
RECOMMENDATIONS
1une 3, l973
Speclcally General Councll
recommended that Lxperlmentatlon
proceed wlth at least one example of
mastery learnlng strategy, and that a
controlled pllot pro[ect should be
undertaken to assess the practlcal
appllcatlon and problems that mlght
arlse.
The lack of funds to accompllsh thls
durlng the normal functlon at SA|T ls
noted and as a result no development
undertaken untll external fundlng vla
|PP became avallable.
POL ECON
TRADITIONALY
MANAGED LEARNING
Lntrenched system
ECON
LACK OF FUNDING
SA|T does not have the lnternal funds
requlred to tackle a pllot pro[ect.
AIM OF PROJECT
The pro[ect was deslgned to establlsh a nexlble, lndependent, lndlvlduallzed learnlng system whlch could be used by almost any
department wlthln a technlcal lnstltutlon. Thls learnlng system would seek to lntegrate ve dlnerent sub[ects lnto the total course.
The speclc ob[ectlves of the pro[ect were:
l. To lncrease student achlevement on crlterlon referenced knowledge post-tests,
2. To accompllsh mastery of sub[ect matter ln a shorter length of tlme,
3. To reduce the hlgh drop-out rate of the rst year electronlcs students,
4. To enect lncreased student satlsfactlon wlth the learnlng process.
|n order to track and manage student progress through thls lndlvlduallzed system, a computer managed learnlng system was
proposed. The functlons of thls system were to be: lssulng and marklng formatlve and summatlve tests, and ensurlng that all
necessary background was avallable and mastered by the student before he/she moved forward lnto new materlal.
As a student, I use (and teach faculty members
how to use) Learning Management Systems - there
is now not a more mundane object on campus
(although the recent introduction of a new
system has shaken things up a bit).
My dissertation subject is about how to
represent the assembly of local
social-technical systems in ways that support
experiential learning by teams working within
them. I am creating an ANT description of this
learning management system as a concrete,
detailed case as a source to experiment with
representation and how individuals and groups
interact with it.
This MOOC provides me the opportunity to try
mapping some of the materials I gathered before
starting my PhD.
This map is not complete - it does not contain
any view of the realities of the campus with
respect to its computing, people, physical space
etc. The immense controversey found on campus as
a result of the project is only hinted at here.
Based on further research, this map may not be
accurate. It is a start though.
Any comments or suggestions welcome. Thanks.
Alan AlanJStephen@gmail.com
PS The colours are inspired by some historical
materials that I have collected in the past. The
colours may change....
Page 1 of 2
DRAFT ONLY
2014 Alan Stephen. All Rights Reserved.
The Assembly of a Learning Management System (LMS)
1970-1992
ROUGH DRAFT ONLY v0.2 d1 March 1 2014
Alan Stephen AlanJStephen@gmail.com
Page 2 of 2
DRAFT ONLY
:p;o-;6
:p;o-..I
Natlonal Development Programme ln Computer Asslsted Learnlng (NDPCAL)
Havering CML System
I...:p;6...I
CAMOL, NDPCAL Specifcation
:p;...I
Hertfordshire Computer Managed Mathematics Project
I...:p;...I
CLIP, George Brown College
I...:p68...I
Dr. Celinksi , U. of Ottawa
I...:p;...I
NATAL II, National Research Council
I...:p;...I
Project Aristotle, Humber College
:p8:-:p8p
CBTS CML, CBTS Ltd.
Alberta Research Council
:p;(-:p86 :st pllot :p;6
SAIT CML, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
SAIT CML v1, V2 Learning Management System
Software Versions
SAIT-CML
:p68...I
Automated Learning Management System (ALMS)
I...:p8:...I
1uly : - August ( :p8p
:p8...I
Tv Ontarlo
RSVP CML System, Miami Dade USA
U.K.
Canada
1st International CML Conference
University of Limerick, Ireland
CAMELOT
SA|T Taskforce
on |nstructlon
- Distributors in Alberta, Ontario, Ireland, Holland,
Box Hill - Australia, Washington State, Michigan,
Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Zimbabwe
SAIT starts using CBTS-CML in .
Stops development of SAIT-CML
Expert SystemJoint Research Venture
A . million project to create the Learning
Management Expert (LMX) to support
educators in designing efective learning.
70
69 68 67 66 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89
90 80
Note: This is the time period discussed
on page 1 of this document.
Any comments or suggestions welcome. Thanks.
Alan AlanJStephen@gmail.com
Often, Learning Management Systems are viewed popularly and
academically as having developed in the mid 1990s with the
arrival of the World Wide Web (e.g. WebCT was first developed
in 1995 at UBC and Blackboard was incorporated as a company in
1997). However, the reality is that LMSs, as distinct from
Computer-Assisted Instruction, were being thought about and
developed in the late 1960s and 1970s (there are other systems
not represented here).
The social-technical analysis I am undertaking looks at a
related group of learning management systems originally
developed at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
(piloted in 1976). Unlike other LMS systems developed during
this early time period, the SAIT system and its later
incarnations kept stable after these other systems
disassembled. Why was this?
SOME CONTEXT: Some other LMS activity in the late 1960s through to 1989
Honeywell/Xerox 560
CP-v Operatlng System
(tlmesharlng and
multlbatch)
96K words (32 blt)
48 tlmesharlng ports
SAIT CML v 3.1 SAIT CML v 3.3
Honeywell/Xerox 560
Central Memory: 640 K bytes
Dlsc Space: 600 Mbytes
Termlnals: 60 tlmesharlng termlnals
DEC Vax 11/780
CPU: 0.75 Mbytes of CPU
Dlsc Memory: 67 Mbytes
l5 onllne users at once
DEC Vax 11/780
vMS, AN|S 77 POPTPAN, 8aslc
Maln Memory: 3.5 Mbytes
Dlsc Memory: 2 - 67 M8ytes system dlscs
Publlc Storage: 5l2 Mbytes
64 - communlcatlon ports (300-9600) baud
l - TLl6 tape drlve
l - local llne prlnter
6 - remote prlnters
l - DLCNLT communlcatlons llnk
DEC Vax 11/780
vax ll/780
vMS 3.3, POPTPAN 77
(executed on vAX ll/750 and ll/780)
contalns approx. 35,000 llnes of code
25 malnllne programs
l40 callable subroutlnes
On-llne help for all CML functlons
converted to