A software system – HarvestRoad Hive, from leading learning and mobile content management technology provider, Giunti Labs – is helping organisations, particularly those in the education sector, to save time and manpower as they make information more readily available to users.
HarvestRoad Hive is used to store and manage ‘learning’ or ‘knowledge objects’ and their metadata.
It assembles these into standards-compliant packages, and delivers that content on demand to learning and course management systems, corporate training systems or web portals.
Hive can interface with almost any enterprise resource planning (ERP), learning or course management system and is already integrated with several commonly used course management systems, authoring and content assembly tools, from third parties, open source projects and Giunti Labs.
“For some time, we’ve been finding that academic institutions – particularly universities – are trying move away from being reliant on proprietary learning management systems (LMSs) or virtual learning environments (VLEs) as they are known in that sector,” explained Angus Turpin, managing director of Giunti Labs UK.
“Instead, they are showing a marked preference for open source VLEs, such as Moodle.
“This means that they are seeking to re-format the learning content that they have in order to make it useable with the open source VLEs, which conform to international interoperability standards such as SCORM.
“Until now, this migration has had to be done manually,” Turpin explained. “Obviously, this is a long, drawn out process which tends to be both time- and labour-intensive.
“A number of institutions are now finding that a simpler alternative is to use HarvestRoad Hive, from Giunti Labs – a Federated Digital Repository System (FDRS) which manages any form of content used in online learning, corporate training and knowledge management initiatives.”
HarvestRoad Hive establishes a bridge between islands of content within and across multiple institutions or organisations, regardless of the type of content or purpose for its existence.
Consequently, it is able to cope with content in both SCORM-conformant and non-SCORM conformant (proprietary) VLEs (LMSs).
Professor Mark Stiles, Head of Learning Development and Innovation at Staffordshire University, explained that his team is using HarvestRoad Hive to migrate content and feed content that is already in the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE) – Blackboard – into other systems.
“Using HarvestRoad Hive, staff can now share, re-use and repurpose their content. This is important because it will avoid anyone having to ‘reinvent the wheel’ and means that we can use investment in e-learning content– which probably represents at least a million pounds of effort – more effectively.
“We will also be putting the university’s research output into HarvestRoad Hive, so that it acts as a learning repository for this information too,” he added.
“Academics tend to want a repository to be a ‘search and discover’ tool – but, unlike a VLE, Hive can also dynamically send targeted material to diverse systems.”