The platform for building and hosting this product is Drupal 6.x using Kaltura for hosting and streaming the video. After a fairly rigorous selection process the project chose Drupal for a number of reasons;
- its content management features
- its community and discussion features
- its mature developer community and related support
- the ability to find a very good contract development company
- its ease to integrate with video hosting and streaming providers
- its ability to implement a great user experience
- its open source
Kaltura was chosen for video hosting for its openness, ability to integrate well with Drupal, and easy pricing model.
The AIM language professional site was designed to use existing (yet emerging) pedagogical approaches by following both progressive inquiry and connectivism. These two approaches are very well suited to encouraging a learner by their progressing through learning modules while being supported by the network of peers present within the site.
The progressive inquiry model is designed to facilitate engagement in an in-depth process of inquiry and expert-like working with knowledge that are essential for productive participation. The model moves between different activities of discovering and presenting new knowledge, critical reflection, deepening research and activities, and engaging a distributed network of expertise.
The connectivism model is grounded in forming connections where learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources. Aim Language Professional allows a person to create and connect to many different nodes of either their or others’ making. These nodes include; writing, reflection, video, discussion, quizzes, exams, gesture database, notes, messages and posts.
The use of these two pedagogical approaches occur in the following areas within the site;
- Learning organizer – this aspect of the ALP allows the learner to organize all their work into a single online portal that they can easily manage. The innovation occurs in how comprehensive and accessible the knowledge gathering toolset facilitates learning, reflection and mentor/peer based learning.
- Mentorship and peer review – the use of learner uploaded video with peer mentorship makes innovative use of video-upload services and the discussion that can occur around the video for assessment purposes.
- Remote observation of classroom – the video also allows for remote (asynchronous) observation of the classroom for rapid assessment feedback to the learner.