Flexible and Personal Digital Learning Environment

Integration and data-exchange in a modular environment

It is expected that the digital learning environment of the future will be a flexible, personalised learning environment: a modular system with tools and applications that are easy to integrate and exchange. SURF wants to offer institutions the technical frameworks they need to be able to set up this kind of environment.

Making education innovation possible

A learning environment that offers the opportunity of integrating different components offers lecturers and students freedom to choose which applications they want to use. Additionally, it makes it quick and easy for institutions to respond to innovation in education and try out new applications. SURF supports institutions in modernising their learning environments and by doing so enable them to offer personalised, flexible education.

From vision to reality

In 2015 and 2016 a lot was written about how people envision the digital learning environments of the future, both in the Netherlands and internationally. However, creating a modular learning environment like this is complex. Existing systems are not always able to integrate and exchange with different or new applications. In collaboration with institutions, in 2017 SURF is seeking to create a framework for a future in which a flexible, personalised learning environment can be created.

Carry out a pilot with the demo environment

In the SURF demo environment (see infographic, PDF), lecturers can experience what it's like to teach in a modular learning environment. IT departments can also use this environment to test whether different applications can actually be integrated. In this way, we are investigating whether this model of flexible and personalised learning environments works in practice. The use of standards, in particular, is crucial here. Based on the outcome of pilots, we will adapt or improve the environments. Lessons learned will be made available in a workbook which helps institutions set up their own flexible, personalised learning environment.

Integrating existing products

Suppliers can also use the demo environment to test whether they can offer the option of integrating different tools and applications into their own system using standards. We are organising a Challenge day, where we will challenge providers to demonstrate how standards and integration options for their products work in the demo environment. We are also investigating the possibilities for interoperability guidelines for suppliers so we can guarantee products are easy to integrate into the learning environment, and flexible licenses for institutions, so that specific tools and applications can be adopted even by small groups of users.

Exploring the digital learning environment of the future

At many institutions, the existing learning management system often forms the basis for a flexible and personal learning environment. However, what would a flexible learning environment look like if you did not use this as a basis? Are there any basic elements that institutions are able or willing to share? We are working together with institutions to investigate what the future could look like without the baggage of the past.

More information

Start date
01 Jan 2015