Read time: 3 minutes

The changing e-learning ecosystem and its future

The two day Apereo SA 2016 Conference will be held at UNISA Kgorong Building in Pretoria.

EDUCAUSE research has shown that the next generation digital learning environment will no longer be a single, one-size-fits-all enterprise level application, but rather an e-learning ecosystem constructed and tailored by institutions to suit their own requirements and goals.

According to learning technologies coordinator at CILT, Stephen Marquard, the University of Cape Town (UCT) is a great example of how institutions in Africa embrace the changing e-learning ecosystem. Currently UCT is using Apereo's Sakai, Opencast and CAS extensively and piloting Open Academic Environment (OAE), Xerte and Karuta (see

Since self-directed learning (where learners take control), personalised or adaptive learning, curation (where the job of learning professionals will shift from creating courses and scheduling events to collecting information and learner generated content), ubiquitous personal mobile devices (PMDs) and concepts such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are all becoming an essential part of the e?learning ecosystem, OPENCOLLAB invited Dr Cheryl Brown as the keynote speaker at the Apereo SA 2016 conference. Dr Brown is currently doing research at UCT for the PMD project that was commissioned by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in South Africa to investigate whether financial investment of a personal mobile device on the part of a university or of students themselves will add value to the teaching and learning experience. This project will also examine ways of enhancing blended and eLearning approaches through enabling PMD access to technology both in and outside the classroom.

Apereo ( - a global network with member institutions on six continents) supports and addresses the next generation digital learning environment conformance through functional domains such as personalisation, analytics, advising, learning assessment and collaboration in their portfolio of solutions. Since a large number of learning platforms is populating the current market, the only chance of survival for these systems will be to address the need for interoperability. Apereo encourages the development of solutions and tools that adhere to the learning tools interoperability (LTI) standard and forms part of the over 40 members currently certified as IMS Global Learning Consortium LTI consumers.

OPENCOLLAB, the only Apereo commercial partner in Africa, underpins the Apereo mission of creating and sustaining software to support teaching, learning and research at educational institutions worldwide and will be sponsoring the Apereo SA 2016 conference.

By Elsabe Botha, Business Development Manager, OPENCOLLAB

Read more
Daily newsletter