The Learning Asset Technology Integration Support Tool (LATIST) enables faculty to integrate innovative and advanced learning technologies such as social media, mobile technologies, games, simulations, and virtual worlds into their online and technology supported course designs. Specifically, LATIST has three components:
• Explore Research, which allows users to explore what the research says about a specific advanced learning technology (ALT) and examine its advantages, disadvantages, and best practices in teaching and learning contexts.
• Select Best Technology, which allows users to select instructional strategies and technologies based on course objectives and factors such as bandwidth and budget.
• Apply Technology, which allows users to view real-world examples of ALT use in educational and training settings, as well as practice using a selected technology.
LATIST is a 2010 SLOAN-C Effective Practice award winner and was developed in 2009–10 as a result of funding provided by the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command to support research on ALT for the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). The goals of LATIST are to facilitate decision making among DAU faculty and staff by providing a pedagogically driven decision support tool; a repository of research on technology use in government, business, and education; and access to information on how to integrate technology within learning assets. LATIST is also designed as a method to raise awareness of technology options and provide a tool for faculty and staff to refer to when making learning technology decisions.
Mason’s Office of Technology Transfer submitted a patent application for LATIST in fall 2010 with the U.S. Patent Office, and LATIST is currently patent-pending. In addition, LATIST has been adopted by Mason’s Office of Distance Education and is being customized and contextualized to Mason’s distance learning needs.
LATIST was designed to be adaptive, scalable, extensible, and interoperable. Therefore, it provides a flexible and customizable platform for any learning organization that uses technology to support online and distance learning. These learning organizations can build out LATIST based on their specific pedagogical, technological, and institutional needs. LATIST could have a significant impact on the selection and integration of technology into online course design; however, it should be noted that such a tool must be maintained by its users to ensure currency and relevance. As research and resources on ALT are constantly growing and evolving, LATIST should be designed to encourage user interaction by embedding capabilities such as tagging, saving, sharing, and uploading within the tool to create a personal learning environment.
Submitted by Nada Dabbagh, associate professor of instructional technology, College of Education and Human Development