SPEC Learning is an open source educational platform being built from the ground up to be inclusive and accessible. The platform is designed to support microcredential programs and practical technical training.
Microcredentials show promise in delivering shorter programs of study that are flexible, personalized, and performance-based. These short, competency-based recognitions allow learners to demonstrate mastery in a particular area. They allow learners to create their own learning journey, based on their interests, career goals, and skills gaps. Digital badging systems like IMS Global Learning Consortium’s Open Badge standard have been developed to help make it easier to “share verifiable skills, identify and celebrate talent and growth, and build and certify interoperable tools.” These systems are flexible and capable of being adapted and combined to deliver personalized learning, but still require being integrated with existing learning management systems.
SPEC Learning is built on top of Moodle Learning Management System (LMS). Moodle is an online LMS that has been adopted by educational institutions and learning communities across the globe, with over 277,000,000 users in over 247 countries.
The Moodle platform is built by a distributed community collaborating openly, making their designs, documentation, and source code freely available for possible modification and redistribution. This practice of decentralized development and open collaboration is known as the open-source model of software development. The open-source model has increasingly been applied in other fields including education, science, engineering, manufacturing, and publishing.
The SPEC Learning Platform is being built from the ground up with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in mind. We are investigating existing tools and patterns for building accessible learning experiences. The platform is also being developed in way to contribute back to open source and other aligned DEI initiatives.