ELearning systems have been in use for more than a decade in Universities to manage education contents and class activities.
While the usage of traditional Learning Management Systems (LMS) has been proven positive for educators, it failed to provide students with a cohesive environment where they can gather and follow the dynamics of successful online communities.
For this reason, many Universities tried to move from the content delivery paradigm of the traditional eLearning approach to a leaner focused paradigm of social eLearning by experimenting on the use of online social networks (OSNs) such as Facebook.
We will see that many of such experiments were positive even though they created a lot of friction in replicating common patterns of traditional LMS (such as the upload of educational resources in different formats) and deprived students from the safety of university controlled online spaces (essential for issues such as privacy and harassment).
Moreover, studies find that the use of OSNs greatly increases the engagement of users and improves group activities and organization while they hinder interaction between the educator and the students because of the pollution of their outside life that is represented in OSNs.
In this presentation, we show a new model for the adoption of a FOSS social networking platform that provides tools for both the educators and the learners
to engage in discussion and online learning with the dynamics and the flow of modern social network websites.
We will see how the EduHack open platform is going to be used by educators to complete the EduHack Online Course and to foster an open and inclusive social space during the EduHackathons.
We will also explore which kind of metrics will be collected and how they aid towards the creation of a modern and fully featured LMS that overcomes the above difficulties.
Nexa Center for Internet & Society Polytechnic of Turin Italy