Genesis of The LearningForce


UML's LearningForce

The UMass Lowell library is developing a software platform for collecting, cataloging, preserving and effectively sharing knowledge of all kinds. 

We call this the LearningForce—a way to focus and concentrate library resources, broad-based academic support services, and open educational resources around a single, overarching goal—student success.  

The LearningForce is the sum of three systems—content management, learning management, and customer relationships.

Here’s How It Works 

The library’s LearningForce serves the university at the crossroads of information, instruction and technology; i.e. the LearningForce helps us combine knowledge with engaged pedagogy and user-friendly technology.

The library offers its LearningForce platform to all faculty, staff and students.  Working collaboratively with faculty from a course syllabus, course assignment, term project, program, task or skillset specification, the library team produces, catalogs and preserves videos, tutorials, podcasts, documents, readings, tips, contacts and links that are then published to the LearningForce platform and shared in a timely manner with students.  These materials can be synchronized to match course and program dates, and delivered via text, email, or through a Blackboard-embedded website.
LearningForce tutorials covering library services, academic skills, and course, program or assignment content can feature rich digital media.  The library provides and supports use of narrated, animated Powerpoint presentations, narrated screencasts, video clips of all kinds, podcasts, audio transcripts and closed captioning.  Each tutorial will be collected, cataloged and archived by the library, preserved on the library platform, and made easily discoverable for ongoing use.
In addition, documents of all types, slideshows, and materials drawn from the library’s subscriptions can be shared on the LearningForce platform.  In particular, the library can process online articles, scanned pdfs and online book chapters into reading packets that will be shared via the LearningForce. The library’s partners can submit lists of materials to be processed in this manner.  Our partners can draw on library subscriptions and the library’s WorldCat (one billion items) to create textbook supplements or textbook replacements. All will be discoverable through the library search widgets and can be shared via text messages, email, or community web pages.