Athabasca Landing

Athabasca Landing is a learning commons built using the Elgg social framework that lets learners, researchers and staff at Athabasca University share, communicate and connect. It supports learner control and advanced, social, learner-centred pedagogies.

The Landing – – is a place where AU staff, students and friends can connect, share and communicate. It was created in late 2009 using an Elgg framework, based on our thinking about the nature of social learning and experiences with similar tools over the previous decade. We have built over 50 plugins and used as many more from the community to build a site tailored to be a learning commons for Athabasca University. Sites based on the Landing are also being used elsewhere, including Montreal and Australia, and all the tools we have created are freely downloadable from the Elgg community site.

It’s about ownership
The Landing is owned by its inhabitants: anyone and everyone who is logged in can blog, create wikis, share files, podcast, share bookmarks, create groups, engage in discussion and much much more.

It’s about controllable privacy
For practically everything you create, you decide exactly who can access it – how much or how little you reveal is up to you.

It’s about trust
Because everyone has a verified identity, you can be sure that people are who they say they are and are accountable for what they say and do here.

Athabasca Landing is a secure, social media system operated by Athabasca University Canada’s Open University.


Dron, J., & Anderson, T. (2009). Lost in social space: Information retrieval issues in Web 1.5. Journal of Digital Information, 10(2).

Dron, J., & Anderson, T. (2009). On the Design of Collective Applications. Paper presented at the Symposium on Social Intelligence and Networking, at Social Computing 2009, Vancouver.

Dron, J., & Anderson, T. (2009). How the crowd can teach. In S. Hatzipanagos & S. Warburton (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Social Software and Developing Community Ontologies (pp. 1-17). Hershey, PA: IGI Global Information Science.

Anderson, T., & Dron, J. (2011). Three Generations of Distance Education Pedagogy. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(3).

Dron, J., Anderson, T., & Siemens, G. (2011). Putting things in context: designing social media for education. Paper presented at the European Conference on E-Learning 2011, Brighton, UK.

Anderson, T., & Dron, J. (2012). Learning technology through three generations of technology enhanced distance education pedagogy. European Journal of Open, Disance and E-Learning, 2012(2).

Dron, J. (2012). Self-paced and Social. Paper presented at the World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education.

Rahman, N., & Dron, J. (2012). Challenges and opportunities for learning analytics when formal teaching meets social spaces. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Dron, J., & Anderson, T. (2013). Learning in a Distance Teaching Community: A Case Study. Paper presented at the SITE 2013, New Orleans.

McGreal, R., Dron, J., & Ellerman, E. (2013). Virtual Platforms at Athabasca University for Open Learning. Paper presented at the Eleventh Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education, Waikiki, Hawaii.