A web-based course management tool

Mandal, C., Sinha, V.L. and Reade, Chris (2003) A web-based course management tool. In: 2nd European Conference on eLearning; 6-7 Nov 2003, Glasgow, U.K..


We discuss the architecture of a web-based course management tool that has been developed at IIT, Kharagpur to manage the submission of assignments and their evaluation. The tool has been in use for several years in India where it supports a distance education programme running at several centres with large numbers of students. The complexity of submission and evaluation management with multiple courses running at different sites and at different times has meant that such a tool has been essential. Designed as a highly modular package, the tool has several other learning management features. Here, we describe both the distributed architecture used for data storage as well as client-server architecture supporting the web interface. The original intention of the developers was to evolve the tool into a complete learning management system for release as open-source. However, with the recent trend towards open standards for learning management systems such as the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) and the IMS Question and Test interoperability specification (QTI), a path has opened up for developing this tool into a standards-compliant component for use alongside other LMS packages. We describe the planned further development of the tool using a web-services model and we discuss some of the evolving open standards for learning management systems that will make this possible.

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