MOBILE ACCESS MODULE FOR THE EXISTING LMS PLATFORM
Undoubtedly, in recent years the most dynamically growing segment of the ICT market is mobile devices. Increasingly higher quality, new features and availability of these devices, as well as the growing accessibility of broadband Internet access (3G, 4G) caused that these devices have become more and more common way of communication, acquisition and exchange of information among society. The above-described trends caused that researchers and professionals all over the world are working hard to discover new areas for systems dedicated for mobile devices.
One of the key areas for mobile oriented software is certainly education. M-learning is a very attractive way of acquiring knowledge, especially for young people as it allows learning almost anywhere and at any anytime. M-learning methods can be used both in formal education and in training activities undertaken by individuals.
However, development of m-learning software can bring several obstacles and some questions to answer. Of course, the most basic form of solution is the development and implementation of m-learning system from scratch, but what if the situation forces developers to implement a new m-learning system based on already existing LMS e-learning platform? That was the actual problem that the authors of this article had to face.
Due to dynamic development of the polish mobile sector the authorities of a higher education institution requested an inquiry of development and implementation of content delivery module for mobile devices enabling presentation of existing e-learning content resources marshalled by LMS platform currently in use by their institution. Researchers and developers of Institute of Mathematical Machines after conducting research and many brainstorming sessions finally worked out a suitable model to implement such a solution at the university. It was decided that the application will be offering following functionalities of existing LMS platform: interaction with e-learning resources, inner messaging system, chat rooms, forums and a calendar module. Of course the most crucial functionality was to provide all the e-learning materials with support for all types of questions (SCORM conformant).
Proxy server was provided for interaction with the platform, while mobile client applications were designed to connect only with the aforementioned server. That allowed for server-side manipulation of e-learning content, including stripping not salient parts of background for boosted readability on mobile devices. This paper provides the details of considerations and final results of this endeavor.