EXTENDING A VIRTUAL LEARNING PLATFORM THROUGH ITS INTEGRATION WITH A DIGITAL REPOSITORY
Universidad Nacional La Plata, Facultad de Informática (ARGENTINA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:In current times, information systems integration is paramount, and constitutes a challenge in the field of Information Technology. Systems are generally not designed for integration, instead, they are typically developed to solve specific problems.
There is a wide set of applications in multiple environments that benefit from information integration. In the field of e-Learning, where Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are used for course development, their integration with other platforms and applications can help increase resource availability and improve communication among users. In this field, Learning Objects (LOs) are the basis of interoperability, which is why integration among intervening systems is particularly important in this context. The possibility of integrating LMSs with Learning Object Repositories allows for an increase in the use of LOs in educational content design and development by the teachers.
One of the goals of our project is to integrate the LMS Moodle, which the School has used for over seven years, with the repository DSpace, which is being widely promoted and used in many international projects. This integration comprises two stages in order to establish full communication to and from the repository. For the communication from Moodle, in order to consult and transfer items from DSpace, it was used a module available through the DSpace community, that installs an API and a plugin for DSpace created by the Moodle community. Currently, we are analyzing the implementation of a module that allows communication to DSpace to transfer learning objects from the LMS to the repository. This module is useful for the dissemination of learning material that can thus become publicly available through a repository and go beyond the frontiers of an educational environment. Its implementation will enable semi-automatic publishing mechanisms of different kinds of content, which will facilitate its retrieval and reuse.
Keywords: e-learning, LMS, repositories, Learning Objects.