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A. Heller, S. Schneider, W. Hardt

TU Chemnitz (GERMANY)
For the wide integration of net-supported teaching and learning scenarios a simple handling of e-Learning applications shows a key place to uses. For the Learning Management System (LMS) OPAL the problem was analysed under the aspect of user-friendliness. The Learning Management System OPAL is based on the e-Learning platform OLAT. This is an open source project of the University of Zurich. OPAL is used in 11 Saxon universities. To extend e-Learning systems on a huge number of suppliers and users an automated and comfortable user guidance is necessary. Often the teachers have the problem to integrate their learning content efficiently and certainly into suitable platforms. Therefore the Wizard technology is implemented to OPAL with a developed framework. A Wizard (also named electronic assistant) consists of several steps of the workflow. If all actions of one step are worked on, the forwarding occurs to the next step. If the last step is finished, the task is finished and a result is visible. As the first the preparation of courses at OPAL is realised with the help of electronic assistants. Five steps are developed and implemented for the easy preparation of a course in particular for author beginners. Aim is to deliver a ready-to-use course with some creation options for the user as result. The Wizard encloses the categories course preparation and authorisation management. By course preparation with the Wizard a defined clear choice of possible modules is given for the course. Herewith the clarity should be guaranteed for the user. Therefore it should be made sure that the teacher is not overwhelmed. Further the integration of electronic semester resources in OPAL is realised by assistants on the Wizard technology. A semester resource is a list of selected literature, references, papers and so on required for a specific subject during a semester, something like a reserve book list. The Wizard is directed to users who want to provide an electronic semester resources in OPAL. It is specially designed for lectures and library employees. Basic function of this Wizard is preparing and arranging the course electronic semester resources in OPAL. After the implementation of the Wizard framework and the Wizard for course preparation, an online survey was carried out by the authors of courses in OPAL. A short time after the introduction of the Wizard for course preparation to OPAL, 41% of all new provided courses have been already prepared with the assistant for the course preparation. Therefore almost half of the authors in OPAL use the introduction the Wizard for preparing a new course since them. Aim of the implementation a Wizard for electronic semester resources to OPAL was the central grouping of net-supported services of the study life like library services. Also the integration in the learning platform enables to inform about updates and changes in the semester resources by RSS-Feeds. A high degree of user's support, like at the shown example of the Wizard technology in OPAL, meets the basic acceptance problem and inhibition thresholds in use of e-Learning platforms. The Wizards serve to reduce uncertainties by the use of e-Learning offers at the platform OPAL and electronic semester resources in OAPL. Therefore a productive and up-to-date work is guaranteed.