About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2327-2337
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.1491

Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain

INTEGRATING PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERVICES AND E-LEARNING PLATFORMS: IMPLICATIONS FOR SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURES

A. Molinari

University of Trento (ITALY)
The paper presents the results of several years of research and experimentations on the integration of project management (PM) services with e-learning and collaborative software platforms. What clearly emerges is the need of project and time management tools in collaborative environments, with a plethora of platforms and cloud services available even for free. On the other hand, there is a lack of research studies about PM tools and services inside e-learning settings and LMSs platforms. What is availabe under the label “project” or “project management”, mainly relates with services providing task-lists or to-do lists. In other cases, the idea of managing projects is simply implemented through a set of actions that are in some way linked each other, but very far from what PM tools and techniques should provide.

The paper presents the motivation why, in our opinion, the availability of such tools is crucial inside LMSs, and it should change significantly the software architecture of the platform, in order to allow LMSs to be useful not only in learning contexts, but in new application scenarios like collaboration and knowledge sharing. From our direct experience in the implementation of a Virtual Communities environment that is used mainly in educational contexts, we have experienced many situations where these tools would have been very useful. As an example, the management of a thesis assigned to a student is a real “project” with tasks, milestones, deliverables and costs. A research project is, by definition, a project, involving different resources. An educational path and all the tasks that any participant has to manage is another example of a “project”. A complex training path providing professionals with a certification at the end of the activities, with respective assistance of external resources and tutors, is a project from the perspective of the organizing institution. Here we have a typical mix of educational needs (the LMS’s most traditional services) and PM tasks. A MOOC, with all the tasks related to the various phases of creation, marketing deployment, execution, support and final certification is a project, both for the institution that delivers the MOOC and for the participant that has to perform tasks, to pay attention to milestones, to respect deadlines. The possibilities of using these tools and services inside LMSs is even bigger, if we imagine to use a Virtual Communities system not only for managing “communities” devoted to educational purposes, but also in larger contexts typical of collaboration, like a research group, a recreation organization, a secretariat, a board of directors, a club, a sport team etc. All these “communities” need services that are available inside LMSs (like document sharing, forums, wikis, FAQ, sync and async communication etc.). The paper will describe how we extended our virtual communities platform, traditionally used for e-learning activities, with a fully fledged, PMI™-compatible tool for managing projects inside any virtual community, with planning, costs and resource management functionalities available to community users according to their role and authorizations.
@InProceedings{MOLINARI2016INT,
author = {Molinari, A.},
title = {INTEGRATING PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERVICES AND E-LEARNING PLATFORMS: IMPLICATIONS FOR SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURES},
series = {10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-5617-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2016.1491},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2016.1491},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {2327-2337}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Molinari
TI - INTEGRATING PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERVICES AND E-LEARNING PLATFORMS: IMPLICATIONS FOR SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURES
SN - 978-84-608-5617-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2016.1491
PY - 2016
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2016
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2016 Proceedings
SP - 2327
EP - 2337
ER -
A. Molinari (2016) INTEGRATING PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERVICES AND E-LEARNING PLATFORMS: IMPLICATIONS FOR SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURES, INTED2016 Proceedings, pp. 2327-2337.
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