Integrating the LMS in Service Oriented eLearning Systems

Integrating the LMS in Service Oriented eLearning Systems

José Paulo Leal (CRACS & INESC-Porto LA, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Portugal) and Ricardo Queirós (CRACS & INESC-Porto LA, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-456-7.ch512
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Abstract

Learning management systems are routinely used for presenting, solving and grading exercises with large classes. However, teachers are constrained to use questions with pre-defined answers, such as multiple-choice, to automatically correct the exercises of their students. Complex exercises cannot be evaluated automatically by the LMS and require the coordination of a set of heterogeneous systems. For instance, programming exercises require a specialized exercise resolution environment and automatic evaluation features, each provided by a different type of system. In this paper, the authors discuss an approach for the coordination of a network of eLearning systems supporting the resolution of exercises. The proposed approach is based on a pivot component embedded in the LMS and has two main roles: 1) provide an exercise resolution environment, and 2) coordinate communication between the LMS and other systems, exposing their functions as web services. The integration of the pivot component in the LMS relies on Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI). This paper presents an architecture to coordinate a network of eLearning systems and validate the proposed approach by creating such a network integrated with LMS from two different vendors.
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2. State Of Art

The current generation of eLearning platforms values the interchange of learning objects and learners' information through the adoption of standards that brought content sharing and interoperability to eLearning. Learning Objects (LO) are units of instructional content that can be used, and most of all reused, on web based eLearning systems. Despite its success in the promotion of the standardization of eLearning content, it is not enough to ensure interoperability, which is a major user concern with the existing systems. The definition of common protocols and interfaces for the communication among systems is also an important issue to address.

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