Integrating Tutoring Systems for Distributed Learning Environments

Integrating Tutoring Systems for Distributed Learning Environments

Fuhua Lin (Athabasca University, Canada), Larbi Esmahi (Athabasca University, Canada) and Lawrence Poon (Athabasca University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-500-9.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter discusses an integrated approach to designing and developing adaptive distributed learning environments. It presents a distributed learning environment based on agent technology and Web services technology. Agents are expected to be used as the core components in intelligent distributed learning environments because of their inherent natures: autonomous, intelligent, sociable, etc. However, to integrate agents into existing legacy learning environments or into heterogeneous learning environments, one may encounter many difficulties. They may be technical issues, economical issues, social issues, or even political issues. Web services technology, on the other hand, characterized by its standardized communication protocol, interoperability, and easy integration and deployment, is an excellent complimentary partner with agents in distributed learning environments. The integration of Web services and agents simplifies the complexity of development, saves time, and, most important of all, makes distributed learning environments feasible and practical. To take advantage of the merits of agents and Web services, we advocate agent-supported Web services in designing and developing distributed learning environments.

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