This project is aimed at obtaining a system capable of easing the design and integration of collaborative learning applications in a flexible and tailorable way by educators, using software technology based on grid services. The proposed project is based on the previous work of the research group, a multidisciplinary and stable team lasting for 10 years, formed by teachers from the University of Valladolid in Telecommunications Engineering, Computer Science and Education. The proposed system tries to solve several problems that arise in educational software and especially in distributed systems that support computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). Among them, we can point out the following:
In this project we propose the implementation, the testing in real conditions, and the evaluation (both internal and external) of functional prototypes of the system based on the Gridcole architecture, derived from the previous work of our research group, and supported by important international publications. The to-be-developed system will include a learning designs authoring tool based on IMS-LD extensions for collaborative learning, a system for service searching based on the use of ontologies for the CSCL domain, as well as a set of facilities for the integration and deployment of applications that are tailored to the educator's needs. The proposed system will be progressively developed in two phases, enabling the creation and integration of new services related to collaborative learning activities (as well as the monitoring and analysis of interactions), and the system consolidation based on the evaluation of its real use. Finally, the project results will include those obtained from the external evaluation performed by other institutions and by the collaborating company. This fact will enable a broader dissemination of results and a potential technology transfer.
- software reuse, as well as tailorability to particular educator's requirements,
- the opportunity for creating new scenarios requiring the use of specific hardware or with supercomputational needs,
- the design of structured activities with the support of collaborative learning flow patterns, and
- the use of standards, both in the educational software (IMS-LD for learning designs) and in the field of service-based technologies (OGSA, Web Services).