Flexibility requirements concerning the design of synchronous e-Learning systems

Matthias Jahn, Claudia Piesche, Stefan Jablonski

Purpose

Today’s requirements concerning successful learning support has to fulfill a variety of use-cases and scenarios. Therefore, the development of such software preferably aims at modular design. Thus, this article discusses requirements regarding flexibility of e-learning systems and presents important principles, which should be met by successful systems. The main goal is to achieve a highly flexible system as follows: First of all, the system itself should be capable of easily being integrated into other systems. Secondly the approach should allow easy integration of new components, respectively existing resources without the need to adapt the whole system.

Design/methodology/approach

Guided by the results of previous projects and by various experiences in online education the importance of modular structures of system architecture as well as for the system usage were discovered. Accordingly existing e-learning systems were examined and some deficiency regarding support of synchronous learning activities were found.

Findings

 The architecture of the Meeting Room Platform (MRP) is introduced as an example implementation of synchronous communication and collaboration systems, which is additional to fulfilling explained flexibility requirements configurable, so that the user can choose a set of services he wants to provide in online meetings.

Originality/value

With the above mentioned aspects of flexibility in mind, the concept of the MRP system differs from existing systems and constitutes therefore a new approach in designing synchronous e-learning environments. Finally, various use cases as described in this article show the benefit of this approach more detailed.

Year: 2012
Publisher: Emerald Group
Journal: Interactive Technology and Smart Education
Series: 9
Issue: 4

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