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Flexible Elearning Platforms: A Service-Oriented Approach

Advances in Information Systems and Management Science, Bd. 20

Peter Westerkamp

ISBN 978-3-8325-1117-3
320 pages, year of publication: 2006
price: 40.50 €
Although the benefits of Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA) are well-understood in the area of software engineering, elearning platforms are commonly still implemented in the form of monolithic applications. The latter resemble one another to a large extend, but a reuse of functionalities between platforms in the form of services is uncommon or impossible. The reuse of elearning content is addressed by many competing standards and specifications making the physical exchange of these learning objects difficult.

The book of Peter Westerkamp transfers the concepts of SOAs to the field of elearning. It starts with a short overview of the elearning field and discusses different approaches to implement a SOA for elearning. In addition, it defines reasonable elearning services based on existing elearning architecture standards. It turns out that the consequent design and implementation of elearning functionalities in the form of Web services provides mechanisms to reuse elearning functionalities and to create flexible platforms that can easily be adapted to the individual needs of learners. By using already existing standards from the field of Web services, functionalities can easily be integrated. Content, too, is delivered in the form of Web services, which makes a physical distribution of learning objects obsolete. This means that several elearning standards and specifications are also obsolete because content is stored only once on the server of the content provider and accessed via Web services.

The book covers models of the internal and external architecture of a Web-services-based elearning environment. The service concept for elearning is implemented in the LearnServe environment and can be interpreted as a more general model for elearning Web services. The book also covers economical and organizational perspectives of elearning Web services and discusses differences to monolithic platforms.

Keywords:
  • Web Services
  • Service-Oriented Architectures
  • Elearning
  • Distributed Systems
  • Learning Management Systems

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40.50 €