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TVET Portal The Arabic Gate to TVET

Building Capacity for E-Learning in TVET


Transfer Projects of the International Leadership Training (ILT) ICT and E-Learning Management

On behalf of

This e-book is published as a result of the InWEnt International Leadership Programme ICT and E-Learning Management in TVET Institutions 20072008 in Germany. Please remark that the original texts were slightly modified, but still some spelling and grammar mistakes might be found. Although great efforts have been made to name all utilised external sources of the texts, there might be some references which could not be identified. Due to the time lag between the compilation and the publishing of the text some indicated web links might not be accessible any more.

Table of Contents
Preface Introduction 4 5 7 9 19 24 33

I. Technical Aspects of a Web Portal


The Appropriate Scripting Language for a TVET-Portal Tamer Abdelgawad & Mahmoud Shaqboua Database Hazem Allam & Armia Helmy & Abdelghaffar Elshiekh Required Hard- and Software for Operation and Maintenance of a TVETPortal Ahmed Saleh & Raed Habayeb Content Management System (CMS) and Learning Management System (LMS) Awad Aldada

II. Usability of a Web Portal


Usability and User-Friendliness of a TVET-Portal Khaled Alaqqad & Mohamed Gahin

47 48

III. Portal Management


Portal Management Awad Aldada

56 57

IV. E-Learning Content


Integration of Available E-Learning Contents Khaled Alaqqad Possibilities to Convert Existing Instructional Media Hanaa Rostom Appropriate Software for (Rapid) Content Development and other E-Learning Applications Passant Sobhy

70 71 79

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V. Appendix
InWEnt Qualified to shape the future Institut fuer Bildungstransfer About the Authors Imprint

99 100 101 102 104

Preface
This e-book is one of the outputs of an InWEnt ILT International Leadership Training ICT and E-Learning Management in Vocational Education and Training. 12 participants from VET training institutions in Egypt and Jordan participated in this programme, comprising an intensive one year presence training in Germany, complemented by a preparatory and follow-up phase of 6 months each with online and workshop elements. A key feature of the InWEnt ILT training concept is the practice orientation emphasising action oriented learning combined with apprenticeships in real working environment and the development of individual transfer projects to be implemented by the participants upon their return to the respective workplaces. In preparing these transfer projects, the participants have collected and prepared the information and material which is compiled in this e-book. It covers a wide range of topics which are necessary and relevant for the implementation of e-learning in a vocational education and training context. It has been elaborated by learners with the clear aim to implement own e-learning projects and it is therefore that it will encourage other newcomers to become engaged in e-learning activities. The ILT training programme is part of an overall InWEnt capacity building project to contribute to the improvement of the quality and labour market orientation of VET providers by promoting a self-sustaining regional learning dialogue through ICT based methods and techniques and by supporting regional and intrainstitutional cooperation for the harmonisation and development of standards in VET. Other important elements of this approach are the creation of a communication and exchange platform www.tvet-portal.net and the institutional and individual networking of e-learning specialists.

Dr. Klaus Bader-Labarre Senior Project Manager Technological Cooperation, System Development and Management in Vocational Training InWEnt Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung gGmbH Capacity Building International, Germany

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Introduction
The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector in Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) countries is entering a period of substantial reforms and changes. Simultaneously the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is one of the fastest growing areas today. Its fast expanding infrastructure is becoming a key technology for other markets, providing considerable growth of employment opportunities. To cope with these challenges new instruments and methods need to be developed and introduced to improve the quality in TVET. IT-based learning represents a great opportunity and in this context e-learning stands for a paradigm shift in TVET towards: systematic and continued teacher training to enable working with rapidly changing technologies, mainstreaming the concept of life-long learning in TVET, promoting the cooperation among TVET providers in the region. ICT has gained increasing importance over the past decades as a factor in the overall economy and in the sphere of education and training. In Arab countries the IT infrastructure is rapidly growing and many governments are highly emphasising the spreading of these technologies and its applications in different sectors. VET institutions are facing the dual challenge to satisfy industry demands for a diversified range of specific IT related professional skills and to integrate ICT into their organisational structures and pedagogical concepts. This is a highly complex undertaking requiring the combination of IT related, pedagogical and organisational skills. The use of ICT offers a wide range of opportunities to TVET providing institutions to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their services. At the same time it poses challenges in terms of technological, methodological and didactical know-how to the institutions. To face these challenges, InWEnt Capacity Building International has implemented a long term International Leadership Training (ILT) for professionals in TVET. This programme intends to strengthen the capacity of VET institutions to develop, plan and implement adapted IT based e-learning solutions. It is offering support to build up capacities by filling the gap between the technological know-how (hardware infrastructure, software) and methodological pedagogical know-how for the development of ICT based training contents. The use of ICT in the context of this ILT encompasses a variety of options including Computer-Based-Training-Programmes (CBT), Web-Based-Training-Programmes (WBT), internet based onlineseminars etc. to plan, develop and implement e-learning. The overall objective of the training programme is to increase the capacity of partner institutions for the planning, improvement and implementation of IT based VET programmes and to manage projects for the implementation of e-learning. On completion of the advanced training participants: are able to design and administer IT networks with its respective hardware and software components, are able to design, operate and maintain the IT infrastructure necessary for e-learning processes, do understand the basic pedagogical and technical concepts necessary for the development of e-learning components, are able to design, plan and manage projects to introduce elearning in their respective institutions.

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Programme structure
The training programme consists of different parts, which are interlinked: 1. Preparation phase in participants home countries 2. Training phase in Germany 3. Transfer phase in home countries The programmes duration is 24 months. During the assessment or pre-qualification phase (4 months) alongside work, different professional learning contents and German language courses are offered. This guarantees a well-chosen selection of participants. The training in Germany (12 months) continues with an additional German language course (4 months), intense professional and action oriented training modules and an internship. The practice-oriented professional training in co-operation with qualified lecturers and different institutions and companies deepens the professional experiences of participants and increases their pedagogical knowledge and skills as multipliers in the field of vocational education and training (TVET). The elaboration of individual transfer projects requires a close relation to all home institutions and relevant competence in project management. After substantive phases of the programme, special management trainings are offered. The programme in Germany consists of 10 modules throughout one year: IT systems Network based systems Database management systems Development of internet applications HTML, JAVA, PHP Methodological and didactical fundamentals of e-learning E-learning content development E-learning project management Internship in IT-/e-learning companies Management training Implement transfer project. After the participants return to the different institutions, the ILT-Programme continues for another 6 months with individual coaching during the implementation of transfer projects.

One of the most important parts of the overall programme is the transfer project. During the training phase in Germany each participant has to elaborate and plan his or her own project that is intended to be implemented after the return to his/her TVET institution. The idea behind this procedure is that the training programme should not be a stand-alone measure but it must be interlinked with the institution of participants and its respective strategy in the field of e-learning. The ideal case is that a participant returns to its home country as an E-Learning Manager becoming responsible for the implementation of e-learning in his institution, beginning with the implementation of his own transfer project. The present book is a compilation of transfer projects of 12 participants of the InWEnt programme ICT and E-Learning Management in TVET Institutions, held from 2007 2008. The main focus of these transfer projects was the conception and planning of an internet-based portal for TVET professionals to provide information, communication, collaboration, and e-learning. In October 2009 this portal has been launched as TVET Portal The Arab Gate to TVET. Without the tremendous efforts of all participants during their stay in Germany working on their individual transfer projects this portal would have never come to existence. Wed like to thank all participants for their professional work!

Dr. Klaus Bader-Labarre & Uwe Wieckenberg (E-Learning Consultant)

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I. Technical Aspects of a Web Portal

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The Appropriate Scripting Language for TVET-Portal


Tamer Abdelgawad & Mahmoud Shaqboua
1. Introduction 1.1 TVET 1.2 E-Learning 2. Portal 2.1 Definition of a portal 2.2 Types of portals 2.3 Benefits of portals 2.4 Target group of our portal (in Arabic countries) 2.5 Content of our portal 3. Web Development Scripting Language 3.1 Definition of web development scripting language 3.2 Types 4. Often Used Scripting Language (PHP, ASP) 4.1 PHP 4.2 ASP.net 5. Conclusion 5.1 Portal examples for PHP 5.2 Requirements 5.3 Difficulties 6. References

9 9 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 12 12 13 13 14 16 16 18 18 18

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1. Introduction
1.1 TVET
In the knowledge society of the 21st Century, dominated by information and communication technology, and where labour market demands are constantly changing, providing relevant TVET programs to both boys and girls is deemed central to the effort to foster sustainable development. What is technical and vocational education and training (TVET)? According to the definition by UNESCO and the International Labour Organization (ILO), TVET refers to aspects of the educational process involving, in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences, and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding and knowledge relating to occupants in various sectors of economic and social life. TVET is dispensed in public and private educational establishments, or other forms of formal or informal instruction aimed at granting all segments of the society access to life-long learning resources. TVET is dispensed in public and private educational establishments, or other forms of formal or informal instruction aimed at granting all segments of the society access to life-long learning resources. Yet, the principal objective of TVET is to train youths and adults alike, preparing them for the labour market. With technical revolution and innovations in science and technology, labour market needs have significantly evolved. New challenges have to be made in order to match the education proposed with vocational demands. In that regard, several countries are in the process of reforming their education systems, with a view to train youths to meet national, regional or international market needs.

1.2 E-Learning
E-learning lessons are generally designed to Increase the effectiveness of teachers and increase the number of students Assist teachers in preparing teaching materials for students Let learning contents easily be updated Give the possibility to compensate for the shortfall in academic and training cadres in some sectors of education through virtual classes Save a lot of time for students and staff compared to traditional methods Disseminate technical community and to give a broader concept of continuing education Provide support services such as instruction in the process, early registration, management of people, school building tables, systems testing, evaluation and directing students Advantages and determinants of e- learning Flexibility and convenience: The ease and speed of access at any time and any place The possibility of choosing educational materials from other sites on the Internet Immediate feedback when using the duties and examinations and exercises The ease and speed of reviewing and updating, editing and distribution of educational components As it is asynchronous the student can study according to his speed (quick or slow) Provides facilities and a variety of teaching methods to prevent fatigue Easy access to the same source in the same time for a large amount of people Time: Time saving Time management to schedule work, studies and family Allows students to overcome materials and activities that are already known Finance reduction: The cost of travel, of movement and of living

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The cost of production and distribution of educational materials The cost of offices and lecturers Communication and interaction: The possibility of communication and interaction between students and records through lessons simultaneously Study possibility in any place with access to computers and internet Better interaction between lecturer and student in the case of overcrowded classes Disadvantages: Needed technological infrastructure may not be available to certain places Limited capacity may impede the learning process especially in the loading and dealing with graphics and animation The high cost of the beginning Some students may feel lost or confused with regard to the educational activities Some students may feel isolated from peers and professors Some educational materials are difficult to synchronize and to distribute; others may need more personal communication The student needs to learn computer skills Ways of learning: Synchronous: The electronic education teacher meets the students at the same time, in order to be concurrent with all people contacting him Asynchronous: Asynchronous learning can be a teacher from sources with a plan to evaluate the teaching and educational site. The student can enter at any time and follow the teachers guidance in completing the learning without a simultaneous contact with the teacher. Blended learning: Includes a range of media which are designed to complement each other. This form can include many learning tools and mixes multiple events dependent on the activity including learning in traditional classes, meeting students face to face. The blended learning combines e-learning and face-to-face teaching.

What is the difference between e-learning and traditional education?


Traditional education model Teacher is the primary source of learning Model of e-learning education (E) Teacher is a facilitator of the sources of education

Learner receives knowledge of Learner learns through practice the teacher and research territories Learner works independently without community All learners learn and work on the same thing Teacher obtaines initial training, if necessary Learner learns in a group and interacts with others Learners learn independently from the others, according to their circumstances In the case of continuous learning or continuous begin training constant learning without interruption Learner has the opportunity to access to education and knowledge without spatial and temporal hindrance

Good learner can be explored having the chance to receive supplement instruction

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2. Portal
2.1 Definition of a portal
A web portal is seen as a special Internet (or intranet) site designed to act as a gateway to give access to other sites as well as access to a large amount of information and many options for communication. A portal aggregates information from multiple sources and makes that information available to various users. In other words a portal is an all-in-one Web site used to find and to gain access to other sites, but also one that provides the services of a guide that can help to protect the user from the chaos of the Internet and direct them.

2.4 Target group of our portal (in Arabic countries)


Government agencies Chambers of industry and trade Private companies/factories, vocational training institutions Students (school of industrial and vocational training centres) Learners wishing to learn certain profession Teachers, trainers of technical professions College students and institutes specialised in teaching students, especially sections related to technology education

2.5 Content of our portal


Links to the institutes and vocational training departments Internet sites with relevant articles of vocational training Forums for topics relevant to technical and vocational training Download assist programs in the process of e-learning Hosting exclusive tests to transform traditional scientific articles to electronic ones Curricula and training materials for vocational training Training courses for the rehabilitation of trainers Short training courses to raise the skill of workers in the labour market Cover workshops, symposia and conferences on e-learning Schedule for a virtual classroom of different subjects (using the content development program) Exam results for vocational training establishments Questions bank for each of the subjects Technical glossaries dictionary Photographer dictionary for the professional tools

2.2 Types of portals


One way to better understand the portal world is to divide portals into groups based on the purpose of the portal. Several types of portals aim to be adequate for different functions and different audiences. This illustrates how portal sites have evolved. 1. Web-searching portals 2. Consumer portals 3. Vertical portals (portals targeted at people with particular interests) 4. Government portals 5. Intranet and enterprise portals 6. Intranet self-service

2.3 Benefits of portals


The catalysts for developing portals are as varied as portals themselves. Among other reasons, portals have been developed to: Provide better access to information Remove barriers to applications Create order from the chaos of data in an organization Promote reuse of information Reduce training time and cost Improve information access for decision-making Cultivate better relationships with customers Reduce overhead costs such as benefits administration Speed turnaround for processing such as expense reimbursement Allow searches of large volumes of heterogeneous data (documents, pages, database, messages, multimedia)

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3. Web Development Scripting Language


3.1 Definition of web development scripting language
A scripting language is a form of programming language that is usually interpreted rather than compiled. Conventional programmes are converted permanently into executable files before they are run. In contrast, programmes in scripting language are interpreted one command at a time. Scripting languages are often written to facilitate enhanced features of web sites. These features are processed on the server but the script in a specific page runs on the users browser. In most cases, it is easier to write the code in a scripting language than in a compiled language. However, scripting languages are slower because the instructions are not handled solely by the basic instruction processor. Scripting languages allow rapid development and can communicate easily with programs written in other languages. Scripting languages can be used to create specialized GUIs (graphical user interfaces) and forms that enhance the convenience of search engines, web-based e-mail and e-commerce. Many web sites require that the users browser be set to run scripts to take advantage of all the features of the site. In some cases, web sites are practically useless unless the users computer is set to run programs locally in a scripting language. instructions for the browser to follow if the user interacts with the document in a certain way, e.g., clicks a certain button. These instructions can be followed without further communication with the server, though they may require such communication. By viewing the file that contains the script, users may be able to see its source code. Many web authors learn how to write clientside scripts partly by examining the source code for other authors scripts. Server side scripting This is a web server technology in which a users request is fulfilled by running a script directly on the web server to generate dynamic HTML pages. It is usually used to provide interactive web sites that interface to databases or other data stores. This is different from client-side scripting where scripts are run by the viewing web browser, usually in JavaScript. The primary advantage to server-side scripting is the ability to highly customise the response based on the users requirements, access rights, or queries into data stores. When the server serves data in a commonly used manner, for example according to the HTTP or FTP protocols, users may have their choice of a number of client programs (most modern web browsers can request and receive data using both of those protocols). In the case of more specialised applications, programmers may write their own server, client, and communication protocol, which can only be used with one another. Programs that run on a users local computer without ever sending or receiving data over a network are not considered clients, and so the operations of such programs would not be considered client-side operations.

3.2 Types
Browser Side Scripting Generally refers to the class of computer programs on the web that are executed client-side, by the users web browser, instead of server-side (on the web server). This type of computer programming is an important part of the Dynamic HTML (DHTML) concept, enabling web pages to be scripted; that is, to have different and changing content depending on user input, environmental conditions (such as the time of day), or other variables. Web authors write client-side scripts in languages such as JavaScript (Client-side JavaScript) and VBScript. Client-side scripts are often embedded within an HTML document, but they may also be contained in a separate file, which is referenced by the document (or documents) that use it. Upon request, the necessary files are sent to the users computer by the web server (or servers) on whom they reside. The users web browser executes the script, and then displays the document, including any visible output from the script. Client-side scripts may also contain

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4. Often Used Scripting Language (PHP, ASP)


4.1 PHP
Definition of PHP PHP is a script language and interpreter that is freely available and used primarily on Linux Web servers. PHP originally derived from Personal Home Page Tools, now stands for PHP: Hypertext Pre-Processors, which the PHP FAQ describes as a recursive acronym. PHP is an alternative to Microsofts Active Server Page (ASP) technology. As with ASP, the PHP script is embedded within a web page along with its HTML. Before the page is sent to a user that has requested it, the Web server calls PHP to interpret and perform the operations called for in the PHP script. An HTML page that includes a PHP script is typically given a file name suffix of .php .php3, or .phtml. Like ASP, PHP can be thought of as dynamic HTML pages, since content will vary based on the results of interpreting the script. PHP is free and offered under an open source license. Usage PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML. PHP generally runs on a web server, taking PHP code as its input and creating Web pages as output. However, it can also be used for command-line scripting and client-side GUI applications. PHP can be deployed on most web servers and on almost every operating system and platform free of charge. The PHP Group also provides the complete source code for users to build, customise and extend for their own use. PHP primarily acts as a filter. The PHP program takes input from a file or stream containing text and special PHP instructions and outputs another stream of data for display. From PHP 4, the PHP parser compiles input to produce bytecode for processing by the Zend Engine, giving improved performance over its interpreter predecessor. PHP 5 uses the Zend Engine II. Server-side scripting Originally designed to create dynamic web pages, PHPs principal focus is server-side scripting. While running the PHP parser with a web server and web browser, the PHP model can be compared to other server-side scripting languages such as Microsofts ASP. NET system, Sun Microsystems Java Server Pages, and mod perl as they all provide dynamic content to the client from a web server. To more directly compete with the framework approach taken by these systems, Zend is working on the Zend Framework an emerging (as of June 2006) set of PHP building blocks and best practices; other PHP frameworks along the same lines include CakePHP, PRADO and Symphony. The LAMP architecture has become popular in the web industry as a way of deploying inexpen-sive, reliable, scalable, secure web applications. PHP is commonly used as the P in this bundle alongside Linux, Apache and MySQL, although the P can also refer to Python or Perl. PHP can be used with a large number of relational database management systems, runs on all of the most popular web servers and is available for many different operating systems. This flexibility means that PHP has a wide installation base across the Internet; As of April 2007, over 20 million Internet domains were hosted on servers with PHP installed.[10] The number of installations is different from the number of sites actually using those installations, but this statistic does reflect the popularity of PHP. Examples of popular open source server-side PHP applications include phpBB, WordPress, and MediaWiki. Command-line scripting PHP also provides a command line interface SAPI for developing shell and desktop applications, daemons, log parsing, or other system administration tasks that have traditionally been the domain of Perl, Python, awk, or shell scripting. Client-side GUI applications PHP provides bindings to GUI libraries such as GTK+ (with PHPGTK), Qt with PHP-Qt and text mode libraries like ncurses in order to facilitate development of a broader range of cross-platform GUI applications.

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PHP advantages & disadvantage Advantages Cost PHP is free. Its developed by a lot of people world wide. PHP community is much more active than any other scripting language community. Tip: An archive network like CPAN would be a very good idea. Portability Once again PHP is free. This means that it can be compiled for virtually any operating system. Precompiled versions do exist for most commercial and free operating systems. Ease of maintenance You dont have to worry about the scripting language anymore. PHP is updated and improved much more often than any other language. Good suggestions are adopted extremely fast; the advantage of an open community. Maturity Although PHP is a pretty young language (compared with Perl for example), it is mature enough to be used in any production environment, no matter which are the requests. Speed PHP is considered to be the fastest of the scripting languages. You can really feel the speed when you implement scripts live on the web. Normally when you try to connect a database and fetch certain data, it takes time to connect the database, execute the statement and get the data across. PHP disadvantage Error Handling When it comes to error handling, it is believed that PHP has a very poor ability but even this disadvantage can be overcome using a feasible advantage solution.

ASP.net advantages & disadvantages Advantages Enhanced performance. ASP.NET is compiled common language runtime code running on the server. Unlike its interpreted predecessors, ASP.NET can take advantage of early binding, just-in-time compilation, native optimisation, and caching services right out of the box. This amounts to dramatically better performance before you ever write a line of code. World-class tool support. The ASP.NET framework is complemented by a rich toolbox and designer in the Visual Studio integrated development environment. WYSIWYG editing, dragand-drop server controls, and automatic deployment are just a few of the features this powerful tool provides. Power and flexibility. Because ASP.NET is based on the common language runtime, the power and flexibility of that entire platform is available to Web application developers. The .NET Framework class library, Messaging, and Data Access solutions are all seamlessly accessible from the Web. ASP.NET is also language-independent, so you can choose the language that best applies to your application or partition your application across many languages. Further, common language runtime interoperability guarantees that your existing investment in COM-based development is preserved when migrating to ASP. NET. Simplicity. ASP.NET makes it easy to perform common tasks, from simple form submission and client authentication to deployment and site configuration. For example, the ASP.NET page framework allows you to build user interfaces that cleanly separate application logic from presentation code and to handle events in a simple, Visual Basic like forms processing model. Additionally, the common language runtime simplifies development, with managed code services such as automatic reference counting and garbage collection. Manageability. ASP.NET employs a text-based, hierarchical configuration system, which simplifies applying settings to your server environment and Web applications. Because configuration information is stored as plain text, new settings may be applied without the aid of local administration tools. This zero local administration philosophy extends to deploying ASP.NET Framework applications as well. An ASP.NET Framework application is deployed to a server simply by copying the necessary files to the server. No server restart is required, even to deploy or replace running compiled codes.

4.2 ASP.net
Definition of ASP.NET ASP.NET is a programming framework built on the common language runtime that can be used on a server to build powerful Web applications. ASP.NET offers several important advantages over previous Web development models:

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Scalability and availability. ASP.NET has been designed with scalability in mind, with features specifically tailored to improve performance in clustered and multiprocessor environments. Further, processes are closely monitored and managed by the ASP.NET runtime, so that if one misbehaves (leaks, deadlocks), a new process can be created in its place, which helps keep your application constantly available to handle requests. Customisability and extensibility. ASP.NET delivers a wellfactored architecture that allows developers to plug-in their code at the appropriate level. In fact, it is possible to extend or replace any subcomponent of the ASP.NET runtime with your own custom-written component. Implementing custom authentication or state services has never been easier. Security. With built in Windows authentication and per-application configuration, you can be assured that your applications are secure. ASP.net disadvantage One of the disadvantages of ASP.Net is that it needs to be hosted on a Microsoft web server. Of course, this is only a disadvantage if you have other hosting needs. When building web sites, ASP and PHP are very popular languages. Heres our opinion on whether ASP or PHP is best. Both ASP and PHP are languages used to build Dynamic Web sites that can interact with Databases and exchange information. ASP (Active Server Pages) is from Microsoft and is used with IIS (Internet Information Server) that runs on Microsoft Servers. PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is from Rasmus Lerdorf, who originally designed this parsing language which was later modified by different people. It runs on Unix and Linux servers and it also has an NT server version. There are a lot of differences between ASP and PHP Cost: To run ASP programs one need IIS installed on a Windows platform server, which is not free. PHP programs run on Linux, which is free. Even the connectivity of the database is expensive in the case of ASP as MS-SQL is a product of Microsoft that needs to be purchased. PHP generally uses MySQL, which is freely available. Speed: If we compare the speed of ASP and PHP then PHP has an upper hand. PHP code runs faster than ASP. ASP is built on COM based architecture, which is an overhead for the server whereas PHP code runs in its own memory space.

Platform compatibility: PHP programs can run on various platforms like Linux, Unix, Windows and Solaris whereas ASP is mainly associated with Windows platforms. However, ASP can run on a Linux platform with ASP-Apache installed on the server. Additional costs: Many of the tools used in PHP are free of cost and since PHP is open source a lot of code can be found in open source forums. PHP has inbuilt features like ftp, email from a web page or even encryption mechanisms but in ASP such features are not built in and some additional components are required. Therefore an additional cost is incurred for such components. Base language: PHP is based on C++ language and the syntax used in PHP is quite similar to C/C++. C/C++ is still considered the best programming language by many programmers and people who love this language would surely feel more comfortable with the syntax of PHP. ASP on the other hand has a more Visual Basic kind of syntax that again is closely related to only Microsoft products. So, it depends on a person-to-person view which language he or she is comfortable with. Database connectivity: PHP, being extremely flexible, can connect to various databases, the most popular being MySQL. ASP mainly uses MS-SQL. Conclusion Both languages have their advantages specific to users. Some would argue that both languages have their own importance and depending on the users requirements the language and the platform can be chosen. If we talk about developing a discussion board then ASP is equally capable but many feel that the best discussion boards are developed in PHP. If a user is looking for some e-commerce application development then many would call ASP the ideal choice. This does not mean that PHP cannot provide ecommerce solutions, even if many people choose ASP.

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5. Conclusion
5.1 Portal examples for PHP
Moodle features http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0e/Moodle_logo. png. Moodle has many features expected from an e-learning platform. However newer developments have brought in new features. Moodle is modular in construction and can readily be extended by creating plugins for specific new functionality. Moodles infrastructure supports many types of plugin: Activities Resource types Question types Data field types (for the database activity) Graphical themes Authentication methods Enrolment methods Content Filters Many third-party Moodle plugins are freely available making use of this infrastructure. PHP can be used to author and contribute new modules. Moodles development has been assisted by the work of open source programmers. This has contributed towards its rapid development and rapid bug fixes. Specification Moodle runs without modification on Unix, Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, Mac OS X, NetWare and any other systems that support PHP, including most web host providers. Data is stored in a single database: MySQL and PostgreSQL were the only feasible options in Moodle 1.6. Version 1.7, released November 2006, makes full use of database abstraction so that other databases can be used just as easily (Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server are two specific target DBMSes). The current version of Moodle (1.8) was released in March 2007 with improved roles management. Constructivism is sometimes seen as at odds with accountabilityfocused ideas about education, such as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in the United States. Accountability stresses tested outcomes, not teaching techniques, or pedagogy, but Moodle is also useful in an outcome-oriented classroom environment because of its flexibility. Origin of the name The word Moodle is actually an acronym for Modular ObjectOriented Dynamic Learning Environment, although originally the M stood for Martin, named after Martin Dougiamas, the original developer. Moodle can also be considered a verb, which describes the improvisational process of doing things as it occurs to you to do them, an enjoyable tinkering that often leads to insight and creativity. As such it applies both to the way Moodle was developed, and to the way a student or teacher might approach studying or teaching an online course. Background Origins Moodle was created by Martin Dougiamas, a WebCT administrator at Curtin University, Australia, who has graduate degrees in computer science and education. His Ph.D. examined The use of Open Source software to support a social constructionist epistemology of teaching and learning within Internet-based communities of reflective inquiry. This research has strongly influenced the design of Moodle, providing pedagogical aspects missing from many other e-learning platforms. Pedagogical approach The stated philosophy of Moodle includes a constructivist and social constructionist approach to education, emphasising that learners (and not just teachers) can contribute to the educational experience in many ways. Moodles features reflect this in various design aspects, such as making it possible for students to comment on entries in a database (or even to contribute entries themselves), or to work collaboratively in a wiki. Having said this, Moodle is flexible enough to allow for a full range of modes of teaching. It can be used for both: introductory and advanced delivery of content (e.g. HTML pages) or assessment, and does not necessitate a constructivist teaching approach.

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Moodle statistics and market share Moodle has a significant user base with over 36,000 registered sites with 14 million users in 1.4 million courses (as of December 22, 2007). More than 70 languages are supported. The Current Moodle Statistics can also be seen online. There are 74 registered Moodle sites with more than 20,000 users. The site with the most users is moodle.org with 43 courses and 322,176 users. The site with the most courses is e-learning na VUT v Brn e with 19,223 courses and 41,305 users (as of October 21, 2007). Moodle market share according to Alexa Web Traffic for LMS Suppliers: Moodle only below Blackboard, above all other VLE, including WebCT. Interoperability There are many dimensions to interoperability for e-learning systems. Moodles interoperability features include: Authentication, using LDAP, Shibboleth, or various other standard methods (e.g. IMAP) Enrolment, using IMS Enterprise among other standard methods, or by direct interaction with an external database Quizzes and quiz questions, allowing import/export in a number of formats: GIFT (moodles own format), IMS QTI, XML and XHTML (NB although export works very well, import is currently not complete) Resources, using IMS Content Packaging, SCORM, AICC (CBT), LAMS Integration with other Content Management Systems such as Postnuke (via third-party extensions) Syndication using RSS or Atom newsfeeds external newsfeeds can be displayed in a course, and forums, blogs, and other features can be made available to others as newsfeeds. Moodle also has import features for use with other specific systems, such as importing quizzes or entire courses from Blackboard or WebCT. Deployment and development Moodle has been evolving since 1999 (since 2001 with the current architecture). The current version is 1.8, which was released in April of 2007. It has been translated into 61 different languages. Major improvements in accessibility and display flexibility were developed in 1.5.

As of November 2007, the Moodle user community with over 330,000 registered users on their site alone. As there are no license fees or limits to growth, an institution can add as many Moodle servers as needed. The largest single site has reported over 6,000 courses and over 45,000 students, and the Open University of the UK is building a Moodle installation for their 200,000 users. The development of Moodle continues as a free software project supported by a team of programmers and an international user community, drawing upon contributions posted to an online Moodle Community that encourages debate and invites criticism. There are some auto install packages to facilitate the installation including Fantastico and the Moodle package for Debian GNU/ Linux. Users are free to distribute and modify the software under the terms of the GNU General Public License). See also Learning management system Online learning community External links Official Moodle resources Moodle.org Original developers Moodle site, communities, courses and software Moodle Partners a group of competent professionals who are serious about providing quality services to users of Moodle software, ranging from basic support to the development and implementation of complete ICT solutions Reports/articles Article explaining Moodle for beginning users. Published on techsoup.org Blackboard vs. Moodle. A Comparison of Satisfaction with Online Teaching and Learning Tools Blackboard Online System to be Replaced -New System Moodle More Effective Bob McDonald E-Learning at Cranbrook: Up Close and Personal (2004) Cranbrook Schools Graf S., List, B. (2005) An Evaluation of Open Source E-Learning Platforms Stressing Adaptation Issues an evaluation of 9 open source E-Learning Platforms.

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6. References
5.2 Requirements
Participants grant (trainees) role: Identifying the best programmes, applications and databases necessary for the establish-ment of the site. Management and follow up the implementation stages of the establishment of the website and to overcome all the obstacles to the success of the project as one of the pilot projects in the Arab region. VTCs/PVTDs role: Providing curricula and educational content to be included on the site. Marketing of the web site to others. Make sure that participants/trainees are partly exempted from their regular duties at VTC/PVTD during the implementation phase of the portal. InWEnts role: Financing the process of creating the site. Training of personnel involved in the implementation of the site. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PHP http://www.squidoo.com/phplanguage http://www.pchardware.ro/Articles/article.php?id=179&p=2 http://aerohost.com/DotNet-aspx.htm http://answers.yahoo.com/question/ index?qid=20080723025144AAxiorm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moodle

5.3 Difficulties
Needed technological infrastructure may not be available to certain places Limited capacity may impede the learning process especially in the loading and dealing with graphics and animation. The high cost of the beginning Some students may feel lost or confusion on the educational activities Some students may feel isolated from peers and professors Some educational materials difficult to synchronize and distribute others need more personal communication The student needs to learn computer skills

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Database
Hazem Allam & Armia Helmy & Abdelghaffar Elshiekh
1. Data base definitions 2. The most important criteria of a data base 2.1. Flexibility 2.2. Capacity 2.3. Security 2.4. Costs 2.5. Reliability 3. Different data base systems of existing portals 4. Comparison of Relational Database Management Systems Oracle and MySQL Database 4.1 General overview 4.2 Key feature differences between Oracle and MySQL 4.3 Security 4.4 Administration comparison 4.5 Performance comparison 4.6 Summary and key questions 5. References

20 20 20 20 20 20 20 21

21 21 22 22 22 22 23 23

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1. Data base definition


There are three general definitions for a data base: I. It organises a data structure for saving information. A data base consists of many linked scales and is designed in such a way that companies and individual persons may save a great amount of information. Data can easily be browsed, arranged and updated. II. A computer data base is a structured collection of recordings or data in a computer system. A computer programme or any person can ask questions with a special monitoring language. The found computer compositions within the answer are information that can be used to make decisions. III. A data base is an application for management of data and allows for a fast storage.

2. The most important criteria of a data base


Data base criteria:

2.1. Flexibility
work with many different data types work with many system softwares, such as Windows, Linux etc. work with many programming languages, like PHP, Java, Visual Basic etc. work with a great number or only a few data information

2.2. Capacity
many users can be logged in at the same time high speed answers to many requests at the same time wide range of functions rational data base

2.3. Security
security against hackers data security (coding and decoding) security backup

2.4. Costs
Contain: necessary support by the producer administrator instruction advisory service maintenance easy administration hard- and software requirements

2.5. Reliability
stable operation constant capacity security

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3. Different data base systems of existing portals


There are many open source and commercialised data bases that are used in portals. Open source MYSQL Berkeley DB PostgreSQL Mckoi SQL Commercialised Oracle DB2 Informix Ingres

4. Comparison of Relational Database Management Systems Oracle and MySQL Database


4.1 General overview
Oracle Maintainer First public release date Latest stable version Software license Oracle Corporation November 1979 11g Release 1 (September 2007) Proprietary MySQL Sun Microsytems November 1996 5.0.51 GPL or proprietary

Operating system support Oracle Windows Mac OS X Linux BSD UNIX z/OS 1 Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes MySQL Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe

Fundamental features Oracle ACID Referential integrity Transactions Unicode Interface Yes Yes Yes Yes SQL MySQL Yes Yes Yes Partial SQL

Note: MySQL for transactions and referential integrity, the InnoDB table type must be used; Windows installer sets this as default if support for transactions is selected, on other operating systems the default table type is MyISAM. However, even the InnoDB table type permits storage of values that exceed the data range; some view this as violating the Integrity constraint of ACID.

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4.2 Key feature differences between Oracle and MySQL


Feature Hot backups Transactions Referential Integrity Row level locking Read consistency Role based Security Replication Clustering Oracle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Two-way Yes MySQL Only for Inno DB tables, not part of the free license. Only for Inno DB tables . Only for Inno Dbtables . Only for Inno Db tables . Only for Inno DB tables . NO One way No

Without the ability to group users into roles, the database administrator will have to rely on other methods to track which users should have which permissions to each database object.

4.4 Administration Comparison


Backups: The ability to offer a reliably backup and to restore a database in a timely fashion is an important component of any database. Administrators perform hot backups while a database is operational and cold backups while a database is down. In the event of a database failure, administrators restore databases to a specified point in time using the backup files and the transactional logs since the last backup. Oracle9i Database provides for both hot and cold backups, and includes the Recovery Manager (RMAN) utility to facilitate the backup process. Since MySQL stores data in operating system files, administrators perform cold backups by simply copying the files. MySQL supports hot backups of InnoDB tables using a utility purchased from MySQL; hot backups are not part of the free distribution. The ability to perform hot backups is a key component for databases that cannot afford any downtime. Users should account for the cost of the hot backup utility when evaluating whether MySQL is a viable RDBMS.

4.3 Security
Database security is a very important aspect of any relational database management system to protect access to the database operations and the data. Oracle9i Database implements security for both users and roles. Administrators grant and revoke database-level privileges and object-level privileges to users and roles, and grant and revoke users and role membership to roles. Roles provide a method of granting privileges to many users with a single GRANT statement, or revoking privileges from many users with a single REVOKE statement. Oracle supports default and non-default roles. Logging into the database enables privileges granted to default roles; users can enable privileges associated with non-default granted roles, often by supplying a role password, after successfully logging in. This functionality is useful in restricting a user to only having the privileges if the user is running a specific application. MySQL uses the user name and host to lookup the users privileges in the system tables. The user table stores database-level privileges by user, and two tables maintain object-level privileges to restrict access to tables and columns. An administrator creates users by issuing GRANT statements, or by inserting values directly into the user table. MySQL does not use roles or groups to grant and revoke privileges to multiple users in individual statements. The absence of database roles is another major shortcoming of MySQL.

4.5 Performance Comparison


Companies frequently run benchmark tests to compare performance statistics between databases. Benchmarks are important if two or more databases satisfy a companys criteria for a relational database management system, and performance is the deciding factor. The MySQL Web site contains links to graphs of benchmarks performed by eWeek magazine showing that Oracle9i Database and MySQL perform at similar levels in tests of response times and throughput. However, it is not clear from these graphs whether the benchmark used MyISAM or InnoDB tables. Since all of Oracles tables are transactional, an apples to apples benchmark test must use transactional tables in the MySQL database as well. In addition, Oracle provides database clustering to achieve improved scalability and throughput, and since MySQL does not provide clustering, a multiple server comparison is not possible.

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4.6 Summary and key questions


Both Oracle9i Database and MySQL are powerful relational database management systems that effectively manage large amounts of data. Oracle9i Database is a full featured database engine that has successfully passed stringent security tests and has excelled in performance benchmarks. With built-in support for PL/SQL and Java, developers can build complex stored procedures, functions, and triggers that are stored and executed within the database. Views, subqueries, bi-directional replication, clustering, role-based security, and native support for Internet-based computing with the included Apache server and XML tools are just a few examples of how Oracle9i Database is well suited for managing mission-critical data for any size organisation. MySQL, a free alternative to Oracle, provides some of the advanced features of Oracle9i Database and other relational databases, such as row-level locking and read consistency. As MySQL AB releases newer versions of MySQL, MySQL will continue to grow as a viable alternative to commercial databases. Keep in mind, however, the MySQL support is not free, the hot backup utility is not included in the free distribution, and applications that utilize the free license become part of the public domain. For applications that require the strongest security measures available; the performance and security benefits of a procedural language; support for views, subqueries, and other advanced SQL features; the benefits of a recovery manager to facilitate backups; and the ability to cluster across multiple servers, Oracle9i Database is a proven leader. On the other hand, if an application primarily requires a high-performance data store, MySQL is a strong option. Developers who only require a data store should consider MySQL as a viable alternative to commercial relational database management systems However, in general, experienced developers insist on strong transactional integrity and the ability to create database programs, and require the types of development capabilities that Oracle9i Database offers. What is MySQL? MySQL is an Open Source relational database management system. The MySQL source code and compiled binaries are available at http://www.mysql.com.

Who would use MySQL? Companies that do not want to pay a licensing fee, and do not need the additional functionality available in a commercial RDBMS such as Oracle, DB/2, or Microsoft SQL Server. MySQL is also useful for developing prototype applications or proofs of concepts. Why would we use MySQL over Oracle? Companies should consider MySQL if they do not want to pay a licensing fee to Oracle, they do not need Oracles functionality that is not available in MySQL, and they do not need the advanced security and scalability capabilities of Oracle. Keep in mind that the free version does not include technical support or hot backup functionality, and applications that rely on the Open Source license of MySQL become Open Source. When would we use Oracle over MySQL? Companies use Oracle for application development requiring the capabilities that MySQL does not offer. For example, Oracle, but not MySQL, includes a procedural language to develop stored procedures, triggers, and functions; views and inline views; subqueries; hierarchical queries, advanced replication; dynamic role-based security, bitmap and reverse key indexes; and native Internet-based computing support. What key feature differences are there between Oracle and MySQL? You can see from the following list of future MySQL functionality that MySQL is basic compared to Oracles functionality. Many of the features that Oracle has provided for several releases are not available in the current version of MySQL.

5. References
http://www.ioug.org/client_files/members/select_pdf/05q1/003_ OracleMySQL.pdf

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Required Hard- and Software for Operation and Maintenance of a TVETPortal


Ahmed Saleh & Raed Habayeb
1. Software 1.1 Server operating system 1.2 Support programs 2. Hardware 2.1 Types of servers 2.2 Structure of servers 2.3 Components of servers 2.4 Network equipment 2.5 Terminals (PC) 2.6 Environment of servers (Place) 2.7 Maintenance tools 2.8 Hardware maintenance 2.9 External device 3. References

25 25 25 26 26 27 29 30 30 30 31 32 32 32

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1. Software
1.1 Server Operating System
The main server operating systems are Windows and Linux. Important points to compare between these two software programs are their specific qualities/abilities concerning: Desktop Installation Accessibility and Usability Stability Performance Support Programs Security The main advantages of system VMs are: Multiple OS environments can co-exist on the same computer, in strong isolation from each other. The virtual machine can provide an instruction set architecture (ISA) that is somewhat different from that of the real machine. Multiple VMs each running their own operating system (called guest operating system) are frequently used in server consolidation, where different services that are used to run on individual machines in order to avoid interference, are instead run in separate VMs on the same physical machine. This use is frequently called quality-of-service isolation (QoS isolation). VMWARE: desktop software runs atop Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. VMwares enterprise-level software, VMware ESX Server, runs directly on server hardware without requiring an additional underlying operating system. Antivirus is a term used to describe a computer program that attempts to identify, neutralize or eliminate malicious software. This type of software is so named because the earliest examples were designed exclusively to combat computer viruses; however most modern antivirus software is now designed to combat a wide range of threats, including worms, phishing attacks, rootkits, trojan horses and other malware. Antivirus software typically uses two different techniques to accomplish this: Examining (scanning) files to look for known viruses matching definitions in a virus dictionary. Identifying suspicious behaviour from any computer program which might indicate infection. Such analysis may include data captures, port monitoring and other methods.

1.2 Support programs


Middleware Middleware is computer software which connects software components or applications. The software consists of a set of enabling services that allow multiple processes running on one or more machines to interact across a network. This technology evolved to provide for interoperability in support of the move to client/server architecture. It is used most often to support complex, distributed applications. It includes web servers, application servers, content management systems, and similar tools that support application development and delivery. Middleware is especially integral to modern information technology based on XML, SOAP, Web services, and service-oriented architecture. LDAP: Lightweight Directory Access Protocol is an application protocol for querying and modifying directory services running over TCP/IP. A directory is a set of objects with similar attributes organized in a logical and hierarchical manner. The most common example is the telephone directory, which consists of a series of names (either of persons or organizations) organized alphabetically, with each name having an address and phone number attached. Due to this basic design (among other factors) LDAP is often used by other services for authentication. System virtual machines System virtual machines (sometimes called hardware virtual machines) allow multiplexing the underlying physical machine between different virtual machines, each running its own operating system. The software layer providing the virtualization is called a virtual machine monitor or hypervisor. A hypervisor can run on bare hardware (Type 1 or native VM) or on top of an opera-ting system (Type 2 or hosted VM).

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2. Hardware
2.1 Types of Servers
What is a Server process? A server process (program) fulfils the clients request by performing the requested task. Server programs generally receive requests from client programs, execute database retrieval and updates, manage data integrity and dispatch responses to client requests. Sometimes server programs execute common or complex business logic. The server-based process may run on another machine on the network. This server could be the host operating system or network file server; the server is then provided both file system services and application services. Or in some cases, another desktop machine provides the application services. The server process acts as a software engine that manages shared resources such as databases, printers, communication links, or high powered-processors. The server process performs the back-end tasks that are common to similar applications. Application servers: An application server is a software engine that delivers applications to client computers or devices, typically through the Internet and using the HyperText Transfer Protocol. Application servers are distinguished from web servers by the extensive use of server-side dynamic content and frequent integration with database engines. An application server handles most, if not all, of the business logic and data access of the application (a.k.a. centralization). The main benefit of an application server is the ease of application development, since applications need not be programmed; instead, they are assembled from building blocks provided by the application server. Web servers: A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to provide their own websites accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own for use by their clients as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data centre. Web hosts can also provide data centre space and connectivity to the Internet for servers they do not own to be located in their data centre, called collocation. Database servers: A database server is a computer program that provides database services to other computer programs or computers. The term may also refer to a computer dedicated to running such a program. Database management systems frequently provide database server functionality, and some DBMSs (e.g. MySQL) rely exclusively on the client-server model for database access. FTP servers: In computing, the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a network protocol used to transfer data from one computer to another through a network, such as over the Internet. FTP is a commonly used protocol for exchanging files over any TCP/IP based network to manipulate files on another computer on that network regardless of which operating systems are involved (if the computers permit FTP access). There are many existing FTP client and server programs. FTP servers can be set up anywhere between game servers, voice servers, internet hosts, and other physical servers. DHCP server: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a protocol used by networked devices (clients) to obtain various parameters necessary for the clients to operate in an Internet Protocol (IP) network. By using this protocol, system administration workload greatly decreases, and devices can be added to the network with minimal or no manual configurations. DNS server: The Domain Name System (DNS) associates various sorts of information with so-called domain names; most importantly, it serves as the phone book for the Internet by translating human-readable computer hostnames, e.g. www. example.com, into the IP addresses, e.g. 208.77.188.166, that networking equipment needs to deliver information. It also stores other information such as the list of mail exchange servers that accept email for a given domain. In providing a worldwide keyword-based redirection service, the Domain Name System is an essential component of contemporary Internet use. Mail server: is a computer program or software agent that transfers electronic mail messages from one computer to another. Exchange server: Microsoft Exchange Server is a messaging and collaborative software product developed by Microsoft. It is part of the Microsoft Servers line of server products and is widely used by enterprises using Microsoft infrastructure solutions. Exchanges major features consist of electronic mail, calendaring, contacts and tasks, and support for the mobile and web-based access to information, as well as supporting data storage. For a portal all of the servers named above are needed. It might be useful to combine these server types in one device, which is depending on the size of the portal. Generally speaking: the bigger the system the more hardware components are needed.

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2.2 Structure of Servers


Tier definition: a distributed application is a system comprised of programs running on multiple host computers. The architecArchitecture One tier Pros Simple very high performance Self-contained Clean, modular design Less network traffic Secure algorithms Can separate UI from business logic

ture of this distributed application is a sketch of the different programs, describing which programs are running on which hosts, what their responsibilities are, and what protocols determine the ways in which different parts of the system talk to one another. Cons No networking cant access remote services Potential for spaghetti code Must design/implement protocol Must design/implement reliable data storage

Two tiers

Three tiers

Can separate UI, logic, and storage Reliable, replicable data Concurrent data access via transactions Efficient data access Support multiple applications more easily. Common protocol/API

Need to buy database product Need to hire DBA Need to learn new language (SQL) Object-relational mapping is difficult Quite inefficient Must learn API (CORBA, RMI, etc.) Expensive products More complex; thus, more potential for bugs Harder to balance loads

N tiers

One-tier architectures A one-tier application is simply a program that doesnt need to access the network while running. Most simple desktop applications, like word processors or compilers, fall into this category. The advent of the Web complicates this definition a bit. As I mentioned earlier, a Web browser is part of a two-tier application (a Web server being the other part). But what happens if that Web browser downloads a Java applet and runs it? If the applet doesnt access the network while running, is it a one-tier or two-tier application? For present purposes, we will say that the self-contained applet is a one-tier application, since it is contained entirely on the client computer. By this definition, a program written in JavaScript or VBScript and deployed inside an HTML page would also qualify as a one-tier application. One-tier architecture has a huge advantage: simplicity. One-tier applications dont need to handle any network protocols, so their code is simpler. Such code also benefits from being part of an independent operation. It doesnt need to guarantee synchronization with faraway data, nor does it need exception-handling routines to deal with network failure, bogus data from a server, or a server running different versions of a protocol or program.

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Two-tier architectures Two-tier architecture actually has three parts: a client, a server, and a protocol. The protocol bridges the gap between the client and server tiers. The two-tier design is very effective for network programming as well as for GUI programs, in which you can allocate functionality to the host. Traditionally, GUI code lives on the client host, and the so-called business logic lives on the server host. This allows user feedback and validation to occur on the client, where turnaround is quick; in the process, precious network and server resources are preserved. Similarly, logic lives on the server, where it is secure, and can make use of server-side resources (though here were approaching a three-tier application). The prototypical two-tier application is a client-server program with a GUI frontend written in a high-level language like Java, C++, or Visual Basic. In the two-tier program, you can see the clear division between front and back tiers. The first tier, the client, neednt worry about data storage issues or about processing multiple requests; the second tier, the server, neednt worry about user feedback and tricky user interface (UI) issues. For example, a chat application contains a client that displays messages and accepts input from the user, and a server that relays messages from one client to another. Specialization is good: divide and conquer.

Three-tier architectures Often, a two-tier application will need to store data on a server. Usually, the information is stored on the file system; however, data integrity issues arise when multiple clients simultaneously ask the server to perform tasks. Since file systems generally have rudimentary concurrency controls at best (lock files are found on only some platforms, and are often flawed), the most common solution is to add a third program, or database. Databases specialise in storing, retrieving, and indexing data. Just as a two-tier architecture separates GUI and business logic, a three-tier architecture allows you to separate business logic and data access. You can also provide highly optimized data indices and retrieval methods, and provide for replication, backup, redundancy, and load-balancing procedures specific to your datas needs. Separating code into client and server code increases the scalability of your application; so does placing data on a dedicated process, host, or series of hosts.

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N-tier architectures To listen to the hype, youd think that n-tier architectures are the greatest thing to happen to computing since the vacuum tube. Proponents of CORBA, EJB, and DCOM believe that every new application should be written, and every existing application should be retrofitted, to support their favourite spec. In the universe of distributed objects thus imagined, writing a new application is as simple as choosing objects and sending messages to them in highlevel code. The distributed object protocol handles the nasty, lowlevel details of parameter marshalling, networking, locating the remote objects, transaction management, and so forth. A good example of an n-tier distributed application is a stocktrading system. In this environment, multiple data feeds (stock quotes, news, trading orders) arrive from different sources, multiple databases (accounts, logs, historical data) are accessed, and multiple clients run specialised applications. It makes sense to weave together the disparate patches in this quilt with the thread of common distributed object architecture, like CORBA or EJB.

2.3 Components of Servers


Processor The Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor 7300 series, based on the Intel Core Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors 7300 series System Bus 1066/MHz Intel Server Board Processor: Intel 80219 processor running at 400MHz DDR 256MB 32MB NOR Flash Supports up to four 3.5 SATA-I Hard Disk from 80GB to 500GB Up to 2.0 TB

Chipset

Motherboard Storage System

Memory: Flash: HDD:

Maximum Capacity: Network:

Two Intel Gigabit LAN ports Intel SATA Controller

SATA Controller: USB: System Power: Memory

2x USB 2.0 connectors 200W PSU

Support for up to 256 GB in 32 DIMM slots 10 Gigabit Ethernet; PCI Express; Copper and Fiber Optical, Single port Intel Multi-Flex Technology, supports six compute modules

Intel Server Ethernet Adapters Intel Modular Server System

Note: These specifications can be modified according to needs and abilities

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2.4 Network Equipment


Networking hardware typically refers to equipment facilitating the use of a computer network. Typically, this includes routers, switches, access points, network interface cards and other related hardware. The most common kind of networking hardware today is copperbased Ethernet adapters, helped largely by its standard inclusion on most modern computer systems. Wireless networking has become increasingly popular, however, especially for portable and handheld devices. Routers: a computer whose software and hardware are usually tailored to the tasks of routing and forwarding, generally containing a specialized operating system Types of routers Routers for Internet connectivity and internal use Small Office Home Office (SOHO) connectivity Enterprise Routers Access Distribution Core Network switch: a computer networking device that connects network segments. Types of switches Form factor Configuration options Traffic monitoring on a switched network Typical switch management features Wireless access point: a device that connects wireless communication devices together to form a wireless network. The WAP usually connects to a wired network, and can relay data between wireless devices and wired devices. Network card, network adapter: a piece of computer hardware designed to allow computers to communicate over a computer network. It is both an OSI layer 1 (physical layer) and layer 2 (data link layer) device, as it provides physical access to a networking medium and provides a low-level addressing system through the use of MAC addresses. It allows users to connect to each other either by using cables or wirelessly.

Cabling system: coaxialcable twistedpair fiber optic

2.5 Terminals (PC)


Motherboard Processor Ram VGA HD DVD Keyboard Mouse Bultin Sound + LAN 3.2 GHz Intel 1024 MB 256 MB 200 GB 16 X writer USB Arabic English Laser mit Wheel

Number of PC needed : 12 at least PC for administrator and programmer The number of PC can increase in the future as needed

2.6 Servers Environment (Place)


Data Centre A Data centre is a centralised repository, either physical or virtual, for the storage, management, and dissemination of data and information organised around a particular body of knowledge or pertaining to a particular business. The National Climatic Data Centre (NCDC), for example, is a public data centre that maintains the worlds largest archive of weather information. A private data centre may exist within an organisations facilities or may be maintained as a specialised facility. According to Carrie Higbie, of Global Network Applications, every organisation has a data centre, although it might be referred to as a server room or even a computer closet. In that sense, data centre may be synonymous with network operations centre (NOC), a restricted access area containing automated systems that constantly monitor server activity, web traffic, and network performance.

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2.7 Maintenance Tools


Backup system Backup refers to making copies of data so that these additional copies may be used to restore the original after a data loss event. These additional copies are typically called backups. Backups are useful primarily for two purposes. The first is to restore a state following a disaster (called disaster recovery). The second is to restore small numbers of files after they have been accidentally deleted or corrupted. Backups are typically that last line of defence against data loss, and consequently the least granular and the least convenient to use. Since a backup system contains at least one copy of all data worth saving, the data storage requirements are considerable. Organizing this storage space and managing the backup process is a complicated undertaking. A data repository model can be used to provide structure to the storage. In the modern era of computing there are many different types of data storage devices that are useful for making backups. There are also many different ways in which these devices can be arranged to provide geographic redundancy, data security, and portability. Data repository models Any backup strategy starts with a concept of a data repository. The backup data needs to be stored somehow and probably should be organized to a degree. It can be as simple as a sheet of paper with a list of all backup tapes and the dates they were written or a more sophisticated setup with a computerized index, catalogue, or relational database. Different repository models have different advantages. This is closely related to choosing a backup rotation scheme. Unstructured Full + incrementals Full + differential Mirror + reverse incrementals Continuous data protection Storage media Magnetic tape Hard disk Optical disc Solid state storage Remote backup service

Data centre components: UPS: Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), also known as an Uninterruptible Power Source, Uninterruptible Power System, Continuous Power Supply (CPS) or a battery backup is a device which maintains a continuous supply of electric power to connected equipment by supplying power from a separate source when utility power is not available. There are two distinct types of UPS: off-line and line-interactive Generators Air condition Raised floor: This a type of floor used in office buildings (such as IT data centres) with a high requirement for servicing to carry cables, wiring, electrical supply, and sometimes air conditioning or chilled water pipes. Additional structural support and lighting are often provided when a floor is raised enough for a person to crawl or even walk beneath. Fire system: Fire suppression includes all devices associated with detecting or extinguishing a fire in the Data Centre. The most obvious components are water-based sprinklers, gaseous fire suppression systems, and hand-held fire extinguishers. Others can include devices that detect smoke or measure air quality. Security system: Door locks, access control systems, fencing, and lockable server cabinets each prohibit someone from entering a sensitive area without authorisation. Video cameras can track who enters and leaves. Finally, establishing clear access policies ensures that only appropriate personnel are allowed in to the data centre.

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3. References
Managing the data repository Regardless of the data repository model or data storage media used for backups, a balance needs to be struck between accessibility, security and cost. On-line Near-line Off-line Off-site vault Backup site, disaster recovery centre http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/ Middleware#encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightweight_Directory_Access_ Protocol http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/Virtual_machine http://70.25.18.144/wiki/index.php?title=Antivirus_software http://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/~301/Lect5.pdf http://nada4.com/application-server.html http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-01-2000/jw-01-ssj-tiers. html?page=4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Networking_hardware

2.8 Hardware Maintenance


Hardware upgrade: To increase and improve the performance of servers with the increased number of user Spare part: In the case of emergency (hard disk ,network cable, etc.) Periodic maintenance: to ensure efficient of devices

2.9 External Device


http://www.simba.com Scanner Printer Digital camera Microphone Web camera

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Content Management System (CMS) and Learning Management System (LMS)


Awad Aldada
1. Introduction 2. Content Management 2.1 Definition 2.2 What is content management? 2.3 Content management is logically divided into three are 2.4 Why content management? 3. CMS (Content Management System) 3.1 Definition 3.2 Functionality of CMS 3.3 Using possibilities of CMS 3.4 Types of CMS 3.5 How to choose an adequate CMS 3.6 Comparison between different CMS 4. LMS (Learning Management System) 4.1 Definition 4.2 Using possibilities of LMS 4.3 How to choose an adequate LMS 4.4 Types of LMS 4.5 Types of e-learning website 4.6 Advantage of LMS compared to CMS as a platform for e-learning 4.7 Conclusion 5. Proposal for our E-Learning System 5.1 E-learning platform 5.2 E-curriculum 5.3 Comparison between different LMS 6. Our Portal 6.1 What are the major functions of portals? 6.2 Search and navigation 6.3 Information integration (content management) 6.4 Infrastructure functionality 6.5 Major portal types 7. References

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1. Introduction
As a part of our big aim creating a portal we have to see which programs and systems should be used in order to help creating this project. When we talk about Portal we talk about information or in another word CONTENT. In this small abstract we want to talk about content, how we can manage this content and which program should be used to create a portal with an e-learning platform.

2. Content Management
2.1 Definition
When we talk about content we talk about all the items, articles and contribution we will deal with, like Web site pages, links Search system User information, attributes Skins, layout, pictures and others we need for the design Computer Mediated Communication (CMC): Email, conferencing, chatting, whiteboard etc. Administration , protection and quality assurance system Learning resources (digital libraries, courses etc.) Others things we can use in our Project Content is in essence, any type or unit of digital information, or in other words anything that is likely to be managed in an electronic format.

2.2 What is content management?


Content Management is effectively the management of the content described above, by combining rules, process and/or workflows in such a way that its electronic storage is deemed to be managed rather than un-managed Further information about key elements and processes in web content management are shown later.

2.3 Content management is logically divided into three aspects:


Content creation and contribution Content management and administration Content publishing and serving The meaning of the terms is reasonably self-evident. Each of them encompasses a number of processes; typically they include the items shown below:

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The actual processes provided by a solution vary from product to product. Creation and Contribution Page creation and editing Template creation Text entry Image creation Style sheet creation & editing Submission for approval Content properties & attributes Meta data Live date and expiry Personalisation attributes Product attributes Marketing attributes End user access permissions Management and Administration Content approval Properties approval Content workflow Security, roles assignment, editing permissions Versioning, archiving and backup Publishing and Serving Content output to final media Publishing to production server Search capability Personalisation Replication Syndication Load balancing Caching and acceleration

The boundaries between these areas are not always rigidly fixed. For example, a user editing a page may add some custom marketing or personalisation attributes to a page as part of the content creation process. Theis may be further modified and edited by someone in an administrative or approval role. Between them these components cover all aspects of the content life cycle. For the purposes of this document they are defined as: design; create; manage; and deploy.

2.4 Why content management?


Exploiting the Web is an essential element of any strategy for extending your business, growing market share and gaining competitive advantage. The Web brings you closer to your markets, but creates transparency that quickly reveals poor service. Although it is a challenge, its use is not optional. Customers are demanding more access, to information and business processes, and they expect it now, traditional Web technologies inhibit this intimacy. When we want to make ongoing changes. These could be very small, such as changing a phone number or location, or adding a news item. For new products or courses we have to go back to technical expertise for every change. A hundred small changes in a year will leave you both frustrated, and is not economically sound for either party. This is where a content management system (CMS) comes in. Sitting behind the scenes, it gives you the ability to maintain your own site. CMS gives control of content to the business experts. It ensures fast, consistent, accurate and efficient publication of our intellectual assets and business processes on the Web.

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3. CMS (Content Management System)


3.1 Definition
There are many Definitions for CMS: A content management system is a software package specifically designed to manage website content. It is installed by the web designers, but is intended to be used by you. The CMS is a tool that minimizes the tedious tasks of building a website and therefore allows experts to focus on tasks within their expertise. A CMS is an easy-to-use tool that gives authorized users the ability to manage a website. A CMS is a website maintenance tool rather than a website creation tool. A Content Management System (CMS) differs from website builders like Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver in that a CMS allows non-technical users to make changes to an existing website with little or no training. A CMS also automates menial tasks, such as applying the same page layout and appearance across the site. Menus and other navigation are also automatically produced. Content creation Is an easy-to-use authoring environment, designed to work like Word. This provides a non-technical way of creating new pages or updating content, without having to know any HTML. Manage the structure of the site. That is, where the pages go and how they are linked together. Content management Once a page has been created, it is saved into a central repository in the CMS. This stores all the content of the site, along with the other supporting details. Keeping track of all the versions of a page, and who changed what and when. Provides a range of workflow capabilities. Publishing Once the final content is in the repository, it can then be published out to either the website or intranet. Publishing engines which allow the appearance and page layout of the site to be applied automatically during publishing. Presentation Build the site navigation for us, by reading the structure straight out of the content repository. It should be easy to support multiple browsers or users with accessibility issues. Make your site dynamic and interactive, thereby enhancing the sites impact.

3.2 Functionality of CMS


The functionality of a content management system can be broken down into several main categories: Content creation Content management Publishing Presentation The CMS manages the entire lifecycle of pages, from creation to archival:

3.3 Using possibilities of CMS


There is a wide range of business benefits which can be obtained by implementing a CMS, including: Streamlined authoring process Faster turnaround time for new pages and changes Greater consistency Improved site navigation Increased site flexibility Support for decentralised authoring Increased security Reduced duplication of information Greater capacity for growth Reduced site maintenance costs Beyond these, the greatest benefit the CMS can provide is to support your business goals and strategies.

Publishing

ContentCreation

ContentMangement g Contract&Business

Presentation

Figure shows CMS Anatomy

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For example, the CMS can help to improve sales, increase user satisfaction, or assist in communicating with the public.

3.4 Types of CMS


There is a wide variety of content management systems available which are based on language for web sites and on utilization or costs. Languages: PHP-based Java-based Perl-based

Open source CMS: Advantages Open source CMS will be significantly cheaper than a commercial CMS. The opportunities for customisation are also greater than they are for a commercial CMS. There may very well be an existing open source CMS that will fulfil our requirements. Disadvantages Uncertainty. Product support, documentation and user training are often subject to the whims of volunteer developers. There is often no brand name or customer service department to offer assurances or assistance in maintaining CMS stability and security. Enterprise-level workflow management may therefore be difficult to achieve, and product implementation may take considerably longer than with comparable commercial CMS products. Custom CMS based on an open source framework Advantages Customising a new CMS based on an open source CMS framework can bridge the gap between a pure open source CMS product and a commercial CMS. Enterprise-level workflow management may or may not be robust enough for your parti-cular requirement, but its customisable. Disadvantages Like disadvantages of open source CMS. Customising a CMS introduces the added concerns of taxing internal development resources, which can further increase implementation times and introduce large product support demands on your development team. From the above and according to my colleague project we will use PHP, Web based CMS (Portal) and Custom CMS based on an open source framework. Depending on our experience and our needs we can consider using a commercial CMS in the future.

Types: Blog-based Wiki based Web

For the type web there are other detailed types Portal CMS Enterprise content management Document management Records management Digital asset management CMS marketplace Cost: Commercial CMS Open source CMS Custom CMS based on an open source framework Commercial CMS: Advantages CMS tool may already be ready-built for our needs and will likely be faster to implement than an open source CMS. Documentation and training for commercial CMS products are usually significantly stronger than for an open source solution. Associates a certain degree of safety with commercial software as opposed to open source. Disadvantages Costs. Commercial CMS license costs can be prohibitively expensive. Customisation/integration expenses can put these prices even higher.

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3.5 How to choose an adequate CMS


The top seven issues which are helpful to decide which CMS to choose are: Pricing Timing Documentation/training Support issues Customisability Number of users Arabic and English support WebPortal Software Its package of software consists of many systems like (content management, portal, collaboration, document management and records management) used to make portal or to mange and introduce more that service in web site like wiki, blog, chat, VOIP, etc.). This software has many specifications like easy to use, personalisation and social media like RSS, Voit. But these software portal products are more complex and expensive than many CMSs. The best vendors for this software are: BEA IBM Microsoft Oracle SAP Interwoven I see this software as a very good future choice for our portal. Question: Web sites are growing ever larger and more complex and the costs of managing them are escalating. The essential question is: can you spend money on a Content Management System to save money for the business? We think yes. But it is early to answer.

Terminology Meaning in CMS The following terms are often used in relation to web content management systems but they may be neither standard nor universal: Block A block is a link to a section of the web site. Blocks can usually be specified to appear on all pages of the site (for example in a left hand navigation panel) or only on the home page. Module A content module is a section of the web site, for example a collection of news articles, an FAQ section, login, search... etc. Some content management systems may also have other special types of modules, for example administration and system modules. Theme A theme specifies the cosmetic appearance of every page of the web site, controlling properties such as the colours and the fonts. Portlet are pluggable user interface components that are managed and displayed in a web portal some examples of portlet applications are email, weather reports, discussion forums, and news. Portal page a portal page is displayed as a collection of nonoverlapping portlet windows. Note: There are web sites which give us three stages of defining our Content Management requirements: Defining overall site requirements Establishing IT infrastructure requirements Future requirements In the future we have to study these stages all together after having seen the needs of our portal.

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3.6 Comparison between different CMS


In my opinion these are the best open source CMS: Drupal , jommla ,plone , phpnuke , typo3

Product System Requirements Application Server

Drupal 5.6 Drupal PHP 4.3.5+

Joomla! 1.0.7 Joomla! Apache recommended, any server that supports PHP and MySQL $0 MySQL

PHP Nuke 6 PHP Nuke mod_php

Plone 3.0 Plone Zope

TYPO3 4.1.5 TYPO3 PHP 4.3.0+

Approximate Cost Database

Free MySQL, Postgres

Free MySQL, Postgres, mSQL, Interbase, Sybase GNU GPL Any PHP Apache, IIS

Free Zope

Free MySQL, PostGreSQL, Oracle, MSSQL GNU GPL Any PHP Apache, IIS

License Operating System Programming Language Web Server

GNU GPL Any PHP Apache, IIS

GNU GPL Any PHP Apache

GNU GPL Any Python Apache, Nginx, IIS, (+anything that can proxy) Plone Yes Free Add On Yes Yes Yes Free Add On Yes Free Add On Free Add On

Security Audit Trail Captcha Content Approval Email Verification Granular Privileges Kerberos Authentication LDAP Authentication Session Management SSL Logins

Drupal Yes Free Add On Yes Yes Yes No Free Add On Yes No

Joomla! No Yes Yes Yes No No Free Add On Yes No

PHP Nuke No No No No Limited No No No No

TYPO3 Yes Free Add On Yes Yes Yes Free Add On Free Add On Yes Yes

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Built-in Applications Blog Chat Discussion / Forum Document Management Events Calendar File Distribution Guest Book Mail Form Newsletter Photo Gallery Polls Tests / Quizzes Web Services Front End Wiki

Drupal Yes Free Add On Yes Limited Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Yes Free Add On No Free Add On

Joomla! Yes Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Yes Free Add On Free Add On Yes Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On

PHP Nuke Yes No Yes No No Yes No No No No Yes No No No

Plone Yes Free Add On Free Add On Yes Yes Yes Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Yes Free Add On Free Add On No Free Add On

TYPO3 Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Yes Yes Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On Free Add On

From the index above we can see that each CMS has different specifications, but in general we can state that TYPO3, Joomla and Drupal are the best.

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4. LMS (Learning Management System)


4.1 Definition
This is a software which automates the administration of training. The LMS registers users, tracks courses in a catalogue, records data from learners and provides reports to management. An LMS is typically designed to handle courses by multiple publishers and providers. It usually doesnt include its own authoring capabilities; instead, it focuses on managing courses created by a variety of other sources. Interoperability: the ease with which an LMS works with tools and content created by other companies and software packages. Extendibility: the capability of adding new functionality to current or existing LMS product features.

4.4 Types of LMS


Vendors have primarily taken three separate and distinct approaches in engineering their LMS. The three approaches include: Proprietary (closed and not easily interoperable with other elearning components) Standards-based (supported) Open architecture systems (interoperable) Proprietary Proprietary systems are the largest category of LMS vendors. Vendors who fall under closed, proprietary systems offer very limited interoperability meaning their LMS will not plugand-play with customised courseware content or systems These systems require extensive work before the LMS system can operate These proprietary systems require lengthy processes to bring together proprietary systems that are already in-house. Standard-based The standards-based LMS is the fastest-growing LMS category Support of standards will bring interoperability or built-in connectivity A handful of LMS vendors currently support both the AICC and SCORM proposed standards. Open Architecture Very few LMS vendors have open architecture Open LMSs require little effort to connect or integrate with content, collaboration, testing and assessment, skills and competency, e-commerce, and Internet (streaming) whether the tool or content was developed in-house or purchased from a third-party vendor. open architected LMS will likely require little more than minor modifications to comply with such standards The greatest selling point of an open LMS is that it allows organizations to use existing IT systems that are already in place. We chose the standard-based as it is important to let other systems and programmes integrate into our LMS.

4.2 Using possibilities of LMS


Registration of learners Tracking participation in courses Testing Conducting follow-up discussions Transferring information to other systems including the HR and ERP Enterprise Resource Planning Fee processing and fee transfer among departments Scheduling courses Managing skills Managing blended learning

4.3 How to choose an adequate LMS


The most important functions of an e-learning programme are: Learning content the actual learning material plus exercises and additional texts Communication tools these facilitate the communication between learners and trainers/tutors and with other learners Administration tools menus and forms which may be used to personalise the learning environment Skill management functions that serve to monitor the learning success E-learning tools for instructors, trainers and authors within the framework of e-learning, instructors, trainers and authors have, in addition to the four functions, a wide range of tools at their disposal, which possibly have an impact on the clarity of the eLearning solution In order to choose a LMS, we have to take into consideration the above mentioned functions. Furthermore the following four features should appear on top of any LMS requirements list. Scalability: how well the LMS solution will work when use increases or decreases over time. Flexibility: allows the LMS processing to be customised to meet business processes without writing additional code.

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4.5 Types of e-learning websites


Static Web Content Posting: lecture slides, announcements, organisational material etc. Dynamic/Interactive Web Content Virtual class, utilization of audio, video and animations, cooperative learning:

4.6 Advantage of LMS compared to CMS as a platform for e-learning


CMS has many features which can be used for our part portal -elearning- but content manage-ment alone does not offer enough features to make e-learning easy. Less flexibility: The design of the course is less flexible in a CMS. The names of the standard sections can seldom be changed or altered. Inefficiency in providing interactive e-learning: Interactive e-learning through authoring tools such as Dreamweaver or Flash cannot be delivered through a CMS. For this purpose, instructors need to link to separately created materials, which are stored elsewhere. Inefficiency in testing and tracking: A CMS cannot verify the identity of the students taking tests, nor can it save the test before a student transmits it to the instructor. Also, some CMS are not capable of transferring grades from the grade book to other progress tracking systems.

4.7 Conclusion The figure shows a static web site


Though both academic and corporate learning have gone the electronic way, an LMS and a CMS cannot replace each other because of the disparate learning activities that they support. It is necessary to understand that education is gaining long term knowledge while training is gaining knowledge for immediate application. Therefore, a CMS supports long term classroom sessions, while an LMS supports a number of short training events.

The figure shows a dynamic web site

At the beginning we will use a static web content keeping the possibility to alternate to a dynamic one later.

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5. Proposal for our E-Learning System


The system which we hope to create is like other learning corporations using e-learning. The e-learning system consists of the following: E-learning platform: This is the software that controls the educational process. Below we will introduce the types of such platforms and components, as well as showing the ways to build these e-learning platforms for Vocational training department Online curriculum: This is actually the most important part of the e-learning system and we must give great significance to it especially concerning the description of the stages of the curriculum development. Further there must be a framework in order to develop the curriculum.

5.2 E-curriculum
An e-curriculum can act as a textbook or as enrichment on top of textbooks such as video and audio enrichments. In addition, some programmed activities could be included in the e-curriculum. The curriculum will usually consist of units or modules along with the logical flow of these modules. The e-curriculum will also have a teacher and a student guide that will describe the content, its outcomes and objectives as well as a calendar that will outline the flow of the content. The e-curriculum can be seen as a dynamic ever-growing entity that could initially start with some basic support units of the original curriculum and then gradually grow into a substantial resource. Computer Mediated Communication (CMC): The CMC part of the platform dedicated for utilizing the computer to enable further student-teacher interaction in addition to communication between students. For the platform, we suggest to use CMC in the following forms: Email, conferencing, chatting, whiteboards, and video conferencing. E-competency: This part is concerned with handling students homework and exams and should provide an integrated seamless online assessment that extends beyond conventional essays and examinations. It should provide the capability of recording and then automatically sending the students their corresponding scores. It should also facilitate archiving. The assessment tools can be in one of the many known forms ranging from fully automated test generation, grading, feedback, and so on, to partially automated tests. Electronic Tutoring (e-tutoring): E-tutorial is an interactive tutorial conducted by the tutor to a number of students using computer communication technology (possibly including voice and picture). Students and their tutor can be a long distance away from each other in such a setting. This subsystem could be the most costly as it needs a reliable network to transfer video and audio streams. Student Information System (SIS): which is most relevant part of the enterprise systems, and the platform should provide an interface to SIS to exchange grades, student information and other data.

5.1 E-learning platform


The suggested e-learning platform consists of a set of integrated systems to facilitate the educational process. These systems include e-curriculum, Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), e-competency, e-tutoring, the digital library, and some enterprises information systems such as Student Information System (SIS), offline educational resources, quality assurance system, network security and administration as well as other productivity tools. The figure below shows an overview of the platform followed by the details of each of these constituents.

Acce essauthentication Fee edback/prog gress

SIS Databases

LearningObjectRepository (Courses) CMC (Conferencing email (Conferencing, email,chat, chat WB)


ECompetency (Scheduling,archiving,grading),monitoring

Digital Libraries

Offline Learning Resources

ETutoring (Livetutorials,onlineAV,etc.) Otherfeatures (Tools,templates,etc.)

QualityAssuranceProcedures

AdministrationandAuthenticationSystem

The figure shows a dynamic web site

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Digital libraries: Which will contain various online resources where students and teachers can refer to for additional material. Most of the well known publishers currently offer online subscriptions to their books and journals. So, it is appropriate to transfer current subscriptions to online ones and acquire new online subscriptions. The platform should provide an interface to such resources. Offline learning resources: These could consist of physical as well as digital offline resources. These resources could be part of the curriculum or additional resources students may refer to. Such resources could be a video presentation or a physical book.

Quality assurance system: One of the major concerns in educational process is quality assurance and steps to achieve it. For example the quality of the curriculum as well as the assignments can be easily centrally monitored. Network administration and protection: The system should be flexible but at the same time secure in the sense that it facilitates user authentication and authorization to the various subsystems.

5.3 Comparison between different LMS


Functionality/property Basic Communication Tools Customized Look and Feel Instructional Design Tools Administration Tools Course Delivery Tools Course Templates Video Services, Whiteboard Work Offline, bookmarks Standards support Costs Source code Arabic support Pedagogy BlackBoard 6 SCORM,IMS, LRN Maintenance charge Annual FTE Partial Moodle 1.1 1way SCORM Volunteers + Free GNU Adequate WebCT 4.1 CE IMS, LRN Maintenance charge Annual FTE Partial

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6. Our Portal
6.1 What are the major functions of portals?
According to the analyst and consulting company Ovum as described in their study Enterprise Portals: New Strategies for Information Delivery, 2000 the ideal portal is based on eight functionality areas: Search and navigation Information integration (content management) Personalisation Notification (push technology) Task management and workflow Collaboration and groupware Integration of applications and business intelligence Infrastructure functionality These are the most important functionalities each portal is based on, but there is no portal which can contain all these functionalities in equal measure. Nevertheless we can state that a good Portal should be a well-integrated mixture of the basic portal functionalities. In our portal we hope to be able to take care about all these functionalities but as a beginning we will focus on the red functionalities mentioned above.

6.3 Information integration (content management)


A portal should: Warrant the integration of information from disparate sources. Moreover, the user should also be able to optimally use this information. According to this our portal must have mechanisms (eg. Application Programming Interface) which speed up the development of portal applications, such as JAVA, C++, ActiveX, Visual- and Non-Visual-Java Beans. Having a good CMS is helping us to create, manage and publish the contents.

6.4 Infrastructure functionality


The infrastructure functionality constitutes the fundament for the work environment for the other 7 functionalities mentioned above. Below an overview about: Basic Architecture of Portals Major Portal Types

Basic Architecture of Portalc


In general there are two architectures: Horizontal Portal Horizontal portals target the entire Internet community. These sites are often associated with megaportals; they usually contain search engines and gateways to contents and services of other Gateways to contents and services of other offerers.

6.2 Search and navigation


This functionality forms are the basis for most of the successful public web portals considering that a successful portal should support its users in an efficient search for contents. A portal should: Automatically present its users with the information appropriate to the users role Suggest additional information to the user, and/or allow the user to voluntarily personalize the information presented by the portal Allow the user to search for information that was not previously known to be relevant to the users role, but which may be available through the portal.

Figure of Horizontal Portal

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7. References
Vertical Portals Differ only in their more specific objects and contents from horizontal portals, the technology employed remains the same. Offer information and services customised to niche audiences about a particular area of interest. http://www.immediacy.net/solutions/content%20management/ cms%20faqs.aspx http://atlanticwebfitters.ca/AtlanticWebfittersHome/ HelpfulArticles/ChoosingtheRightCMS/tabid/107/Default.aspx (by James Robertson) http://atlanticwebfitters.ca/VendorNeutralWhitePapers/ WanttoBuyaCMS/CMSorPortalSoftware/tabid/174/Default.aspx-by Toby Ward on Wed 08 Feb 2006 11:30 PM PST http://www.articlesbase.com/e-learning-articles/cms-and-lms-acomparison-107069.html by Vishwanath Shankar http://cmsarticles.awardspace.com/content-management-system. html http://www.contentmanager.eu.com/history.htm

Figure of a Vertical Portal


Proposal of Leveraging E-Learning Technologies to Improve Higher Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia We will start our portal as a horizontal one, still keeping the possibility to transfer it into a vertical one connected to vocational training. Submitted by: Arab Open University Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

6.5 Major portal types


Content Development Solutions Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan The analyst and consulting company Ovum has set up a detailed taxonomy of portal types including their hierarchical affiliations. Cognovis Federal Republic of Germany http://www.immediacy.net/resources/cms_beginners_guide/ what_is_content_management.aspx http://www.azafrica.com/web/images/April.pdf

Portal

specialised Marketspace

Weareatthebigininghere

Publicweb

Inthefuturewearehere

Enterprise/ corporate

Workspace

Figure of a Vertical Portal

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II. Usability of a Web Portal

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Usability and User-Friendliness of a TVET-Portal


Khaled Alaqqad & Mohamed Gahin
1. Introduction 2. User-Friendly Design 2.1 Visual designs role in usability 2.2 Consistency 2.3 Establishing visual priority 2.4 Using the grid system 2.5 Navigation 3. Colours 3.1 Colour wheel 3.2 An example 4. Fonts 4.1 The perfect font 4.2 Favorite and not-so-favorite fonts for the web 4.3 Font size 4.4 Graphic text vs type text 5. References

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1. Introduction
Designing professional web sites (portal) is not just about making beautiful pages: Its about understanding your audience and crafting an information structure that not only meets their needs but fulfils business goals as well. Its about working with a team of people and understanding the inter workings of the production process from web design through to web administration, comp production, and technical integration. In this abstract I want to show how to understand the web design process in friendly user design, colour and fonts. At the end of these pages, you will have a good idea about these processes.

2. User-Friendly Design
You must think through all the possible steps someone needs to take to complete or abandon a task. You can then design a user interface that: Facilitates the task. Reduces abandonment. Optimises a users time spent on your site. Deciding on the appropriate use of widgets like check boxes, menus, links, icons and buttons, the visual design and physical location of the interface elements can both enhance and detract from the users ability to navigate successfully through a task. A good user interface should accomplish two things: Makes the page look professional. Shows people how to navigate around the site. To improve your interfaces pages and make your site friendly we recommend applying the following:

2.1 Visual designs role in usability


Grouping arrangement

Changes appearance by using Rollover

Mouse out

Mouse Over

Mouse Click

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Designing buttons that look clickable Use an action word. Add dimension. Encapsulate the element. Changing mouse appearance.

Colour-coding such as using a different colour for different sections on a site

Using colour to give an active or deactive meaning

Taking clues from everyday life such as Buttons on a phone. Buttons on a radio.

Grouping and nesting element

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Signify hierarchy with colour

2.4 Using the grid system


A grid system organises the page and makes it more legible. Illegible: Legible:

2.2 Consistency

2.5 Navigation
The main goal is to make people feel in control of the site and capable of getting around quickly and efficiently. Global navigation The best way to reduce the number of clicks is to provide the same set of navigation links on each page of the site. This strategy is called global navigation. Global navigation helps us in: To navigate quickly Gives people a sense of the web sites size. Putting the same global navigation scheme in the same place on every page creates a point of reference that helps people stay oriented in your site.

2.3 Establishing visual priority

same size = no visual priority Impossible to determine which section is the main point of the page

most important = larger share of the screen space Easy to determine which section is the main point of the page

Supporting programs: Adobe Photoshop Adobe Dreamweaver

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3. Colours
3.1 Colour wheel
It is a graphic which helps you to choose colours by giving information about the relation between them (Harmony). Here is how: 1. Look Close, Closer, Closest

Add to the colours

Monochromatic

Complementary

Primary

Analogous

2. Create colour palettes

3.2 An example
How to find a perfect colour? No single visual element has more effect on a viewer than colour. Colour gets: Attentions Sets a mood Sends a message But what colours are the right ones? The key is that colour is relational. Colours are always seen with other colours. Because of this we can design a colour coordinated document based on the colour in any element on the page.

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4. Fonts
4.1 The perfect font
The perfect font should have the following facilities: Readable text Contrast

Morecontrast = Morereadable =

Lesscontrast = Hardreadable =

Leading, or the space between the lines of text

SuitableLeading=Betterreading

Try to limit each columns width to no more than about five inches (12.7 cm).

Supporting programs: Colour Wheel Pro Instant Colour Picker Colour Schemer Studio

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4.2 Favourite and not-so-favourite fonts for the web


Standard versus fancy (decorative) fonts
STANDARD VERSUS FANCY FONTS
standardfontslike: Garamond Times Times, GillSans Helvetica Verdana I order In d t tochoose h th theright i htf font tf forth thej job, b you shouldbefamiliarwiththedifferentcategoriesof fonts.Generally,youshouldusethestandard fontsforpagesofbodytext text,andreservethe fancierordecorativefontsforshortheadingsand subheadings.

4.4 Graphic text vs. type text


Graphic text is: a. Graphics b. Hard to modify c. Big size d. Not easy to resize e. Good for logo or for heading

4.3 Font size


Not too big; not too small

Samesize(12point) Differentfonttype Thick Thin

Agoodruleistokeep yourbodytextinthe rangeof 10to12points

Unlessyouregoingforapostmodern,nreadable artisticeffect,avoidgraphictextthatislessthan 10 0po points tsins size. e.So Some efonts o tsdowork o fairly a ywell e at10points,butmostdont.Ontheflipside, dontmakeyourtextsobigandhorseythatyour Webpage p g lookslikeaneye y chart.( (By ytheway, y horseyisagreat,fussydesignertermforlarge andclunky.)

Sansseriffontsfor graphicorHTMLtext thatpassthe 10 10pointtest

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5. References:
Example 1 Text and graphics: Mc Wade, John: Before and After Page Design. Peachpit Press 2003 Lopuck, Lisa: Web design for dummies. John Wiley & Sons 2006

Example 2

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III. Portal Management

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Portal Management
Awad Aldada
1. Introduction 2. Content Administration by CMS 3. What I Have to Think about before Starting Portal Administration 4. User Management 4.1 Types of users 4.2 Types of groups 4.3 Structure fo users administration 4.4 Levels of administrator permissions 4.5 Users registration by portal 4.6 What we should have for handling forgotten passwords 4.7 User profile 5. Portal Management 6. Interaction Management 6.1 Strategy of customising 7. Content Management 7.1 Kinds of content 7.2 Content structure 8. Course Management 8.1 Course structure 8.2 What are the benefits of this structure? 8.3 Course specifications 8.4 Course production phases 9. How Layouts are Implemented 10. How Portlets are Defined 11. Search 11.1 Basic search 11.2 Advanced search 11.3 Search tips 12. References

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1. Introduction
Administrating portal web applications means managing relationships among web application-scoped objects such as users, user groups, portlets, skins, and layouts. But the portal platform also exposes enterprise-scoped elements such as campaign and commerce services. Portal administration involves many traditional system administration activities, as well as tasks that control the behaviour, content, and appearance of portals. While portal administrators do not typically develop the resources required for a portal web site, they use those resources to build, maintain, and modify portals. For the above there are many programs to use in order to make portal administration easy and not complex. These programs are called CMS.

2. Content Administration by CMS


The Content Management Systems (CMS) are widely used on the Internet. They separate the content creation from the site design. Users without having web design or programming knowledge can create a professional website using a ready-made application that allows them to concentrate only on the content creation. A site powered by a CMS is called a dynamic website, because its content (text, images, and animations) could respond in various ways to the Portal pages. In general there are many management activities we have to take care about. For this administration for example: Portal Management: Portals, desktops, books, pages, portlets, and other portal resources Content Management: Content and repositories User Management: User and group management, delegated administration, entitlements Interaction Management: Campaigns, placeholders, content selectors, and user segments Search: Search within portal

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3. What I Have to Think about before Starting Portal Administration


Before we begin administering portals, we should plan in advance to enable our portal to fully support our enterprise. The following list suggests some activities we need to consider before administering our portal. This list is not a comprehensive planning guide for a new portal. However, it should provide sufficient guidance for getting you started: 1. Determine the database you want to use for your portal. 2. Identify the portal audience by defining users and groups (trainer, trainee, worker etc). 3. Identify the portal components; that is, what will be available in the portal (wiki, blogs , forums). 4. Develop a convention for determining which portlets are for internal viewing and which are for external viewing (weather, news etc.). 5. Identify portal management roles and responsibilities. These questions might help: who are the system and portal administrators and what are they required to do?

4. User Management
4.1 Types of users
We can classify users as follows: Super administration users: they have the highest level of privileges in the portal e.g. to create other users, create users group, deploy portal applications, content management etc. Authorized AdminEligible- users: they are users with administration privileges but not like super administration users and the super administration users create them and give them administration privileges Authenticated users: all the users are registered in the portal and have a user name and a password Public users: All users have access, but they are not logged on to a portal; they have no username and password, but the viewing of any page marked as public is permitted. There is no permission to edit the content of pages

4.2 Types of groups


As we have seen above there are many different users in the portal. As it is very difficult to manage each user alone, it is a good idea to organise these users in groups. Principle {each user in a group receives privileges specifically given to that group} As we have seen before, portal administration depends on CMS. In general there are already groups built in CMS we can rely on. Alternatively we can build our own groups. Example of general built groups: SA- System Administrators super administrators group: high level of privileges Portal Administrators AdminEligible/Authorized group: administration privileges Authenticated_Users Group: different privileges Everyone group: specified privileges Example of own built groups: DB: all Pages all Styles user Profiles Manage Portal_Developers: all Portal DB Providers Create all Shared Components Manage Portlet_Publishers: all Portlets Publish Notice: We can create many others groups, but we have to notice that these groups must be members in built in groups in the used CMS. We have to create an administrator (GA) for each group in order to manage it.

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4.3 Structure for users administration


To achieve users administration we need to implement a structure, which is also depending on CMS. In general the structure can be described as in the following: When any user is added or registered in the Portal, the user is automatically a member of the Authenticated_Users Group All the users will be given administration privileges add to Portal Administrators AdminEligible / Authorized Group. SA super administrator add to SA- System Administrators super administrators group. Gasts users added to Everyone Group. Importantly, promoting a user within the Portal from one group to the other does eliminate another group membership for that user. For example, if a GA user is promoted to SA, that users membership as a GA is eliminated.

PA Portal Administrators (Authorized) Create and entitle Portal Administrators (PAs) Create/Edit a group portal Create and entitle Group Administrators (GAs) Delegate administrative tasks GA Group Administrators Create and entitle Group Administrators (GAs) Edit a group portal Delegate administrative tasks

4.5 Users registration by portal


A new user clicks the link to register on the logon page The personal profile page opens, which prompts the user to enter the minimum information necessary to create the account and to make user profile.

Administrators AdminEligible / Authorized Group

GA

GA AUTHENTICATEDUSERS Group

Registered

SA System Administratorsgroup

Figure of structure of user administration

4.4. Levels of administrator permissions


From the above mentioned we can see that there are different administrators with different privileges. We can classify these administrators in the following: SA- System Administrators Create a new user group Deploy portal applications using the E-Business Control Centre Create and entitle Portal Administrators (PAs) Create/edit a group portal Create and entitle Group Administrators (GAs) Delegate administrative tasks

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Different Groups

GA

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After entering the requested information, the user clicks submit. The system displays a message that the request is being processed and that an email with activation link will be sent to the new user.

4.7 User profile


Portal audiences include anonymous Internet users, employees, system administrators, developers, webmasters, content creators, editors, trading partners, and many others. It is much easier to meet the needs of these users when we know who they are as this gives us the possibility to focus on their specific needs. As a result, user profiles are essential for nearly every portal.

The system generates an email notification to the user containing a link to the Portal site. This is created as a plain text message with an SMTP mail server.

User profiles are records containing two kinds of data: Information about the user such as name, address, interests, demographic information, and a host of other data relevant to the portal Data concerning the users activities in the portal, such as authentication details and past behaviour on your portal Profile information The profile contains the username and password used for authentication. It may also contain data elements such as: Name Job title Organisation Name Organization industry Addresses (mailing, shipping, billing) Email address Interests Language preference

4.6 What we should have for handling forgotten passwords


There are two possible processes: Allowing users to enter their email addresses and send them their passwords as email messages. Prompting users to answer a question to identify them. For example ask users to answer a personal question, such as their place of birth or mothers maiden name, as part of registration. We see the first process as the best for our portal.

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5. Portal Management
In the following we want to give an overview about the necessary tasks and roles of a portal: Task Develop portlets, skins, images, JavaScript Define portal resource metadata Install portal objects such as JSPs, image files, JavaScript, HTML Deploy portal resource metadata Manage administrator roles Manage portal resources and visitor entitlements Configure sample users in LDAP directory Role JSP/HTML Developer, Web or User Interface Designer Business Engineer, Business Analyst J2EE System Administrator,* Application Assembler/ Deployer Business Engineer, Business Analyst System Administrator Portal System Administrator, Portal Administrator, Group Administrator Portal System Administrator, Portal Administrator, Group Administrator

6. Interaction Management
Users Rules (Personalisation & Customisation)

6.1 Strategy of customising


Definition of the areas the user is authorised to customise: Adding a portlet to a page Rearranging portlets in a page region Moving portlets to different regions/tabs Hiding a portlet on a page Deleting a portlet from a page Rearranging the order of tabs in a region Hiding a tab on a page Applying a new style to a page Customizing a page parameter Removing your page customisations 1. Definition of the user and the items which obtain a customisation privilege 2. Give privilege. 3. Dynamic, rules-based personalisation, where resources or capabilities are granted or denied at runtime, based on customisable profile parameters 4. User customisation, where an authenticated user makes changes to individual settings which will persist from one session to the next Personalisation Personalization means the ability to change the content and functionality presented to an authenticated visitor; this is with regard to an end user who has successfully logged into a portal. A rules engine is used to dynamically determine whether a user is part of a segment based on profile attributes, request or session attributes, or a time element. Based on this decision, specific content may be shown to the user A developer uses JSP tags provided with Portal system, such as a placeholder or the content selector tag, to specify where on the site the personalised content should be displayed Strategy of personalisation The first step in personalisation is to obtain a username and password through the registration process. This step, which creates the personal profile later used for personalisation

* Application Assembler/Deployer

The Application Deployer/Assembler is the user who performs the synchronize task using the E-Business Control Centre (In other words, the Application Deployer/Assembler must be a member of the System Administrator user group.)

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Profile creation may occur when a user requests premium content that is only available to registered users. Also uses that profile information to send email notification when new items are published based on the topics chosen by the user. When a visitor logs in, the visitors membership in one or more groups is evaluated. Once group membership has been evaluated, entitlements allow access to portal resources, based on dynamic evaluation of attributes. If the visitor has performed any customization of the portal, these settings are applied to the portal resources to which the visitor has access, and the page is rendered accordingly. Personalised information Role-based access Personalised content Personalised layout Relevant information summarised Drill down to detail & source application UI Personalisation cycle
CreateUserProfile

Rule-based entitlements versus rule-based personalisation Personalisation: A rules engine is used to dynamically determine whether a user is part of a segment based on profile attributes, request or session attributes, or a time element. Based on this decision, specific content may be shown to the user. A developer uses JSP tags provided with portal system, such as a placeholder or the content selector tag, to specify where on the site the personalised content should be displayed Entitlements: Entitlements are applied to specific portal resources: portlets and portal pages, rather than arbitrary content and areas on the site. The entitlements are controlled completely from administration tools, and no HTML/JSP developer involvement is required. In addition, rule-based entitlements are typically used to control access to portal content, whereas rule-based personalization is used to serve targeted content.

S b i i Subscription Refine content Deliver custom content

Gather site usage statistic

The figure shows personalisation

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7. Content Management
7.1 Kinds of content
When we talk about content we talk about all the items, articles and contribution we will deal with, like Web site pages, links Search system User information, attributes Skins, layout, pictures and others we need for the design Computer Mediated Communication (CMC): (Email, conferencing, chatting, whiteboard etc.) Administration, protection and quality assurance system Learning resources (digital libraries, courses etc.) And others things we can use in our portal To enable users to quickly display a listing of a particular type of content. For example, if we want users to be able to quickly access all of the mechanic system, we could create a category called mechanic. When a user adds an item or a page to the page group, he can assign it to the Mechanic category. To find all of the available mechanic information, other users can search on the mechanic category to see a listing of pages and items that are in that category. Categories and sub categories can be created if needed. For us as we work with CMS, the best choice is a hierarchical structure An example for hierarchical structure is shown in the following figure

7.2 Content structure


In content structure we have to focus on the following: Sections and categories We can organize content either using a: 1. Hierarchical structure or 2. Autonomous pages. 3. A combination of these two ways mentioned above 1. Hierarchical structure: The content is organised in Sections -> Categories -> Content Items (articles). You can afterwards create menu items that link to any of these elements and specify how each page will be displayed (section table, category table, section blog etc). 2. Autonomous pages: They are the content items that do not belong to a Section/ Category structure. They are independent. We can think of them as single HTML pages. We can create as many as we need and then organize through the proper menu structure. The purpose of categories Used to classify content for example (Sales Reports, Action Items, Corporate Icons and Graphics etc.) Every item or page we create can be assigned to one category. Perspective Perspectives are used to further classify content by a cross-category grouping. Who will be interested in this item or page? For example, if we want some users to be able to quickly access all of the content that relates to being a mechanic man (such as mechanical courses, Mechanic management and Mechanical services, Mechanic instruments), you could create a perspective called mechanic Representative. We can also create a hierarchy of perspectives (for example Mechanic has multiple types).

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8. Course Management
Content attributes They are associated with item types and page types such as the associated category, description, or perspectives. Administrators can create their own item types and page types and specify exactly which information they want the user to be supplied with by choosing which attributes to include. Example of content attributes: Attribute: Author Category Description Display Name Display Option This attribute contains: The name of the author of the item. The name of the category to which the item or page belongs. A short text description of the item or page. The display name of the item or page. Information about how the item or portlet should be displayed: Item displayed directly in page area Link that displays item in full browser window Link that displays item in new browser window Information about whether or not the item can be checked out and checked in. This provides document control, allowing groups of users to edit items and not overwrite each others work. Users cannot edit items that are checked out by another user. Information about how long an item should be displayed on a page. Keywords that describe the content or purpose of the item or page. When a user performs a search, the users search criteria are compared to the keywords to find a match. The names of the perspectives associated with the item or page. The date (in the format, DD-MON-YYYY HH12: MI PM) when the item should start being displayed to users. The figure shows a course-structure
Content structuralelements

8.1 Course structure


As we know each has content and material, which are the backbones for the course. Early e-learning courses were based on hypermedia systems that statically linked the content. The structure associated with the material was very rigid, and the material could not be easily written, edited, or reused to create additional or new learning material. Nowadays a good course structure offers the following: Content associated with an e-learning course may be divided into two or more structural elements that may be interpreted by a browser (or CMS). The structural elements may be aggregated into two or more levels where a higher level may refer to any instance of a lower level The lowest level structural element is a knowledge item. The knowledge item illustrates or tests an aspect of a topic. The knowledge item may include one or more of a test, a table, an illustration, a graphic, an animation, an audio clip and a video clip. Other structural elements: Learning unit, that may refer to one or more knowledge items to represent a thematically-coherent unit of information. Sub-course, which may refer to one or more of a knowledge item, a learning unit, and a sub-course. A course, which may refer to one or more of a knowledge item, a learning unit, and a sub-course.

Enable item Check-Out

Expiration Period Keywords

Thelowestlevel structuralelement isaknowledge item

aggregated dinto twoormorelevels

Another structural element (learning unit,subcourse,acourse)

Perspectives Publish Date

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8.2 What are the benefits of this structure?


The structural elements may be tagged with metadata to search and assemble the structural elements. The metadata may be knowledge of orientation, knowledge of explanation, knowledge of reference, and knowledge of action. The metadata also may be a competency to indicate the performance of a learner that traverses the course. The course and its structural elements do not enforce any sequence of structural elements that the learner may use to traverse the course. In addition: the structural elements may be reused and reassembled to form different courses. Content repository (in CMS) may be configured to store course data and its structural elements. A content player may access the stored course data and assemble the structural elements. Easy for course navigation.
Course

Basic information: 1. Course title: the title of the course or program(s) which contain the course. 2. Department of the course: the name of the course department (mechanic, computer, etc.). 3. Course code: the code (the letter(s) and the number that identify the course in the Portal or in CMS etc.). 4. AGE/Level: the age of the students trainee or users in the case of specified courses or the level in the case of this course prepared for specified people. 5. No. of hours/units: we can write the number of hours of the course in general or for the daily scheduling system and how many hours per unit are divided into lectures, exercises and lab. 6. Authorisation date of course specification: the year in which the course specification has been authorised. Professional information: 1. Course aims: Overall course aims should be expressed as the outcomes to be achieved by students completing the course as significant and assessable qualities. 2. Intended learning outcomes from the course: the ILOs of the course in terms of: a) Knowledge and understanding: The main information to be gained and the concepts that should be understood from the course. b) Intellectual skills: The intellectual skills, which the course will assist in developing in the students such as: analysis, capability for creative thinking, problem identification and solving etc. c) Professional skills: These skills are demonstrated by the ability of the student, after completing the course, to apply and adopt the topics into professional applications. 3. General and transferable skills: Skills of a general nature, which can be applied in any subject area including: written and oral communication, the use of new technological tools, ICT, group working, problem solving, management etc. 4. Course content: the main course topics, the number of hours allocated for teaching each topic. The topics should comply with the content written in the content scenario. 5. Teaching and learning methods: Identify the methods used in delivering the course such as lectures, discussion and forum sessions, information collection from different sources, Chat, research assignment, field visits, case studies etc.

Sub course

Learning unit

Knowledge Item

The Figure is showing the levels of structural elements

8.3 Course specifications


Before creating an e-learning course we have to think about a strategy to determine a specification for this course. This strategy is very important to be the same, because this will make the course useful for other CMS and easy to manage and develop. Like other real courses e-learning courses have approximately the same composition which can be divided into two main parts {Basic Information} and {Professional Information}.

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6. Student assessment: a) The assessment methods used, such as written examinations (mid-course, regular, at the end of the course), class activities (reports, discussions, practices etc.). b) Time schedule: specify the date for each assessment in the semester/year span. c) Weighting system: identify the percentage of marks allocated to each assessment tool mentioned above. d) Formative assessments are those, which do not contribute to the overall grading system, but are important in the learning process. 7. List of text books and references: Lectures notes Essential books (text books) General references, journals, periodicals, newspapers, web sites, which enrich the learning process should also be listed 8. Facilities required for teaching and learning: The facilities include: appropriate teaching accommodation, including teaching aids, laboratories, laboratory equipment, computers etc., facilities for field work, site visits etc., which are necessary for teaching the course.

8.4 Course production phases


Planning phase Design phase Development phase Evaluation phase

Planning phase Assumed inputs: 1. Course code, title, and weight in credit hours 2. Prerequisites 3. Short description 4. Suggested references Outputs: 1. Prerequisite knowledge and target groups 2. Recount of the course objectives and specific learning outcomes 3. Number and title for each module 4. Detailed descriptions for each module (alternative routes) 5. Content-objective matrix showing 6. Assessment methods: Parts and justification for each part 7. Tentative number and type of activities Design phase Assumed inputs: Planning phase successfully completed Outputs: 1. Material formats: will the module contents be developed as web pages in a course website, printable documents in PDF for example, electronic version on a CD, or a combination of all of these? 2. Supplements: Which modules need external resources and how they will be made available. 3. Additional learning recourses: Text books, articles, animations, simulators, audio-video resources and so on. Supporting materials: Manuals for using certain systems (e.g. the LMS), course related packages, and alike. These manuals might be developed as part of the course or taken from somewhere else. Development phase Assumed inputs: Design phase successfully completed Outputs: 1. Learning materials consisting of a set of web pages, printable (PDF, Word, PTT, etc.) resources, supplements, and supporting martial that comprise the online course. All these parts should be installed on top of the chosen LMS 2. A course guide

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9. How Layouts are Implemented


3. A tutor guide 4. An assignment booklet This phase wins the major share in terms of time and cost. The author/s should be in constant contact with the curriculum committee in order to ensure timely delivery (according to a pre-set work-plan for the course deliverables) of a course satisfying certain quality indicators. Evaluation phase Assumed inputs: Development phase successfully completed Outputs: 1. Objective measures of student learning from course assessments; 2. Objective, usage measures that report how often students use individual course Web features; 3. Subjective, student data that report the student experience with the course, the academic and technical support, and the course Web tools; and 4. Subjective, instructor data that report the instructor experience with the course, the academic and technical support, and the course Web tools. 5. Describe how well the Web-based learning intervention met the stated objectives. Out of the box, WebLogic Portal provides the following five default layouts: twcolumn threecolumn fourcolumn spanning spanningthreecolumn

10. How Portlets are Defined


Portlets can include some combination of the following presentation elements: header optional content either specified with URL or determined by webflow footer optional edit optional help optional minimize optional maximize optional

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11. Search
It is the most important module in portal and there are many ways to organise the users search: Types of search We advice that our Portal has 2 types of search

12. References
Course structure (http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/7014467description.html) http://www.immediacy.net/solutions/content%20management/ cms%20faqs.aspx Wikipedias http://atlanticwebfitters.ca/AtlanticWebfittersHome/ HelpfulArticles/ChoosingtheRightCMS/tabid/107/Default.aspx (by James Robertson ) http://atlanticwebfitters.ca/VendorNeutralWhitePapers/ WanttoBuyaCMS/CMSorPortalSoftware/tabid/174/Default.aspx-by Toby Ward on Wed 08 Feb 2006 11:30 PM PST http://www.articlesbase.com/e-learning-articles/cms-and-lms-acomparison-107069.html by Vishwanath Shankar

11.1 Basic search


We can search one or more selected page groups for items, pages, categories, and perspectives that contain specific words.

11.2 Advanced search


For advanced search we only click on the advanced search button. By choosing advanced search, the search can be limited. http://cmsarticles.awardspace.com/content-managementsystem.html http://www.contentmanager.eu.com/history.htm proposal of Leveraging E-Learning Technologies to Improve Higher Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Submitted by: Arab Open University Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Content Development Solutions Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Cognovis Federal Republic of Germany

11.3 Search tips


Searches are not case-sensitive. General search tips: To search for multiple words, separate each word with a space, for example.. Basic search tips: Basic search finds content that contains the specified words. If you search for Mechanic Instruments, basic search finds content that contains the word Mechanic and the word Instruments. Advanced search tips: advanced search offers many options like (contains all of the terms, partially match any of the terms etc.). Saved searches tips: we can save a search in order to perform it again later without having to remember all the criteria we specified before.

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IV. E-Learning Content

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Integration of Already Available E-Learning Contents


Khaled Alaqqad
1. Introduction 2. The Integration of Available Contents into the Portal 2.1 Portal 2.2 Introducing the portlet specification 2.3 Java portlet specification 2.4 Web services for remote portlets 3. Required Quality Standards for Applications 3.1 Standard organisations 3.2 Accrediting organisations 4. Strategic Content Development 4.1 LORI criteria to evaluate learning objects 4.2 CLOE criteria to evaluate learning objects 4.3 Development of an evaluation instrument 5. References

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1. Introduction
These pages may help you to understand some of the points you need to think about when you define and implement your portals functionality. The Integration of available contents into the portal, the required quality standards for applications and the strategic content development are the main issues of this abstract.

2. The Integration of Available Contents into the Portal


2.1 Portal
A portal is a web-based application that commonly provides personalisation, single sign-on, and content aggregation from different sources, and it hosts the presentation layer of information systems. Aggregation is the action of integrating content from different sources within a web page. A portal may have sophisticated personalisation features to provide customized content to users. Portal pages may have different sets of portlets creating content for different users [JSR168].

Browsers

MobileGerte

AndereSysteme

PortalConsumers
Content Messaging& Management Collaboration

Sicherheit Workflow

Content
P t ti Prsentation

Suche Portal

Datenbanken

Integration InformationSources
SyndicationFeeds

Dokuments

Datenbanken

Anwendungen

WebServices

Portal P t l Page

An example for page portal

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2.2 Introducing the portlet specification


With the emergence of an increasing number of enterprise portals, various vendors have created different APIs for portal components, called portlets. This variety of incompatible interfaces generates problems for application providers, portal customers, and portal server vendors. To overcome these problems, JSR (Java Specification Request) 168, the Portlet Specification, was started to provide interoperability between portlets and portals. JSR 168 defines portlets as Java-based Web components, managed by a portlet container, which processes requests and generates dynamic content. Portals use portlets as pluggable user interface components that provide a presentation layer to information systems. JSR 168s goals are the following: Define the runtime environment, or the portlet container, for portlets Define the API between portlet container and portlets Provide mechanisms to store transient and persistent data for portlets Provide a mechanism that allows portlets to include servlets and JSP (JavaServer Pages) Define a packaging of portlets to allow easy deployment Allow binary portlet portability among JSR 168 portals Run JSR 168 portlets as remote portlets using the Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) protocol The IT industry has broadly accepted JSR 168. All major companies in the portal space are part of the JSR 168 expert group: Apache, ATG, BEA, Boeing, Borland, Broadvision, Citrix, EDS, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Novell, Oracle, SAP, SAS Institute, Sun Microsystems, Sybase, TIBCO, and Vignette. The list of official supporters is even longer. In this article, we first define portals and portlets, then explain the concepts JSR 168 introduces, including the APIs basic objects. Next, we dive into the JSRs more advanced functions, such as user information, localisation, and coaching. We then cover the extension points that allow portal vendors to extend the currently defined functionality in the portlet specification. The article concludes with the description of portlet application packaging and deployment.

The figure below depicts a portals basic architecture. The portal web application processes the client request, retrieves the portlets on the users current page, and then calls the portlet container to retrieve each portlets content. The portlet container provides the runtime environment for the portlets and calls the portlets via the Portlet API. The portlet container is called from the portal via the Portlet Invoker API; the container retrieves information about the portal using the Portlet Provider SPI (Service Provider Interface).

Portlet Invoker API

HTML, WML, VoiceXML

Portlet (App) Portal API

Portlet Provider SPI

Portal Web Application

Portlet/Serviet Container

Portlet (App)

HTTP

Portlet (App)

A problem today in portal As it was mentioned before there is a portal, various vendors have created different APIs for portal components, called portlets. This variety of incompatible interfaces generates problems for application providers, portal customers and portal server vendors. To solve this problem there are a standard today using in portal: (JSR 168) Java Specification Requests (WSRP) Web Services for Remote Portlets

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2.3 Java Portlet Specification


The Java Portlet Specification defines a contract between the portlet container and portlets and provides a convenient programming model for portlet developers. The Java Portlet Specification V1.0 was developed under the Java Community Process as Java Specification Request (JSR) 168. The Java Portlet Specification V1.0 introduces the basic portlet programming model with: two phases of action processing and rendering in order to support the Model-View-Controller pattern portlet modes, enabling the portal to advise the portlet what task it should perform and what content it should generate window states, indicating the amount of portal page space that will be assigned to the content generated by the portlet portlet data model, allowing the portlet to store view information in the render parameters, session related information in the portlet session and per user persistent data in the portlet preferences a packaging format in order to group different portlets and other J2EE artefacts needed by these portlets into one portlet application which can be deployed on the portal server

2.4 Web services for remote portlets


Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) is an OASISapproved network protocol standard designed for communications with remote portlets. The WSRP specification defines a web-service interface for interacting with presentation-oriented web services. Initial work was produced through the joint efforts of the Web Services for Interactive Applications (WSIA) and Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) OASIS Technical Committees. With the approval of WSRP v1 as an OASIS standard in September, 2003, these two technical committees merged and continued the work as the Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) OASIS Technical Committee. Scenarios that motivate WSRP functionality include: o content hosts, such as portal servers, providing portlets as presentation-oriented web services that can be used by aggregation engines; o content aggregators, such as portal servers, consuming presentation-oriented web services provided by portal or nonportal content providers and integrating them into a portal framework.

The WSRP specification does not make any statements as to implementation. Javas portlet specification, JSR 168, and WSRP are not competing technologies. JSR 168 may be used to define a portlet, and WSRP may be used to define a portlets operations to remote containers. JSR 168 portlets and WSRP may be used together to define a portlet and to provide remote operations. Similarly, .NET portlets may be created for use with WSRP. Interoperability between JSR 168 and .NET WSRP implementations has been demonstrated. There are several WSRP implementations to assist developers. Apache WSRP4J is an Apache incubator subproject spearheaded by IBM with the stated goal of kick starting the broad adoption of WSRP. WSRP4J was designed to assist in the development and deployment of WSRP v1 services. WSRP4J remains in incubator status, primarily due to patent concerns revolving around the WSRP specification. Given WSRP4Js incubator status, the project does not produce formal releases. The OpenPortal WSRP projects goal is to create a high quality, enterprise-class WSRP v1 producer & consumer with an associated developer community. OpenPortal released a stable, tested build in April, 2007. The current release, WSRP v1, provides a limited interoperability platform. Further versions of WSRP v1 were abandoned so that effort could be concentrated on WSRP v2. WSRP v2. This will augment the initial standard with cross-portlet coordination and access management features. This major update to the standard will permit a more useful integration of multiple of content sources, regardless of whether they are local or remote, into a new web application. In addition, WSRP v2 may support some subsets of Web 2.0 technologies, such as AJAX and REST, without requiring them. WSRP v2 is currently in draft form.

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3. Required Quality Standards for Applications


Why we need standards in e-learning? Course authors find it difficult to combine content and tools from different vendors. Course administrators cannot move courses from management system to management system. Standard organisations are addressing these problems in several ways: Developing standards that promote building e-learning from reusable parts. Reduce dependence on individual vendors and products. Build from reusable parts

3.1 Standard organisations

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Currently, most e-learning standards can be organised into some general categories: 1. Packaging standards. 2. Communication standards. 3. Metadata standards 4. Quality standards.

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1. Packaging standards The goal of content packaging specifications and standards is to enable organisations to transfer courses and content from one learning system to another. This is crucial because content can potentially be created by one tool, modified by another tool, stored in a repository maintained by one vendor and used in a delivery environment produced by a different supplier. Content packages include both learning objects and information about how they are to be put together to form larger learning units. They can also specify the rules for delivering content to a learner.

Reduce dependence individual products and vendors.

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2. Communication standards These standards allow different system components to share information about learners across multiple system components. Learner profile information can include personal data, learning plans, learning history, accessibility requirements, certifications and degrees, assessments of knowledge (skills/competencies). In addition, systems need to communicate learner data to the content, such as scores or completion status.

4. Quality standards Quality standards concern: The design of courses and modules Comply with composite standard Covering user-interface design Compatibility with standard OS. and tools Production quality Instruction design Their accessibility by those with disability

Management System Syste

Object

A Reusablelearningobject _____________________

3. Metadata standards Many developers argue that metadata content is the heart of elearning. Learning content and catalogue offerings must be labelled in a consistent way to support the indexing, storage, discovery (search), and retrieval of learning objects by multiple tools across multiple repositories.

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3.2 Accrediting organisations


Currently, e-learning standards are being developed by four main organisations: AICC, IEEE, IMS, and ADL.

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AICC (www.aicc.org) is an international group of technologybased training professionals that creates CBT-related guidelines for the aviation industry. AICC publishes a variety of recommendations, but its standards with the most impact on the e-learning arena are its computer-managed instruction (CMI) guidelines. IEEE (www.ltsc.ieee.org) is an international organisation that develops technical standards and recommendations for electrical, electronic, computer and communication systems. Within the IEEE, the Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) provides specifications that address best practices, which can be tested for conformance. Basically, they wrote the standard on how to write standards. The most widely acknowledged IEEE LTSC specification is the Learning Object Metadata (LOM) specification, which defines element groups and elements that describe learning resources. The IMS and ADL both use the LOM elements and structures in their specifications. IMS Global Consortium (www.imsproject.org) is a consortium of suppliers that focuses on the development of specifications regarding the use of metadata to address content packaging. The specifications are used to define how an LMS communicates with back-end applications and content objects or libraries. Several of its standards are made available on its website at no fee. ADL (www.adlnet.org) is a U.S. government-sponsored organisation that researches and develops specifications to encourage the adoption and advancement of e-learning. The most widely accepted ADL publication is the ADL Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM). The SCORM specification combines the best elements of IEEE, AICC, and IMS specifications into a consolidated document.

4. Strategic Content Development


There are many theories used to judge the content quality such as:

4.1 LORI criteria to evaluate learning objects


Presentation: Aesthetics Presentation: Design for learning Accuracy of content Support for learning goals Motivation Interaction: Usability Interaction: Feedback and adaptation Reusability Metadata and interoperability compliance Accessibility

4.2 CLOE criteria to evaluate learning objects


The content of the learning object is accurate. The use of technology is appropriate for this content. The content is presented clearly and professionally (spelling/ grammar, et cetera). Appropriate academic references are provided. Credits to creators are provided. There are clear learning objectives. The learning object meets the stated learning objectives. The target learners are clearly identified (academic level addressed/technical ability/ demographics). There are clear instructions for using the learning object. The technology helps learners to engage effectively with the concept/skill/idea. The learning object provides an opportunity for learners to obtain feedback within or outside the learning object. The author provides evidence that the learning object enhances student learning. Pre-requisite knowledge/skills, if needed, are identified. The learning object stands alone and could be used in other learning environments. The learning object is easy to use (i.e. navigation, user control). The author indicates whether the learning object is accessible for learners with diverse needs. Technical requirements for the learning object are provided (Draft Review Guidelines 2003).

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5. References
4.3 Development of an evaluation instrument
Integrity The content of the learning object is accurate and reflects the ways in which knowledge is conceptualised within the domain. Usability Clear instructions for using the learning object are provided. The learning object is easy to use (i.e., navigation, user control, visibility of system status). Learning Learning objectives are made explicit to learners and teachers. The target learners are clearly identified (academic level/technical ability/demographics) and addressed. Pre-requisite knowledge/skills are clear with connections to prior and future learning. Design The technology helps learners to engage effectively with the concept/skill/ideas. The learning object structures information content in order to scaffold student learning. The learning object provides an opportunity for learners to obtain feedback either within or outside the learning object. The learning object stands alone and reflects an awareness of the varying educational environments in which learning sequences and objects may be used by the learner. Values The learning object is appropriate for community and cultural affiliations, including language, dialect, reading and writing. Help and documentation files are provided for students and teachers including contextual assistance. The design of visual and auditory information enhances learning and mental processes. The learning object is accessible to learners with diverse needs. The learning object does not require instructor intervention to be used effectively in a mixture of learning environments and learning sequences. http://www.theserverside.com/tt/articles/article.tss?l=Portlet_ API http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-08-2003/jw-0801portlet.html http://portals.apache.org/pluto/v101/developer/integrate.html http://www. wikipedia.com http://www.buzzle.com/articles/e-learning-standards.html http://www.usq.edu.au/electpub/ejist/docs/vol8_no1/fullpapers/ eval_learnobjects_school.htm www.courseavenue.com

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Possibilities to Convert Existing Instructional Media


Hanaa Rostom (PVTD)
1. Tools and Technologies for E-Learning 2. Which Software is Generally Used by Learners? 3. Possibilities to Convert Existing Instructional Media 3.1 Introduction 3.2 How content converters work 4. Quick Tour of a Converter Tool 4.1 Issues to consider in choosing power point converter 5. Quick Tour of a Converter Tool Examples 5.1 Camtasia Studio 5 Tutorial 5.2 Rapid e-learning Suite 5.3 Turbo Demo 5.4 AuthorPoint Lite 5.5 PDF Creator 6. Alternatives to Converters 7. Software to Choose in my Opinion 8. References

80 80 81 81 81 81 81 82 82 82 84 84 84 85 86 86

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1. Tools and Technologies for E-Learning


You are on a mission to make skills and knowledge available to anyone, anytime, anywhere. You will need a generous budget and people to help you spent it. And you will need technology to create e-learning educational web sites, online tutorials, and knowledge management solutions. Where do you begin? To make sense of the tools and technologies needed for even a simple project you need a framework or checklist of the major categories of technologies needed. Lets take a look at a simple way of classifying the technologies. Start by looking at the groups of people involved and the technology they need for the activities they individually perform: the producers of e-learning, those who offer the course or web site, and the learners themselves. The process of building e-learning is commonly referred to as creating and is performed by the producer. The process of taking e-learning is commonly referred to as accessing and is performed by the learner. Lets look at each of these participants and processes in more detail: Producers: Include the designers, authors writers, illustrators, photographers, animations, videographers and other creative souls who collectively bring e-learning products into being. Learners: Go by many names. They are typically called students. If the e-Learning is designed as an online document or knowledge management system, they are referred to as readers or users. The host: Is the organisation that makes e-learning widely available over net work, so maintain and support it.

2. Which Software is Generally Used by Learners?


The learners hardware is important, but so is the software that runs on that hardware. Lets look at some of the main categories of software that should be concerned with: The first is the operating system which might be a version of Microsoft windows or a Macintosh operating system. The operating system determines what other software can be run on that machine. So knowing the operating system is crucial for designers. Not all tools are available for all operating systems. The next important software component is the web browser, typically internet explorer or Netscape navigator. The browser not only displays web pages but other media as well. Some media and file format are displayed right in the browser and are referred to as browser native file format. Other content may require variety of media players, browsers plugin controls, and other components. Some of these components play a single proprietary file format while other can play range of media. Final software component is a bit obscure but equally important. That is the java virtual machine. This is the component that enables the computer to run programs written in the java programming language. The idea is that programmers write the program once and it can be played in any computer with java virtual machine installed, regardless of the operating system. Sound simple, put both sun and Microsoft offer java virtual machines, and they frequently update them to fix bugs and add capabilities. There for some java applications and applets require specific version of java virtual machine.

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3. Possibilities to Convert Existing Instructional Media


3.1 Introduction
If you have unlimited time you can create all your e-learning content from scratch. If you have unlimited money, you can purchase content from others. If you dont have unlimited time or money, you may need to reuse existing presentations, textbooks, graphics, spreadsheets and documents. Content converter can help. Conversion tools transform one file format to another. E-learning producers use them to convert conventional formats used in day to day work into formats that can easily be shared and displayed over the web. In addition to transforming one file format to another, converters are helpful when you need to maintain material in two or more frames for example, you need to maintain presentations in Power Point slides for use in classroom training as well as flash for use in e-learning. Converters are also helpful in making paper documents more widely available. By converting them to the web, this paper document (ready formatted) can be posted on web servers forms which anyone on the network can download and read. It is possible to do presentations to flash-based courses, adding interactive quizzes and making live demos.

4. Quick Tour of a Converter Tool


To see what conversion process entails, we will demonstrate conversion of a Power Point slide presentation to Flash for inclusion on a web page.

4.1 Issues to consider in choosing power point converter


Here are the main things to look for when choosing a method or products to convert Power Point slides to a web ready format. Power Point features preserved Conversion preserves layer effects, especially transitions and animation? Are the sounds that are attached to layers converted as well? How about artwork drawn on the slide or posted in from artwork application? This capability is especially important if you plan to use the same slides in the classroom as well as online. The compromises required for a smooth conversion may be unacceptable for the classroom. Destination file formats Does the tool produce HTML, JAVA, Flash, Windows media, or combination of these formats? Can your learners display these formats? You may need to pick your converter to suit the media players your learners already have. Narration synchronised with animation Some converters do not support light synchronisation between layer animation - including bold lists - and audio. Product or service

3.2 How content converters work


With converter tools, you author content in your familiar word processor, spreadsheet, presen-tation program, drawing program or other tool. You save the file as usual in the tools regular file format, then you run the converter program to convert the native file to web ready formats such as HTML, JAVA, Acrobat, PDF or Flash or if the converter is able to you can save directly as one of these web ready formats.

Is the converter offered as a product or service? Who owns the tool? Do you subscribe to a service or pay a fee per presentation or per converted slide? Features added Can the tool add any features not found in the native Power Point slides, such as tests or a table of contents? Some converters allow you to add multiple choice and polling questions that can report back to certain LMSs. Some tools create a table of contents of the slide so that learners can more easily navigate the presentation.

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5. Quick Tour of a Converter Tool - Examples


5.1 Camtasia Studio 5 Tutorial
Camtasia Studio allows you to reach a broad audience and provides multiple ways to distribute your videos. Camtasia Studio Project Settings and Smart Focus allow you to quickly change video dimensions for different destinations. Publish a video for web distribution. Create a Flash file for easy upload to the web. Flash delivers both very high quality video at a small file size and plays in most web browsers. CD-ROM Ready. Produce your video in a CD-ready format that auto-run when it is put in the CD tray on the viewers PC. Blog All About It Use CS to provide a seamless site visit to your users....why should we take them away from the post or the blog to watch a video? Create an express show single-file SWF for simple embedding into a blog. Output directly to iPod or iTunes FormatUse the iPod production option to produce your video as an iPod video file including the correct dimensions and encoding. Create a DVD-Ready Video File Camtasia creates a DVD-ready AVI format properly sized and encoded for use with most 3rd party DVD-authoring applications. In Camtasia Studio, you can: Import recordings, video, images, and audio files into a Camtasia Studio project (camproj). Arrange the sequence of clips on the timeline. Edit the audio and video tracks. Add special effects such as transitions, callouts, zoom-n-Pan key frames, and Flash quizzes. Produce the video into a shareable format.

Camtasia studio disadvantages There is no quiz creator. No minimizing or reducing of PowerPoint presentations. High Price

5.2 Rapid E-Learning Suite


Create highly interactive learning content without the need of complicated programming knowledge. Reduce your development time and cost.

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Rapid E-Learning Suite combines an array of smart yet easy-to-use tools for users with basic desktop application knowledge to create rich media content, interactive quizzes, dynamic screen cast and streaming video clips. No need of hiring a development team or learning a programming language to set up e-learning anymore.

Wonder share Quiz Creator You can protect your quiz! In quizmaster can set up different access levels. Password access and preset User Account & Password access are the two basic levels. For advantaged access control, you can set up a smart web authentication system by building a user list. In addition, you can set limit to domain name for hosting your quiz. Go to Quiz Creator -> Quiz Properties -> Access.

a. PowerPoint based content converter Your previous experience with PowerPoint gives you the flexibility to create courses. No complicated programming knowledge is needed. With the robust content converter, existing PowerPoint presentation can be converted to Flash-based learning courses. b. What you see is what you get To create a course, you run PowerPoint to import a presentation and convert it to a course by clicks. Then create a unique template for your course. When you publish it, it looks exactly the desired way. Access with password only Create a password for you quiz. Only users who have been provided with this password can log into your quiz. Access with user accounts and password Preset user accounts, including user ID and password. Only quizzers with ID and password on this list can have access to our quiz. Your quiz is protected from undesired audience. Click Enter key or add User button to add more accounts. Web authentication This feature needs some Admin work. However, we provide a sample file with source codes for users to build up their own web authentication system. When users log into your quiz, the account info will be checked by the authentication file on web. Once proved, the quiz will become assessable. Learn more about how you can set up a web authentication system. Quiz hosting restriction If you check the option Take quiz only from the following domain, you will see that the quiz is only able to run on specified websites. If anyone downloads or obtains your quiz, it will become unusable. Enter your domain name here and your quiz is well protected.

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Rapid e-learning suite disadvantages 1. In convert case the quality for animation is not good 2. In convert case the quality for video is not good 3. Manual navigation

5.3 Turbo Demo


The idea behind Turbo Demo is simple: Capture Edit Play. Turbo Demo uses an intelligent capturing technique for single screenshots that can then be edited as slides. Mouse movements are automatically reproduced. Projects can be exported into various formats for Internet, Intranet or published on CDs. The created files are extremely small only 0.1 MB per minute of playback. PPT minimizer

Here is a list of the common functions available in Turbo Demo Recording is easy and quick Create demos in just a few minutes Easy to use with intuitive editing Small and fast demos Special effects Interactive areas Audio and sound Export options Additional options Standalone demo player Turbo demo disadvantages In convert case the video is not working There is no quiz creator

5.4 AuthorPoint Lite


PPT minimizer reduces PowerPoint presentations by up to 96% of their initial size in seconds. Therefore there is no need to unzip the optimized files in order to work on them. The graphics and embedded objects are automatically and intelligently optimized. PPT minimizer is the perfect tool for every PowerPoint user. AuthorPoint LITE Free PowerPoint to Flash Converter AuthorPoint Lite is also a free PowerPoint to Flash converter that quickly and easily converts PowerPoint presentations to Flash. AuthorPoint Lite is easy-to-use, and provides fast, accurate and high quality conversions of PowerPoint (.ppt, .pps,.pptx and .ppsx) to Flash (.swf). Once converted, your Flash presentation has the same impact as your PowerPoint presentation retaining its effects, sound, animation, and rehearsed timings etc; plus you have all the benefits of a Flash file like reduced size, secure content, and easy distribution on the Web. Disadvantages 1. In convert case no convert for video 2. Manual navigation

5.5 PDF Creator


What is PDF Creator? ALL Capture screen recording software to capture your desktop in real-time. Record screen activities in real-time to quickly and easily create your own screen casts, demos, tutorials, software simulations and videos for the Internet without any programming language necessary. PDF Creator is an open source application that can create PDFs from just about any program that prints using Windows printers. With PDF Creator you can create PDFs, postscript and encapsulated postscript files, create images from your documents and combine documents and much more.

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6. Alternatives to Converters
Features Create PDFs from just about any program that prints using Windows printers. Create documents in the following formats: Portable Document Format (PDF), Postscript (PS), Encapsulated Postscript (EPS), PNG, JPEG, BMP, PCX, and TIFF. Combine multiple documents into one PDF. Password protects and applies up to 128 bit encryption to your PDF documents. Automatically save PDF documents with current settings without being prompted for information First: Instead of converting documents and other files, you can give learners viewers for the original formats. Viewers are available for most major computer applications especially ones that do not save as HTML or other web formats. Viewers are available for Microsoft office formats. In addition learners who have internet explorer and Microsoft office on their computer can view office documents directly in the browser. Second: We can used open source like 1. PDF Creator is an open source application that can create PDFs from just about any program that prints using Windows printers. With PDF Creator you can create PDFs, Postscript and Encapsulated Postscript files, create images from your documents, and combine documents and much more. 2. AuthorPoint Lite is also a free PowerPoint to Flash converter that quickly and easily converts PowerPoint presentations to Flash. Third: We can save the file as (web page, htm, html) on Microsoft PowerPoint.

Disadvantages 1. In convert case no convert for animation 2. In convert case no convert for video too

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7. Software to Choose in my Opinion


Under restricted financial conditions I would vote for the second alternative with EXE software to make TEST (Free Source). With more financial abilities we could use Camtasia studio 5 with EXE software to make TEST (Free source). We can save the file as (web pag htm, html) on Microsoft PowerPoint. In this case we can view the video as well as the animation and we can easily navigate through the file only having a small problem in video viewer.

8. References
http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/88/04714445/ 0471444588.pd http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/88/04714445/ 0471444588.pdf http://www.sameshow.com/e-learning-suite.html http://camtasia.com http://pdfconverter.com http://exelearning.org http://www.authorgen.com http://www.turbodemo.com http://www.quiz-creator.com http://www.courselab.com

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Appropriate Software for (Rapid) Content Development and Other E-Learning Applications
Passant Sobhy
1. Introduction 2. Overview 3. Differences between LCMS and LMS 4. What is the Purpose of E-Learning Content? 5. Modes of Content Development 6. What is Rapid Content Development? 7. Examples of Content Development 7.1 eXe Learning 7.2 CourseLab 7.3 Mediator 7.4 EasyProf 8. Conclusion 9. References

88 88 90 91 91 91 92 92 94 95 96 98 98

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1. Introduction
Organisations need to manage change and support new processes and technologies as an ongoing requirement. New skills and knowledge are the primary drivers for individual and organisational performance and that can determine between business success and failure. The ability to capture knowledge, know-how and best practices from within the organisation, from key personnel and other available sources and applying it across the organisation is likely to have the greatest impact on performance. More emphasis on training and continuous learning by todays organisations and individuals is being addressed by new learning systems. Individuals and organisations require industry specific learning contents as well as contents derived and captured from experiences in the house. The increasing value of this specific knowledge is high because of the immediate impact on individual and organisational performance.

2. Overview
Adoption of new tools and technologies in the learning process and in the generation of learning content represents a new perspective on how technology can increase the just-in-time accessibility and effectiveness of technology-supported learning. E-learning systems enable organisations the development of e-learning content from existing content stored in various formats such as paperbased materials, CD-ROMs, and other existing intellectual assets as well as capturing and supporting informal learning processes such as through communication and collaboration with others. Access to public distributed knowledge repositories and the formulation of this knowledge to meet the specific requirements and needs of the organisation will be, in the same way, a priceless asset. The advantages of e-learning can be divided into organisational, manageable and didactical advantages: Organisational: flexibility and large possibilities for synchronic communication. Compared to classic education the added value is limited because also correspondence courses offer the possibility to follow the course whenever and wherever the student wants to. On top a telephone, fax or letter can be used to increase communication. However the way of communication (e.g. email) can be more efficient with e-learning. Manageable: An important advantage of e-learning is the fact that it is more manageable than classic forms of education. E-learning can control and adjust the learning process of the student. On top, the course material can be easily kept up to date (one of the big disadvantages of Computer Based Training by means of CD-Rom). Didactical: e-learning opens up new possibilities such as collaborative learning without being physically present and can use the internet as a rich store to discover new things. E-learning can also offer extra educational tools such as simulation, which can facilitate interactivity.

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E-learning has however also some drawbacks: E-learning demands a lot of learn and work discipline from the individual. E-learning demands high investments in hard- and software. Therefore it is advisable to check in advance whether the end users will actually use the offered e-learning applications. For the moment, the bandwidth of the internet is too limited in a lot of areas to download rich content such as streaming video. E-learning demands a different coaching. The success of virtual learning environments depends on the coaching of the end users of the e-learning tools; otherwise people will not know the possibilities and wont be active users. This new function within coaching is often called e-moderator. The benefits of e-learning can offer powerful and customised learning solutions for every organisation. However, the limitations and obstacles of e-learning cause that certain content is still more suitable for classroom instruction. E-learning is more effective when learners need information rather than instruction and for connecting a geographically dispersed audience. On the other hand, classroom instruction might be better suited to a situation in which learners need to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical situation and in situations where leadership skills and networking have to be taught. Findings show that both e-learning and classroom instructions can successfully coexist to compose an effective and efficient training system. E-learning services consist typically of three primary technologies that provide the core infra-structure components in an e-learning environment. These are: Learning Management Systems (LMS). The main function of the LMS is to manage and deliver learning content to specific users in a systematic way. The LMS functionality typically identifies individual and group skill gaps and learning requirements, maintains catalogues of learning resources, competency and skill management e.g. assigns appropriate courses and content to individuals and groups to address these gaps and skills gap analysis as well as tracking and measuring usage and performance improvement. LMS systems also provide integration with enterprise systems such as ERP applications and e-commerce systems.

Content Management Systems (CMS). The CMS primary feature is to create, manage, maintain, publish and present learning content. A CMS solution provides authoring and delivery interfaces to the content repository, containing learning object libraries and heterogeneous resources e.g. XML and HTML web pages, MS PowerPoint presentation, PDF and MS Word documents. Normally a LCMS provides functionality for Meta-data creation, re-usable learning objects, multi-user authoring (including templates, tools and wizards), workflow, integration with legacy content including migration of existing knowledge assets in varying formats, support for multiple presentation formats and personalisation and security. Virtual Classrooms (VC) enables individuals to attend team presentations, group seminars, virtual classroom events and to share applications in real-time over the Internet. VCs leverage as integrated set of services, many leading Internet technologies such as web-conferencing, voice over IP, virtual shared whiteboard, chat, discussion groups and tools for collaboration to support synchronous group based collaborative learning in a classroom setting. Latest developments in e-learning consider a merger between LMS and CMS with is actually called Learning Content Management System (LCMS).

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3. Differences between LCMS and LMS


Learning Content Management Systems Used by content developers, designers and project managers. To author learning content as learning objects, practice and assessment items, simulations and other learner interactions. Store content in a learning object repository. Offer content management tools (e.g. search for learning objects, access rights and version control). Used to deliver learning content in multiple formats (e.g. e-learning, CD-ROM, paper-based materials and performance support). Offer learning features (e.g. adaptive learning paths, skill gap analysis, asynchronous collaboration via email and discussion groups, assessment). Learning Management Systems Used by training managers, instructors and administrators. To manage course catalogue, schedule, student registration, and to capture learner profile data. Stores data on courses and students. Provides reports for training results and competency mapping/ skill gap analysis. Supports the launch to e-learning courses. Shares learner data with ERP system. Offers ability to create and administer tests.

The Internet allows many forms of communication and collaboration that e-learning facilitates in multiple forms between peers, collages, and experts. Collaboration can be self-paced (or asynchronous) using threaded discussion capabilities and e-mail, or it can be real-time (or synchronous) using chat and virtual classroom technologies that are effective in bringing the classroom online. Learners attend a classroom that involves a trainer or presenter whose screen is viewable by all. The trainer can show a presentation, a walk through, or take people around the Internet while communicating using voice over IP (Internet Protocol). Learners can ask questions, complete surveys and write on a virtual whiteboard. Learning Portals provide a simple, but effective way for organisations to deliver online training and continuous learning to employees or customers. Learning resources can be accessible over the Internet from a public portal or through a private portal on a company intranet. Learning portals normally leverage LMS and LCMS technologies to provide portal functionality while being adaptable and flexible to organisation specific needs of learning resources and individual requirements for on-demand personalised learning. To allow efficient education, the teaching material should be personalised in order to meet the individual situation and knowledge: just in time, just enough, just for me. At least three conditions should be fulfilled: Information about the student: available time, preferences, infrastructure, learning behaviour Learning units or learning objects that are small enough to meet the desired education (available time, type of media file, amount of detailing) Learning objects should have good labels to facilitate their use.

Although several LMSs offer authoring and content management capabilities and LCMSs offer minimal LMS functions, trying to use one system for both functions may not always be ideal. Because LCMSs are focused on the authoring and delivery of content, the tools for these tasks are generally more robust and create a better end-user experience than those available through an LMS. Conversely, an LMS generally offers more features that are important for the administration of courses for a large number of students than the basic functions available through an LCMS. Whether you need an LMS, an LCMS or both really depends on your particular needs.

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4. What is the Purpose of E-Learning Content?


In every training or teaching situation teachers or trainers need: Learning objectives A target group A classroom Certain equipment Learning or teaching content. The difference between e-learning and normal classroom learning is that the content has to be distributed via a medium (CDRom, Internet) and not in a face-to-face situation! This means that we have to take care of the content which must explain all necessary information and instruction in an easy, understandable and motivating way.

6. What is Rapid Content Development?


Rapid content development is software developed to help tutors for making their own content without having previous programming skills and it refers to the use of a new breed of authoring tools to create formal instructional online training resources like courses and simulations quickly, easily and cheaply. The features that now allow authoring tools to be used by the typical IT literate trainer should include: 1. Ease of use Authoring tools will have easy to manage Graphical User Interfaces which allow users to manipulate e-learning screens easily and intuitively. This will allow them to add to and edit existing courses and, if they wish, to author entirely new courses from scratch in minutes. Tools will be expected to have easy interactivity with common software, particularly Microsoft office products. Automated output engines (Flash etc.) will allow sophisticated effects and solutions without programming knowledge. The speed of development will be a key feature enabling sophisticated learning courses to be available rapidly and be amended quickly and easily. The user licensing will be simple and not restrictive giving companies internal flexibility to develop courses as they desire. 2. Support

5. Modes of Content Development


Generally there are two major modes to develop content: a) Regular Content development b) Rapid Content Development Content Development What is needed for Regular Content development Graphic software Programming skills Cost more money What is needed for Rapid Content development Software application program No programming skills needed Low cost

Tutorials, user guide, manual, examples and templates are going to help the users to know everything about the programmes. Let us have a look on some Content Development Software. I have concentrated on four software packages; two are opensource (eXe Learning and CourseLab) and two are commercial (Mediator and EasyProf).

Purpose: We dont want many experts (programmers, graphic specialist, content experts) Regular content development. But we want the tutors, lecturers, instructor to be able to develop their own content without having any previous programming skills. Rapid Content development

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7. Examples of Content Development


7.1 eXe Learning
The eLearning XHTML editor (eXe Learning) is an authoring environment to assist teachers and academics in the design, development and publishing of web-based learning and teaching materials without the need to become proficient in HTML or without having skills of complicated web-publishing applications.

Learning management systems do not offer sophisticated authoring tools for web content (when compared to the capabilities of web-authoring software or the skills of an experienced web developer). eXe is a tool that provides professional webpublishing capabilities that can be easily referenced or imported by learning management systems; Most content management and learning management systems utilize a centralised web server model thus requiring connectivity for authoring. This is limiting for authors with low bandwidth connectivity or no connectivity at all. eXe has been developed as an offline authoring tool without the requirement for connectivity. Many content management and learning management systems do not provide an intuitive WYSIWYG environment where authors can see what their content will look like in a browser when published, especially when working offline. eXes WYSIWYG functionality enables users to see what the content will look like when published online. Why to use eXe rather than web-publishing applications like Frontpage or Dreamweaver? Applications like Frontpage and Dreamweaver can offer users a fairly sophisticated tool for web design, however the learning curve to become proficient in these applications can often be steep and time consuming. With eXe we have tried to identify many of the elements which make up learning resources and present these in forms that are technically simple and easy to use. In the eXe environment, these forms are known as iDevices (Instructional Devices). By building a learning sequence that includes a content structure and a number of iDevices users can begin to develop their own templates for content creation and reuse. eXe also provides assistance for authors in the form of Pedagogical Tips around the inclusion of iDevices; these tips can help authors make informed decisions around when and how to use iDevices for teaching. Tips are also provided near each iDevices form fields to assist authors in generating appropriate content. With eXe, users can develop a learning structure that suits their content delivery needs and build a resource that is flexible and easily updated. A rich text editor is available with the input fields in the iDevices providing basic formatting and editing functionality.

The Web is an educational tool because it presents teachers and learners with a technology that simultaneously provides something to talk about (content) and the means to hold the conversation (interaction). Unfortunately, the power of this hypertext medium is constrained in educational settings because the vast majority of teachers and academics do not have the technical skills to build their own web pages, and must therefore rely on the availability of web developers to generate professional looking online content. eXe has been developed to overcome a number of identified limitations: Much web-authoring software entails a fairly steep learning curve, is not intuitive or designed for publishing learning content. Consequently teachers and academics have not adopted these technologies for publishing online learning content. eXe aims to provide an intuitive, easy-to-use tool that will enable teachers to publish professional looking web pages for learning;

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Main features Instructional Devices Acknowledging that quality learning design is about striking a balance between what to teach (content) and how to teach it (form), eXe has developed a number of elements we call instructional devices or iDevices. iDevices include a range of pedagogical forms e.g. objectives, advance organisers, and learning activities which constitute the equivalent of the teacher talk in content resources designed for online learning. In other words iDevices are structural elements that describe learning content and distinguish teaching content from other forms of content like text books or journal articles. iDevices will provide additional flexibility to users as they refine their preferred devices and begin to build collections of these into instructional templates which could be packaged and used by others. As the technology associated with learning objects matures, the vision of reusable content, inter-operability and scalability becomes more important. A central feature of the eXe project concerns the notion that reusability can be extended to include reusable processes or instructional templates. Developing content Developing content in eXe is easy. eXe is divided into two functional areas: the outline area, used to develop the structure of your content; and the iDevice area, which contains a standard set of iDevices (objectives, case studies, reading activities etc.). Use the Outline area to structure the outline of your content by adding modules, section, or units. You can actually dene this taxonomy yourself to suit your own needs. Selecting an iDevice will add an empty iDevice into the Authoring area into which content can be entered. A learning resource may consist of as few or as many iDevices as required to deliver the learning content effectively. An iDevice editor is accessible from the tools menu. This allows you to create your own iDevices for reuse in your the content packages you author with exe. Publishing content Content developed with eXe can be published in a variety of ways: Self-contained web site this export could be uploaded onto a web server and referenced by your LMS or distributed on a CD or other transportable medium. A web export incorporates the navigational sequencing developed during authoring.

SCORM 1.2 The Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) export creates SCORM 1.2 content packages. SCORM packages can be imported into any compliant LMS or Learning Object Repository. SCORM is an internationally recognized specication for packaging learning content. IMS Content Package IMS Content Packaging is a simple content packaging specication that is compatible with a variety of Learning Management Systems and Learning Object Repositories. Importing wiki content for delivery using your favourite LMS Using the Wikipedia or Wikieducator iDevice in eXe, you can import a content page or article from selected Mediawiki sites. Users can edit the content in eXe and contextualise the learning materials using elements like objectives, custom activities or questions that are appropriate for your target audience. Once you have customised the open content resource, it can be exported as a IMS/ SCORM content package for delivery using your favourite learning management system. The screen shots below show examples of content authored in eXe, and subsequently imported into the learning management system. Advantages of Exe Learning Easy to use and learn Navigation is easy User doesnt need to have programming skills Support to Arabic Discussion about the new issues in chatting Compatible with SCORM Support many types of questions (cloze, multi-choice, multiselect, SCORM quiz, true or false) Support to many media types (video, audio, flash) Disadvantages of Exe Learning No active elements No preview during working with exe learning No tooltips Activity like hotspot and timer is not available Some features working only when publishing like video No import or export feature Some plugins required

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7.2 CourseLab
CourseLab is a powerful, yet easy-to-use, e-learning authoring system that offers programming-free WYSIWYG environment for creating high-quality interactive e-learning content which can be published on the Internet, Learning Management Systems (LMS), CD-ROMS and other devices.

Access to additional functionality of the Course Player for advanced users via JavaScript. No Java required for Course Player. Features List CourseLab brings to you power of creating web based training, software application simulations, computer based training, and interactive e-learning content. Some of the CourseLab features are listed below. Rapid Development Some CourseLab features are specially designed to increase elearning content creation productivity. CourseLab comes with the large set of ready-to-use e-learning module templates. Just select the template that is suitable for your needs to start new module. Templates are easily modifiable and modified templates can be saved to templates library. CourseLab contains the large library of ready-to-use complex objects that covers most of frequently used e-learning needs. Objects are highly customisable to fit virtually any design just add object on the slide and change its parameters. You can share once inserted CourseLab object through multiple slides or even entire e-learning module. This feature allows saving development time and efforts drastically. If you already have PowerPoint presentations then you can easily import it into the e-learning module to save development time. Objects of imported presentations will be translated to CourseLab objects and can be edited further in CourseLab (Requires optional PowerPoint Import Pack). Instantly publish content to multiple platforms with a few mouse clicks. Content package will be created automatically depending on the selected publishing option. Supported formats Any internet-friendly data formats can be utilised in the e-learning course. In fact, the only limitation is internet browser capability to support these formats. Support for most popular data formats is built in CourseLab. Advantages of CourseLab Easy to use and learn Navigation is easy User doesnt need to have programming skills Support to Arabic Compatible with SCORM

Key features of CourseLab: WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) environment for creating and managing high-quality interactive e-learning content. No HTML or other programming skills required. Object-oriented Model allows constructing e-learning content of almost any complexity just as easy as you put together the building blocks. Scenario feature enables building complex multi-object interactions with one mouse click. Interface based on an Open Object Model enables to easily extend and enhance existing libraries of objects and templates including those created by the user. Built-in test creation capabilities. Embedded mechanisms for objects animation. Add any rich-media content like Macromedia Flash, Shockwave, Java, and video in different formats. Easy inserting and synchronisation of sound files. Import PowerPoint presentations into the learning material (requires optional PowerPoint Import Pack). Screen capture mechanism, which enables emulating functionality of different software (requires optional Screen Capture Pack). Simple intuitive action description language.

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Activity like hotspot and timeline are available Supporting to many media format (video, audio, PDF and Flash) Compatible with Internet explorer and Firefox. Support to many questions types Disadvantages of CourseLab Many features are working only in Master slide No SCORM Quiz Import feature is not free Screen capture is not free No online help is available No changing for the language after installation (offered in English only)

Multimedia Catalogue: Mediator 8 includes an entirely new Multimedia Catalogue with an enhanced interface. It contains a vast collection of high-quality elements such as clipart illustrations, templates for all export types, buttons, navigation bars, backgrounds, Flash pre-loaders and much more. You can also use the Multimedia Catalogue to store your own elements, connect one of its categories to a separate folder and perform searches throughout the entire Catalogue on the basis of keywords. See the section The Multimedia Catalogue for more information. Wizards: Mediator 8 features entirely new, extremely easy to use and great-looking wizards. You can create a picture slideshow, an interactive yearbook or a video catalogue in minutes without any programming, just by following the step-by-step instructions given. You can also create more complex projects in exactly the same way: Multiple choice projects with a user-definable number of right/wrong answers, formal answer projects with a check for similar answers, drag & drop projects with pictures or even a complete order catalogue including a shopping cart and an option to send the order via email. To create a document based on a Mediator Wizard, choose File Wizard and follow the instructions. Multi-user editing: Mediator now allows several users sharing a network to work concurrently on the same project in multi-user mode. If you are working in a team, you can for instance allocate different pages of your project to different team members, so that the project is created by the whole team simultaneously, each member working on their own specific area. See the section Multi-user mode of the Creating your project chapter for more information. Drawing tool: The Drawing tool is a very powerful new tool which allows you to draw all kinds of different shapes in Mediator, using more advanced editing functions than with the polygon tool. Drawings are created as vector-graphics-objects, which means that they can be scaled to any size without any loss of detail. Their comparatively small size makes them particularly interesting for Flash projects. The drawing tool is fully described in the section The Drawing tool of the chapter Creating your project. Spell checker: Mediator allows you to find and correct spelling errors in your entire document as well as on individual pages. The Mediator Spell Checker supports several languages, including American and British English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Danish. See the section Spellchecking your project for more information.

7. 3 Mediator
Mediator 8 is one of the rapid content development software which doesnt need any previous programming skills to use.

Here is a brief description of the main new Mediator 8 features. Mediator 8 also includes a number of other enhancements, which are all described in detail in this documentation.

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Areals and toolbars: The Mediator 8 interface has been enhanced with a new docking system. All the Mediator areals and toolbars can be docked or undocked, moved and resized as necessary. You can also customise the toolbars as you wish by clicking the down arrow at the end of the bar and choosing Add or Remove Buttons. HTML distribution: This distribution method now supports many more Mediator Pro features, such as variables, the Input object and the Assign, If and Set Property actions, allowing you to make use of programming techniques in your HTML presentations. See the Mediator 8 feature list for a complete list of all the features supported in HTML, as well as the HTML documents and HTML restrictions topics of the Web Quick Tour section for more information. Guides: Mediator now lets you set guides to align and position objects. See the topic Using the guides of the Creating your project chapter for more information. ZipNRun distribution: This new distribution method allows you to compress and save all your presentation files in a self-extracting executable (*.exe). The advantage of this method is that it encrypts all the files, including the additional data files, thereby keeping the data safe from unwanted user access. See ZipNRun distribution in the Distributing your project chapter for more information. Media Player object: The Media Player object has been updated to Media Player 9. See the topic The Media Player object for more information. Button object: The button object has some new properties letting you specify the number of pixels from each edge that must not be scaled when you resize the button, thereby avoiding any distortion problems. See the topic Button properties: Picture tab for more information. Alpha channels: Mediator now supports the use of pictures with embedded alpha channels. You can still apply additional external alpha channels to pictures with embedded alpha channels, thereby producing a combined effect. Import of EMF files: It is now possible to import EMF files in picture and button objects.

Mouse transparency: This new object property can be set to prevent the object from reacting to mouse events. This results in even faster Flash projects, as the objects do not need to be continuously monitored for mouse events. Input object: The input object has some new properties giving you control over the display of decimal values. Assign action: The Assign action now also lets you set the property of an object dynamically by using the same Object. Property notation is as in the Set Property action. Message Box action: This new action lets you display a standard message box as a result of a particular event and perform different actions depending on the users reaction to it. Advantages of Mediator Easy to use and learn Navigation is easy User doesnt need to have programming skills Compatible with SCORM Supporting many media formats (video, audio, PDF and Flash) Compatible with Internet explorer and Firefox Importing PowerPoint is available Disadvantages of Mediator Doesnt support Arabic language No online help is available No support to question types Activity like timeline or hotspot are not available No changing of the language after installation

7.4 EasyProf
An authoring tool for producing: Multimedia training titles Multimedia content Multimedia presentations with hyperlinks and complex browsing Content for knowledge management

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EasyProf is mainly used for creating multimedia training titles, but it is also suitable for all kinds of tasks in which it is necessary to organize large amounts of information, create hypertext links and present any other kind of multimedia information, as well as for structuring and general management of content for any use that needs to be widely distributed on the internet or CD-ROM. EasyProf provides an authoring environment with tools highly suited to the task, making it possible to organise and create content, including the functions specific to any course, etc. We have sought to make the application suitable for a particular kind of user: people who provide training or give presentations and have no experience of multimedia or programming, which need to create any kind of Title from an interactive course to a standard presentation. EasyProf is also intended for producing any content based on a table of contents, whether very simple or highly sophisticated. For this reason, the generic name given to the content is Title. In more technical terms, EasyProf is an authoring tool developed in an object-oriented programming language called Java, which by definition is especially suitable for distribution on various platforms and over the internet. EasyProf runs on Windows 9x, NT, 2000 and XP (versions for Mac OS X, Linux and Unix support will be released shortly).

Advantages of EasyProf Easy to use and learn Navigation is easy User doesnt need to have programming skills Compatible with SCORM and AICC Supporting many media formats (Video, Audio, PDF and Flash) Compatible with Internet explorer and Firefox. Import and export are available Can enabling and disabling tooltips File history is available Change language is available after installation software Support to additional plug-ins Evaluation tests can have custom feedback for each question and feedback for the whole of the evaluation. Also included is IMS QTI v1.2 import and export of xml evaluation tests. Highlight of correct and incorrect answers after evaluation. Functions for learners are available (printing, searching, glossary,...) Supporting too many question types (multi-select, true or false, fill in the blank) Importing PowerPoint and Word Disadvantages of EasyProf No mark pages available No spelling checks Complicating test

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8. Conclusion
At the end I would like to say that the program that the user is going to choose is depending on his needs and his skills in using Content Development Software. Concerning the users needs: For the purpose of the simple use and not so complicated needs its recommended to use exe Learning, Mediator and CourseLab and for more complicated needs like difficult types of questions and quizzes it is recommended to use EasyProf . Concerning the users skills: For many programs such as Lecture the user should have previous programming skills to be able to use it. In our case, the mentioned four programs dont need any previous knowledge about programming skills, which is the specific item of rapid content development software. Normal computer skills are sufficient. For usage in Arab countries it is highly recommended to use exe Learning and CourseLab, because both of them support the Arabic language. Due to the fact that the cost of purchasing a software is relevant to TVET institutions, we can suggest two open source software packages with a clear conscience: exe Learning and CourseLab which have both a very good performance.

9. References
(Masie Centre S3 WG, 2002). Making Sense of Learning Specifications and Standards: A Decision Makers Guide to their Adoption, 2002 The MASIE centre, 3S working group. (www.masie.com) (Koper, 2001) Rob Koper, Modeling Units of Study from a Pedagogical Perspective: the Pedagogical Meta-Model behind EML, 2002, Educational Technology Expertise Centre Open University of the Netherlands (eml.ou.nl) (IEEE LTSC LOM BD, 2000): Learning Object Metadata (LOM) Draft Document v2.1 http://ltsc.ieee.org/doc/wg12/LOMdoc2_1.html (CODEX-IP). Report on state of the art learning methods, Deliverable 2.1.1, October 2000 http://www.codex-ip.com/products/publications/del%20 2.1.1%20final.pdf (Gigaport). Gigaport Highlights: Content ontsluiten in een ondewijscontext, Telematica Instituut. http://www.gigaport.nl/download/gigaport_highlights_6.pdf (Alfanet 2001), Deliverable D12 State-of-the-art, Project Deliverable Report, Active Learning for Adaptive Internet (eLearnity Ltd., 2000) e-Learning: The future of Learning http://www.thinq.com/pages/new_wp_thefuture.htm Elearningeuropa.info http://www.elearningeuropa.info/ www.courselab.com www.matchware.com www.easyprof.com www.eco-serve.net/uploads/e-learning_soa.doc http://wikieducator.org/Online_manual http://www.scribd.com/doc/3399294/manual-exe http://en.opensuse.org/EXelearning

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V. Appendix

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InWEnt Qualified to shape the Future


InWEnt Capacity Building International, Germany, is a non-profit organisation with worldwide operations dedicated to human resource development, advanced training, and dialogue. Our capacity building programmes are directed at experts and executives from politics, administration, the business community, and civil society.

Our Programmes
60 percent of all our programmes are implemented at the request of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In addition, we conduct programmes for other German federal ministries and international organisations. We are also working in cooperation with the German business sector in public private partnership projects that can be designed to incorporate economic, social, and environmental goals. The programmes for people from developing, transition and industrialised countries are tailored to meet the specific needs of our partners. We offer practice-oriented advanced education and training, dialogue sessions, and e-learning courses. After the training programmes, our participants continue their dialogue with each other and with InWEnt via active alumni networks. By offering exchange programmes and arranging scholarship programmes, InWEnt also provides young people from Germany with the opportunity to gain professional experience abroad.

Our Offices
InWEnt gGmbH is headquartered in Bonn. In addition, InWEnt maintains fourteen Regional Centres throughout the German Lnder, providing convenient points of contact for all regions. Our foreign operations in Beijing, Cairo, Hanoi, Kiev, Lima, Managua, Manila, Moscow, New Delhi, Pretoria, So Paulo, and Tanzania are usually affiliated with other organisations of German Development Cooperation. InWEnt Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung gGmbH Capacity Building International, Germany Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 40, 53113 Bonn (Germany) Phone +49 228 4460-0 Fax +49 228 4460-1766 www.inwent.org Division 4.01 Cooperation, System Development and Management in Vocational Training Kthe-Kollwitz-Strasse 15, 68169 Mannheim (Germany) Phone +49 621 3002-0 Fax +49 621 3002-132

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Institut fuer Bildungstransfer


The Institute for Educational Transfer is a non-profit organisation and was founded in the year 1993 with the core-competencies E-Learning (development and implementation) Implementation of Distance Learning Programmes Management of Training Programmes Quality Assurance in the field of further education Besides this business division the Institute is implementing research on behalf of German and international organisations in the field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Institut fuer Bildungstransfer e.V. Office Landau: Reiterstrasse 29, 76829 Landau (Germany) Fon +49-6341-283089-0 Fax +49-6341-283089-5 E-Mail: info@bildungstransfer.de www.bildungstransfer.de

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About the Authors


Tamer Abdelgawad Tamer Abdelgawad was born in 1975 in Egypt. He graduated from the Faculty of Commerce, business administration and works currently as an e-learning units team leader at the Productivity and Vocational Training Department (PVTD), Egypt. In his spare time he likes to read and doing sports. Awad Aldada Awad Aldada was born 1978 in Madaba, Jordan. He obtained a bachelor degree in electrical engineering (computer and control department). Currently, after having been working as a computer trainer for several years, he is working as an internal auditor at the Vocational Training Corporation (VTC), Jordan. He is interested in computer, new computer programmes and generally in inventions in this field. In his spare time he likes swimming, walking, ping pong and bicycle riding.

Khaled Alaqqad Born in 1971 in Amman, Jordan, Khaled Alaqqad obtained 1993 a diploma certificate in computer programming. At the moment he is working as an e-learning content developer in the e-training division at the Vocational Training Corporation (VTC) in Amman, Jordan. His hobbies are reading especially about communication (mass communication).

Abdelghaffar Elshiekh Abdelghaffar Elshiekh was born 1979 in Amman, Jordan. He obtained a bachelor degree in computer information systems. At the moment he is working as a computer trainer at the Vocational Training Corporation (VTC), Jordan. His hobbies are reading and sports.

Hazem Allam Hazem Allam was born 1973 in Giza, Egypt. He holds a bachelor of science degree and is currently working as head of the IT division at the Productivity and Vocational Training Department (PVTD), Egypt. His hobbies are reading, watching TV and movies as well as listening to music and traveling.

Mohamed Gahin Mohamed Gahin was born 1974 in Giza, Egypt. He holds a bachelor degree in science and education (mechanic). Currently, he is working as a teacher for mechanical subjects and as an expert for the development of teaching media at Mubarak-KohlInitiative (MKI), Cairo, Egypt. Raed Habayeb

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Raed Habayed was born 1973 in Kuwait. He holds a bachelor degree in computer science and is currently working as a system analyst, professional programmer and web master at the Ministry of Education in Amman, Jordan.

Ahmed Saleh Ahmed Saleh was born 1965 in Gharbia, Egypt. He is a senior teacher of mechanics and computer in MoE in Egypt. He has 15 years of experience e in the field of teaching computers and mechanics. Further he is a member of the e-learning unit GDVET in MoE in Egypt. His hobbies are reading and traveling.

Armia Helmy Productivity and Vocational Training Department (PVTD), Egypt.

Mahmoud Shaqboua Mahmoud Shaqboua was born 1964 in Amman, Jordan. He obtained a bachelor degree in computer science. At present he is working as an e-content manager in the area of e-learning portals in the e-learning department of the Vocational Training Corporation (VTC), Jordan. His hobbies are reading (management books especially e-learning books and sports).

Hanaa Rostom Born 1961 in Cairo, Hanaa Rostom is working as a manager for the implementation of manpower programmes (training and consulting) at the Productivity and Vocational Training Department (PVTD) in Egypt. In her spare time she likes to go swimming and walking.

Passant Sobhy Holds a bachelor Sc. of Ain Shams University Faculty of Commerce Egypt. Ms. Sobhy is actually preparing her M.A. in TVET at Dresden University, Germany and she is working in the fields of e-learning and TVET at Institut fuer Bildungstransfer, Germany.

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Imprint
Published by:
InWEnt Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung gGmbH Capacity Building International, Germany Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 40 53113 Bonn, Germany Phone +49 228 4460-0 Fax +49 228 4460-1766 www.inwent.org Division 4.01 Technological Cooperation, System Development and Management in Vocational Training Kthe-Kollwitz-Strae 15 68169 Mannheim Fon +49 621 3002-0 Fax +49 621 3002-132 September 2010 Responsible: Dr. Klaus Bader-Labarre, InWEnt Text Edition: Christian Centner, Kerstin Mller, Uwe Wieckenberg, Institut fuer Bildungstransfer Layout: Institut fuer Bildungstransfer, fgl-Brogemeinschaft R. Metzler & A. Hesse Photos: Institut fuer Bildungstransfer Printed by: Grall GmbH & Co.KG www.grall.de

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InWEnt Qualified to Shape the Future


InWEnt Capacity Building International, Germany, is a nonprofit organisation with worldwide operations dedicated to human resource development, advanced training, and dialogue. Our capacity building programmes are directed at experts and executives from politics, administration, the business community, and civil society. We are commissioned by the German federal government to assist with the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. In addition, we provide the German business sector with support for public private partnership projects. Through exchange programmes, InWEnt also offers young people from Germany the opportunity to gain professional experience abroad.

InWEnt Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung gGmbH Capacity Building International, Germany Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 40 53113 Bonn, Germany Phone +49 228 4460-0 Fax +49 228 4460-1766 www.inwent.org

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September 2010 4.01i-0035-2010