P. Grew, I. Longhi, and E. Pagani (Italy)
web-based education; innovative web-based teaching and
learning technologies; educational portal; distributed archi
tecture, testing and assessment.
Several tools have been proposed in the literature to use the
web to support learning. Usually, these tools are designed
for a very specific purpose, namely, to provide information
about a course, to support student assessment or as a plat
form for maintaining the learning community. However,
in a university curriculum all those independent functions
contribute to training students and should be merged har
moniously, as well as include student-services offices.
In this paper, we describe the architecture of a dis
tributed system that provides modules to perform these
functions, in such a way that the modules are strictly in
tegrated into the overall system and interactions among the
parties involved teachers, students, and university offices
are greatly facilitated. The architecture was designed so
as to accompany and tutor students throughout their whole
program, meanwhile allowing faculty and staff to monitor
student performance with respect to the chosen curriculum.
The architecture is almost completely deployed and is al
ready in use at the Department of Information Science and
Communication of the University of Milan, Italy.