Functional Architecture of a Web-based Distributed System for University Curricula Support

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.

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