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Javier Díaz, Alejandra Schiavoni, Ana Paola Amadeo, M. Emilia Charnelli Computer Science School National University of La Plata - Argentina Extending.

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Presentation on theme: "Javier Díaz, Alejandra Schiavoni, Ana Paola Amadeo, M. Emilia Charnelli Computer Science School National University of La Plata - Argentina Extending."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Javier Díaz, Alejandra Schiavoni, Ana Paola Amadeo, M. Emilia Charnelli Computer Science School National University of La Plata - Argentina Extending a Virtual Learning platform through its integration with a Digital Repository

3 About the National University of La Plata 18 Academic Units, from Engineering to Medical Sciences and Psychology More than students & new enrollees in the last year More than 112 Careers & 336 Degrees Source: Indicators compared UNLP More than educators & administrative staff

4 About the Computer Science School - UNLP 3 Careers & 4 Degrees More than 4151 students & 800 new enrollees in the last year 3 Laboratory of Investigation More than 300 educators & 37 administrative staff

5 About the Laboratory of Investigation in New Information Technologies The LINTI is a laboratory of the National University of La Plata with a vast trajectory in new technologies research. The work team responsible for the activities performed is integrated by professionals specialized in subjects related to Computer Network Security, Data Networks, Software Open Source, Java Applications, Data Analytics, Usability and Accessibility.

6 Objective Implement LMS Moodle integration with the repository Dspace, providing full communication to and from the repository

7 Introduction Integration comes from the need to share data among heterogeneous systems, in order to achieve unification in information access and create the impression in users that they are interacting with a single system. In the field of e-Learning, where Learning Management Systems are used for course development, their integration with other platforms and applications can help increase resource availability and communication among users. The possibility of integrating LMSs with general purpose Digital Repositories and Learning Object Repositories (LORs) proposes a change in how teachers think, plan and build educational content.

8 DSpace Digital Repository The institutional repository was created out of a need to store in a single publicly accessible location the material produced by the School that deserves global distribution. The first stage will consist of the storage of projects developed by students for some of the subjects of the School. A structure of collections will be created and divided into subjects. The resources will be classified using descriptive metadata related to the characteristics of the project, such as topic, platform used, and installation requirements, among others. The repository that was implemented through DSpace version 1.8

9 Moodle Virtual Platform The School has been working with Moodle for online course management for over 7 years It is used as a complement to in-person undergraduate and postgraduate classes, as well as courses offered by the Secretary of Extension. The platform includes over registered users in around 170 courses.

10 Moodle Virtual Platform Moodle content: The study material is comprised of digital resources in multiple formats (HTML, PDF, video, software) including SCORM compliant learning objects. Activities include discussion forums, used for communication between students and teachers, and in some cases for general notifications. Questionnaires have been used in many subjects for approximately two years, and are very useful for self evaluations or discussions of specific topics, in mass courses. Choices are used, for example, to survey the general opinion of the students on an activity or a class or specific administrative matters, or even to measure attendance to a mid-term. Assignment is one of the most used modules because of the practical nature of the courses that habitually use the virtual platform. Through assignments, students can upload files that can later be evaluated by their teachers, who grade and give feedback through Moodle.

11 Moodle Virtual Platform Moodle content  Discussion forums are the most used, mainly for communication with the students, both in academic and administrative matters.  Assignments come second and are the central motivating axis of this paper.

12 Communication between DSpace and Moodle First, it was implemented the communication from Moodle to the repository, with the goal of retrieving and transfering elements from Dspace. A module that installs an API using REST and that is available through the DSpace community was used The LMS has a Repository API that was used to incorporate a specific plugin to DSpace, created by the Moodle community.

13 Communication between DSpace and Moodle A new functionality was implemented that makes it possible to publish content from the Moodle platform to different repositories. This new functionality is very useful to export all kinds of material from the courses, such as theoretical or practical content, documentation, and projects delivered by the students. It is also possible to export standardized content as learning objects. SWORD

14 SWORD Protocol Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit – SWORD - is an APP (Atom Publishing Protocol) application that defines simple remote content storage into a repository from other applications. Creates services that offer functionalities such as deposit from multiple locations or from standard applications. DSpace, Fedora Eprints, IntraLibrary, and DataBank are examples of repositories that implement this service. An interesting aspect of this protocol is that the sending service can be configured so that any user can upload information directly to the repository without logging in.

15 Implementing the communication to publish content No implementation or installation was necessary, as the repository incorporated the communication functionality through the SWORD protocol. In version 1.8, DSpace implemented the protocol in two ways, as a server and as a client, both compatible with SWORD v2. Moodle does not offer this communication functionality. It was necessary to use the Client API provided by SWORD to implement a specific module that will retrieve the requested information and prepare it according to the standards established by the protocol, to send it to the repository. The implemented module must retrieve the file stored in the Assignment module and then build the package in the SWORD format with the corresponding metadata. SWORD

16 Creating the package Moodle does not have a metadata standard, it stores basic information in its database tables, which can be used to generate metadata in an established standard such as Dublin Core. The metadata, that will be associated to the files in the repository, are generated from file information and data retrieved from their context within the Moodle platform. Information can be extracted from resource context data and resource data, such as Assignment name, course name, platform name, resource name, creation date, last date of modification, author, format and resource type. The application generates a METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard) package with files and administrative, descriptive and structural metadata that the repository will use to incorporate the resource.

17 Sending the package The package is sent through the instantiation of a client of the PHP API provided by SWORD. The function deposit is used to automatically deliver it to the repository. In this function it is necessary to specify: the URL of the repository, an access account and password if necessary, the content format, the destination collection and the zip file with the content.

18 Sending the package Steps followed when sending a resource from Moodle to Dspace: 1.The students deliver their assignment by uploading a file. 2.The teacher follows the deliveries and the corresponding corrections, sending feedback to the students when necessary. Once the delivery is finished, the teacher can choose to send it to the repository. 3.Once the teacher decides to make a delivery, the module comes into play. It takes each one of the assignments and packs them with their corresponding metadata into a zip file. 4.The package is sent through SWORD to a specific collection in the chosen repository. 5.The default SWORD module in DSpace unpacks it and retrieves the Dublin Core metadata and files. 6.Each of the files is added as items to the specific collection. 7.DSpace’s SWORD module sends an xml response to the Moodle newly created module indicating operation status.

19 Conclusions The communication implemented between the Moodle LMS and the DSpace repository allows for a reduction in the overload of storing the same resources in multiple platforms. The module implemented prepares the information to be transferred by incorporating metadata in the standard format used by destination repositories. Semi-automatic publishing of material is more practical as it is not necessary to follow all the steps required within the repository to upload the resource and complete the metadata. The functionality of this module can be extended to other repositories, adapting the way in which material is organized, taking into account the standards used in each specific platform.

20 Thank you !!! LINTI – Laboratory of Investigation in New Information Technologies Extending a Virtual Learning platform through its integration with a Digital Repository


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