Collaborative Document Authoring as an E-Learning Component
Thursday, June 28 2:45 PM-3:15 PM Location: Noord
Presider: Pedro Isaias, The University of Queensland, Australia
Abstract: An effective learning management system (LMS) is a vital component of an overall E-Learning infrastructure in universities nowadays. In the simplest case, Learning Management System can be seen as a structured repository of courseware materials provided with additional communication facilities such as discussion forum, annotations, chats, etc. In the more complex cases, LMS implements different training scenarios where communication and collaboration plays a very important role. In this paper, we describe a so-called Authoring Room scenario. The Authoring Room component provides an environment for online collaborative authoring of textual documents. Since many cloud services allow users to edit textual documents in collaboration, the scenario is implemented on the base of the cloud service called Etherpad. Selection of this service was mainly justified by the university rule that explicitly prohibits uploading students' assignments onto third-party servers without explicit written permission from the students. Etherpad is the only cloud service that allows installing the software and database on a local university server. Another crucial advantage of Etherpad is existing of modern Application Programming Interface (API) and absence of an own authentication schema. This allows Etherpad to be seamlessly embedded into an LMS and extend it with real-time functionality. The e-learning scenario and preliminary results are described in this paper.