AusWeb08
 

WILE: A Very Low Cost Web-based Integrated Learning Environment

David A Baker (MSc IT), School of Information Technology, P.O. Box 245, Bond University, QLD 4229, Australia. Email: david@davidaaronbaker.com

Dr Michael J Rees, Associate Professor, School of Information Technology, Faculty of Business, Technology and Sustainable Development, Bond University, Qld 4229, Australia. Email: mrees@bond.edu.au


Keywords

E-Leaning, Learning Management Systems (LMS), Mashups, Web 2.0, Web-based Learning, Web Applications, Online Collaboration


Abstract

Today, Learning Management Systems (LMS), both commercial and open source, are available to implement web-based learning environments, yet they require large servers, a team of support staff, and have expensive licensing costs. Open source LMS alternatives often run on leaner machines, but hiring a team to support the system can be costly. The complexity and cost of undertaking the implementation of an LMS can often be taxing on a smaller institution, but they must offer an LMS to compete with other institutions.

WILE (Web-Integrated Learning Environment) is an LMS that uses combinations of either free or low-cost services already available on the Internet. WILE is available anywhere there is an Internet connection through a standard web browser. Fully exploiting the idea of Web 2.0, WILE is a mashup of different services to create a complete web-based environment, different from the wide range of LMS products currently on the market. WILE is a mashup of Google Apps, Google Docs, Google Groups, Gmail, Engrade, and ClassMarker. All the required LMS services are encapsulated into a single “web desktop” using Ext JS v2.0.

This paper describes the motivation behind the new approach of building an LMS from near zero-cost web services that resulted in WILE. The Web 2.0 background that inspired the building of WILE is described, as well as its design and implementation. At the end of the development, it was found that WILE fulfils 87% of the requirements of a fully functional LMS.


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