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2006 Fall Conference Submissions and Program

OpenACS/.LRN Fall Conference 2006

 

Day 1 (Nov. 1) - International Workshop on Community Based E-Learning Systems

Location: Harvard Conference Center Rotunda  

07:30-08:30 Continental Breakfast and onsite registration

08:30 Opening Remarks and Orientation

08:40 Keynote: Creating Passionate Users

What do game designers, neuroscientists, and filmmakers know about creating passionate users? How can we exploit the way the brain works to reach our users/learners at a deeper level that inspires their attention, enthusiasm, long-term loyalty, and evangelism? New research points to a different way to craft interactive experiences that get the user's attention and--most importantly--KEEP it. For today's learners, sound instructional design is no longer enough.

In this session, we'll explore ways to work around the brain's natural filters that keep our message from getting in. We'll cover how to give interactive experiences an almost addictive quality--to keep our users engaged and wanting more. There's a place where science and entertainment meet that knows what turns the brain on, and we'll look at simple, powerful, easy-to-implement ways to make that happen. Whether you're building e-learning or plain old paper documentation, you'll learn techniques for creating passionate users/learners that you can put to work immediately.

Kathy Sierra

Kathy Sierra spent the last decade as a game developer, master trainer for Sun Microsystems, and creator of the first New Media Interaction Design courses for UCLA Extension's Entertainment Studies Department at the IBM New Media Lab. Together with her partner Bert Bates, Kathy created the bestselling and award-winning "brain-friendly" Head First book series. She's the original founder of the largest non-commercial software development community, Javaranch.com, and author/creator of a Technorati Top 100 Blog. When she's not working on ways to help humans learn more quickly, she's playing with her three super-smart Icelandic horses.

09:40 Keynote: Photo.net and ACS

Philip Greenspun will talk about: 

  • How is it possible that ACS is still viable?
  • The history of photo.net and ACS
  • stuff he and others are working on at photo.net
Philip Greenspun has been in and around the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1979. He alternates between teaching traditional electrical engineering classes and teaching "Software Engineering for Web Applications" (6.171), a course that he co-developed with Hal Abelson. This has been a successful course at MIT and is being used by computer science departments at 20 other universities around the world. Greenspun is the author of two textbooks used at MIT, including Internet Application Workbook (available at http://philip.greenspun.com/internet-application-workbook/). Greenspun is an instrument-rated private pilot and has flown his Diamond Star across most of the North American continent and two-thirds of the Caribbean islands.

In the mid-1990s, Greenspun founded the Scalable Systems for Online Communities research group at MIT and spun it out into ArsDigita, which he grew into a profitable $20 million (revenue) open-source enterprise software company. The software is best known for its support of public online communities, such as www.scorecard.org and photo.net, which started as Philip Greenspun's home page and grew to serve 500,000 users educating each other to become better photographers.

The learn@wu project

Gustaf Neumann - Chair of Information Systems and New Media at the University of Economics and Business Administration (WU) in Vienna, Austria

How do you create one of the most intensively used e-learning platforms worldwide? Gustaf explains.

Communities of users to support an open LMS: the Moodle perspective

Martyn Cooper - Head of Accessible Educational Media group at the Open University of UK

Martyn gives us a little peek into an alternate universe.

10:45-11:00 Coffee Break  

User-centred approach in LMS: Adaptiveness and Accessibility

Jesús G. Boticario - Head of aDeNu Research Group at The Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (Spain)

Jesús introduces a new (.LRN related) European funded project focused on making sure that the technology that mediates lifelong learning does so accommodating the diversity of ways people interact with technology and the content and services it delivers.

E-Lane: European and Latin American New Education

Carlos Delgado-Kloos - Head of the Departament of Engineering and Telematics at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Carlos gives us a quick overview, summary, and results of the E-Lane project that is coming to a close, but will live on in our software.

E-Learning in a Disconnected and Low Bandwidth Environment

Álvaro Rendón - University of Cauca Columbia

Álvaro will give an example of the E-Lane project in action that is based on .LRN and used in rural Colombia. It addresses network environments with low bandwidth connectivity and low cost access infrastructures.

01:00 PM Lunch

02:00 Afternoon sessions

2:00 PM Track 1: Accessibility and Technical Track

Towards Full Accessibility in LMS

2:00 PM Track 2: Case Studies and Theory

Education Talks and Demos

2:00 to 2:30 pm

Keynote: Accessibility in Community and Open Source Software Developments: the Moodle perspective

Martyn Cooper - Head of Accessible Educational Media group at the Open University of UK

Among diverse research and internal consultancy roles, Martyn Cooper has overall responsibility for accessibility in the Open University's Virtual Learning Environment which is based on Moodle.  The Open University has nearly 10,000 disabled students and takes its legal and moral responsibility to give them equal access to its teaching and learning very seriously.  It has been making substantial investments within the Moodle community to address the current deficits in accessibility of the software.  This paper reflects on this process and the more general issues of accessibility in community based and open source software developments.

2:00 to 2:30 pm

The Educator’s Guide to the Flat World: Flatteners and Convergences That Change Everything in Education

Steve Wilmarth

This workshop will focus on Thomas Friedman’s book, The World is Flat, and the theses that are driving globalization and multi-cultural educational issues.  Participants will develop ideas on how to think creatively and innovatively about changes that impact the purpose and value of education in the 21st century.  Participants will be challenged to see how the themes and concepts articulated in The World is Flat can or should be applied in classroom practices.

 

 

2:35pm to 3:05pm

Innovation and Research Accessibility Issues on eLearning: a user modelling approach

Jesús G. Boticario - Head of aDeNu Research Group at UNED (Spain)

 

 

 


 

2:35pm to 3:05pm

E-campus implementation: experiences at Galileo University

Rocael Hernandez 

Integration is a key factor for creating an e-campus initiative comprised of various systems. While there are multiple technical options for e-campus dynamic web services, we have chosen to use OpenACS for most of our web services.OpenACS has been an extremely powerful development framework to create new modules and achieve simple integration. Services provided in the e-campus initiative include .LRN, a Learning Management System (LMS), public news and institutional small Content Management System (CMS), tuition payment, course assignments, professor profiles, work opportunities and single account creation.

3:10pm to 3:40pm

Accessibility Requirements in dotLRN

 Olga C. Santos - R&D Technical Manager of aDeNu Research Group at UNED (Spain)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee Break 3:40-4:00 pm

3:10pm to 3:40pm

The DGSOM Personnel System, Weekly Message Digest, Room Reservation System, and Calendar Application

 Avni Khatri, UCLA - CTRL

Many universities, like the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (DGSOM), are busy, heterogeneous organizations of people and resources alive with meetings, presentations, and cross collaborations. Perhaps because of our size, DGSOM is more like a federation of city-states than a well-structured hierarchically administered organization. Consequently, common problems are often encountered and addressed in isolation of one another, and this has led, in our case, to a morass of incompatible partial solutions to similar problems. A few of examples if this include Web-presentation of faculty member profiles, shared managment of resources like conference rooms, and the dissemination of events and other timely information.

The Computing Technologies Research Lab (CTRL) at UCLA is a software development group within DGSOM that provides open source solutions to research and clinical data collection, management and reporting problems. Members of CTRL have used the AOLserver (p.k.a NaviServer) to build web-based applications at UCLA since 1994.

Using the OpenACS framework (and Oracle RDBMS), CTRL has developed several applications that address a set of problems that all universities face in one form or another: centrally managing faculty information and intergrating the information with heterogeneous departmental web sites (using ACS subsites), and centrally managing shared resources, like conference rooms, in a fashion that protects departmental control over the resources.

The presentation will include requirements, design, and technical details of how we have tailored the OpenACS to address the faculty database, room reservations, and the weekly message digests.

Coffee Break 3:40-4:00 pm 

4:00pm to 4:30pm

Federated Search for Locating Learning Resources from Heterogenous Learning Repositories

Stefan Sobernig

Stefan will talk about using OpenACS/DotLRN in a federated search environment for locating learning resources from heterogenous learning repositories (usage of OpenACS in the EU research projects iCAMP and Prolix, learning networks, SQI).

4:00pm to 4:30pm

ePortfolios: Using Personal Learning Landscapes, Student Performance Evaluation and Life-Long Learning Opportunities

Steve Wilmarth

This workshop will explore the use and application of ePortfolios as an alternative and/or supplemental assessment practice.  Participants will develop ideas on how to use ePortfolios as an essential component of a personal learning landscape.

4:30pm to 5:00pm

Implementation of IMS-LD in .LRN

Luis de la Fuente Valentin - Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Applying pedagogical models to e-learning courses is the aim of the IMS Learning Design Specification, which can be used to describe educational processes by defining the flow of e-learning activities. Its design is wide enough to manage any methodology, and it provides a way to add services as a support tool for the learning activities. A .LRN player for IMSLD packages has been developed by the University Carlos III of Madrid, and is designed from scratch and fully integrated with the platform.

 

 

 

4:30pm to 5:00pm

Collaborative Curriculum: Using .LRN to Coordinate Data Collection and Analysis Between Classrooms Featuring Microscopic Image Collections

With an NSF SBIR grant (National Science Foundation Small Business Innovative Research), Prime Entertainment has partnered with the Concord Consortium (CC), and Solution Grove (SG), to develop cutting edge collaborative curriculum centered around projects using a digital microscope. Prime Entertainment makes the QX5 hardware, CC is developing the Java application for collecting data, and SG is implementing the .LRN back end and website where teachers and students can share data and work together. Get a preview of how these systems integrate with each other and the structure of the online community.

 

5:00PM to 6:00PM: Informal demos and discussions

8:00PM: New England Seafood Dinner at the Summer Shack

Jasper White's Summer Shack

Telephone 617-867-9955
50 Dalton Street in the Back Bay,
across from the Sheraton Hotel entrance and the Hynes Auditorium. Upstairs from Kings Bowling Alley.
Closest Subway T Station: Green Line - Hynes Auditorium.

Day 2 (Nov. 2) - General Web Applications Focus - OpenACS

Free-form and technology focused with opportunities to demo

8:15AM - 8:50AM Breakfast

9:00AM - Start

Location:  Harvard Conference Center Rooms 214/216/217/Lounge

 

The architecture of Phigita.net

Neophytos Demetriou

An XOTcl based architecture of an OpenACS-like system, scalability through database partitioning, providing google like services.

Zip Car

Roy Russell - Founding CTO
Roy advises the company on a broad range of subjects. He has been an integral part of the Zipcar team since inception. Since the early days of Zipcar, Roy has been instrumental in developing and deploying the unique technology that has given the company its leading position in user experience. 

xoTcl for OpenACS Developers (Introduction)

Neophytos Demetriou and Gustaf Neuman

This will be a short introduction of what will be presented in more detail on Day 3 (during the hacking/training sessions at the Museum of Science).

Solution Grove

Demo of AJAX usage - Hamilton Chua remotely with Caroline Meeks and Dave Bauer live.

Porting Sloan from Oracle to Postgres - Please let us know if there is anyone with a oracle installation interested in moving to Postgres, we will only do this if there is interest. Deds Castillo remotely with Caroline Meeks and Dave Bauer live.

Two Approaches to Virtualization and OpenACS/.LRN

Two Approaches to Virtualization and OpenACS/.LRN

The two main approaches to virtualization, "total OS encapsulation" as done by VMWare Server, and the "shared-kernel" approach as taken by Solaris 10 with its Zones technology, will be discussed. A live demonstration of installing a working OS under each approach will be given.

Patrick Giagnocavo

Patrick Giagnocavo is the CEO of Zill.Net. Zill.Net offers hosting and colocation with a focus on OpenACS and .LRN setup and ongoing system administration.

Remote queries with SOAP:
We have designed and created a simple way to run queries on a remote server, using SOAP to send queries and receive results that are similar to those that the db_* API returns. This method may be used by other applications such as the <multiple> tag and list-builder.

xoORB: An XOTcl based Object Request Broker for OpenACS (SOAP-based web-services, client, and server framework)

Stefan Sobernig


Conformance Testing of the .LRN platform

Gerardo Morales - Groupe des Ecoles des Télécommunications/ Institut National des Télécommunications (GET/INT) France

For big and complex applications such as .LRN, it is mandatory to execute in a scheduled way a set of test cases to assure its stability and the conformance to its original model, along with the continuous development of such application. This presentation highlights the importance of conformance testing and the types of tests needed for the .LRN platform. It also presents a new method to automatically generate test cases from a .LRN model described in UML.

Selenium Unit Tests in OpenACS

Tracy Adams (ACSPropel) 

1. Creating Selenium Unit Tests
2. Hosted Selenium Unit Test management

1:00 PM to 1:50 PM: Lunch 

Marketspace Advisory

Sam Stearns

Marketspace Advisory is a strategy consulting firm focused on improving its clients' customer-facing interface systems and associated channel migration challenges. Clients include large organizations in the media, financial services, and consumer products sectors. We use an OpenACS /.LRN - based extranet during our engagements to share knowledge with our clients (especially via social bookmarking) and help raise their digital literacy.

Load balancing using a cluster with .LRN

This talk describes a widely-distributed and integrated functionality to increase performance and service. The installation includes multiple servers specialized for both static and dynamic information. Also some specific synchronization scripts will be described that replicate high traffic pages that do not change often and are the same for most users. The following will also be discussed:
- cache sharing
- node sharing
- reload of procs
- Content Repository (CR) file system sharing

.LRN Windows installer

We present an easy way to run and test .LRN and OpenACS in your windows installation. This method is based on the original design by Rocael Hernandex, initial development by Vlassis and then ProjectOpen in Barcelona, and has been fully-refactored and now maintained by Byron Linares.

OpenACS OCT/.LRN Leadership Team/EU4ALL Meeting 

The European project "EU4ALL" just started (EU4ALL stands for "European Unified Approach for Accessible Lifelong Learning") and the Scientific Coordinators of the project (aDeNu Research Group at UNED represented by Emma, Olga, and Jesús) want to meet with OpenACS/.LRN leadership to align common objectives and define a framework to reach them Audio  OpenACS_Meeting_Nov_2006.ogg (OGG)  OpenACS_Meeting_Nov_2006.mp3 (MP3)

Demos

Caroline Meeks and Dave Bauer 

1. AJAX UI examples
2. Extending List Builder with filters and graphs
3. Moving SloanSpace from Oracle to Postgres
4. Dynamic Types (Dave and Lee together we hope)

UG-Surveys

A package that administers multiple surveys that are being sent to users. It administers the assessment package. At Galileo has been used widely to used to pass out surveys to students across the different programs. So far more than 65,000 surveys has been answered.
- Create survey templates
- Deploy templates
- Close surveys and results

 

Day 3 and 4 - Training and Hacking Days at the Boston Museum of Science

November_3rd_and_November_4th_Training_and_Hacking_Days

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