Collaborative Digital Learning Repository for Secondary Education
The intelligent collaborative e-Learning systems and applications is a major research theme in research communities. The growing interests in the Internet and WWW attempt to extend the field of study from stand alone learning environment to collaborative or cooperative learning environments. The prime concept behind this effort was conceived from the idea that the technology can play a vital role in breaking down the barriers of the Education Divide, the division of inequality that prevents from having access to quality education.
The knowledge has become the power of 21st century and for most of the organizations, knowledge management has become a key factor of gaining competitive advantage. As everything in this world has an economic value, the knowledge is also given a value but the knowledge without sharing does not offer any value to the knowledge. In a place where knowledge is not affordable we cannot expect any innovations or progress. There are many constraints for knowledge sharing in the real world such as geographical constraints, fear of new technology and lack of having new tools for knowledge management. The curriculum plays a major role in any education system. It directly affects the progress and the development of the country. An effective curriculum should have the ability of improving the student„s capabilities, offering right knowledge at the right time and become competitive with the developing world. Curriculum development is an iterative process. The National Institute of Education (NIE) is responsible for designing and developing curriculums in Sri Lanka. The teachers are required to teach whatever they are provided and their contribution to the curriculum development is ignored. All the teachers in the government schools are provided with at least a single text book for their teaching purposes and most of the time teachers utilize their own notes and resources and no way of guarantee the accuracy of the contents of materials. The same concepts and theories may be taught for years without any progress or modification according to the changing exams and evaluation styles. Our mission is to make the learning possible for anyone, anywhere via focusing on a complete curricula solution, not just a textbook or lesson plan, but a comprehensive course of instruction and assessment. It will include easy-to-use tools for creating curriculum packets out of content assets available on the site. This has a unique approach to curriculum development, distribution and evaluation that is represented by the organization's 3-D model: curriculum developed through community contributors, delivered globally and whose impact is determined by project and by individual. Our goal is to develop an online collaborative repository for school teachers to share knowledge for the benefaction of secondary level educators in Sri Lanka. Our objectives are to develop a repository that offers easy access to online quality materials related to secondary education in three main languages as English, Tamil and Sinhala and create the largest virtual network among Sri Lankan school teachers which facilitates sharing knowledge and views related to secondary education.
Repository Implementation Technologies
Web 2.0 which is perceived as the second generation of web development and it is characterized as facilitating communication, information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Web 2.0 technologies have been analyzed and discovered that wiki technology has almost all the technological qualifications to implement the repository. The front end of the repository is served by Curriki (the name originates from “Curriculum”+”Wiki”) which is a Java-based open source wiki platform. The repository implementation technologies are Java Struts Framework, hibernate backend, MySQL database server, apache tomcat application server and apache maven build tool.
The ultimate solution can interpret as,
- A community of educators, learners, and committed education experts who work together to create quality materials that will benefit teachers and students around the world.
- An online environment created to support development and free distribution of world- class educational materials to anyone who needs them.
- A place which provides teachers, students and parents universal access to a wealth of peer-reviewed secondary curricula and powerful online collaboration tools.
- The only site to develop a complete Open Source Curriculum based on a comprehensive curricular framework that includes:
- Defined learning objectives
- Scope and sequence for instruction
- Lesson plans
- Student activities
- Instructional materials
- Teacher training
- Student assessment of mastery
- A place where volunteers, teachers, students, and subject experts should donate their time and talent to enrich the portal and deliver valuable educational resources.
The benefits that can gain from this solution are,
- Opportunity to dramatically expand access to quality learning while being cost effective.
- Ability to upload and download files in various formats such as .txt, .doc, .pdf, .html, and other online resources.
- Educators can find and share an abundance of lesson plans, materials, textbooks, and worksheets that are far better than current generic worksheet sites on the web.
- Replace the need for individual teachers to spend time re-inventing the wheel for similar lessons and activities already available and allow teachers to spend more time customizing the available resources according to their needs.
- Allow teachers to share their creative and innovative ideas to other teachers around the world.
- Powerful advantage of having Wiki technology is that anyone can author and share their work, greatly reducing the reliance and capital spent on print publication and other print material.
- Especially valuable in areas where education is not easily affordable.
This research follows a qualitative and quantitative analysis, literature review, design and implementation of online repository, system testing and evaluation and an investigation of further research opened up with the project. It will look at many of the elements that must be managed to create e-Learning programs where real knowledge is gained, where communities of learning are created, and where high levels of user satisfaction are generated.