The Open eClass platform is an integrated Course Management System, used to store and present educational materials.
The Open eClass platform is an integrated Course Management System, used to store and present educational materials. It is the solution offered to support asynchronous elearning services. Its goal is the incorporation and constructive use of the Internet and web technologies in the teaching and learning process.
The introduction of e-learning into the traditional teaching process provides new capabilities and allows new means of interaction between students and teachers. At the same time, it supports the electronic management, storage and presentation of teaching materials, transcending limitations of space and time and creating the necessary conditions for a dynamic teaching environment.
The Open eClass platform has been designed to supplement and support the traditional teaching process. Teachers retain the main role, while being able to quickly organize practical on-line courses, making use of existing educational materials: texts, documents, presentations, pictures, video, exercises and so on. Students themselves can access provided materials via an alternative channel.
The Open eClass platform design principles include ease of use by end users without specialized technical skills, adaptability to current and future demands, and simple software upgrade and extension. The service is accessible via any web browser.
Basic platform characteristics are:
distinct user roles
distinct course categories
easy course creation and use
structured course presentation
The user teacher has a central role, being responsible for the creation and administration of electronic courses. Teacher accounts are created by the platform administrators, on demand or after an on-line request. They can create an unlimited number of courses, contact student users registered to them, upload educational materials (texts, images, presentations, video, assignments, exercises, etc.), and create discussion forums where course participants can interact.
The user student can register to courses making an open registration, access educational materials, and participate in working groups, discussion forums and exercises. Student accounts can be created either automatically, by allowing open registration of new users, or by the platform administrators themselves after an on-line request.
Finally, the administrator has general control over the platform. Administrators can create and administer user accounts and courses and monitor the server and database operation.
Open courses are publicly accessible, even by visitors without a user account.
Registration based restricted courses are accessible to platform users that are registered to them. This means that these courses are open to everyone having an account.
Finally, closed courses are only accessible to users after a course teacher allows access to their account by registering them to the course.
Functionality & Features
The eCourse is the core part of the Open eClass platform. Each eCourse is an autonomous entity which integrates a number of learning tools. More specifically, each eCourse consists of the following learning tools - components which can be enabled and maintained by the teachers:
Agenda: presents crucial course events in time order (lectures, meetings, etc)
Documents: educational materials available to students (documents, presentations, images and other files)
Announcements concerning the course: they can be optionally e-mailed to students
Forums, where students can participate in conversation groups and exchange opinions about the course
Working Groups, open or closed, consist of users registered to the course (students and teachers)
Links on the web to resources relevant to the course
Student Assignments, where students can submit work done in response to assignments set forward by the teacher
Self-evaluation Exercises created by the teacher, allowing students to practice and test their knowledge
Course Description: presents information about course goals, structure, teachers in charge, etc.
Video, where recorded lectures or other videos can be presented to students, either as video files stored on the platform or as links to a video-on-demand server
Learning Path allows teachers to organize their educational material and students to follow a sequence of learning activity steps (SCORM 2004)
Wiki: a system for course participants to collaborate on documents, allowing everyone to edit document pages while maintaining full history of changes
Tele Conference, combining real-time on-line conversations, video transmission, presentations, and message exchange
Questionnaires, which can be used for polls and learning profile surveys
Drop Box: a file exchange area for students and teachers
Course Administration Tools, allowing teachers to configure course information (title, keywords, etc.), control eCourse access settings, renew or delete the eCourse, manage registered users, view usage statistics and activate / deactivate eCourse learning tools.