Developing Engineering Learning Objects Online Portal with LabVIEW and an Open Source Web Content Management System
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Learning objects (LOs) are independent chunks of knowledge normally used for instructional or learning purposes. LOs are normally reusable in the sense that they can be adopted and adapted for various learning and instructional scenarios. They are also tagged with metadata which includes descriptive information allowing them to be used and searched easily. LOs are sometimes metaphored as being a LEGO. Examples of LOs could contain multimedia content, instructional content, learning objectives, instructional software and software tools, and computer simulations. Many LOs are designed to be mediated online. In engineering education, computer simulations based learning objects could be the most beneficial for conveying hard engineering concepts for the engineering science learner. Computer simulations have been reported to facilitate conceptual understanding and leaving positive impact on students learning in numerous number of engineering education research articles. In the last two decades, many software packages have been developed for enhancing the engineering design and analysis process, examples are Matlab/Simulink, PSpice, LabVIEW, etc. These has been used consequently by academics for enhancing their students learning. LabVIEW is one of the most versatile computer software packages. It is used comprehensively in the industry as well as in academia. LabVIEW started as computer software interface of PC based data question equipments, however, it has grown much beyond that offering comprehensive toolkits and already implemented functions. Also it has great connectivity facilities with Matlab/Simulink, C++, and Visual Basic allowing communicating already developed codes in the latter with its core engine. The other important specification of LabVIEW is its embedded internet tools enabling publishing its programmed GUIs on the world wide web in easy and handy way. Web content management systems is the third generation of web publishing applications after HTML and web authoring software packages such as FrontPage and Dreamweaver. It is used to manage and control a large, dynamic collection of Web material (HTML documents and their associated images). A WCMS facilitates content creation, content control, editing, and many essential Web maintenance functions. In contrast with the web development tools such as HTML, FrontPage, Dreamweaver, etc., a CMS enables faster development, cost effectiveness, and online flexibility. The basic idea of any web content management system is that a non-technical person often needs to be able to keep their own website up-to-date without having to call on a web developer to make changes every time. Of course there are some things that can only be done by a web developer, but for simpler tasks such as changing the wording of a paragraph, it is an unnecessary burden and expense for both parties if you have to get a developer to make the changes. This paper provides an A to Z prescription of implementing a standardized Learning Objects online portal. This describing in detail a LabVIEW based Learning Object architecture, using a proper IEEE LOM metadata generation tool, and finally how on the top of that a Joomla web content management system can be used for developing the online portal.
- Engineering Innovation Research [42 items ]