Research Log of Web Science Students

Computer Science is not simply programming

Posts Tagged ‘elearning


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We are happy to announce that we’ve finally connected Hardwire and Projectrix.

Well first of all I have to say that I got lucky. There were some problems that I didn’t see before but luckily I had a solution in mind already. For the longest time now, I’ve been wanting to use together Spring MVC and GWT — Spring MVC to query the database and GWT mainly for its AJAX capabilities. I only have vague ideas on how this is done traditionally. I can imagine doing this in HTML/PHP with JQuery. So maybe If I knew javascript and how to do ajax manually then this wouldn’t be a problem. But I don’t and I had to leverage what I knew about Spring and GWT.

I have to say it drives me nuts sometimes. I think about it when I drive, I think about it during lunch, I sometimes get distracted at mass because of it and I don’t listen in KAS1 to the point of forgetting I am in the middle of a seatwork and I only have two minutes left. I have been musing over this because as it stands some of Projectrix/Hardwire’s pages are purely GWT and make expensive RPC calls alongside hitting the database. I knew this was something I had to change soon but didn’t know how. I asked about this last year at SO but no one has replied yet. This idea of using GWT and Spring together was so raw I was not confident about using it yet without doing a separate experiment. I didn not expect to be using the idea so early. So going into this, I ran the risk of the not even finishing this feature.

But I just had to try. Two days left. No refactoring. No design patterns and no unit testing. I was in amateur developer mode.

To cut the long story short, I’ll share in another blogpost my solution to this problem but all I want to tell right now is it’s done.

Some screenshots,

Learner navigates to his/her projects list page and clicks on view project.

The user's projects are displayed.

User clicks on "have this project assessed". In developer jargon, this means making an API call to Projectrix sending in the project details such as the url and getting a reply from Projectrix saying where the project will be assessed.

The user clicks the link and is taken to Projectrix where he/she has to authenticate himself first to the system before having the project assessed

This part of the feature makes use of the filters I did early this week.

Finally the user can have his/her project assessed keying in the other fields such as tags, name, description except for the url which comes from Hardwire and then most importanly the assessors.

This feature makes use of the Spring forms I made last Friday.


Written by Jose Asuncion

January 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Posted in Hardwire, ProjectriX

Tagged with , ,

The Paper Trail

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One thing I’ve realized reading about Personal Learning Environments is that it starts when one looks at informal learning.

Sure it’s not like the one we get in the classroom — accredited, recognized and more prestigious — but throughout our lives 80% of what we learn comes from informal learning.

Which leads us to the question, what is the best way to learn informally?

Times like these, well in fact, any time calls for a relevant solution to a problem. In this case our problem is that we want to recognize, harness informal learning.  Web 2.0 times, call only for elearning. But elearning today is just like the formal learning setup. Only the medium has changed.

That’s where the Future of Online Learning comes in.  Take that and meld it together with the highly personalized informal learning and you get this thing called our thesis — Personal Learning Environments.

The diagram above is our research component. Red means we have yet to research on it. Green means we have more or less some material about it.

I hope we’re on the right track in terms of our research component.

Written by Jose Asuncion

September 6, 2009 at 8:10 pm

10 things about an extended Sprint 1

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By now I should have finished developing the feature that lets a user haul his profile from a social networking site like facebook, twitter etc. What happened was that we had suddenly made the decision to migrate languages and platform.

1. From LAMP, we’re now using Java on top of the Spring platform.
2. Migration was a bit of a headache.
3. I was apprehensive about Spring not working on Google appengine but if you know your J2EE and basic SpringCore, it’ll be fine.
4. Always put “isELIgnored=false” in all JSPS! This makes the compiler not ignore JSTL tags and EL. It took me two hours to find out what was wrong with my code when my ELs weren’t printing! Thank God I googled for help. Which leads me to the next thing…
5. Java on google app engine isn’t quite well documented. Well at least for my problem in 4.
6. With PHP we brute-forced the logging in using Google id, now we’re just calling the user library thanks to app engine!
7. Java and Spring are case sensitive. index.jsp != Index.jsp. Another bug which took me a lot of time to kill!
8. Using Twitter Oauth to get a twitter profile is more complicated than I thought.
9. You need a persistence to store the user’s unique access token.
10. You can now login to our app using google id and logout without worrying about if you logout of google accounts. Once you logout of our app you’re also logged out of google (logged out of gmail etc).

– Jeune

Written by Jose Asuncion

August 17, 2009 at 7:27 pm

The challenges for the future of elearning

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The future of elearning aims to address the needs of new findings in education. Whereas before elearning simply was a translation of the classroom experience into software, experience tells that such methods can be pretty sterile. Or from another point of view, it is not innovative enough to do justice to the state of the art technology that is already out there and that makes these pretty sterile elearning methods available. Surely things can be better than that!

Why not harness the appeal of web 2.0 software? Social networking sites are fun and everybody likes learning that is fun. Imagine a learning environment that that gives learners the ability to create, to share
ideas, to join groups, to publish their own learnings pretty much like much like one’s favorite social networking site. Now we’re talking! Imagine a learning environment that is interoperable with your favorite social networking site; where one shoutout his/her findings across social networking sites or vice versa (for instance, one can see status updates from the learning environment in his/her Facebook/plurk) .

Such are the aims of the future of elearning. And like we’ve been always saying in our presentations: PLEs have the potential to meet [a challenge like that]. Yes something like that is not yet out there but we aim to set the standard.

I finally can enumerate these challenges:
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jose Asuncion

August 13, 2009 at 3:18 pm