IJCEELL, vol.11, no. 1/2, pp. 5-24, 2001

The role of directory services in online education delivery: the GESTALT example

M. Konstantopoulos, T. Spyrou, P. Koutsabasis, J.S. Darzentas, C. Lambrinoudakis and J. Darzentas

Department of Information and Communication Systems, University of the Aegean, GR 83200 Karlovassi, Samos, Greece

E-mail: {mpk, tsp, kgp, jennyd, clam, idarz}@aegean.gr


In distance learning applications, one of the advantages over traditional methods of education should be the opportunity for the selection of learning modules, and for students to acquire knowledge that is suited to their individual needs. Adaptations of existing educational services are proving inadequate for current needs and are giving way to requirements for an integrated and well-managed provision of on-demand education and training over networks. The work described in this paper presents a directory services model and an implementation, as part of an integrated on-demand online learning environment that facilitates student autonomy and provides personalized education selection. It shows how portable electronic student records allow students to select courses that best fit their needs by moving between systems and education service providers, while the detail of the record aids in matching learning requirements and constraints to courses on offer. The records are stored in directories that are interoperable, scalable and thus easily accessible, supporting at the same time access controls for sensitive information. The directory services model also provides the means of storing and accessing metadata relating to learning courses and education resources.

Keywords: Distance learning; profiles; metadata; directory services; learning environments.


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