Reference Document WP8
IN CONSORTIUM WITH THE
SUMMARY OF THE OBJECTIVES
The overall objective of
WP8 is to develop a general and adaptable virtual workspace environment
(VWE) for use in conjunction with the EUN platform. Meanwhile,
the following objectives will be met:
- To create a VWE, containing
tools for basic communication and collaboration
To develop the Kernel, which
will be the framework and foundation of the VWE
To verify and test the VWE in
SUMMMARY OF TECFA'S CONTRIBUTION
Description and specification
of the pedagogical tools for the VWE
Evaluation and testing of VWE
in the framework of ENIS
CURRENT ADVANCEMENTS IN THE
Due to the fact that the
Swiss partnership was late to join the WP8 project, several setbacks occurred.
First of all, there were initial difficulties to organize and collaborate
with the other partners in the project. At the time, there was not a working
model of the VWE, therefore creating a lack of initiative for each partner
In the meantime, TECFA invested
its time in research issues concerning virtual campuses, Web-integrated
environments, and pedagogical tools. Therefore a theoretical framework
was developed concerning the issues formally defining a virtual campus.
The resulting events occurred:
A first report, "The Virtual
Campus @ TECFA", was written, based on experiences with TECFA's
Virtual Campus and its subsequent taxonomy of pedagogical tools.
An article "TECFA, développer
un Campus Virtuel pour l'enseignement et l'apprentissae à distance,"
was written and published in the Summer '99 issue of the EPFL's Flash
Subsequently, the first workpackage
meeting was finally organized by the Swedish WP leader, and took place
on November 11, 1999 in Stockholm. This was the first opportunity for all
of the workpackage partners to unite to discuss the current status and
future of the VWE. The following issues were presented and discussed:
A taxonomy of virtual campus
tools was defined and was used to analyze other virtual campuses in Switzerland.
These four case studies were published in a report entitled, "Rapport d'information
sur les mondes virtuels," written for the OFFT (l'office fédéral
de la formation professionnelle et de la technique) in September 1999.
A taxonomy of TECFA's Virtual
Campus tools was presented, "TECFA's Virtual Campus: Integrated Tools to
Support Pedagogical Paradigms," at the IN-TELE Conference '99:Internet-Based
Teaching and Learning in Jena (September).
The article "TECFA's Virtual
Campus: Integrated Tools to Support Pedagogical Paradigms," was written
and will be published in Spring 2000 issue of Internet Communications
(the IN-TELE Conference Proceedings).
The judgements and assessments
gained from the WP8 meeting only provided an abstract shell as to the potential
of the VWE. Furthermore the WP8 meeting directed TECFA to a clear partner
task for the second phase, the pedagogical stage, of the VWE project. Here,
TECFA's present and future directives are expressed:
The technical partners have
developed a running version of the VWE (Alpha 1, D8.2). This version is
a preliminary model and is a very rough demonstration of the VWE.
The Kernel version is running.
The Kernel is the part of the workspace that handles all interaction and
activity within the VWE. It is built up by a number of modules for different
tasks and is considered the "core" of the VWE. The Kernel modules can be
identified as: an API module, Management module, GUI module, Storage module,
Network module, and Metadata module.
Early versions of some tools
(draw tool, form tool, chat tool, molecule viewer, word processing tool,
user manager tool) have been implemented only for the demonstrator version
(VWE Alpha 1, D8.2).
TECFA will describe all of the
pedagogical tools for the VWE. This will be in the form of a written report
that will fully describe the pedagogical purpose and functionality for
each tool in the VWE (listed in the EUN Multimedia call) Each tool will
be described as operating independently from the system
TECFA will use these tools to
develop pedagogical scenarios for the VWE. Additionally, TECFA will describe,
create, and explain different pedagogical scenarios by combining various
independent tools to create integrated learning environments in the form
The deadline for these two reports
is February 2000, upon the next WP8 meeting.
With regard to the evaluation
of the teaching scenarios in the VWE, the experimentation will be done
as of spring 2000. It will be made in coordination with the evaluation
of the Virtual Library in WP12. The testing and evaluation will take place
in the ENIS.