Dipl.-Inf. Annett Zobel
Telephone: +49 (0)3643 583783
Dipl.-Inform. Matthias Hupfer
Telephone: +49 (0)3643 583783
c/o Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Learning Management System and Authoring Tools:
metacoon an online platform for learning, cooperative work and for the production of various digital learning materials.
The system has a central help wiki which is maintained by the developer team.
metacoon is used as:
- a learning platform
- a authoring platform
- as virtual office or for the support of customer projects
- as a portal for communities
- for document management
- for the organisation of congresses/workshops
- schematic overview to the platform
The platform consists of
- an external platform web page/E-Learning homepage
- entrance room
- with personal desk for each user
- authoring area with authoring tools
- administration area for administrators
- any number of virtual rooms for learning or working.
For learning or cooperative work the platform comes with different types of room templates, i.e.:
- guided learning/guided work
- self-determined learning/work
- discussion based learning/work
metacoon is adaptable:
Instead of using the delivered standard room types, advanced user can arrange individual learning or working scenarios and save them into their own room templates.
Toolbox to arrange learning/working activities:
- List of course participants - persons cards (personal web page)
- address book with E-Mail
- Who is online list with message functionality
- pin boards
- discussion boards
- Mailing lists
- Groups and members/Group registration
- learning materials, teaching aids with search functionality
all materials that can be viewed with a web browser can be used: PDFs, slides, MS Word, videos, audio, animation, simulation, hypertext/HTML, ...
- SCORM course material (import/export)
- metacoon Chameleon course material: produced with metacoon authoring tools. This is XML-based learning material rendered to HTML or PDF. It has navigation an search functionality, related links, all media can be included as well as the reference book entries of the platform
- course literature list (as a subscription to the literature management system)
- reference books (can be included in the learning materials): glossary, products and standards, characters, organisations, ...
- hand in course work (privacy: can be seen by the student X an the teachers)
- feedback course results/credits (individual or to groups)
- memo functionality/personal course notes (life notes within a lecture i.e. via WLAN)
- cooperative online writing
- file manager
- picture gallerie
- task management
- projects and their status
- cooperative research with glossary, literature management and other reference books
- course web links/bookmarks
- cooperative management of the course web page (small CMS functionality for each course environment)
Authoring tools - overview:
Question and Tests: metacoon ELQues
With metacoon ELQues (E-Learning-Questionnaire) you can produce, organise and evaluate self tests and online checkups.
The editor can be installed on each PC. ELQues is QTI standard conform!
Multimedia XML learning materials: metacoon Chameleon
With the metacoon plugin for OpenOffice you can produce XML learning material (text, all media, include question and tests, the platform reference books, literature database, mathematical formulas).
OpenOffice is a free word processing software, that can be used similar to MS Word. The metacoon Chameleon materials can be saved as online-HTML, PDF, HTML CD, SCORM
Glossary, Reference books and literature database
Within the online authoring area reference books (glossary, character, products, standards, ...) and a literature database (structured like BibTeX) can be cooperatively maintained.
All these can be used within the Chameleon learning material editor (OpenOffice) so that reference books do not need to be maintained for each course material by each author.
metacoon online presentations
You produce your slides as usual, i.e. with Powerpoint. The spoken text or if you wish a video can be recorded and added to the slides. The result is an online lecture (Realplayer, Media Player) to see online or to export for CD-2-go
Personal desk for each user:
User with authoring rights can use the above shown authoring environment on their desk.
More functionality for all platform user (can be switched on/of by the platform administrator):
- overview "my course rooms"/my working rooms
- registration to courses/rooms
- news on the platform/within the course rooms (shows new course activities, tasks, learning materials, pin board news, participants, ... adaptable)
- personal calendar/group calendar
- task management
- projects and project status
- file manager (each user has a home directory, there can be group directories as well) visual folder structure, check-in/out, versioning
- picture gallerie
- personal notes
Administration tools and website-CMS
Platform administration can be distributed to the departments/teachers. Central administration tools for platform administrators are in the entrance room. Rooms have own administration areas - here the course area can be administrated
- permit/decline new platform/course user (if registered as a new platform user on the course web page)
- permit/decline room/course registrations (if registered in the entrance room)
- see login history, login statistics
- group/role management (create new groups, rename, delete, ...)
- manage group/role rights (which group ist allowed to use which tools/activities within the course environment)
- manage the own course/room (change attributes, course description, registration type/conditions, ...)
- manage sub-courses within the course room
- manage members/participants of sub-courses/groups within a course room
- create and edit course/room web page
- all functions like for the room administration but for the hole platform
- permit/decline new platform user
- create new course environments/rooms, maintenance
- maintenance tools for catalogue entries for platform forms
- maintenance tool for auto email texts (email notification system)
- maintenance tools for the platform web page
maintenance of websites (small CMS functionality)
- adapt the web site menu
- edit web sites (WYSIWYG editor)
- edit dynamic web site data like addresses
- edit course list on the web site
- editorial functions i.e. publish right for any dynamical data produced by other platform users
- server parameters
- directory management, access control
- file management
- system profiles
- create new tools/components like adapted reference books
Use Cases and References:
metacoon is used in any kind of educational institution as well as in different areas for project work or community work.
- universities (i.e. in all of the state Thuringia with a state contract)
here especially the course environment types for self-determined and project oriented learning are used
- primary/elementary and vocational schools
- companies und public authorities:
- for internal further education
- knowledge management
- organisation of congresses and other events
- project work (for the project team and with areas for the customers/partners)
- further education/educational institution
- for the support if onsite-learning
- online learning
- blended learning
- exam preparation
- online tests
Since 2006 metacoon the international use of metacoon has notable increased.
Therefore we currently establish an international support and service infrastructure.
Support for onsite learning:
You can support onsite courses with the course environment type "self-determined learning" i.e. with digital learning material pool, group mailing lists, course pin board news.
With the course environment type "guided learning" the course can be structured into blocks and each block consists of a sequence of learning activities.
The question and test tool can be used for exam preparation.
Online courses and advanced use:
A course room type "advanced" offers the hole tool box of metacoon. You can switch of the tools you do not need to create an environment for an individual learning scenario.
Further you can use tools to organise group work. Teachers can save time by peer-to-peer group organisation.
shared document pool or file management, address book i.e. for a custoomer file, notes functionality for project logbook or minutes...
For each customer project a room can be created to offer services, information, and documents.
Platform for research projects:
The room website can be used as the project website and can be maintained by authorized project members. Within the project room the project team can share files and information, use the communication tools and the coordination tools for project management.
Portal for communities:
For example the German intercultural community does use the metacoon platform as a community platform. Here experts and their competence fields are listed and can bee booked for expertises or consultations. Community members can offer products, courses and services. The literature database can be used as a virtual community library. The reference books can inform about new or interesting products, projects, organisations, characters and standards. There are some commercial plugins for portal technology like banner ads (ask the developer team)
For the server
- platform: LAMP solution (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)
- only if the metacoon Chameleon authoring tools shall be used additionally a Java rendering framework has to be installed (rendering XML > HTML/PDF): Tomcat & Cocoon
For the client (PC of users/authors)
- user do only need a internet browser: MS Internet Explorer 6.0, Mozilla 1.5, Mozilla Firebird 0.7 or Firefox 0.8 (suggested for Mac-user), Opera 7.5.4
- screen resolution 1024x768
- authoring tools are Java programms so platform independent
A demo platform and more informaiton you find on: www.metacoon.net