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OpenUSS


An open platform for computer-supported post-secondary instruction

High-quality instruction requires a modern infrastructure in order to efficiently carry out the logistics of learning and instructional processes. In order to significantly improve the internet presence of educational institutions, the OpenUSS software package was developed as an open platform for computer-supported instruction.

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OpenUSS for Students

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Because mobility is a decisive factor for the success of computer-supported post-secondary instruction, OpenUSS relies on innovative communications technologies such as WAP and SMS. This means that students can be supplied with current information on academic events "just in time" - whether at home, via mobile telephone, or (in the near future) via UMTS. In order to provide students with a custom-tailored array of information, OpenUSS is equipped with technology for individually personalized dynamic resources. Students enroll themselves in their desired online courses, and are provided according to enrollment with precisely the information they need. Since OpenUSS can manage any number of university organizational units independantly (e.g. faculties or institutes), students are offered an integrated view of all information relevant to their studies.

OpenUSS for Instructors

As an Internet-based administrative system, OpenUSS also offers a range of advantages for instructors. All instructional materials are stored in a structured database - problems with course Web site consistency and currency are a thing of the past. The contents of the database can be archived at the end of the semester, making it possible to distribute them offline on CD-ROM. In this way innovative distance learning concepts can also be supported. With OpenUSS, the publication of new instructional materials can also be carried out from the instructor's home work station. All that's required is an Internet connection and a standard browser. With this basic configuration, all kinds of instructional materials - e.g. slideshows, text documents and spreadsheets - can be published and distributed "just in time."

Since OpenUSS allows the management of instructional materials to be largely automated, staff-intensive maintenance procedures can be significantly reduced. At the same time, a role-oriented security concept ensures the highest levels of dependability and stability.

OpenUSS for Developers and Operators

OpenUSS is designed as a completely Open Source product: developers get an open administration system that can keep pace with the dynamic requirements of modern post-secondary instruction. OpenUSS supports Application Service Provider (ASP), for an IT deployment which is economical and effective over the long haul:

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OpenUSS Technology

OpenUSS is entirely realized as a Java application based on Enterprise Java Beans (EJB). Thanks to the excellent portability of OpenUSS, existing hardware resources can be used efficiently - from microcomputers to mainframes. OpenUSS is based on application server technology, so that high user loads can be sustained. The architecture also supports distribution of individual system components across multiple hardware elements. The following Open Source products are employed to implement the system: