The first version of the CEAS was developed in 2002, using open source software in collaboration with a company (Panasonic Learning Systems Co., Ltd.), and in 2003 it was upgraded to the second version. Along with the increase of the CEAS users and the variety of ways in their usage, the CEAS Version 2 series has been maintained with minor functional extensions. However, the following needs may exceed the limits of minor extension:
- SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model）contents and study record made available
- More sophisticated communication support, such as a forum, Wiki, etc.
- Future connection to other system such as e-Portfolio system.
- Internationalization of the menu items and system messages.
Since the CEAS Version 3.0 ("CEAS3") which is developed using the Java frameworks has finished and the internationalization function has been realized, we use the CEAS3 to meet these needs. We set the design requirement that user can use new functions in the same manner as they use the CEAS Version 2 series, i.e. to conform to the Teaching-Support user interface.
Regarding the development of new functions, we avoid creating the corresponding module from scratch. Instead we make use of tools available at Sakai CLE. The following Sakai tools are selected to use:
- SCORM Player (sakai.scorm.tool)
- Forums (sakai.forums)
- Resources (sakai.resource)
- Wiki (sakai.rwiki)
The major reason to use Sakai tools is that the Sakai CLE has adopted the same Java framework as the CEAS3.
Since both the CEAS3 and Sakai CLE are the course management system that works independently, there are several ways to associate each other. In order to reduce the burden of software development and make most use of individual module, we take a loose coupling architecture shown in the Figure, where the CEAS and Sakai CLE couple together by the RESTful Web service and two systems work under the CAS authentication service.
In an actual implementation, CARE's mySakai work is adopted for RESTful approach to getting data out of Sakai CLE, and the Yale CAS Client distribution is used for CASifyng Sakai. In order to conform to the Teaching-Support User Interface, we treat a SCORM content and a topic involved in a forum as the same manner as to treat an ordinary content on the CEAS, i.e., to design the joint system so that the CEAS works as a front end and Sakai tools work as back end. As for the internationalization, Japanese, English, and traditional and simplified Chinese are currently made available.
The performance are also tested in a large-scale practical situation, and an API program has been developed and implemented in the Sakai CLE in order to improve the performance to obtain the summary tables within a few seconds.
The CEAS/Sakai is licensed under the Educational Community License, Version 2.0.