Building A Next-Generation Infrastructure for Agent-based Distance Learning (PDF ZIP)

The emergence of the Internet has radically changed the way in which we learn, teach and train. This paper proposes an integrated and extensible architecture for agent-based distance learning. The architecture provides component-based extensibility, allowing emerging technologies to be plugged-in, so that they can produce synergy. It provides HTTP and IIOP connections for maintaining and delivering courseware to students. Via the HTTP connection, our Persona system provides the personalization service to each set of courseware, allowing it to customize its content and/or presentation context-sensitively. This s

ervice facilitates the effective delivery of courseware. Via the IIOP connection, our SoftDock system provides the foundation facility allowing users to work collaboratively in teams. Our current educational domain is software modeling. Participants learn the basic concepts and principles of software modeling, and then leverage their newly-acquired modeling skills. We believe our work provides a blue print for showing how emerging technologies can be applied to practical distance learning applications.