design and implementation of ‘software as a service’ (saas) based e-learning platform – Complete Project Material


DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ‘SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE’ (SAAS) BASED E-LEARNING PLATFORM

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Department of Computer Science

ABSTRACT

In this project, an e-learning platform for students in various fields was designed from reviewing relevant literatures with the aims of positively revolutionizing the educational process by making education much more practical, and relevance-based as w ell as effectively bridging the gap between students, schools, and their tutors/instructors. Looking at information and technological trends in the world, information and management technology needs to be delivered on the go. Therefore, the system was designed considering efficiency, satisfaction, delay, errors etc. The waterfall software development approach was adopted (because of its iterative nature) and Data were collected based on some unstructured interviews on campus and some general observations of existing e-learning web platform as well as general online computing. Also, systematic and theoretical analyses in the methods applied in the work typically encompassed concepts such as paradigms, theoretical models, faces and qualitative techniques. Technologies used in implementation were JavaScript, PHP (for the back-end design), HTML & CSS (for front-end design) and MySQL (for database management).

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

However and whatever our dispositions are to education, it becomes imperative to note that the more efficient and faster the nature of education and learning, the better and more productive the results will be. E-learning is an extremely significant (but incomplete) subset of educational technology. The origins of the term is not certain, although it is suggested that the term most likely originated during the 1980’s, within the similar time frame of another delivery mode online learning. Nichols (2003) defines e-Learning as strictly learning that’s possible by using technological tools that are either web-based, web-distributed, or web-capable. Ellis (2004) added to this definition that e-learning also makes use of audio and videotape, satellite broadcast and interactive TV and it is not strictly achieved through web-based means as defined by Nichols (2003).

The e- part of the term e-earning does not necessarily mean electronic as per e-mail or ecommerce. Rather, according to Bernard Luskin, an educational technology pioneer, he advocated that the “e-” of e-learning should be interpreted to mean “exciting, energetic, enthusiastic, emotional, extended, excellent, and educational” in addition to “electronic”.

This approach to learning called e-learning has been adopted by organizations in different parts of the world for instance “Google Classroom, Coursera, Khan Academy” etc. Through these establishments it has been seen that e-learning would provide great benefits especially in a continent like Africa. In the light of these benefits, it is not surprising that institutions and international agencies have been spending many thousands of dollars to pilot and implement various e-Learning solutions in the region (Farrell & Isaacs, 2007). For example, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) provided a grant of $15.6 million to African Virtual University (AVU) to build e-learning centers and train content developers at 31 partner institutions in Africa (Adkins, 2013). Seven of these institutions are in East Africa. Similarly, the Partnership of Higher Education Africa (PHEA) has given funding to seven institutions in Africa (three of them in East Africa) to implement various e-Learning solutions (Hoosen & Butcher, 2012).


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