MedCIS/CAREO Integration

I just published the latest version of CAREO to the Faculty of Medicine’s server. It’s got some custom stuff in it to help them integrate into their SunOne environment, and a new theme that looks just like the rest of their portal. Seems to work great!

CAREO Extreme

King Huang, another Learning Commons employee, who has been gracious enough to volunteer to contribute to the CAREO project in his spare time (i.e., when he’s not actively doing OTHER projects around here – he’s our resident Jack of All Trades). He has been working like a crazed madman, pumping out his interpretation of CAREO. He’s basically doing a rebuild, refactoring stuff to be more modular (with plugins etc…) so that it is more reusable as an application development framework. Very cool stuff.

He’s just announced a running prototype of what he calls “CAREO Extreme”, and it’s some pretty cool stuff.

Some amazing work going on there. Makes me realize how much duct tape and bubblegum is in the current “live” CAREO. Really looking forward to migrating things over to the new frameworks! The database-level stuff won’t be altered, just the codebase that runs the repository, so existing installations of CAREO will be able to be upgraded to the new code without much trouble.

Oh, and there is a LOT of other cool stuff that he’s planning on implementing. Stuff that will get actually USED. By instructors AND students. Cool!

ps. welcome, King, to the weblog world!

Future eLearning (trends to watch for)

This came from Internet Time.

The Longer Term Future for eLearning
About fifty of us participated in the April meeting of eLearning Forum this morning. Forty people met F2F in a classroom at the HP Nonstop Learning Center; eight to ten people joined us remotely via HP Virtual Classroom, a private-labeled Placeware derivative.

They talked about upcoming (and current) trends in eLearning. Good things to keep an eye on. Hopefully they’ll post more detailed proceedings later.

Add Object to CAREO: Upload Media

It seems like a minor thing, but the functionality it provides is quite important. Until now, the “Add Object” form in CAREO assumed the media was already web-accessible somewhere. If it wasn’t, you were expected to get it onto the web somehow (FTP to your own server, iDisk, whatever…).

I just added a feature (at the request of our MedCIS folks) that allows users to upload media to our server, and return the URL of the published resource into the correct field in the metadata entry form. Seems like a little thing, but this takes out the FTP, verification of URL, etc… Easy Peasy.

Here’s what it looks like:

Note that any user of CAREO can add objects (metadata AND media now). All they have to do is log in and hit Add Object.

RSS Adoption at the U of C

We’re working with our Faculty of Medicine to help them in their Curriculum Information System project. It’s a cool way for them to track their enormous and dynamic (i.e., changing) curriculum, as well as the resources that support it.

CAREO is being used as a content management component for the MedCIS project. Their portal is built in SunONE Portal, so it’s quite different technology. How to integrate?

The integration is primarily being done via the RSS feeds exposed by CAREO.

Here’s what an RSS feed looks like in the portal “home” page.

Here’s the cool RSS feed editor they built.

Object Summary Page Updated

I took some time to clean up the Object Summary Page in CAREO. I was only addressing functionality. It should be a little more useful now, since I dropped the redundant “Summary” and “Details” section, and merged them into a single, real “Summary”.

I also added a “Discussions” tab, so you can easily see what’s being said about an object. It directly displays CAREO discussion posts, and has a link to display Trackbacks (posts from other websites such as weblogs).

I’ll have to take some time in the future to make the default theme look purty, since Alan’s showing how good this stuff can look… Doh. Oh, well… I’m a programmer. Form follows function.

UPDATE: It looks like I’ve also got quite a bit of work to do on the XSL translation of IMS metadata into the object summary table. It looks a bit like ass right now. It shouldn’t do that. It should probably be more graceful in handling empty (but present) elements, and just look nicer in the process. I’m also planning on better handling multiple namespaces for the IMS elements (there are currently 4 different namespaces in use in CAREO, IIRC). I’m planning on using the XPath local_name() function to ignore namespaces so I don’t have to duplicate the whole thing for each namespace.