Welcome to the Learning Factory!

Industrial-scale Learning for the 21st Century

Here are the projects main aims (at the moment):-

Current trends in education systems seem to be more about replacing traditional approaches, this project wants to compliment them instead. Where an electronic feature is supported a "traditional" variant should also be provided. For example there is a lot of activity in on-line testing, so this project would try to support offline tests as well - ie the priting of tests, administration of the 'exam' and data input of the results.

The standard approach is that the institution that makes the courseware, owns the courseware for profit. This project would like to promote the notion of "open content" where the courseware is available for all. This approach is often a difficult one to grasp, however MIT have achieved this through their OpenCourseWare initiative - if it's good enough for them...

Content authoring will be a major part of this project. Any content written for this platform should work with others. It should also be possible to deliver it to all kinds of users and devices. This requires use of XML and conformance to industry vocabularies. The intention here is to provide an "almost WYSIWYG" environment that can only produce "legal" content sources. Currently looking at embedding Gecko into desktop apps or using XUL from within Mozilla.

Standards and specification must be adopted and adhered to. It is high-quality open documents that makes good software possible. It is a shame that so much "lip-service" is given to this subject. This applies to technical aspects, like HTML or CSS, as well as industry sector standards like IMS, SCORM or IEEE.

Last, but by no means least, is the notion of open/free software. This project will be largely written in Python and Zope (or use other projects that are). In time I would like to show that this strategy can produce better software than the closed alternatives. The license for this project is currently GPL, although this is debateable...

Current Status

Only documentation is being worked on at the moment. Two books are being worked on:-

a manifesto
in-depth explanation fo the project's aims, intentions and differences from existing systems
a development guide
technical details, including roadmap, requirements, use cases, features, relevant standards and so on

Once a draft has been completed they will be put on this site and the sources checked into CVS.

Next Steps

Start coding...