A File Format and Application for E-Learning Education
Original Publication Date: 2004-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Oct-01
Proposed is that there be a file format and accompanying application to deliver e-learning education courses, thus factoring into the application the elements (multimedia players, environments for multiple choice questions, etc.) common to many courses and leaving in a data file a smaller core of course-specific material. There are advantages in terms of download time and storage space, as well as user interface familiarity for the student, to this proposal when compared to the existing practice of delivering as a stand-alone executable file each course.
A File Format and Application for E -Learning Education
The problem is that e-learning packages--that is, interactive multimedia presentations offering education on a particular topic, available for individual study at the student's pace--(for example those available to IBM employees) are available only as stand-alone applications, which have to be downloaded and installed before study can commence; thus, for each such course studied, there is a 'preparation cost' of time and storage space.
Applications such as Microsoft's PowerPoint* go some way to addressing the problem by allowing slideshows to be made available as data files (rather than much larger stand-alone applications). However, these existing applications are not designed specifically with e-learning in mind, and cannot accommodate as a data file the multimedia content of some e-learning courses.
It is the proposal of this disclosure then that there be a (data) file format specifically for e-learning courses. This allows exploitation of the common format shared by many courses (which is perhaps most evident in series of courses); this common material, it is proposed, is 'factored out' into an application that reads the proposed data files.
The proposal is that there be a standard format for e-learning courses, such that the content of each can be stored as a data file; and that there be a corresponding application (common to all courses so stored) that consists of players for the multimedia content, etc.
This system brings with it advantages in terms of download time and storage space: only one copy of the application need be downloaded and installed, as opposed to having the (same) code forming part of each of several stand-alone courses, as is currently the case. Furthermore, the advantage becomes more significant as the number of courses studied increases: if only one course is to be studied during the student's career, then there is a slight disadvantage in that the course (including players) is spread over two files whose total size is slightly greater than the course in currently available format; for each subsequent course, however, there is a saving in time and storage space representing the amount of code factored into the application. (Note that the disadvantage apparent when studying only one course is not serious: there is no reason why...