Polytechnics to develop open source gateway

The gateway system will provide access to the Ministry's e-learning Collaborative Development Fund (eCDF) project resources and tools

The Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics of New Zealand (ITPNZ) is embarking on a project to develop an open source gateway to Ministry of Education’s e-learning resources.

The project, which is funded by the Ministry and led from Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, will produce a gateway system providing access to the Ministry’s e-learning Collaborative Development Fund (eCDF) project resources and tools.

“It will also provide a community environment where users can collaborate on projects, discuss and develop best practice, [and] build and grow their own communities based around their respective eLearning interests,” ITPNZ explains in a tender document issued last week.

The development will be based on open source software to reduce total cost of ownership and deliver improved fit. Open source content management systems that handle community environments will be considered. ITPNZ lists several of these, including Joomla, Drupal and Wordpress among others.

“Central to the project’s vision is the use and support of open source tools and software to ensure ease of accessibility and further use of any technology developed within the project,” ITPNZ says.

The open source approach is favoured because it will allow ITPNZ to leverage the resources of the open source development community, encourage collaboration among tertiary education organisations, and to allow the project to potentially contribute to eLearning framework development within the open source community.

The project, called SPEEKS, is due to be completed by the end of August but vendors are being asked to guarantee the capacity for major development from the end of May.

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Tags open sourceGatewayE-learningpolytechnics

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