Course content authoring and sequencing using XML



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Texas Tech University


For a variety of reasons, classroom computers in our public schools are not being utilized to the fullest extent possible. In an effort to provide more accessible software, in this work we explore the feasibility of using an open systems model to develop course authoring applications. These programs may be used by educators to produce tutorials quickly and simply at little or no cost. As educator gathers all files and URLs which are to be part of the tutorials, and organizes them using the authoring software. This is accomplished using a Document Type Definition (DTD) to define a series of rules for a direct instructional model based on Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction. We then developed a Java application which may be used to produce tutorial files based on the DTD in Extensible Markup Language (XML) format. We then produced a Java applet which may be used to view the tutorial files.

We met our goal of showing the feasibility of using an open system model with a protocol for course authoring software. In addition, our programs form a complete system for creating, editing, and storing tutorials. Beyond this, they are also inexpensive, produce cross-platform tutorials, and provide a GUI to aid in ease of use.