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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, How can I get some help? in Technical; Hi We are trying to start an e-learning website for one of our greatest universities in our country. We used ...
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    How can I get some help?

    Hi

    We are trying to start an e-learning website for one of our greatest universities in our country.
    We used a LMS system and converting books to SCORM with multimedia and more.
    Our problem is SPEED. We have about 5000 books to make available in LMS and need to convert them in about 2 years. Our managing council asked technical group to prepare terms for students for entering data and lessons in LMS system. Something like Wikipedia. But we think it is not a professional way and may using some technical persons is better way. In fact we need some information about experience of some e-learning universities that show us how they create their lessons as soon as needs.

    If you cant help us directly please let us know where can we found some related information. Any community forums is available for these information?


    thanks in advance

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    Domino's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, you're either stuck putting them in or buying pre-made materials (which is a bit of s growth market at the mo.).

    However, I'd say putting books in word for word isn't the way to use a learning platform.

    Materials should be more specifially tailored to the subject/lessons at hand - and be multimedia rich. More sharp and focussed than whole reams of pure knowledge.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Your project sounds amazing and an excellent use of technology.

    I think that the majority of educational establishments tend to populate their systems as they create or run the course (a sort of 'just in time' method) rather than trying to get everything in there straight away.

    There are also a number of organisations that have digitised books, manuscripts, etc. Possibly using their methods would help you? One that springs to mind is the British Library ( THE BRITISH LIBRARY - The world's knowledge ).

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrAsasi View Post
    We used a LMS system and converting books to SCORM with multimedia and more.
    This sounds like a fairly substantial project. What language are the books in - I see your country details say you are posting from Iran, are the books in Persian? Are there any copyright issues with the material in the books, or is that all covered?

    For a straight book-to-computer conversion you can buy high-speed book scanners that will scan each individual page of a book. Google have a project that does this (check their website, search around a bit, there'll be articles about it), also I believe I read something about how the British Library was going to be scanning in their book collection.

    A book scanner will give you page images in a bitmapped format, you will have to do some kind of optical character recognition (OCR) if you want to convert that into computer text. I don't know what the current state of Persian language OCR is (a quick Google search brings up one system costing around $2000, which actually sounds pretty good value).

    You could also have a look at Amazon's Mechanical Turk - a system that lets you farm out jobs that need human processing to a large number of people. Might be just the thing to get your OCR-ed text checked over.

    If you're looking for people to help you convert material to SCORM-based learning objects then a good place to try might be the Moodle project (Moodle - A Free, Open Source Course Management System for Online Learning and Moodle Services - moodle.com) - there are people on there who run companies producing SCORM-based materials.

    If you're looking for contractors then there are a number of websites around that let you hook up with contractors with various skills. If you give me some more details of what you're trying to do then I might be able to help you (I've worked with SCORM stuff before), but I certainly can't manage 5000 books!

    --
    David Hicks

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    torledo's Avatar
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    The thing about document scanning is that it is labour intensive. I don't know how book digitising machines work but i'd imagine there's still a considerable human involvment in the process.

    Many companies have outosourced the digitising of paper documents to speciliast companies - i'm sure if companies such as this exist in iran they could do the job for you within the 2 year timespan.

    One thing to consider is the storage requirements of storing so many pages electronically, you may need to look at your current SAN capacity to see whether that needs upgrading. There are many companies internationally who provide VLE hosting if you want to go down that route....they can provde this service for VLE's such as moodle.

    British library is a good example of an org that has done something similar with their printed books, albeit on a much larger scale. Try and find out if there are any case studies about how they tackled the project on the net.

    HTH.

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