Goal || Motivation || Approach || Information

To provide software infrastructure ("glue") for improving interoperability of educational components. This infrastructure should:
To demonstrate the infrastructure's utility and genericity by instantiating it for multiple instances of different courses.

It's too hard for today's educators to develop their courses; they spend too much of their time, money, and effort not in developing support for the educational essence of a course but in putting together a myriad of components that support system operations such as displaying information, checking responses, and keeping records. Educators need software support to make it easier to "glue" components into an integrated system. Thus, they need software infrastructure to help to develop courses. This infrastructure should be easy-to-use and formulated in a principled manner; it should thus alleviate the painstaking ad hoc procedures we follow today to get pieces to interoperate.

Approach and Expected Deliverables:
A first step toward building this infrastructure is to find existing "glue" (e.g., type converters) and create new ones as needed. The second step is to collect all kinds of "glue" into a place that others can access. It is intended that our infrastructure be generic and not specific to the educational domain or to any specific course. Finally, we need to test out the utility of our software infrastructure. Our approach will lead to the following specific deliverables:

  • A set of new converters and other types of "glue" (wrappers, filters, adaptors).
  • A type converter server that contains both off-the-shelf type converters (e.g., latex2html) as well as new converters (e.g., PowerPoint2html).
  • On-line instances of three different MSE core courses, Models of Software Systems (15-671), Managing Software Development (15-673), and Software Architecture (15-675). These will be set up for WWW browsing and distance delivery.
  • The last deliverable should demonstrate that our infrastructure is reusable for different courses as well as for different instances of the same course. It has the side benefit of providing the community with two courses, available for remote access and delivery, that are central to many professional software engineering programs.

    TinkerTeach Related Projects


  • Thanks to ARPA, our major sponsor.

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    Contributing authors: Jeannette M. Wing

    Last Modified: March 21, 1996.