Forschung > Projekte > Experiment Integration

Integrating Experiments and Simulators into a Distributed E-Learning Environment

Beteiligte an der Hochschule

  • Dipl.-Inform. (FH), M.Sc. Frank Köhler
  • Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kröger

Beteiligte ausserhalb der Hochschule

  • Dr. Jeanne Stynes (Cork Institute of Technology)


  • Cork Institute of Technology, Cork, Ireland


Beginn: November 2001
Ende: Juli 2004


  • W. Kalfa; R. Kröger; F. Köhler: "Integrating Simulators and Real-Life Experiments into an XML-based Teaching and Learning Platform", World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (ED-MEDIA 2002), Juni 2002 (BibTeX)
  • Köhler, Frank: "Integrating Experiments and Simulators into a Distributed E-Learning Environment", M.Sc. Thesis, Cork Institute of Technology, Irland, Juni 2004 (BibTeX)
  • F. Köhler: Framework zur Integration von Experimenten und Simulatoren in XML-basierte Lerninhalte; Structured E-Learning: Wissenswerkstatt Rechensysteme, Rostock, 30. März 2004.
  • F. Köhler: Experimentintegration in Lerninhalte; Abschlussworkshop Multimediale Lehre in Informatik, Mathematik und Statistik, Paderborn, 27. Februar 2004.
  • F. Köhler, J. Stynes, R. Kröger: An XML-based Framework for Integrating Simulators and Real-life Experiments into Learning Environments; World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (ED-MEDIA), Honolulu / Hawaii, USA, 23. - 28. Juni 2003.
  • F. Köhler, J. Stynes: Integrating Experiments and Simulators into a Distributed E-Learning Environment; Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) Research Workshop, Cork / Irland, 7. Mai 2003.


New information and communication technologies have emerged in the last few years which have made an impact on learning at all levels. At universities, the spectrum of learning support ranges from enriching traditional lectures and courses with multimedia elements to complete web-based interactive learning environments. A special aspect based on the new media technologies is learning within model worlds by use of simulations or real-life experiments. There are normally no links between these applications and the learning content, so it is impossible to tap the full potential of these applications. Research activities in the area of e-learning underline the importance of integrating interactive elements within the learning content but are currently limited to addressing individual didactical and/or technical problems.
This work develops an architecture for the integration of remote simulators and real-life experiments into different learning environments. Additionally, specific content pages can be generated depending on the result of a simulator or real-life experiment thereby providing an optimal learning experience.
The architectural approach is based on a web services architecture. The central component of the integration framework is a system called university server, which acts as a gateway between the learning environment and different simulators and real-life experiments. These are running locally or remotely and are linked to the university server by special adapters, containing a web service interface for communicating with the university server and a proprietary interface for communicating with the individual application. Applications are classified (based on the user interface of the application, the level of interaction with users and the underlying architecture), corresponding examples are presented, and proposals for reducing integration efforts are also described.
The architectural approach is based on open source software components and standardised communication protocols. Thus, it is possible to extend the integration framework with new features or to adapt the framework to given new requirements.