Title: Personal Homework Publishing System

Author: Jean R. Moreau, Jr.

Abstract:

A web-based application that allows a user to easily author, publish and grade homework assignments for several academic disciplines

What:

The administrator will access a tab-based administrative console for configuration settings via a secure login screen.

The author will be able to create content for a number of academic disciplines including English, Mathematics, and History. Question types will include multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank and free response. Rejoinders, grading and hints will be optional for some question types. Authors will recieve a notice of when a student has started and submitted an assignment. Grades will be cumulatively updated so that student progress can be tracked. A preview feature will allow the author to see what an assignment would look like to the student.

Students will have a portal interface with secure login. They can subscribe to a discipline and optionally track their progress.

Why:

I work for a publishing company and have seen the problems that arise when various groups of people are involved with authoring original content for students. Most of the delay is related to miscommunication and is not technical. I thought it would be a helpful exercise to create a "lite" publishing system that reduces the number of actors to 2 people; the author and the student. Practically speaking, it would be a helpful application for homeschooled children.

How:

The infrastructure for the application will be based on the Wahoo! portal and written in Java with display handled by TRAX and XSLT. Each user will have their own portal, an admin portal, an author portal and a student portal.

The author will, in effect, create a feed for the student portal and have their own authouring admin console to configure options specific to their course and test questions.

The student will subscribe to the course that is published by the content author/teacher and submit their answers in the form of an XML file.

My plan is to create the applicaion in stages by writing a specification first. Then I will create the author and student portals in tandem from basic to more advanced features. Then I will decide will configuration settings to pull out into a separate admin portal.

I'll also review blog publishing systems to see how similar features are implemented. I'll have to research how to implement the special authoring needs for disciplines such as math.

Questions:

Is this project too big? Can the Wahoo infrastructure scale to include an author and admin portal?