Technical Components – Content Management System and Learning Management System

The architecture of the mooKIT platform is comprised of two components: the content management system (CMS); and the learning management system (LMS). An overview of the architecture of the platform is presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1: mooKIT Architecture
Figure 1: mooKIT Architecture

The CMS component is operable using the Drupal content management framework. Drupal is a free and open source software package that enables users to organize and upload content on a database or server (Drupal, 2014). It is characterized as being highly customizable. Through the Drupal interface instructors are able to upload content, resources, and announcements. This includes customizing the interface and, more importantly, increasing the size of RAM for greater scalability, as necessary. This is an important feature in consideration of the design of MOOCs where enrolment can be large.

Typically the main role of a server or database that hosts a website is to handle user traffic. mooKIT, however, has been designed to minimize traffic by moving complex calculations to a client’s machine. One benefit is that the platform can support up to 20,000 users (with greater scalability by increasing RAM), yet minimize the load requirements on the server while reducing the likelihood of the server crashing. Such features keep costs to run a course on mooKIT relatively low, an attractive option to designers or instructors located in the emerging world context where budgets face greater constraints (MOOC on MOOCs, 2014d). The mooKIT platform was hosted on Amazon Web Services (Amazon EC2).

Evaluator Comments

Looking under the hood of the mooKIT platform it is evident that the designers considered the functionality of the platform across two broad areas. One is the potential for a large number of participants and the other is the strength of computing power. It appears that the platform has been well designed to accommodate demands from both of these aspects. Although the platform is in the beta version of operability, the architecture seems to have been well designed. Few glitches were noted in the duration of the course.


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