Conference Paper

Harnessing clouds for e-learning: New directions followed by UNED

Dept. de Sist. de Comun. y Control, Univ. Nac. de Educ. a Distancia, Madrid, Spain
DOI: 10.1109/EDUCON.2011.5773169 Conference: Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), 2011 IEEE
Source: IEEE Xplore


In this paper, we present our work on enhancing the technological infrastructure at Spanish National University for Distance Education (UNED, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia) with cloud computing principles. This includes the development of (1) virtualized environments to allow students to do practical exercises easily in the field of networks and communications; and (2) load forecasting techniques to improve on the usage of the technological infrastructures of UNED, so that the Quality of Service (QoS) experienced by users is kept and power consumption is minimized.

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Available from: Antonio Robles-Gómez
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    • "Many systems specify a possible application of e-Assessment in the learning process, even in various e-Learning systems [1]. New cloud-based architectures offer even scalable and elastic e-Assessment systems [2], cost effective compared to on-premise [3], which can support even MOOCs. "
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    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET)
    • "Even if institutions do not make use of public clouds, they can also obtain cost savings by using private clouds thanks to virtualization and scalability. Virtualization capabilities in private clouds enable hardware consolidation (Katz, Goldstein, & Yanosky, 2010), centralizing under a common infrastructure resources otherwise spread over often under-utilized servers, even re-using existing hardware (Vouk et al., 2008), and also achieving a more efficient power consumption (Caminero, Robles-G omez, et al., 2011; Lennon, 2012). Since virtual resources are scalable, the already deployed infrastructure will be more efficiently used (Vouk et al., 2009), because resources can be provisioned when needed and de-provisioned in idle periods. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper surveys the state of the art on the use and research of cloud computing in education following a systematic methodology. After a comprehensive search of the scientific literature, 112 works were selected for the review. The survey identifies and analyzes the advantages and risks that the use of cloud computing may have for the main stakeholders in education, which can be useful to identify the scenarios in which the use of cloud computing in an educational context may have significant advantages. Furthermore, the survey categorizes and discusses the main technical and domain-specific research challenges, thus facilitating researchers the task of finding relevant issues, in which they can focus their efforts.
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    • "The cloud resources are scalable and elastic and they are available by using virtualization [5]. Cloud technologies can be used for e-Learning purposes in order to achieve ease of use, scalability, and reduced power consumption [6]. There are a lot of advices to universities to turn their interest towards cloud computing services [7], [8], [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes the development of a scalable and elastic e-Assessment solution deployed on the OpenStack open source cloud. The solution activates virtual machine instances with a particular size for each assessment according to the number of students that should be assessed, in order to achieve sustainable performance. The system architecture and organization of this solution has been recently published [1]. We have improved this design by introducing two new agents: the Assessment Generation Agent and Assessment Commit Agent. These modules improve the solution by enabling strategies in the test generation process and preventing situations when the test results are not updated correctly. The developed solution has also enabled several new features, such as introducing complex questions with several learning objectives, better presentation of results, and developed a new method to eliminate guessing in multiple choice questions as an advantage in the defined negative marking schema. We also discuss several new challenges that occur within the cloud deployment, including reference to delivery of open courses to massive number of students.
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