Primary Technologies: SAIL and Otrunk

Two key technologies the have enabled LOOPS the unique LOOPS curricula are:

  • The Scalable Architecture for Interactive Learning (SAIL): a Java-based framework for the development and delivery of interactive, interoperable learning materials and environments. SAIL gives client applications persistence, so that a student can suspend work on an activity and then later resume where he/she left off, possibly using a different computer.
  • OTrunk: A virtual trunk filled with objects, which provides a way of knitting client applications together. OTrunk is both a specification and an html-like declarative language that can be used to present applications to the user and determine data flows among them and the SAIL system.

LOOPS Architecture

One of the most exciting advantages of our architecture is that the same system that provides persistence can be used to assess student progress. Because we log everything the students do, we can extract data of interest to researchers and, of special value to LOOPS, to teachers. Before LOOPS, this capacity was used only for research that could be done at leisure, far after the classroom trails ended. LOOPS is working on incrementally uploading data much more often, so that a teacher can see data in almost real-time. We are designing a teacher “dashboard” that displays student progress and provides tools for teachers to make adjustments.