An online environment of synchronous collaborative learning
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As it would be expected, education could not remain unaffected by the rapid progress of the recent decades in the field of computers, communications and especially, the Internet. The purpose of this work is the configuration of the new possibilities for communication and collaboration are now open in the field of education through the combined use of Web 2.0 tools and e-learning standards. For this purpose, the e-learning standards: IMS LD and SCORM were examined. A comparison made between them, illustrated that Learning Scenarios which are compatible to IMS LD Specification can more easily be adapted to each individual by presenting learning materials, according with one or several characteristics of the student. Additionally, the Authoring Tools were examined, that are used to produce Units of Learning which are compliant with the IMS Learning Design specification namely: Reload and ReCourse LD Editor. Also, the Sled and Reload players were examined that are used to ‘run’ those UoLs. Then, the degree of interoperability of the IMS LD Specification has been tested, between SLed and Reload LD players. Despite the high percentage of interoperability, UoLs have been detected that are not interoperable in both players. Furthermore, the appropriate learning scenarios that make use of Web 2.0 tools in the form of widgets have been written and the corresponding IMS LD compliant Units of Learning were created that support collaborative learning and adaptive learning. At the end, the ways of editing the UoLs were described in order to be reused, as well as some evaluation method were proposed. Also, the ways in which widgets can be embedded in UoL were described, for mobile learning purposes.