Using Profiles to Support Interactions
Institute for Software Integrated Systems
This courseware demonstrates student-initiated asynchronous dialoging with the Instructor of a class.
A single courseware supports both roles in the dialog.
Coordination between the participants is supported by polling.
Students use this mechanism to determine when the Instructor has responded to an unanswered entry in the dialog
and the Instructor uses it to determine if (and which) students are currently waiting for such a response.
Below is a Captivate (Flash) movie of a dialog between an Instructor (left browser window) and a student (right browser window).
These courseware deliveries are started using the QuotaLinks approach.
When users access the QuotaLink
a Launcher courseware (also authored with CAPE) collects their identity information and creates or continues a courseware delivery.
Start the demonstration by pressing the Play button on the playback control at the center top of the movie.
You may need to scroll the browser window down to see the entire movie.
As the demonstration proceeds, the student initiates the dialog by entering remarks in the available text area.
The Instructor detects an unanswered student by polling using the Check button on the interface.
If there are students waiting for a response, a student can then be selected from a pulldown list
and a response initiated using the Select button.
Alternatively, the Instructor can continue to poll using the Check button.
The student detects that a response has been given using the Check
button on the interface.
If there is a response, then the dialog can be continued or the student can exit the dialog using the Exit
Try it Yourself
If you want to try the courseware out for yourself, just click the QuotaLink
To be the Instructor (Professor Plum) enter the following information into the Launcher:
You can create a new student identity for yourself by entering your information into the Launcher and choosing a passcode.
The straightforward courseware design appears in the figure below.
Adaptive sequencing is used to control the initialization of
a region of the Class Profile that will support the student-initiated dialog.
Adaptive content is used to support the interactions for both roles (Instruction and Student) with a single granule.
eLMS Platform Services (Learner, Class,
) support identifying the student, the instructor,
and the courseware, respectively.
Entries in the Class profile (Class_Profile
) are keyed by the courseware name.
The design uses eLMS Web Services to support the interactions.
This means that the entire dialog occurs while the courseware delivery is positioned at the Dialog granule.
The Dialoging condition set provides a facade for services in the Conds condition set,
limiting access by role using access control features of condition sets.
Among the services provided by Conds are adaptive content generators that feed HTML down to the browser
interfaces, reflecting the current state of a dialog and the appropriate user controls given that state and the user's role.
The courseware design is available in the CAPE Repository in the author area of Larry Howard
in a folder named Dialoging
Also contained in this mini-project folder is a version of the courseware authored without the use of web services, with more extensive use
of adaptive sequencing and less use of adaptive content.
The differences, both in design complexity and the user experience, indicate the superiority of the web services approach.
This courseware was authored as a demonstration of supporting human-in-the-loop interventions using Profiles
as shared state between the Instructor and students.
The dialog could easily be embedded within a larger courseware,
with adaptive sequencing used to route the Instructor directly to the dialoging element.
More interesting applications of this basic approach come when we contemplate multi-party interactions.
Note that shared state enables a variety of coordination and persistence strategies.
For example, using the same techniques involved in the above demonstration it would be possible to randomly assign students to
small groups to discuss topics related to materials introduced earlier in a courseware.
Naturally, the asynchronicity of this scheme poses certain challenges for effective interactions.
As another example, the same techniques could be used to support multiple graders manually applying some scoring rubric to unstructured
responses to assessment questions.
We welcome your feedback on any aspect of the design or delivery of this courseware.
Please send your remarks to the author
Learn more about CAPE and eLMS at the Adaptive Learning Technologies