ELMS stands for e-Learning Management System. ELMS has changed a lot over the years but started as a single module for Drupal called the Course Designer. That project has changed a lot since it was first born in 2006 but it is now known as the Outline Designer. ELMS has had several versions over the years outlined below:
ELMS Version 1 (2006-2007)
Version 1 started as an outline design tool. It was our initial idea of how we could transition from a completely static web presence managed in Dreamweaver to a mostly dynamic one. There was a central website that could publish out any of the other websites statically. Ironically, ELMS sites were created and managed through a visual outline design tool which was a hacked version of the course designer. This interface allowed for the addition of new course sections through an outline designer interface as well as the creation and management of activation codes from semester to semester. It was a great first attempt at online department course management but still very rudimentary.
ELMS Version 2 (2007-2009)
ELMS 2 saw a shift for the institute from a completely closed, Drupal based system to a system made up of approximately 98% open source code. This shift in philosophy was because the institute was now legally allowed to develop code for Drupal and release it back to the community. ELMS was also broken up into several different modules all of which were released to the Drupal community. ELMS2 is made up of a lot of community projects along with the Institute developed Network Manager, Course Manager, Outline Designer, Assignment Studio, FLIR, and Wunderbar modules.
ELMS 2 also took a philosophy shift away from a system of content management that was statically published to one of enabling faculty and staff. The system, once set in motion, can now be managed mostly independent of technical support / setup. This has freed up more time to investigate future technologies and development of yet more projects to support the higher education drupal community.
ELMS Version 3 (2010-2011)
ELMS 3 sees a shift from one system to a network of many. As we grow, the system is being reengineered to better meet the demands of our scale. ELMS is also being released as it's own distribution to help with development and the spread of Drupal for Education. Check out https://elms.psu.edu/ for all the details. Here is a list of the systems planned for 2011 as part of the roadmap (updated Nov 2010):
- ELMS Core -- This is the traditional system referred to as ELMS. It is the core piece that additional services are pulled out of in order to maintain scalability / performance long term. The install and back-end system driving ELMS will be reworked to better conform to current Drupal infrastructure development standards.
- ELIMedia Asset Management -- Drupal front-end meets Flash Media Interactive Server back end. This system will help manage the mass amount of media created by the e-Learning Institute. Key features include simple embed snippets, managing copyright information, dynamic quality switching for video/audio, and generally adding transparency to the media production and implementation process. This will also help with performance as it will start to establish a content delivery network (CDN).
- Open Studio -- All student interaction currently taking place in the Open Studio environment will be moved off to it's own service. This service will be reenvisioned to better meet the needs of faculty and students as well as provide integration with a Flex-based Rubric and Assessment tool. The system will be setup as a service to the college so that any instructor in the arts can augment their studio time with online discussion and critique.