Software Development and Organisation

weSPOT produces as set of software components for supporting inquiries. Basically the main components are a backend Inquiry Workflow Engine, Mobile Clients for data collection and real world interaction, and Learning Analytics Components for cooperation and live analytics in the classroom and for personal reflection.

The software is developed based on an agile software development methodology SCRUM. Therefore there is a close cooperation between the pedagogical partners in the projects, the stakeholders in schools and end user communities, and the software developers in the project. In short iteration cycles the different system components are evaluated and further developed in several iterations of formative studies and summative studies more towards the end of the project.

The software in weSPOT is developed in three seperate workpackages which link together components in a service-orchestration approach:

  • Workpackage 3 will develop the infrastructure for enabling learners to build and share personal inquiry workflows. Learnerswill be able to create mashups of personal and social learning tools in order to perform scientific investigations.They will also be able to share their inquiry accomplishments to social networks, and receive feedback from theassistive inquiry technologies and their peers.
  • Workpackage 4 will develop the mobile communication and data collection technologies necessary for flexible and ubiquitous workflow support of inquiry projects. This includes the development of flexible data collection and experience sampling tchnologies as also a context-aware notification system.
  • Workpackage 5 will enable (self) awareness, reflection, and collaboration for weSPOT users – learners andteachers alike. To this effect, WP5 will leverage novel facilities for personal and collaborative (Learning) Inquiry Analytics.

The core software components will be published as open source and accessable to the public use. The following pages specify all weSPOT components in futher detail and link to pages where source code can be retrieved for every architectural component.

Overview of Software Architecture

The weSPOT software system architecture contains several layers from data management layer, control services, to application layers. The application layer contains the mina application with which different end users interact.

  • The inquiry web application is based on elgg open source software and is the main application for setting up confoguring and web-based interaction with inquiry data.
  • Furthermore the mobile clients developed in workpackage 4 of weSPOT enable the spontaonous creation of data collections and also inquiries, as also the planned collection of data driven by data collection tasks configured in the web-based application. Furthermore the inquiry coordination interface enables users to get performance data on their inquiries as how much data is collected, what are the activities of the participants.
  • The diagnostic instrument enables the personal analysis of the level of inquiry skills
  • The collaboration and reflection clients enable the personal and collaborative reflection and discussion of learners and teachers on the ongoing inquiries.

The components that are drawn in this architecture are further detailed under "Component Diagrams". In this section, the weSPOT message flows are further detailed for specific weSPOT scenarios.