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E-Brokerage: Community Grant Intermin Report

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Date: 20 Oct 2005

Document Type: Community Grant Report

Tags: Access
, Chapters, Education, Europe, Grants, North America

In the reporting period June-October 2005 the group of ISOC Chapters ( Poland, Republic of Georgia, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Chicago, Washington DC, Texas and ECC) in cooperation with Central and Eastern European Networking Association (CEENet) have been working on the Phase I of the project realization. After initial discussions and task distribution our team has created the underlying database structure, with fully functional Web interface. 

The database contains tables, where we will put information about universities and subjects offered by them including the degrees, accreditation, scholarships possibility, tuition fees and contact data. This structure has been created after throughful information about US higher education system (accreditation commissions, credit/hour system and degree system) which is often very different from the systems used in developing countries. This information has been supplied by ISOC US Chapters, few US based ISOC members and representatives of Fulbright Commission (e.g. US taxonomy of study subjects). 
 
The test version of our Web-site is available here and contains following major features (note that at this stage of the project only the mechanism for a given feature is present, i.e. the data base is now filled only with very little data, just to illustrate how will that work): 
 
  • search engine (with two options – advanced and simple search) which helps to search in database for a given e-study subject,
  • a collection of articles with basic information about e-education,
  • e-student guide which contains some typical course materials, on-line tests and assignments (so far in Polish language version only) as well as technical requirements, which need to be fulfilled by on-line students,
  • forum for free discussions about e-learning between users,
  • FAQ (so far only 3 examples in Polish language),
  • simple form, where registered users can send their opinion and inform administrator about new e-study subjects.
Additionally we have implemented an administrative tool, available after login, which will be used to manage the website content. This content manager can be use to add, edit or delete database items like universities, subjects, articles, forum postings and users. 
 
Technically the Website was coded using the PHP and MySQL technology, so eventual modification of its structure will be relatively easy. In particular, we have put all of words and sentences (now in English) which we used in a separate file, so we can later easily make regional versions (Spanish and Russian versions are foreseen). We are currently working to make our Web site compliant with CSS and HTML 4.01 standards.