A Web-based learning community involves much more than putting learning materials into a Web site. It can be seen as a complex virtual organization involved with people, facilities, and cyber-environment. Tremendous work and manpower for maintaining, upgrading, and managing facilities and the cyber-environment are required. There is presented an inevitable choice to use various agents to assist or replace people to a certain extent for the work in a virtual learning community. There is a strong need for the development of the designated architecture for integrating and using various agents. This research focuses on developing an open agent architecture that can easily integrate developed agents into a learning system and flexibly modify the agents with permission. This paper describes the design ideas of such desired architecture, demonstrates how the architecture system works, and explains three agents--the scheduling agent, the friend-making agent, and the Web-course management agent--in a Web-based learning system called University21. (Contains 10 references.) (MES)
Proceedings of The 2001 World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (ED-MEDIA 2001), Tampere, Finland, June 25 - 30, 2001.