KEWL Learning Management System

The widespread use and prevalence of the internet has greatly facilitated learning and the spread of education. This has been made possible by the introduction of various online degree courses by various reputed universities of the world which depend upon online interaction between the students and tutors. It is interesting to note that with the progress of time it has been noticed that online education has grown immensely in terms of popularity and many prefer online educational courses in comparison to traditional schools and colleges as these online courses allow one to engage in education according to one's convenience and at the same time enables them to have an alternative professional life. Moreover, no physical movement to a distant location is required in case of online learning and one can operate form home in the presence of the personal computer with an internet connection.

In order to facilitate online education, several software tools and applications have been devised which aid the tutors and students considerably in their interaction and conducting of assessments and coursework. Such applications are known as Learning Management Systems. There are various such learning management systems which facilitate online education. One among these is referred to as KEWL. NextGen and it is an open source e-learning platform which was initially developed in 1991. But it was in 2005 that it was remodeled in PHP format to ensure that KEWL could function in Linux and other platforms meant for e-learning. The term KEWL is an acronym for Knowledge Environment for Web Learning and it was initiated by Professor Derek Keats. KEWL is available in various versions at present and it can function without any alteration in various operating systems that support the PHP format like NetWare, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Unix etc.

KEWL is comprised of various features that are essential to all the major online educational platforms and it enables the usage of multiple languages apart form offering the facility of full online survey. Content management is ensured by means of file uploads, wiki, RSS feeds, Google Maps, instructional design etc. while the main modes of communication is through podcasts, forums, blogs, instant messaging and chats. There are various modes by which tasks are assigned by the tutors to the students and on the basis of which assessments are made. These include writing assignments and essays, quizzes, problem based learning etc. Most of these assignments are analytical types and all these applications are supported by the GUI tools.

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