XML in web-based training: Workflow and opportunities
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In this paper we point out the benefits of using structured content in Web-Based Training (WBT) scenarios. Using an XML compliant subset of the DocBook document type definition – enriched with semantics for interactive hypermedia and educational elements – we present a complete publishing workflow for educational online material. Original content is authored in an SGML/XML editor, then processed into a set of XML files containing course structure and contents. Finally a web server extension written in Java (servlet) renders this XML content on-the-fly into HTML pages according to learner preferences, desired target media or current educational situation. An XML content base also makes way for a fine-grained annotation facility. Finally, all user requests and their parameters are logged into a relational database. This allows the collection and sharing of comparable data on applicability and effectiveness of the content and helps to improve the quality of future online courses.