Master Thesis MSTR-2022-113

BibliographyMeißner, Niklas: Interdisciplinary Composition of E-Learning Platforms based on Reusable Low-Code Adapters.
University of Stuttgart, Faculty of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Information Technology, Master Thesis No. 113 (2022).
87 pages, english.

Electronic Learning (E-Learning) platforms or Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are becoming increasingly popular and, accordingly, are being used more and more by teachers at schools and university professors. They are used to digitally distribute educational material to students and provide the opportunity to, e.g., upload and collect assignments, solve tasks, and view grades. LMSs have been growing in popularity and are used alongside in-person lectures as an adjunct to self-study. Due to digital teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, LMSs have increased in importance significantly. Even in after-pandemic times, with returning in-person lectures, it is hard to imagine teaching at universities without these platforms. The possibilities of working with the established LMSs are enormous. However, a closer look also reveals some negative aspects that were not considered in developing and using these platforms. The existing LMSs lack individualization for lecturers of their courses and a motivating design for students. Plugins attempt to remedy this, but they are complex and time-consuming to use. Thus, the underlying problems are, on the one hand, that lecturers are limited in the design of their courses and, on the other hand, that students experience disadvantages in terms of motivation and interactivity. This thesis aims to develop a concept for an e-learning platform that addresses these problems, supports lecturers in designing their courses, and motivates and assists students in learning. Under the aspect of generalization, a concept for a Software Product Line (SPL) was developed for the requirements of a wide variety of study programs, providing lecturers with a base platform and enabling them to use low-code adapters to design and modify their courses. In addition, the platform and a support team will assist lecturers in using the LMS and creating educational material. For the conceptual design of the LMS, some already existing solutions and approaches were examined to address a similar problem. However, similar problems have been insufficiently solved or overlap with the problem statement of this thesis only to a limited extent. After a requirements analysis, the requirements were gathered and listed so that solutions could then be developed. The prototypical implementation of the concept ’Interactive Training Remote Education Experience (IT-REX)’ was used to design the base e-learning platform and to include gamification aspects. However, since IT-REX was designed for computer science and software engineering students in the first semesters, it had to be modified for a broader range of uses. To evaluate the approach of the concept, a case study was conducted in which a low-fidelity prototype of the concept was presented to lecturers and other experts in the field of higher education didactics, learning psychology, and vocational and technical pedagogy. Subsequently, a questionnaire was used to assess and evaluate the previously defined requirements. The result of this elaboration is the concept for the e-learning platform with the corresponding prototype. Based on the feedback of the lecturers and experts, improvements and revisions could be identified. Furthermore, the evaluation helped to investigate how the platform’s usability could be enhanced to improve the structuring and design of the courses by the lecturers. Finally, future developments and further investigations based on the concept were described.

Department(s)University of Stuttgart, Institute of Software Technology, Software Quality and Architecture
Superviser(s)Becker, Prof. Steffen; Speth, Sandro; Breitenbücher, Dr. Uwe
Entry dateOctober 24, 2023
   Publ. Computer Science