Chamilo 2, a new repository based learning and collaboration platform

Author: Jean Marie Maes

Chamilo 2 is a completely new learning and collaboration environment. The kernel software is mainly formed by the object repository. This is the basis of the platform. The repository data manager links up with the various applications. The applications can be switched on or off depending on context and needs. The object repository is a good example of the generical nature of the system. Contrary to other recent learning environments where the repository is mainly limited to documents, the Chamilo repository accommodates for all possible objects. These objects are no longer strictly ‘learning’ objects, but can be content objects of various types. This clearly shows the generical nature of the platform, making it suitable for all kinds of contexts, be it educational or business.

There are basically two types of objects: simple objects that cannot be reduced further to any constituent part and complex objects. Complex objects consist of any number of other objects, both simple and complex. All of these objects can be shared and (re)used throughout the system. Objects remain in the repository. So contrary to the first generation LMS’s all objects conform to the motto store once, use many. The repository data manager manages the ways in which objects are used, i.e.
published, in the various applications.

The demonstration will show how this goes in practice for a number of simple and complex learning objects, going from calendar events to assessments, learning paths and portfolio.

The demonstration will also show the easily extendable portal function of the platform, allowing each user to set up his or her own home page.

Chamilo 2.0 also offers a framework to access external repositories. A number of them can now already be accessed from Chamilo, including Google docs, You Tube, Flickr and more. In this way the power of these external tools is available within the platform.