[It is exciting to see that a number of organizations and universities are starting to recognize the power of open source development combined with SOA and Web 2.0 for new educational tools and student services.
Just as the participatory web is transforming business practices and customer relationships in the corporate world, we are now seeing the same technologies have transformative impacts on educational and back office tools at schools and universities.
Of particular interest is the Kuali student service system which will deliver a new generation student system that will be developed through the Community Source process, delivered through service-oriented methodologies and technologies, and sustained by an international community of institutions and firms. Student systems are the most complex example of the various enterprise systems used by colleges and universities around the world. They are also closer to the core academic mission of these institutions than any other ‘administrative’ system; after all, students are their core business. Flexible student systems, combined with imaginative business policies and processes, can be a source of comparative advantage for an institution.
Imagine a student service system where modules and services can be distributed across multiple institutions but seen as seamless service integrated through a web portal using web service workflow tools. Database, courseware repositories and computational tasks can also be distributed across multiple institutions and linked together with workflow by either the instructor or the student.
For more details on the Kuali project please see http://rit.mellon.org/projects/kuali-student-british-columbia/ks-rit-report-2007.doc/view
For other open source, web service educational projects please see http://os4ed.com/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/