COMPUTING

SOUTH AFRICA EDUCATION SOFTWARE WINS GLOBAL FANS

International open courseware practitioners have adopted Kewl, an education application framework developed in South Africa. This is according to Philipp Schmidt who says a number of organisations providing open courseware, including the United Nations University Merit Institute, are using the software.

Kewl, a PHP framework for educational organisations, was developed by the African Virtual Open Initiatives and Resources at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.

UWC is also a member of the open courseware consortium, a global network of open courseware organisations.

This follows UWC's recent policy announcement that it was to make its make its course material freely available on the internet. Materials included in the announcement include courses, syllabuses, lecture notes and exam papers.

Other international organisations making learning materials freely available on the internet include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States. MIT launched its online open courseware materials in September 2002.

The UWC open courseware project is funded by the university with some assistance from the German government's human resources placement agency, which funds Schmidt's position.

Schmidt says they are looking for other funders that may be able to assist. He says that the new PHP5-version of KEWL is built on top of a web application framework called Chisimba that is also being developed mostly by the member of the AVOIR network. To cater for the open courseware project they are also extending the functionality of KEWL, says Schmidt

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