The evolution of the architecture of e-assessment systems is generally similar to evolution of e-learning platforms or learning management systems. Such systems usually provide a holistic environment for managing and delivering educational experiences including assessment of their outcomes.1) Examples of such systems are
Still, there are also a number of standalone e-assessment systems like
First generation of solutions (~ 1993-1999) for e-learning and e-assessment were monolithic black-box systems, usually oriented only on a specific course and offering very limited user-tracking. Examples of such systems were first versions of WebCT and Blackboard.5)
Second generation of solutions (~ 1999- ) for e-learning and e-assessment like Moodle or Sakai offer more modular architectural design enabling easier integration of new functionality. Standards like SCROM, IMS Content Packaging, and IMS Learning Design were developed to support the ability to exchange courses or parts of the courses. In this type of systems, content is usually being separated from tools enabling them to be used as platforms for creating different courses and assessments.6)
As a common conclusion of a number of recommended LMS frameworks (including JISC e-Learning Technical Framework (ELF), IMS Abstract Framework, and Open Knowledge Initiative), service-based architecture is expected to be the next architectural advance of e-learning and e-assessment systems.
Service-oriented computing (SOC) is
The services in an SOA have the following characteristics:8)
Some of the reasons for adopting service-oriented architecture are9):