When we first embarked into online courses 16 years ago, we had to write most of the technology ourselves. The architecture of the LON-CAPA model system has been pioneering in many respects, building its own cloud. Today, the task is easier, as we can leverage existing technologies and internet paradigms.
The outcome will be a more standards-based, yet custom-tailored architecture. Components will work together in a modular way, so the adaptation and maintenance of the platform will be a seamless process.
In collaboration with our partners, the same modularity will facilitate the incorporation of new technologies, content functionality, and business processes. We appreciate the importance of maintaining balance between modularity and openness on the one hand versus reliability and security on the other. Modularity does not need to mean hodgepodge if within the open architecture, a clear interface definition for plugins is in place.