More Information about eLML

The history behind eLML

Screenshot of a GITTA lesson Screenshot of a GITTA lesson Since eLML originally emerged from the term GITTA project , let us begin with a short introduction about GITTA and its purpose:

"GITTA was funded by the term SVC , a program initiated by the Swiss Confederation. In order to achieve a truly integrated Virtual Campus of relevant players in term GIST education in Switzerland, the GITTA consortium, made up of 10 partners spread throughout the country, covers a wide variety of disciplines and specifically integrates contributions of partners from universities, federal institutes of technology, and universities of applied sciences within a multilingual distribution (German, French and Italian). " (Fisler 2006)

In comparison to other Swiss Virtual Campus (SVC) projects, GITTA spent a lot of time evaluating the available technologies. When they started the project in 2001, they were not satisfied with the existing eLearning software that was available in the market. Most of them were expensive proprietary systems that let you put in some information (mostly as HTML code) but offered few possibilities to design your content or even export it to other platforms. These systems were not deemed sustainable by the project leader. Since the goal of GITTA was to integrate eLearning into the regular curriculum of the participating universities, they could not build the project on proprietary software.

After months of evaluation the solution was to use XML to store the content and open source software (Apache Cocoon was used back then) to serve it. Based on a selected pedagogical concept a DTD (later an XML Schema) was developed. It described exactly what a GITTA lesson could or should contain and in which order. After nearly three years of using and improving the GITTA structure a decision was taken to make both the XML Schema and the corresponding XSL files to create both HTML (XSLT) and PDF (XSL-FO) freely available. EduTech, whose mandate was to provide technological support for SVC projects, supported the idea both financially and through valuable input. The published XML Schema with the corresponding XSL files were created again from scratch based on the GITTA DTD that had been successfully used for the last three years but leaving out the drawbacks and bugs. The result was named eLML and is presented in detail on the structure page.

Check the contact page to see who is or has been behind the development of eLML.