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Content archived on 2024-05-21

Virtual Library for Computer Assisted Training in Statistics


VL-CATS is a virtual library on Official Statistics. The project will create an Internet site with reference material and multimedia enhanced training courses on Official Statistics. In addition, a system based on groupware technology will be developed for the delivery of distance training in virtual classes or in self-study sessions. Training courses will have a fixed, modular structure that will enable easy composition of complete courses through module selection. The system will offer tools that will enable shared access to class resources in a controlled, role-based environment. The consortium comprises a systems integrator, a data analysis and modelling specialist, academic institutions and a vocational training organisation.
The outcome of the project will be an Internet site hosting a distance training service that will be provided to groups or individuals. Once an infrastructure has been created for training in Official Statistics, the service will be expanded to other areas.


VL-CATS objectives are:
- To create a virtual library in Official Statistics with reference material, and other, publicly available statistical resources;
- To develop structured electronic courses addressing areas of interest to Official Statistics;
- To define and implement standards with respect to the structure of teaching material to enable compilation of complete courses out of discrete modules;
- To develop a system that will host the virtual library and deliver training courses in a controlled environment enabling selective access to system resources based on user roles (tutor, student);
- To develop a service for update and quality assurance of VL-CATS, furthermore, this service will enable the provision of training courses over the Internet in virtual classes;
- To further develop groupware tools that will support enhanced distance training features, such as a shared library, course templates, private areas for students, tools for preparation of exams and quizzes, a whiteboard, tools for class administration.

Work description

The project comprises the following workpackages:
- User requirements analysis that will specify the VL-CATS functionality and the desirable contents of the virtual library;
- A state of the art analysis covering virtual libraries, distance learning in Official Statistics and available tools for the implementation of the system services;
- A functional specification covering the particular characteristics of the services that will be provided through VL-CATS and a software design of groupware tools for the provision of distance training. In addition, a standard structure for course modules will be defined that will guarantee uniformity and facilitate quality assurance;
- Development and testing of the system services and tools.

VL-CATS will be based on an existing computer aided training prototype based on a groupware application providing the core functionality, such as a shared library, workgroup support, newsgroups, directory, chat and a search engine. New tools that will be developed will be integrated into the existing system in a modular way and tested by users of the service.
At the same time, the production of course material complying with the standard structure will take place. Courses delivered mainly by academic institutions will be checked with respect to the content and then uploaded to the system along with any software development needed to implement specific features.
New courses and new system functionality will be subject to testing by users for comments and feedback. Comprehensive testing of the system will take place after completion of all the software development with a full course delivered to a virtual class over the Internet (system verification).
Finally, an exploitation plan will be drawn with the objective to provide a distance training service to organisations or individuals. A business plan will be prepared for commercial exploitation of the service.
The project will seek to create a user community so as to ac.


VL-CATS has the following milestones:
- Project management structure in place;
- Functional and design specification completed;
- Launching of VL-CATS site;
- Operational site with a subset of the courses and services implemented;
- Fully functional site;
- Conclusion of project, exploitation plan submitted;
- The project will produce a virtual library incorporating electronic courses in Official Statistics and a groupware system providing distance training services to virtual classes over the Internet.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Total cost
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Participants (6)