In the Drupal Content Management System a Content Type is a virtual object that people can navigate to and display information. Common content types are wikis, blogs, forums,... The "viewable" information may be static and directly embedded into the object, or dynamic and extracted from the database. In this project we have created three new content types. The OLCC model evolved out of the online ConfChem model, http://confchem.ccce.divched.org/.
OLCC-Course - this is analagous to the ConfChem Conference content type. It functions as a homepage for the course. It displays sprecific fields from the OLCC-Article and OLCC-TLO content types, like titles, abstracts, and allows students to navigate to their weekly activities. This is in effect the portal to their e-textbook.
OLCC-Article - this is analagous to the ConfChem Article. Each week students will read a new article, which can have embedded videos, simulations, OLCC-TLOs and other assignments. This is in effect a chapter of their e-textbook, and they can communicate with the author by commenting on the article. All classes use the same article
OLCC-TLO - this is a completely new content type, which we are calling a Teaching and Learning Object (TLO). This is one of the ways we can host videos, java applets and other types of simulations. What is unique is that a TLO can be embedded into an OLCC-Article and discussed in the context of the article, while also being discussed on its own, independent of the context of the article. This is analagous to a figure, or solved problem in a traditional textbook, and the author of the TLO need not be the author of the article. Thus the classroom discussion can concurrently be run at the chapter level, or the TLO level. The TLO can also be a project or assignment and navigated to through the OLCC-Course page, without ever being embedded into the Aritcle. All classes can see all TLOs, but different classes may discuss different TLOs. If two classes discuss the same TLO, the students from both schools participate in a common discussion.