The University of Michigan, Indiana University, MIT, Stanford, and the uPortal consortium are joining forces to integrate and synchronize their considerable educational software into a pre-integrated collection of open source tools. This will yield three big wins for sustainable economics and innovation in higher education: 1) A framework that builds on the recently ratified JSR 168 portlet standard and the OKI open services descriptions to create a services-based, enterprise portal for tool delivery, 2) a re-factored set of educational software tools that blends the best of features from the participants� disparate software (e.g., course management systems, assessment tools, workflow, etc.), and 3) a synchronization of the institutional clocks of these schools in developing, adopting and using a common set of open source software. The products of this project will include an Enterprise Services-based Portal, a complete Course Management System with sophisticated assessment tools, a Research Support Collaboration System, a Workflow Engine, and a clear standard for writing future tools that can extend this core set of educational applications. The pre-integrated work products will greatly reduce the implementation costs of one or more of these tools at any institution. The SAKAI Project Core universities are committing $2 million per year to support this work. The core universities are also committed to implementing these tools at their own institutions starting in Fall 2004 through the duration of the project. The commitment of resources and adoption is purposefully set on an aggressive timeline to swiftly integrate and synchronize the educational software at the core institutions. This effort will demonstrate the compelling economics of �software code mobility� for higher education, and it will provide a clear roadmap for others to follow. [www.sakaiproject.org]
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