To attempt this project it is necessary to understand the
potential impacts on students and teachers from the points
of view of how they learn and teach. To gain an understanding
of these topics, research was carried out into learning styles
and teaching techniques, as well as research into open source
software, Virtual Learning Environments and the current efforts
to introduce these technologies into secondary school education.
Also due to the size, timescale and nature of the project
it was necessary to research and decide upon a project methodology
to define a structure for how the project should be undertaken.
To provide a structure for carrying out the project, software
project methodologies were reviewed. These were the Waterfall
Model, the Iterative Waterfall Model, The Spiral Model and
Rapid Application Development (RAD). From this review an appropriate
methodology was chosen for this project.
The Waterfall Model
The original Waterfall Model, first proposed in 1956, is
based around the principal of a series of activities which
are carried out during the projects lifecycle in order from
top to bottom. Each activity must be finished before the next
activity can be started and once an activity is finished it
cannot be revisited. These activities usually equate to Analysis,
Design, Implementation, Testing and Evaluation. The primary
flaw with this model is its lack of flexibility. The lack
of possible iteration means that changes in user requirements
outside of the Analysis phase are not taken into account.
A more recent adaptation of the original Waterfall Model
known as the Iterative Waterfall Model follows the same basic
rules of its predecessor, with the addition of the possibility
for revisiting activities previously thought to be finished
if the need arises. This helps overcome problems that may
become apparent during later activities but must be used sparingly.