Enhancing Educational Services Using Cloud Technology Baginda Anggun Nan Cenka
Zainal A. Hasibuan
Digital Library and Distance Learning Faculty of Computer Science, Universitas Indonesia Depok-West Java, Indonesia firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital Library and Distance Learning Faculty of Computer Science, Universitas Indonesia Depok-West Java, Indonesia email@example.com
Abstractâ€”Geographically, Indonesia is vast and consists of various religion, ethnicity, and culture. The condition makes any challenges to deliver educational services equally. As we know, educational services in Indonesia centralized in Java. Indirect, it has been made digital divide and knowledge gap. These challenges is playing role as a trigger to bring on low quality of Human Index Development, Education Index Development, Global Competitiveness, and Quality of Life index. Therefore, in this study we proposed design of Cloud Education as an alternative solution to enhance educational services distribution. The study consisted of several stages including: identifying problems and needs, determine the service model, design of Cloud Education, implementation, testing, and last is evaluation. The results of simulation tests indicates that the educational stakeholder has many services models among others: (1) application services such as: e-Learning, e-Library, e-Lab, eAcademic, and e-Course, (2) data services such as: learning materials, library collections, scientific publications, student identity, lecturers profile, and higher education profile, (3) infrastructure services such as virtual storage. Meanwhile, all of services on Cloud Education can be accessed using any devices such as mobile phones, computers, and tablet computers. In the future, we would like implement this prototype in real world, discuss policy and regulation, and also study Cloud Education benefit in financial aspect. Keywordsâ€”Architecture; Cloud Computing; Cloud Education; E-Education
In general, education is an instrument to improve the welfare of a nation including Indonesia. Unfortunately, we still have some problems in educational area (See educational services problem illustration in Fig.1) namely imbalance of : (1) educational institution where was around 50% located in Java), (2) students distribution where was around 64% build their knowledge in Java, (2) lectures qualification where was only 5% Doctoral degree, 32% in Masters degree, 56% of them earned a Bachelor degree, and dramatically, most of them (59%) work in Java, (4) the availability of academic programs at each higher education where was only available 1.99% PhD Programs, 8.69% Master Programs, 58.55% Bachelor level, and more than 50% was still accredited at level C. Indirect, these challenges has been made digital divide and knowledge gap in educational area.
Various global indicator shows that the quality of education in Indonesia must be improved. Education Development Index which was released by EFA Global Monitoring Report  indicates that Indonesia was still resided in at rank 69 (Medium EDI) and under the countries of Southeast Asia such as: Brunei Darussalam (34) and Malaysia (65). One of the indicators used globally to see the achievements of a country is the Human Development Index (HDI). Indonesia has decreased from rank 111 to rank 124 compared to other 180 countries in the world . Indonesia Quality of Life Index also dropped from rank 71 in 2010 to rank 78 in 2011 . Another global indicator such as the Global Competitiveness Index was also still poorly. We are now down to rank 46 out of 142 countries . Unfortunately, the report also noted that the lack of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development in Indonesia is one issue. The purpose of this study how the design of Cloud Education to enhancing educational services availability. The study consisted of several stages including: identifying problems and needs, determine the service model, design of Cloud Education, implementation, testing, and last is evaluation. The paper is organized as follows. Section 1 explains the educational services challenges in Indonesia and describes the goal of study. In section 2 we state the ICT for education and next section we overview Cloud Education as a new paradigm in e-Education. In Section 4, we elaborate the design of Cloud Education. Furthermore, we will discuss the step of implementation in Section 5. After that in Section 6 we show the simulation testing and their evaluation. Last, Section 7 will provide the conclusion and future work of this study. II.
ICT FOR EDUCATION
Nationally, there is an increasing the utilization of ICT such as there are 55 million Internet users, 250 million wireless subscribers, and 43 million Facebook users . Although these statistics show improvement, the utilization of ICT in Indonesia according to ICT Development Index (IDI) look less optimum. International Telecommunications Union (ITU) which released the IDI  state Indonesia is ranked 101 in the world and 18 for asia pacific.
Figure 1 Rich picture of educational services challenges in Indonesia
Furthermore, Indonesia was ranked 94 associated skill to use ICT, ranked 102 for ICT access, and ranked 105 related to the use of ICT. Meanwhile the percentage of individuals who used the Internet at rural areas in 3.8 and 16.2 for urban area. This rating is still lower compared to some other countries in Southeast Asia such as: Singapore, Brunei, and others. Based on the statistics we can see the utilization of ICT is not optimal and there is still a digital divide. Related to the utilization of ICT for education, the government has released various programs to improve the quality and quantity of educational services such as INHERENT (Indonesia Higher Education Network). According to  INHERENT Consist of some project for example: Palapa Ring Project to connect 33 provinces and around 440 cities, Transition into Digital Terrestrials TV, 3G Implementation, BWA Deployment, and Affordable PCs. Now, INHERENT connect 82 Public Universities (32 as Local Nodes), 224 Private Universities, 12 Universities Cooperative, 4 Centers are formal Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) affiliates, and 10 others have connected to various GDLN programs. In general, there are some form of the utilization ICT for education such as: Open Learning (an educational approach that refers to the Increased choice of learning paths, modes, media, tools and locations available to learners), Distance Learning (an educational approach that encompasses all
technologies and supports the pursuit of Lifelong Learning), and Blended Learning (an educational approach that combines traditional in-person learning methods with modern technology-based teaching tools). III.
CLOUD EDUCATION AS A NEW PARADIGM
Since becoming a popular technology in the ICT industry, Cloud Computing has been adopted in various industries  such as the financial industry (12%), business (10%), manufacturing (10%), telecommunications (9%), and others. Educational use was still less than other sectors which is about 4%. The technology was chosen because the organization can be focus on their core business. According to  the majority of researchers still forward the concept of Cloud Education, despite of some vendors such as Google, Cisco, IBM, and Microsoft has been implemented this concept. Besides has been applied by various vendors, in general some universities in the U.S. such as: North Carolina State University (NCSU) has been implemented Cloud Computing in their institutions. They have some reason for adopt this technology such as: they can save software licensing costs and reduce technical resources. In fact, NCSU able to reduce the number of technical staff from 15 people to 3 people . Not only in the America, the trend also followed by some universities in Israel for example: Ben-Gurion University. The institution offer Storage on Demand to accommodate more data
Figure 2 High level architecture of Cloud Education
than 19000 students. The results indicates that they can make efficiency around 65% to 83% . Another example is Cloud Computing adoption in India’s educational institutions. India’s government plans to connect 572 universities, 25,000 schools, and 2000 polytechnic using the Cloud technology. They select this technology because they can save ICT-based education cost more than 50% compared to current practice . Certainly, the phenomenon is open up opportunities for researchers and practitioners, especially in Indonesia to assess the implementation of Cloud Computing in educational area. IV.
DESIGN OF CLOUD EDUCATION
We proposed Cloud Education architecture. To get layer and block firstly we analyze Cloud Taxonomy  and we get classification related to Cloud Computing such as: services type, middleware, and others. However, we don’t know what relationship between classifications; therefore we review existing Cloud Computing architecture such as: Cloud Computing Reference Architecture , Cloud Computing Open Architecture , Oracle Cloud Computing Architecture , and Services Oriented Cloud Computing Architecture . Based on two activities, we get layer and block for Cloud Education among others (See Fig. 2):
A. User Layer These layers represent all of educational stakeholder (internal and external) and following their role such as: Provider - Provider is formal educational institution provide educational services on Cloud environment for example: Technology and Communication Center of Ministry of Education and Culture (Pustekkom Kemendikbud) Partner - Partners are public or private institution that work together in providing educational services in Cloud environment for example: leading universities, enterprise, and community. Regulator - Regulator is formal institution that makes policy and gets report related to Cloud Education implementation such as Directorate General of Higher Education (Dikti Kemendikbud). Consumer - Consumer is users that consume educational eservices for example: educational institution, individual, enterprise, and community. B. Access Layer This layer is responsible for managing access to Cloud Education services model and related to: types of devices and
presentation models. In this study we are adopted multichannel access  concept that allows a variety of services model can be access through various devices (such as: mobile phones, Smartphone, computer, etc.) and a variety of presentation models (such as: mobile applications, desktop applications, etc.). We adopt this concept to increase the availability of service model on Cloud Education until users able to consume its services without any constrained. In addition, content adaptation module on this concept allows us to get services according to our device ability. C. Service Layer We provide some service model in Cloud Education such as: Application–We have some application in this model among others: e-Learning, e-Academic, e-Lab, eLibrary, e-Course, e-Finance, e-Facility, and e-Staff. But, in this study we only use five applications namely: e-Learning, e-Academic, e-Lab, e-Library, eCourse. These applications were selected based on five top ranking applications in higher education according to . Data–In these services, there are some data collections such as: learning materials, library collection, scientific publication, student identity, lecturer profile, educational institution profile, and many more. But, in this study we only use learning materials, library collection, scientific publication, student identity, and lecturer profile. Infrastructure We also provide infrastructure service such as: virtual storage. D. Operational Layer Operational layer is area of management concerned operational activity in Cloud Environment. Following six blocks in this layer: Cloud Services Management – The block provide service offering and service request catalogue. Commonly, consumers use service offering catalogue to list of their services, whereas service request catalogue is used by provider to manage the user’s order and then deliver the services for consumer. In addition, service development mechanism is also available in this block which is guideline for programmer to develop cloud services. Cloud Quality Management – There are two important activities in this block. The first is performance monitoring. We must ensure all of services on high performance level. Secondly, capacity management; It is the processes to ensure ICT infrastructure is available in the right time, right volume, right price, and used in the most efficient manner. Cloud Security Management – Cloud security management is an essential mechanism to convince
the users when they are using their services. For example: to protect data and user information that available in cloud environment, we can use encryption and decryption mechanism to give protection of various attacking (e.g., back-door, replay, password guessing, Trojan horses, malware, Man-in-the-Middle) and from various resource (e.g., device, learning material, or a deliberate attack). Cloud User Management – This block is responsible to managing authentication and authorization processes, and also profile management. Cloud Business Management – This block is responsible for managing the accounting process. It starts from the identification of what services are used by consumers, register the service, set the accounting records, determine the price formula, and get charge record, till the payment process. Cloud Resource Management – One of the characteristics of Cloud computing are resource pooling. Hence, this block is required to manage all the resources available on the Cloud Education, for example: database, file, software, and hardware virtualization.
E. Infrastructure Layer Infrastructures are a core in cloud environment. Therefore, we need Infrastructure management to organize ICT facilities (e.g., functional, and physical infrastructures) involved in Cloud Education. We divide the infrastructure into two categories, namely: Functional Infrastructure – We define functional infrastructure as software used to process, manage, and exchange data such as: DBMS connection between web servers and application servers, between application server and database server, etc. Physical Infrastructure – It can be defined as physical facilities in the form of connection for linking various devices, data storage, and machines. For example: network equipment, storage to save the data and files, as well as server and its operating system. V.
After design Cloud Education, the next steps are: implementing this design into a set of program code, collecting data, and conduct configuration Cloud platform. Following some activities on the stages of implementation include: Creating Portal Cloud Education portal is a visual representation of Cloud Education architecture and is a main gate for interaction among users in getting various services offered. There are four roles in the portal such as: provider (e.g. Pustekom), regulators (e.g. Dikti), partners (e.g. Cloud provider companies and universities), and the consumers (e.g. community and educational institutions). All of role is representative of educational stakeholders from both internal and external institutions.
Application After portal has been made, the next step is to create applications such as: e-Learning, e-Lab, e-Library, eAcademic, and e-Course. In this study, all of applications developed reference to existing applications such as: SCeLE for e-Learning, SIAK-NG for e-Academic, Lontar for eLibrary, MIT OpenCourseWare to e-Course, and e-Lab refers to the Virtual Lab India. Multimedia Information Retrieval System After making the application, the next step is modifying the multimedia information retrieval system where the system will be used to searching data collection. Actually, we adopt this system from  and  where the system has three components among others: Web Interface to enter a query and displays the results, content based retrieval for the query, and content in multimedia format. In this study, all the components used and made adjustments between the system interface and the portal interface. Collecting Data After developing the multimedia information retrieval system, the next step is collecting the data with a variety of multimedia formats (e.g. audio, video, text, and images) such as: learning materials, library collection, scientific publications, students’ identity, lecturers’ profile, and educational institution profile. Data collection is downloaded via several website such as: SCeLE Fasilkom UI, USU repository, EPSBED, UNDIP repository, UPI repository, DL2 Laboratory, UMS repository, and others. The last step is uploading all of data collection into Cloud storage. Web Services We develop web services to communicate with outside world until all of services offered can be integration with existing services and also to maintain interoperability portal. Multi-Channel Access After developing web services, the next step is applying multi-channel access into Cloud Education in order to all of services can be accesses from various devices. The concept is comprised of three modules, namely:
Access Providers-This module is comprised of any components such as: Web Server to provide web services, SMS Server to provide SMS, MMS Server to provide MMS services, and so forth.
Integrator-This module link between Access Provider modules with Content Adaptation module.
Content Adaptations-This module functions was responsible to provide content with according to device ability.
Cloud Platform Installation and Configuration The final step of the implementation phase is installation and configuration of Cloud platform. In this study, we select proxmox  as virtual environment because it supports GUI (Graphical User Interface) so that the installation and configuration easier than with other platforms that use the CLI
(Command Line Interface). Before the installation, there are several of activities must be passed. Firstly, we must to know specification of hardware or software required by the Cloud platform. Then, we prepare the hardware, software, and the location of the device. Next, do the installation and last we do configuration such as: create a virtual machine. VI.
SIMULATION TEST AND EVALUATION
We conduct a simulation test to see how the requirement can be met. In the simulation test we use private Cloud because the implementation can be only accessed from Fasilkom UI environment. In this study we use black box approach because it ignores the internal mechanism of the system, focus on system functionality, easy to implement, and requires very little time compared to other techniques. In this simulation test we use three devices such as mobile phones, tablet computers, and computers. Server contains a portal Cloud Education, database (MySQL), the repository folder, and Proxmox as a Cloud platform. After simulation test, next step is evaluation. We compare existing condition with services offered on Cloud Education. In this study the evaluation was conducted based on three criteria, among others: Service Accessibility Based on our simulation test, we can conclude that any services model on Cloud Education can be access with many devices such as: tablet PC, smart phone, traditional phone, and computer. Meanwhile, current educational services such as: “Rumah Belajar”, “Garuda”, EPSBED, and other only can be access via internet using tablet PC, smart phone, computer, and unfortunately they don’t support traditional phone. In addition, the integration of a new channel access can be applied without affecting the existing channel access. And other benefit, in Cloud Education we can get many content according to device ability. Service Availability Following evaluation related to services availability includes: Application Service – Now, to get application related to educational services we must buy it or selfdevelopment. If we need ten applications, it means we have to buy ten software licenses or we can pay developer to create ten applications. Clearly, it needs high cost and time. Meanwhile, Cloud Education portal has several advantages such as: integrated application both the internal and external institution. In addition, the effort needed to get application services less than current practice because we can access Cloud Education portal to get many application services, whereas in current practices we cannot. Data Services-In current practice, we must visit any portal such as: (1) “Rumah Belajar” and “Garuda DIKTI” for learning (2) EPSBED and PDPT for administrative needs. In Cloud Education, we only search both administrative data and learning data on one portal and fortunately we would like obtain any
data from various resources available on Cloud environment. Infrastructure Services-Now, many educational institutions have a local storage. Unfortunately, they don’t have good skill to operate and maintain the storage as a consequence the storage used less than optimum level. In Cloud Educational, user can obtain online storage to keep anything data related to learning and administrative. Service Interoperability Current existing portals such as: “Garuda” and “Rumah Belajar” cannot integrate with other applications, because they are not yet implemented the integration mechanisms such as SOA. In implementation phase, we try to integrate e-Learning system from outside world with Cloud Education environment. In this simulation test, we can see that services offered in Cloud Education can be integrate with existing services because we use SOA to maintain interoperability.
    
VII. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK Based on this study we can conclude: (1) we still have some problems in educational area namely imbalance of: educational institution, students distribution, lectures qualification, the availability of academic programs where is indirect these challenges has been made digital divide and knowledge gap in educational area. (2)We proposed Cloud Education architecture and it consists of five layers among others: (a) User layer that contains the user of Cloud Education, (b) Access Layer is responsible providing multi-channel access; (c) Services Layer contains applications, data, and infrastructure services, (d) Operational Layer is responsible for managing the operational activities such as: business, resources, quality, user, security, and services management, (e) Infrastructure layer containing a functional and physical infrastructure. (3) In Cloud Education, we offer three services model such as: (a) application such as: e-Learning, e-Lab, e-Library, eAcademic, and e-Course, (b) data services such as: learning material, scientific publication, library collection, student identity, educational institution profile, and lecture profile, (c) infrastructure such as virtual storage. (4) By using Cloud Education we have some benefit such as: (a) services offered can be access using any device and we can get content according to our device ability, (b) we need less time and cost to get many applications, operate and maintain our storage, (c) we can get any services according to our need, (d) we can promote resource sharing because we store any data in one environment. In future we would like to finish this prototype and then ensure the quality of services offered in Cloud Education that refer to . Next step, we need to make policy and regulation related to Cloud Education implementation and then we would like to calculate financial aspect in Cloud Education that refer to .
   
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Published on May 1, 2014