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Nuvvo course screenshot with Camino
|Type||Course Management System|
Nuvvo was an on-demand e-learning service designed for individual instructors which has since been shut down by its parent company Savvica, Inc. in anticipation of its new iteration of learning environment, LearnHub. It costs nothing to use, though it has some ads and gets a percentage if you charge students. Nuvvo is a website that incorporates Ajax, RSS/Atom, VoIP (via Skype), vCard, and ICalendar. Nuvvo has integrated e-commerce and a site where courses can be advertised.
Similar software systems
Commonly, e-learning systems are designed for institutions, not individual instructors. These are usually called a Learning Management System (LMS), Course Management System (CMS), or Virtual Learning Environments (VLE).
Nuvvo includes most of the end-user features found in these systems, but specifically lacks the administrative features required for organizing large hierarchies of users, and integration possibilities for connecting with other software systems in an institution's IT ecosystem.
Origin of the name and logo
The name "Nuvvo" is a play on the French word "nouveau", which is the masculine form of the English adjective "new". This fabricated word "Nuvvo" held important attributes at the time of its selection:
- At five characters, with one letter repeated, "nuvvo" is short and easy to type
- "nuvvo" is relatively language-agnostic
One drawback of the name was that its easy to misspell in English, since very few words have consecutive 'v's. This problem was mitigated in the design of the Nuvvo logo, which in using two checkmarks for the two 'v's, accentuates the peculiar spelling. The checkmarks are à-propos because of their association to classroom education.
Nuvvo was created by Savvica Inc., a Toronto-based software company founded by John Philip Green, with help from David Ritter and others, and launched in December 2005. Green, Nuvvo's chief architect, has said that Nuvvo—a more compact version of an enterprise LMS designed for individual instructors—was conceived while Savvica was building its Enterprise LMS and released as a sort of side project. As the service attracted more and more users, the company gradually shifted its focus from enterprise learning software to the lighter, ASP service. Savvica now focuses solely on improving and supporting Nuvvo.
Nuvvo shares many characteristics with other Web 2.0 services. Its service is entirely web-based, and follows the user-centered design principles made popular by Flickr, del.icio.us, 37signals and others. Following a similar commercial model to those services, it's free and focused on user-generated content and community building.
Content authoring is featured, with tools for creating multimedia-enriched lessons, quizzes and assignments. Blogging is included, as are messages, scheduling tools, course management, and user administration. Unlike a traditional LMS setup, the conversations, media files, and text curriculum are all integrated and on the same page, facilitating discussion and student interaction.
Evaluation tools are another part of Nuvvo. Instructors build test, quizzes, and assignments with multiple choice questions, true/false questions, etc. Most question types are automatically graded and entered into Nuvvo's gradebook, where students can keep track of their progress.
Nuvvo also features e-commerce, which allows instructors to charge for courses. Instructors set a course price and students pay with their credit card upon joining the course. Nuvvo subtracts an 8% transaction fee and pays the instructor the rest. Instructors can list their courses in Nuvvo's eLearning Market, an Ebay-like listing site where students browse courses and request enrollment.
The web application is composed of multiple tiers. The presentation tier uses the Struts MVC framework. The logic tier relies heavily on the Hibernate O/R Mapping framework. The data tier uses MySQL, though it is being replace by DB2 & an xkoto GRIDIRON database load-balancer.
Nuvvo uses many Web 2.0-style technologies.
- Ajax for a more responsive user interface
- RSS/Atom to syndicate course listings
- VoIP (via Skype) for synchronous communication
- vCard for importing from external address book applications
- ICalendar to integrate with external calendaring applications
- CSS for themes and user interface customization
Official Nuvvo Sites
Press / Reviews
- Globe & Mail January 25, 2007
- Call for Help, G4TechTV, March 30, 2006
- LifeHacker, February 23, 2006
- TechCrunch, January 16, 2006
- Emily Chang, January 6, 2006