AdaIC News Winter 1995

Spotlight on Education:

Courseware Available for Downloading

The Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) and the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) have contracts with more than 50 colleges, universities, and other organizations to develop Ada curriculum/courseware products.

Under a recent Department of Defense (DoD) contract, these products will be cataloged and distributed by the Asset Source for Software Engineering Technology (ASSET) and West Virginia University (WVU). ASSET will provide disk space, an on-line digital library, and access to the software engineering community. WVU will provide the collection manager and domain expertise to catalog courseware assets. (WVU has received three of the curriculum contracts to develop courseware for two introductory computing courses and a course in real-time systems design.)

Courseware received so far

So far the project has received courseware from the University of Dayton, the University of Houston-Clear Lake, the Institute for Defense Analyses, the University of North Dakota, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Tennessee, and West Virginia University.

These assets cover a variety of courses at various levels and provide different kinds of resources. Courses for which assets have been received include several versions of introductory computing courses based on the Ada language, concurrent programming in Ada, a systems analysis and design course with an emphasis on the object-oriented paradigm, and a real-time software-systems course. Resources for specific courses include some subset of: a course syllabus, sample laboratory assignments with solutions, slides for lectures, and tests with solutions. Another asset that has been received for the library is a tool for constructing Markov usage models.

The first of these assets was available for downloading in early January 1995.

During the first quarter of 1995, the library expects to receive: a collection of five closed labs (scheduled, structured, supervised assignments) and five open labs (unsupervised assignments) for teaching Ada at an introductory level; a language-sensitive editor for use by beginning Ada students; GNAT-based tools for teaching data structures, operating systems, and real-time systems; and support for teaching parallel computing in Ada.

Where to find them

ASSET will distribute the Ada courseware products on-line through ASSET's Worldwide Software Resources Discovery (WSRD) library system. WSRD, which has dial-up connectivity as well as Internet access, allows users to search, browse, extract, and download assets.

The Ada courseware assets will be part of the ASSET Education collection. The assets will be searchable via facets and terms, keywords, titles (with wildcards), and ASSET unique identification number. Once located, the products will be available to the user via electronic downloading (e.g., ftp or Kermit), magnetic tape, and in some cases hardcopy.

The cataloging process

Dr. Frances Van Scoy, an associate professor of computer science at WVU, will be the collection manager. She will be assisted by Ms. Cindy Tanner, a lecturer in computer science. Dr. Van Scoy will work with the ASSET librarian to establish procedures, develop a schedule, and coordinate delivery of Ada courseware assets to ASSET.

WVU will evaluate all Ada courseware products to determine their consistency with ASSET's requirements in the "ASSET Submittal Guidelines" and their compliance with the audit level (level 2) as defined in "Evaluation Criteria for Reusable Assets". The courseware products will be evaluated to determine whether they contain all files required and listed by the developer, that all files in PostScript format properly print, and that all Ada code compiles on the Ada compiler at ASSET.

Getting an account on ASSET

Currently, ASSET has over 1100 users of which 12% are from the academic community. This is increasing at approximately 10% per month. In addition, ASSET users come from the DoD, commercial, and international communities.

All users are required to have an account on ASSET; however, accounts are available to the general software community. At present, accounts are free, that is, there is no subscription fee or cost-recovery fee paid by the users.

For additional information:

2611 Cranberry Square
Morgantown, WV 26505

Courseware also available on AdaIC host

Besides being available through ASSET's Internet host, the Ada curricula and courseware will be available on the Ada Information Clearinghouse's Internet host (

For those who prefer to download information via anonymous ftp, Gopher, or Wide Area Information Servers, no account is needed for accessing the AdaIC host.

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