Score one for the librarians!
This article by Carol Jean Godby of the OCLC is an absolute bombshell and a must-read for folks working with learning object metadata standards. She follows up on works by Norm Friesen and Lorna Campbell that survey existing application profiles of the IEEE LOM with a view to answering three main questions:
- Which elements are most widely adopted?
- What are the prospects for interoperability given these profiles and the entirely optional nature of any of the elements
- What can be learnt about the motivation for developing an application profile (a.k.a. why can’t us educational technologist just submit to one standard way of describing things or let the librarians do it)
Somewhat unsurprisingly, like Friesen and Campbell before her, she reports that the most used fields from the LOM can be easily mapped to the existing Dublin Core fields, and that we’re pretty much all over the map when it comes to all of the special ‘pedagogical’ type fields that were supposedly the motivation for this whole exercise in the first place. (more…)
Continue reading “Ariadne Article – ‘What Do Application Profiles Reveal about the LOM Standard?’”
As mentioned by Stephen, this is the second year Norm Friesen has produced this important report. The survey focuses on two questions: 1) “Which elements were selected for use or population?”; and 2) “How were these elements used, or what where the types of values assigned to them?” Maybe this makes sense as a starting point, but it misses out an even more important question for the builders of repository systems and other consumers of metadata – how are the elements that are selected for use actually employed to deliver functionality to users (or other systems). Maybe that is a premature question, but the current situation resembles a comment a fellow from Oxford made in the Learning Design working group at the Alt-I-Lab sessions a few weeks back – “It’s like you’ve spent all this time working on the data model before you had an idea what the application it was supposed to support was going to be.” Don’t laugh, that’s exactly what this feels like at times.
Which is why the last paragraphs of the paper are so important, the ones in which Norm engages the position laid out by Erik Duval and Wayne Hodgins in their paper titled ‘Metadata Matters.‘ I am sympathetic with Norm’s concern that
“speculations on future developments in technologies and the social practices that develop with them are notoriously prone to error, and especially subject to ideological and other distortions. While the possibilities of such developments and solutions should certainly not be ignored in standards development, they do not provide a solid foundation for standardization work.”
But maybe what this means is that metadata standards need to be driven from two directions that are in tension; one from the direction of studies like Norm’s that look at what fields are currently being populated, but then also from the perspective of current and future usages of the metadata fields so that the limitations of manual metadata collection practices (one of the points I think Hodgins and Duval are trying to make) don’t end up dictating a standard that ultimately doesn’t enable any new functionality (which I thought was supposed to be the reason for all of this to begin with.) – SWL
From the latest issue of ARIADNE, comes this article by Andy Powell and Phil Barker detailing the development of a LOM-based application profile and the sharing of these resources using the OAI-PMH. Lots of good references, and I found the sections regarding their vocabularies and the issue of identifiers quite helpful. – SWL
In searching out existing controlled vocabularies for a project you could do far worse as a starting point than this extensive collection from the ‘Technical Advisory Service for Images,’ another JISC-funded service. Hats off to David Mattison for the pointer. – SWL
I’m sure someone on the Edusource project would know more about this (maybe Stephen, since it does seem to be in his backyard). On the surface, it doesn’t look a lot different than the old Telecampus Online Course Directory, though drilling down into the subject menus reveals that the contents are not identical. – SWL
Cancore and Athabasca University have announced the release of three new components to assit in the development of learning object metadata and repositories. They are, variously,
- A LOM Interface or API simplifying the manipulation and transmission of LOM data within and between software systems.
- LOR Interface or API for communicating with a Learning Object and Metadata Repository.
- A custom LDAP schema which allows LOM records to be stored and accessed via an LDAP server.
This is great news Both the LOM and LOR APIs are Java bindings,
which makes me wonder if this foretells of plans for future interoperation with potential OKI-compliant systems.
UPDATE: I’m in Calgary today for some meetings on educational metadata and got a little more background on this project – it sounds like it is no more or less than it seems, a proof of concept that one can use an LDAP server as a lightweight object repository. – SWL
– via [e-Learning Eclectic]