LRMI Implementation: Overview Issues and Experiences

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Abstract
This paper presents a summary and synthesis of ten Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) implementation projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates and William and Flora Hewlett Foundations between 2012 and 2013. Funding was allocated to ten OER platforms, through Creative Commons, as part of the Gates funded LRMI project. Cetis were commissioned by Creative Commons to produce cases studies on each project, and to undertake a synthesis of their experiences and outputs.

This synthesis outlines the methodology undertaken, before presenting a brief introduction to each OER platform along with an overview of platform functionality, scope, and technologies deployed. All ten platforms adopted different approaches to implementing LRMI, which are examined in the context of metadata creation and curation workflows. A summary of the implementation projects’ interaction with the Learning registry is also included together with the outlook for sustainable LRMI implementation.

Since its establishment in 2011, the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) has aimed to make it easier to publish, discover, and deliver quality educational resources on the web. From 2011 to 2014 the initiative was co-led by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) – the 501(c)(3) division of the Association of American Publishers, and Creative Commons, and funded in three phases by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In October 2014 the leadership and governance of LRMI passed to the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, a long-established metadata community with expertise in metadata design, implementation and best practice.
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HEDIIP New Subject Coding Scheme: Impact Assessment and Requirements Definition

Link: New Subject Coding Scheme Impact Assessment and Requirements Definition (PDF)

The New Subject Coding System project was commissioned by HEDIIP (the Higher Education Data & Information Improvement Programme) to develop a replacement to JACS for classifying the subjects of courses offered in UK Higher Education. Cetis (assisted by Alan Paull Services Ltd) were engaged to undertake stage 1 of the project, which involved extensive stakeholder engagement examining the requirements and impact relating to a new subject coding scheme. The findings of this work are presented in this report.

The response of stakeholders to the consultation of stage 1 of the NSCS suggests that, provided a case for change can be stated clearly, it is desirable to introduce a new subject coding scheme. In order to progress that development, the report recommends that:

  • both prototypes be developed further with an expectation to converge them into a single prototype, depending on further feedback;
  • a new governance model be developed under the auspices of an existing sector organisation, with broad representation;
  • a subject coding framework be developed alongside a specific core scheme.

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What is Schema.org?

Link: What is schema.org  (PDF)

Schema.org is a joint initiative of the search engines Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex aimed at making it easier to index web pages in such a way that facilitates the building of sophisticated search services. Schema.org metadata may also be used for other applications e.g. in eBooks and as stand-alone metadata records.

This briefing describes schema.org for a technical audience. It is aimed at people who may want to implement schema.org markup in websites or other tools they build but who wish to know more about the technical approach behind schema.org and how to implement it. We also hope that this briefing will be useful to those who are evaluating whether to implement schema.org to meet the requirements of their own organization.

This briefing has been produced as part of the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), which is concerned with extending and applying schema.org to the description of educationally relevant properties of resources. Other briefings in this series will provide an in-depth overview of LRMI.

[If you wish to take advantage of the CC-By licence and edit your version, there is a copy on Google docs that you may clone, or you may download a zip archive of the files used to create the PDF in Scribus, this archive includes the plain text and the images.]

 

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Engaging Developers in Standards Development; the Cetis Code Bash Approach

Link: Engaging Developers in Standards Development; the Cetis Code Bash Approach (PDF)
Link: Engaging Developers in Standards Development; the Cetis Code Bash Approach (MS Word .docx)

A linear process in which a written standard is created and then implemented in software is liable to fail for many reasons arising both from the difficulty in writing a specification that is sufficiently precise and accurate while also allowing for necessary flexibility in use, and from the intrinsic complexity of the human activities and IT systems in which it will be realised. Engaging software developers in the standards development process has been found to be an effective means to improve the written standards, to enlarge the scope of practical interoperability between software, and to identify and share effective practice. Over a period of years, Cetis developed an approach to this kind of engagement which we called a “Code Bash”. This white paper outlines the motivation, typical outcomes and practicalities of running a Code Bash and is intended to motivate people working in either formal or informal standards-development settings to engage developers in the process and to provide them with some ideas to adapt to their own setting.
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IMS Learning Tools Interoperability Briefing paper

Link: http://publications.cetis.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/LTI-Briefing-Paper.pdf (pdf)

The IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) specification provides a standard mechanism for seamlessly connecting Interoperability learning applications and remote content to virtual learning environments (VLEs) and enterprise portals.

It is increasing in popularity as a method for providing integrations which are not dependent upon a particular VLE.

This briefing paper provides an overview of the LTI specification and illustrates the benefits for developers, VLE administrators, teachers and learners.
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Concepts and Standardization in Areas Relating to Competence

Link: Concepts and standardization in areas relating to competence (pdf)

Summary: This paper reviews terminology, motivation, history and current work in areas relating to skill or competence. Many useful services, clarifying pathways within and from education to employment, self-assessment, and selection would be facilitated by better standardization of the format in which related definitions are represented, and also by a standard approach to representing the structured sets often called frameworks. To be effective, information models underlying interoperability specifications must be based on common conceptual models; the authors propose one such model as a work in progress. The authors see the way forward as reaching greater consensus about the components of competence, including intended learning outcomes, agreement on a model for frameworks allowing reuse of and comparison between components in and between frameworks, and investigation of how requirements and claims for skill and competence can be coordinated in the light of common practice in recruitment.

Copyright © 2010 IGI Global
This paper appears in the International Journal of IT Standards and Standardization Research Vol. 8, No. 2, edited by Tore Hoel, Paul A. Hollins and Jan M. Pawlowski, editor-in-chief Kai Jakobs. Copyright 2010, IGI Global, www.igi-global.com. Posted by permission of the publisher.

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The Future of Interoperability Standards in Education – System and Process

Link: The future of interoperability standards in education – system and process (pdf).

In January 2010, JISC CETIS organised a working meeting to bring together participants across a range of standards organisations and communities to look at the future of interoperability standards in the education sector. This paper summarises the views expressed by delegates at the meeting and presents relevant background information on present and future models for collaboration between open and informal communities and the formal standardisation system with particular reference to the current issues and barriers in specification and standard development and adoption processes. This summary also presents a series of suggestions on the possible directions of future interoperability standards in education.
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Metadata for Learning Materials: An Overview of Existing Standards and Current Developments.

Link: From Journal website (subscription required; Authors’ final version (open access)

Summary: This paper provides an overview of specifications and standards for metadata relating to learning materials. It is structured to present first the currently established metadata schemas in use today (specifically the IEEE LOM and Dublin Core metadata), then to examine current developments and activities before looking at what might be the future challenges. The examination of current developments and activities highlights the increasingly recognized importance of metadata schema that describe what have in the past been thought of as secondary aspects of learning materials (for example who uses them and what for), and the importance of alternative approaches to structured metadata for resource description.

Published in Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning vol 7 (3-4) 2010, pp 225-243.

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Assessing the business case for standards: Introduction for strategy planning and resourcing committees

Link: Assessing the business case for standards: Introduction for strategy planning and resourcing committees.
Link: Assessing the business case for standards: Introduction for strategy planning and resourcing committees (pdf).

Making a business case for interoperability and standards is a challenging task for those involved in the strategic planning of IT systems in educational institutions. This briefing with its accompanying references is intended to provide advice and supporting materials to help people to incorporate standards in their ICT-related business cases. It assumes some familiarity with the way IT systems are presently deployed and maintained in educational institutions, and will be of interest to Information Services managers and senior managers for strategy planning and resourcing.
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