5 thoughts on “Explaining the LRMI Alignment Object

  1. Thanks, Phil, it is really useful to draw attention to this – I was initially puzzled by what an alignment object was (even to me it appeared rather abstract) and you have here a pretty clear explanation that should help people.

    My own interest in this is in InLOC, and last summer I did draft a page on the relationship between InLOC and LRMI.

    I’m hoping to find the time to contribute to the discussion on the LRMI list, but just to give a hint of my contribution, InLOC is exactly designed to give a clear formal structured representation for particular types of educational frameworks. I would look forward to LRMI including optional URLs for the framework itself and the alignment type, rather than only text fields.

  2. Phil,
    Thank you for this very clear explanation!

    The OER Commons example you mention makes use of the “degree of alignment”. This is no doubt /very/ clever!
    But that rises the need for an additional attribute for the AlignmentObject. Let me generalize this issue.

    Why is that extremely useful information not marked-up (I checked the HTML source) and is it not made available as (linked – machine understandable) data?

    The obvious answer is because there is no suitable property for that – but my question actually reads: “why is the schema.org extension mechanism not used in this case”?

    Even if that information would not be used, at the moment, by a Google search, it could be used by other people, and this is exactly the mechanism foreseen to pave the way for a future extensions of LRMI!

    I would really appreciate your informed comment on this.


  3. Thanks all for your comments. Your suggestions make sense, but the first priority has to be getting people to use the Alignment Object as it is. Then we can think about whether we should add to it and refine it.

    In more detail: Renato it would be great to collect examples of other people who use degree of alignment, to examine whether they are indeed all doing the same thing and to gather evidence about whether it is useful as well as clever, then if we come to the point where people are demanding more detail in the alignment object we could make a case for this being added.

    Morpheus, the hope is that the URL for a node in a framework would dereference to more information about the framework, in other words identify the node and allow semantic web people to follow their nose in order to discover information about the framework. Simon’s work leads that way. The text description of the framework and node are in the alignment object because not every educational framework is semantic web friendly and not every search tool follows links like this: without the text properties there would be no text on the actual page being marked-up that a search engine would find.

    1. Phil,
      You are right: the keyword is “useful”.

      I had a quick look to existing lrmi annotated material, to (re)discover that schema.org is used quite “creatively”. This is partially a side effect of the objective to maximize its flexibility, but the resulting lack of consistency is not desirable.

      Developing simple open tools (widgets like?) to support the annotation process could greatly improve the quality of annotations (I am aware of some lrmi taggers being developed).

      I’ll be back with some ideas to elicit some feedback, but suggestions are always welcome.


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