Here’s a quick update on current activity by Erik Duval and others on the IEEE Standard for Learning Object Metadata ahead of an IEEE LTSC meeting next week. In summary the LOM has been reaffirmed as an IEEE Standard, will be corrected through a corrigendum, is converging with other metadata approaches and may possibly be renewed in the light of what we have learned about metadata since it was designed.

1. Reaffirmation

The IEEE standard process mandates that standards have a lifetime of five years after which they must be reaffirmed (i.e. they stay on the books as-is), updated or deprecated. The LOM base schema (IEEE Std 1484.12.1) will be reaffirmed (assuming the ballot results are rubber stamped), so there will be no substantive changes to it for another five years.

2. Corrigendum

The IEEE have agreed that some long standing but relatively minor errors in the LOM documentation should be fixed through a corrigendum. The issues, which were first raised some time ago, are discussed listed along with their proposed resolution on the LOM wiki (temporary home). The next step is for the formal text of the corrigendum to be drawn up and submitted to ballot.

3. Convergence

The IEEE LTSC have authorized two related projects arising from the Joint DCMI/IEEE LTSC Taskforce: one that will recommend practice for expressing LOM instance using the Dublin Core abstract model, and a second that will produce a standard RDF vocabulary for LOM data elements. I’m sure the approved project descriptions will go onto the IEEE website sometime, but for now you can read submitted version on the taskforce JISCMail archive.

4. The next version

The LOM was designed around the turn of the century, it is fixed now until 2013: what should the next version look like? That, broadly speaking, was the subject of a meeting hosted a few weeks ago by Erik Duval’s group in Leuven and available online, and will continue to be a theme of discussion in the LOM working group. You can see the Flashmeeting recording of the last meeting; the next meeting is on April 23rd.

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