The best interoperability is interoperability between standards. I mean it’s one thing for you and I to agree to use the same standard in the same way to do the same thing, but what if we are doing slightly different things? What if Dublin Core is right for you, but schema.org is right for me–does that mean we can’t exchange data? That would be a shame, as one standard to rule them all isn’t a viable solution. This has been exercising me through a couple of projects that I have worked on recently, and what I’ll show here is demo based on the ideas from one of these (The T3 Data Ecosystem Mapping Project) applied to another where learning resource metadata is available in many formats and desired in others. In this post I focus on metadata available as IEEE Learning Object Metadata (LOM) but wanted in either schema.org or DCAT.
IEEE are standing up a working group for Learning Metadata, to build on IEEE Std 1484.12.1 Standard for Learning Object Metadata while exploring new paradigms and technology practices in education. I submitted the following as a suggestion for a starting point. It’s heavily based on the presentaion I did at the start of the LRMI Metadata in Use panel session for DCMI Virtual. I think it is a reasonable introduction to, and reflection on the strengths of LRMI (we can do the weaknesses some other day). Many thanks to colleagues in the DCMI LRMI Task Group who commented on it, and especially Staurt Sutton for the 10 principles enumerated at the end.
The other day I took part in one of the FlashMeetings that are periodically convened by Erik Duval (chair of the IEEE LTSC LOM working group) concerning maintenance and development of the IEEE LOM standard. There are no entirely new developments since my last LOM update, but since it is over a year since that update I guess it is worth posting a quick reminder and latest news about what is happening.
The IEEE have now reaffirmed the LOM data schema (1484.12.1), which means that it continues as a standard for another 5 years.
We discussed Draft 5 of the corriegenda (which fixes some known issues in the LOM without making substantive changes to the standard). A couple of new mistakes in the documentation have been identified and rectified, see the draft document for details. Those on the call believe that we identified all changes that are necessary to turn this draft into the final version. This will be circulated on the LTSC LOM mailling list soon. (Many thanks to Javier Godoy who has been leading this work.)
3. Expressing LOM in the Dublin Core Abstract Model
Unfortunately this wasn’t discussed. The DCMI IEEE LTSC Taskforce section of my last update on Dublin Core represents pretty much the latest I’ve heard on this.
Like my son said when we were stuck behind some agricultural vehicles the other week: “things with big wheels and big engines move more slowly than smaller things”.
Some time back I started a scoping study into a potential Learning Materials Application Profile (LMAP) for the JISC. Well, I have at last written a draft report that is fit to be read by others, for comment.
It is rather long, and I don’t expect that anyone will want to do any more than look at the section that is relevant to your own interests. But if anyone is interested in taking a sneak preview then do please have a look and let me know of anything you spot that is wrong or misleading. (In my opinion it gets better as it goes along.)
I have some more work to do on it, filling in references, adding acknowledgments etc, that will take me a couple of weeks at least. Any comments received before I get those finished will be considered in the final report submitted to JISC.
Update, 11 Dec 2008: Thank you for your comments. The report as submitted to JISC is now available. I’m hoping they don’t want too many changes made.
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. Continue reading
As promised when I wrote the short update on repository specs, here is the complementary information about what’s been happening over the last few months with education metadata specs. Brief version: some minor changes to the IEEE LOM have been agreed; closer harmony between the LOM and Dublin Core is in the offing; and if you think that DC comprises 15 elements you need to look at it again.