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WEB-ASSISTED-ASSESSMENT  2001

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Subject:

XML, resource discovery and MCQ sharing

From:

David Davies <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

This list, hosted by the CASTLE project, is for those interested in conduct" <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 16 Mar 2001 17:39:06 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (42 lines)

OK, it's Friday afternoon, here's one of those end of week kind of things.

In my previous post, I asked about using XML to share resources such as
MCQs, including the possibilities of using resource discovery as a means to
facilitate that.

Here's a URL to start the discussion:

http://medweb2.bham.ac.uk/xml.mcqs.fcgi?heart%20conduction%20system

The result is an XML RSS file, the kind of data file that syndication sites
such as My Netscape and My yahoo use. It's not IMS compliant.

What it does do however is indicate which MCQs on a public database I'm
running match your query term. The RSS file is by definition not an
interchange format, merely a route whereby you might discover a resource,
MCQ in this case, that matches your requirements. You can put anything after
the ? in the URL so long as it's URL encoded e.g. spaces become %20.
However, in this demo, you won't find many questions! Stick with the heart
conduction system link. If you insist, try 'respiratory'.

Issues I think this raises:

1. You can use XML in more ways than merely interchange.

2. The URL contains a query 'heart conduction system' that is actually part
of a well defined biomedical meta data name space, Medical Sub-Headings
(MeSh). Such meta data can facilitate resource discovery.

3. 'Ownership' of the resource remains with the originator i.e. the RSS file
in this case merely links to the question on my server. In no way have I
'given' you my resource. You can however use the link to embed this MCQ into
a page you are creating. This has interesting implications for resource
sharing, perhaps?

So OK, I've started the discussion. What are other's views on this? Let's
have some debate on these lists rather than just notices.

Cheers,

David

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