Thanks, Andy, as usual, your explanations are clarifying. I think that we are largely in agreement and that the fuzziness is around the modeling. But even there, I don't think our points of view are particularly divergent. I've interspersed comments below.
From: DCMI Education Community [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Andy Powell
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 3:02 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: DC-Ed Application Profile: Defining resource classes for the AP
ANDY>> I have a slight concern about the wording of 'purposed for use' (and 're-purposed') because that phrase carries connotations of 'modification' (i.e. the resource being changed in order to facilitate its use in teaching and learning) for me.
STUART>> My usage of purposed/repurposed and designed/redesigned seems to be objectionable to a number of people, but I am uncertain how else to describe the case. I many, many instances (and the textbook is not the best example), a resource of interest is strongly purposed. Imagine a well structured lesson plan developed around a set of counting activities for sight and hearing impaired pre-K students. This is a resource that has specific intentions--is strongly purposed by design. While clearly to be used in an educational activity (we agree absolutely on that proposition and I don't mind calling it such), that use in this example is not independent of the resource. This is not some thing out there to which an newly-arrived-at activity is applied. Now, some other person may see the core of the activity as useful for pre-K students who are not sight/hearing impaired and uses the lesson plan in that manner. This is what I mean by a repurposing and it is the second most prevalent teacher behavior around resources in our findings over a decade and a half. So, yes, it absolutely _can_ on occasion mean "modification"--a creation related to (derived from) the original.
But then, we have resources such as my image of Abraham Lincoln's hand-written Gettysburg Address that I've alluded to in earlier posts that was clearly not designed by Lincoln as a learning resource for 5th grade students studying the U.S. Civil War. It becomes part of a learning resource, for example, when some author embeds (uses) it in some academic unit studying the aftermath of the War. I.e.,
In this case the author has not modified the image in any way. So repurposing (reuse) may or may not involve 'modification', so we cannot just say that it never does.
My entire rant around this issue, Andy, has been to get things like the image of Lincoln's Address _standing alone_ outside the descriptive scope of the model. I can't see how the AP we intend would be useful to catalogers in the U.S. National Archives sitting around describing images of speeches, Civil War battle fields, and U.S. presidential portraits as historical artifacts. But that does not mean we wouldn't be interested in those resource descriptions as related resource descriptions:
So, for me, we have lots to say about the subject of this assertion and absolutely nothing to say about its object. We leave that to others using other metadata schema. If _they_ want to get into the education business (as many are), they can incorporate DC education-specific properties into their schema and the result will be of the class EducationalUsage (picking up your naming below, Andy).
ANDY>> I wonder why we don't just say 'used' (and 're-used') as follows:
1) "The DC-Education Application Profile (DC-Ed AP) is intended to
describe a precise category of "things in the world"--those things that
have been deliberately used (or re-used) in the
processes of formal and informal teaching and learning."
STUART>> Andy, even given my paragraph above, I actually have no problem with this rephrasing.
ANDY>> In short, I don't think Stuart and I disagree (significantly) about the set of things of interest to this application profile. We only disagree on how best to model that set of things.
STUART>> Absolutely agree as to the things of interest and am uncertain that we don't (or can't) actually agree as to the model.
ANDY>> Stuart's model is simpler (which is undoubtedly a good thing).
My model is more complex.
Stuart's model will (presumably) result in the things of interest being assigned new properties by virtue of them being treated as LearningResources. (Stuart, is that what you intend?)
My model only assigns new properties to things of the class EducationalUsage. (In fact, with my model the application profile essentially becomes one for describing the educational use of resources, not for describing the resources themselves.)
STUART>> Andy, I frequently miss the subtleties, but I see absolutely no difference between your model and, at least, the intention of mine other than what it is called--and EducationalUsage is fine with me.
ANDY>> (To repeat an earlier point) if we take Jon's example of "a textbook is always a textbook"... well yes, it is. But that textbook may have very different levels of difficulty when used as part of an English literature course than it does when used as part of a library cataloguing course.
STUART>> Andy, in both the English literature course or the library cataloging course, the resource of interest (English lit. text) is the same, and, I would assume, is nothing but a related resource to the two uses:
If I have understood your meaning, Andy, I would not model this set of relationships any differently. It is just that I have been calling the subjects of these instance assertions resources of the class LearningResource and you call them resources of the class EducationalActivity. I've even said in an earlier post that I thought the current draft model's Educational Activity was just another kind of Learning Resource.
ANDY>> To sum up... there is more than one way of modelling the world (I guess we all knew that!). In this case, I don't know which is the best model (and, in fact, I'm not even sure I understand how to begin to judge which might be the best model :-( ).
STUART>> Given that I don't think my model (as inartfully presented verbally) is fundamentally different from yours, Andy, that's progress, I should think. And, yes, there are many ways to model this beast.
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: DCMI Education Community [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
> Behalf Of Flack, Irvin
> Sent: 22 December 2009 02:31
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: DC-Ed Application Profile: Defining resource classes for
> the AP
> I completely agree with what you just said, so I've been
> the definitions on the wiki.
> On that point, there seem to actually be three slightly different
> definitions at the moment:
> In the Background:
> 1) "The DC-Education Application Profile (DC-Ed AP) is intended to
> describe a precise category of "things in the world"--those things that
> have been deliberately purposed (or re-purposed) for use in the
> processes of formal and informal teaching and learning."
> 2) "The intention is to define the resource class narrowly as comprised
> of resources intentionally designed with the purpose of achieving or
> measuring definable learning objectives for a prescribed audience."
> and in the DC-Ed Resource Classes table:
> 3) "Learning resource: A resource with the intentional purpose of
> achieving or measuring one or more defined learning goals."
> The first one best captures my idea of a learning resource, provided
> 're-purposed' includes the scenario of my Creative Arts teacher
> identifying the utility of the website for her art students. The second
> one I like least because of the inclusion of 'design', which to me is
> hard to assess.
>  http://dublincore.org/educationwiki/Classes
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stuart Sutton [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Tuesday, 22 December 2009 12:31 PM
> To: Flack, Irvin; [log in to unmask]
> Subject: RE: DC-Ed Application Profile: Defining resource classes for
> the AP
> Irwin, I'd only add one thing. In the end, the DC-Ed AP is about
> resource _description_ for a particular domain--that is what we are
> trying to enable. So, I would say that once your Creative Arts teacher
> identifies the resource's utility in secondary arts student learning we
> have a learning resource and once you get to describing it, your
> description is of that resource as a learning resource. Barring
> education domain knowledge of your own or your creative arts teacher
> friend's input, you'd have describe that resource as whatever you deem
> it to be natively. That's why I continue to assert that you are
> describing that resource as a learning resource and not as some other
> class of thing encompassed by rdfs:Resource--i.e., anything whatsoever
> we can think of and describe. Out of that totally encompassing
> you and your creative arts teacher friend have carved out something
> specialized--an instance of the class learning resource.
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