** Apologies for cross-posting **

See below for email to EC SIG list from new list member Ian Huckvale of Simulacra (who has also joined the Metadata SIG list). Ian's original query is at the bottom of this email, with my response to the EC SIG list above.

The enquiry touches on pedagogic metadata, and specifically metadata for describing materials specifically developed with whiteboard use in mind. Andy Heath and Andy Powell also sent apt responses to this question which I think would be more usefully aired on this list so I will forward them forthwith.

Best
Sarah

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Classifying whiteboard resources
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 16:14:54 +0100
From: Sarah Currier <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Sarah Currier <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
References: <[log in to unmask]>


Dear all,

Ian had already asked about this off-list, and had some good and wise replies from Phil Barker, Lorna Campbell and Bill Olivier. I will summarise their responses below as they each ably covered a different aspect of the question. Ian is also joining the CETIS Metadata SIG list as we write and I will cross-post the gist of this there too.

Bill talked about the IMS Learning Design spec and pedagogic metadata, saying that when the spec was first developed they deliberately avoided getting into pedagogic metadata as it was seen to be additional to the main aim of the spec. It was also felt that discussing actual classifications might be difficult and may hold up the whole process at a time when they wanted very much to get Learning Design out.

Bill also said:
 "A number of people have been talking about usage metadata and this discussion suggests a couple of useful categories:
Intended usage:
- classroom/online
- single learner/multiple learners
Although I suspect that usage metadata could very easily mushroom, it might be worth starting things off with some simple basic categories."

Lorna elaborated on current discussions:
" ... as Bill notes below, there has recently been considerable discussion about the necessity to describe resources and characteristics that neither the LOM or Dublin Core cover sufficiently e.g. technical metadata, rights metadata, accessibility metadata, secondary usage metadata, contextual metadata and learning activity metadata. Neil Maclean of IMS Australia has recently convened a small international group to discuss some of these issues.   James Dalziel of the Macquarie E-Learning Centre of Excellence is particularly interested in the issue of learning activity metadata as he has built a piece of software, inspired by IMS Learning Design, called the Learning Activity Management System (LAMS) which allows teachers to create complex learning activities rather than just simple linear resources.   So there is some activity going on in this area but it is still very early days. We've really just opened the discussion and haven't even started to scope requirements yet.   In the meantime I would suggest following some of Phil's very practical suggestions."

and Phil's practical suggestions went a bit like this:

"IMS Metadata doesn't really cover how a resource might be used. Furthermore I don't think there is much in it which covers what a resource DOES (rather than what it is). But it's probably no worse than any other schema, so here's what I think you options are.

I would disagree about Interactivity Type being a candidate for classifying this type of resource. I can imagine resources for a digital whiteboard which are either "active" or  "expositive", and if you thinking of some other form of "interactivity type" then you're probably stretching the meaning of the element. Also I'm not convinced that "Learning Resource Type" is right: I could be convinced otherwise, but it doesn't fit into the sort of "type" which I have seen this element used for.

I guess what you are after is something like "Target Platform". Unfortunately "Target Platform" isn't in the LOM, the closest are Technical.Requirement or "other platform requirements" and Relationship.

While the explanation in the LOM for Technical.requirement suggests it could be used for hardware requirements, the vocabulary only allows "operating system" and "browser" requirements, so if you used this element you would have to extend the vocabulary. If you change the vocabulary, though, there is every chance that other metadata systems will ignore either this part of you metadata.

Using "other platform requirement" with a statement such as "designed for use on digital whiteboards" would avoid making any changes to the vacabularies of the LOM.

Finally, if you allow that the white board system is a learning resource, then you could use the relationship section, the relationship kind would be "requires", and you could use relationship resource description (element 7.2.2) to record that target platform. If the same resource is also avaialble without the big buttons and large text, then that would be a "format" the resource (using the Dublin Core explanation of isFormat and hasFormat), and could also be recorded here.

That's more of a discussion of you options, I've not suggested a solution. What you adopt as a solution will depend on who you are likely to share data with and what they do. If you don't think you'll ever share data outside of a small group then you could go ahead and do what ever you want within that group. If you think you might share data with people who are not particularly concerned about this type of classification then, so long as you don't distort the LOM beyond what they can cope with, it doesn't matter much what you do. Finally, there is the possibility that other people might have a similar need (the group of people who I can think of are people looking into learning resources for use on PDAs, mobile phones etc). In this case agreeing a common approach would facilitate interoperability. For this reason I would encorage you to send your query to the [log in to unmask] list, or at least send your proposed solution there so that other people know what you intend to do."

Hope these responses are of some use to others.

Best
Sarah

Ian Huckvale wrote:
[log in to unmask]"> Classifying whiteboard resources

Hello all,

Picking up on a conversation with Sarah and others. This is an issue that we have encountered through the Curriculum Online Technical Standards Workgroup. The answer may lie in Learning Design, or LOM - so sorry if anyone feels this is cross-posting.

________________

Digital whiteboards are growing in popularity in UK schools. This introduces a need to be able to classify this type of resource.

There appear to be three scenarios:

1. Resources which are specifically intended for whiteboard teaching. This generally means that it's a resource suited to whole class teaching rather than individual learning, and that the content itself is designed to suit this scenario (i.e. high definition, large chunky buttons and fonts that can be read from some distance).

2. Resources that 'could' be used with a whiteboard, but are not specifically intended for this use. This includes virtually any browser based resource.

3. Resources which require a particular type of whiteboard (e.g. Promethean).

Our view so far:
2. Should not be classified as a whiteboard resource, since it's a general characteristic of browser-based resources.
3. Should be classified using LOM.Technical.Requirement as a type of hardware requirement with value "whiteboard".

Which leaves us with how to classify 1 - resources specifically intended for whiteboards.

The big question is should this information be part of the LOM, or is it a learning design issue?

If it should be part of the LOM - it seems to be a mixture of Learning Resource Type, Educational.Description and Interactivity Type, but none of these are an ideal solution.

Educational.Description is probably closest - but this is a free-text, and we need a vocab element that can be used for searching and filtering results.

I'm not familiar enough with Learning Design to know if an answer is available from this spec.

My research so far suggests that this is an issue which hasn't been resolved yet, and we may have to adopt a temporary fix pending further developments in this area. One suggestion is to tag resources within the LOM Learning Resource Type as "whiteboard resource" or similar.

Does anyone have an answer/opinion on this?
Thanks in advance for any input

Ian

______________________________________________________________
Ian Huckvale, Analyst - e-government and e-learning
Simulacra
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--
*******************************************
Ms. Sarah Currier
Coordinator / Research Fellow
Educational Content Special Interest Group (EC-SIG)
CETIS (Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards)
Rm. 2.08B, Centre for Academic Practice, University of Strathclyde
Graham Hills Building, 50 George Street
Glasgow G1 1QE, Scotland, United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 (0)141 548 4573   Fax: +44 (0)141 553 2053
E-mail: [log in to unmask]   Mob.: +44 (0)7980 855 801
Web (EC-SIG): http://www.cetis.ac.uk/educational-content/
Web (Dept.): http://www.strath.ac.uk/Departments/CAP/
******************************************* 

--
*******************************************
Ms. Sarah Currier
Coordinator / Research Fellow
Educational Content Special Interest Group (EC-SIG)
CETIS (Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards)
Rm. 2.08B, Centre for Academic Practice, University of Strathclyde
Graham Hills Building, 50 George Street
Glasgow G1 1QE, Scotland, United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 (0)141 548 4573   Fax: +44 (0)141 553 2053
E-mail: [log in to unmask]   Mob.: +44 (0)7980 855 801
Web (EC-SIG): http://www.cetis.ac.uk/educational-content/
Web (Dept.): http://www.strath.ac.uk/Departments/CAP/
*******************************************