Learning technology standards and their implication for higher education Eric Kluijfhout Open University of the Netherlands Educational Technology Expertise.

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  • Learning technology standards and their implication for higher educationEric KluijfhoutOpen University of the NetherlandsEducational Technology Expertise Centre

  • Standards in daily lifeThey are everywhereThey refer to certain norms Standards make life predictableAdoption can range from local to global

  • Standards in the learning domainLearning StandardsLearning Technology StandardsICTechnology standardsLearningE-learning facilitiesICT infrastructure

  • Learning technologiesEvolved over the past 2-3 decadesFast succession of technology generationsEasily accessible and young field with few rules and regulationsWide variety of LT adoption levels and products between (and within) institutions

  • LT standards on what?Data definitions (learning objects, student characteristics, etc.)Interoperability between applications:Data formatsPackagingSequencingPersonalised Learning Services (SO-Architectures)

    Overall motive: drive towards integration and harmonisation

  • LT system levelsICT InfrastructureDataApplicationsServicesPersonalised User Interface

  • Some existing LT standardsMetadataRepository interfacingContent packaging and sequencingAssessmentStudent and course dataAccessibilityLearner competenciesLearning activity modelling..

  • What LT standards may do for youProlong the shelf-life of e-contentShare, distribute and re-use e-contentCreate interoperability between systems and between domainsCooperate with others Become less dependent on one system/supplierIn future: compile personalised e-learning environments

  • Problems that LT standards will not solveThe production of inferior learning materialsSub-standard teaching practicesSloppy records keepingIneffective organizational proceduresAttitudes that foster the creation of islandsHigh costs of education

  • Problems with present LT standardsThere are too many of themTogether they do not cover the full education domainSome are overlappingThey are constantly changingData definitions between standards are not harmonisedSome only support the most basic pedagogical modelsSome are rather empty one-dimensional containersConformance to standards means different things to different people

  • Specifications, standards, user requirements and application profilesSpecifications are typically drawn up by (inter)national research communities (e.g. IMS, CETIS-SIGs)These are then tested by user groups (e.g. AICC)And finally submitted to official national or international standards bodies (e.g. IEEE, ISO)Applying standards in real life through the creation of application profiles

  • LT standards scope in HEIndividual institutionsHE consortiaNational HE sectorInternational LLL domain

  • Standards landscape

  • Austrian HE and LT standardsAdopting LT standards?Application profiling of standards?Creating new LT standards?

    Data?Systems?Architectures?

    How will they add value to HE?Not everything that is possible may be useful

  • For more infowww.cetis.ac.uk/statis/standards.htmlwww.imsglobal.org

    eric.kluijfhout@ou.nl

    eric.kluijfhout@home.nl

    There are many standards in life: electricity plugs, table hight, door sizes, pipe-diameters, size of beer bottles, beer ingredients, etc.

    Standards have to do sth. with norms.

    In society:How to behave in traffic: formalised into traffic rules and even lawsExample of how social standards are linked to technology standards: the side of the steering wheel in a car

    Learning standards: official curriculum; system of ECTS; national education laws

    This presentation focuses on Learning Technologies

    Learning technologies standards have to do with e-learning facilities.BUT: strong interrelation with learning standards and technology standards!

    Many of the questions about standards is due to confusing these different levels.

    Here we will reserve learning technologies for the use of computers and internet in education; so not radio, video tapes, etc.

    Technology generations: mainframe applications in the late seventies; PC-based applications in native programming languages; bulletin boards; the rise of the web; and fully integrated Virtual Learning Environments like Bb. Processes (in coding languages), data (in database systems), and physical data carriers (tapes, disks, etc.) have all changed rapidly. Result: capital destruction.

    Young field: - anyone now can produce electronic materials that are potentially accessible to anyone (compare to print!) - few rules on how to store, make accessible, guarantee quality etc.

    Differences: difficult to exchange materials and e.g. student data between systems and institutions. 1. Describing data: for identification and retrieval, but also for exchange between systems (e.g. definition of student)

    2. Exchanging data: - data format: import/export - packaging: send over a set of data and a definition of what they represent, how to be interpreted by the receiving system - sequencing: esp. on presentation of the learning materials, supporting the work flow

    3. Service Oriented Architectures reference architectures

    Integration: fits well with the Open Source motives

    ICT infrastructure: out of scope

    Data: here LT standards started and most widely used metadata

    Applications integration: at the moment many suppliers are working on this data exchange, packaging, sequencing

    Services: interface between applications and personalised user interface this is where most RTD takes place at the moment: Prof. Koper later this afternoon

    LT standards are defined at the intersection of user requirements (students, teachers, materials developers) and ICT professionals: these are very different worlds!!

    All of these apply to the level of learning objects and application integration.Just as technology may support teaching and learning, LT specifications may support e-learning, however ..

    1. Inferior learning materials: indeed only increases by using ICT

    2. Substandard teaching: indeed may be increased by using ICT by people who have never been trained to do so

    3. Sloppy records keeping:

    4. Ineffective organizational procedures: indeed ICT may be used as a scapegoat or as a means to shield own department

    5. Islands/kingdoms/ivory towers: at the level of the classroom, the department, the institution

    6. Cost reductions: depend on very specific business models and experience.

    CETIS = Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability StandardsAICC = Aviation Industry . CommitteeIEEE = Institute of Electrical and Electronics EngineersISO = International Standards Organization

    ADL-SCORM is an application profile

    Curriculum, standard pedagogical approachHE law, quality standardsE-Bologna: EU BaMa structure, ECTS-system

    Additional dimension: data level, application level, services level

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