Metadata for OBJECTS or metadata for LEARNING?Tom BoyleLearning Technology Research Institute (LTRI)London Metropolitan University
Metadata Workshop Leuven Feb 7 2008
A users perspective on metadata
How (future) metadata might contribute to improving the effectiveness of learningThe ultimate concern from the users perspective
The human users Teachers, Learners Managers Designers of learning events/resources
Users perspectiveWhat does metadata promise?What does metadata deliver? Claims/aspirations made for first generation metadata Critique of present metadata especially on learning dimension What might metadata do in the future? What should be represented and how? Who needs to be involved?
A major problem in the past is that metadata has been primarily about objects not about learninglearning object metadata will always be limited
unless we have a more sophisticated understanding about learning that can be and is captured in metadata
UK LOM Core - exampleUK LOM Core - May 2004 (CETIS)Educational metadata sectionThis category describes the key educational or pedagogic characteristics of this learning object. This is the pedagogical information essential to those involved in achieving a quality learning experience. The audience for this metadata includes teachers, managers, authors and learners
Interactivity Type Until the vocabulary for this element is used more widely by educators it will remain relatively obscure and therefore can not be mandatory. Further work is required to develop an understanding of this element and its common usage. Learning Resource Type Use of the LOMvocabulary is problematic Interactivity Level Until the vocabulary for this element is used more widely by educators it will remain relatively obscure and therefore can not be mandatory.
Semantic Density At the moment it is difficult to see how this element could be used effectivelyUntil the vocabulary in this element is used more widely by educators it will remain relatively obscure and therefore can not be mandatory. Work is required to develop an understanding of this element and its common usage.
DifficultyAt the moment effective use of this element is problematic
UK LOM Core
This is the pedagogical information essential to those involved in achieving a quality learning experience. The audience for this metadata includes teachers, managers, authors and learners
Usefulness and accessibilityNot very usefulThe educational metadata is not very usefuland even if it wasIt is not very accessible, e.g.Language This is distinct from 1.3 General. Language. For example, in a metadata record describing an object designed to support the teaching of French to English speakers, 1.3 General. Language would be 'fr' and 5.11 Educational. Language would be 'en-GB'. That is, it is a resource in French designed to be used by a student whose first language is English.
We need metadata that is more educationally meaningful and more accessible to users
We also need authors who are more interested/concerned about how to make their resources reusable. They need to be prepared to make the effort to make their resources accessible to others and not just to the person/group who created it in the first place.We need a dialogue that goes in both directionsExample: demo from RLO-CETL repository
Critique: a case study JORUMJORUM UK National Repository not well usedvery variable qualityno community of practice (CD-LOR project)IPR barriersIt fails to achieve the vision
What might metadata do in the future?
The power of the meta-verse
Photosynth and Seadragon Blaise Aguera y Arcas
Why is this possible?
Camera (machine, essentially a computer) produces metadataPeople produce metadataAn underlying conceptual representation of the world than enables the linking of information to create emergent properties and entities
People produce metadata
Social tagging and folksonomiesThe long tail phenomenonCoPsbut traditional repositories have not been very successful in this (e.g. CD-LOR project)Contextual metadata - metadata about use and integrationNeed to make this natural and provide as much (unobtrusive) machine help as possible
Underlying conceptual representation a preliminary viewAn underlying conceptual representation of the world than enables the linking of information to create emergent properties and entitiesNeed to create a dialogue between different traditions Traditional formal, content oriented approaches Learning design oriented approachesNeed a rich dialogue but some suggested linkage points are
A preliminary view: mapping the learning object spaceThe Learning Object Cube - LOC
Undifferentiated learning objectsDef: a learning object as any entity that may be used in learning . IEEE LOM
Articulating the vertical dimension- different levels of learning .
PackagedContent aggregation models
Learning content aggregation modelsAlocomAggregationLarger objectiveSingle objectiveContent objectsContent fragments
Articulating the vertical dimension- different levels of design .
Layered learning design?
Each layer provides services to the layer above
JISC D4L (2007)
Layering correspondence?CoursesSessionsLearning objectComponent
Relationship on IMS LD to learning objectsThere is a shortcircuiting of the design space
Generative learning object layer
Develop layering model of design space
Explore correspondences between design layers and content aggregation levels
IMS Learning DesignsLearning objects
Some fundamental challenges
Develop a comprehensive and sophisticated articulation of the conceptual spaceExplore the relationship between content aggregation models and layered learning design (part-of, component-of relationships)?Treat objects as instances of learning designs ( is-a relationships)Begin to develop a meaningful representation of the learning object/entity/design space
SummaryWhat needs to be captured?meaningful information on learning as well as objectsThis is a significant challengeWho needs to be involved?Metadata expertsUsers: teachers and learnersLearning design expertsWhat can be achieved?How can it be done open for further discussion
by making content more readily available, by reducing the cost and effort of producing quality content, and by allowing content to be more easily shared.
However, the development and deployment of learning objects also present new challenges to designers of learning experiences and technology alike.
`Learning Objects Symposium Special Issue Guest Editorial
Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia Special Issue ISSN 1055-8896 Volume 13, Issue 4, October 2004 Do two searches on French first item that arises
Using databasesJuly Talk at TED by Blaise Aguera y Arcas
The power of the metaverse
Why is this possible?
Camera (machine, essentially a computer) produces metadataPeople produce metadataAn Underlying conceptual representation of the world than enable the linking of information to create emergent properties and entitiesAggregationaggregation of assets into learning objectsaggregation of smaller ones learning objects to form bigger onesindependent reuse of componentscomposition and decompositionLego brick scenarioBut this has little to do with how learning objects are actually classified and usedThere is no adequate pedagogical model. The aggregation model totally avoids the key issues of the nature of the learning objects (at each) level and how they fit together
Autodesk Learning Object Content Model (adopted with slight modifications from Hodgins, Dodds, Metcalf et al. 2003, p. 60). A major issue that remains is the relationship between learning designs at the generative learning object level and learning designs posited at higher levels of reuse, as in the IMS LD work (Britain S. 2004). Learning designs operate at many levels of granularity from the small to the very large (Harper and Oliver 2002). The IMS LD work has focused on learning designs at a higher level (around the lesson plan level). This is located conceptually at around the vertical mid-point on the right hand side of the cube. It then treats learning objects primarily as chunks of content that can be loaded into these plans (IMS LD 2003). This approach to reusable learning designs is inadequate; it bypasses a whole conceptual area of the Learning Object Cube. How do learning designs at one level, e.g. at the generative object level, relate to higher-order designs at the lesson plan level? The short-circuiting of the design space suggested in the IMS LD work is inadequate. By clarifying the learning designs at the base level, the generative learning object work opens up the question of how designs at this level may be related to and incorporated within higher level teaching/learning designs. This is a productive challenge for further research and development. It points to the challenge of elucidating different layers of learning design, and how the designs at different levels relate to each another. The challenge is to conceptually understand, and make work, an architecture where designs at one layer naturally use and incorporate lower layer designs in elegant and powerful ways. The concept of GLOs contributes to this work in two main ways. It establishes the importance of good (reusable) designs at the most basic level of learning. This, in turn, points to a model of layered learning design where higher layers of design incorporate and reuse more specific learning designs. In this approach the next design layer (e.g. lesson/session plans) ought to be able to use the services supplied by the GLOs in a principled and productive way. Producing an architectural model to support such layered learning design is a significant challenge for future research. Designing courses/curricula at the highest level Designing sessions (or lessons, or units of learning, or activity structures in IMS LD) Designing activities (things learners actually do also tasks) Designing learning objects (re-usable chunks of content, usually at a fairly small level of granularity)
Designing courses/curricula at the highest level Designing sessions (or lessons, or units of learning, or activity structures in IMS LD) Designing activities (things learners actually do also tasks) Designing learning objects (re-usable chunks of content, usually at a fairly small level of granularity)