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Educational Modelling Languages on the European agenda

CEN/ISSS have commissioned a survey of Educational Modelling Languages (EMLs), with the possible eventual intention of proposing a European standard.

EMLs go beyond current notions of "content", as embodied in standards such as SCORM and IMS Content Packaging, and attempt to model the whole study process, including activities, roles and environment. EMLs promise features such as reusable course material, personalised learning experiences for students, and the ability to customise units of study to suit different teaching methods without necessarily needing to rewrite content.

One of the first milestones in the project is a workshop in Turin in October. This open event will see the producers of different EMLs presenting their specifications. Presentations include the most well known EML, that of the Open University of the Netherlands.

A standard for EML would be a major achievement, and adoption could lead to not only interoperable "learning objects", but entire modules, courses, and pedagogies.

In 1999, the European Commission gave a mandate to CEN/ISSS (the Centre de European Normalisation / the Information Society Standardisation System (see to identify a work-plan for Europe in the area of learning technology interoperability.

We'll be reporting on events in Turin, and keeping a close watch on developments in EML in the future. If you would like to attend the Turin event, there are more details on our site.

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