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IMS takes EML as starting point for new specification

The IMS Global Consortium has approved a document defining the scope of its Learning Design working group, with Educational Modelling Language (EML) as the possible basis for a future IMS Learning Design specification.

The scope document outlines the work of the Learning Design working group (LDWG). The LDWG will "examine the EML methodology and the examples used in its development as a means of testing and developing an IMS Learning Design Specification. We will use EML examples to validate the proposed specification to determine if it can express different kinds of instructional models."

The LDWG, co-chaired by Cisco's Chuck Barritt and Katy Campbell of the University of Alberta, is charged with tackling some of the most difficult areas of specification development. Learning Design - the actual processes of delivering learning experiences - is a complex area, with many pedagogic, technical, and practical ramifications. The approval of this scope document marks a tremendous step forward, having reached a consensus of opinion despite the very different perspectives of the parties involved.

EML, developed by the Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL), has been generating a lot of interest in the Learning Technology field in recent weeks. EML attempts to provide a language that can model all kinds of learning techniques, including the roles of learners and instructors, and the workflow of activities.

"This is really good news", said Fred Mulder, member of the Board of Governors of the OUNL. "We have put a lot of effort into developing our EML, and itís ahead of any other specification. Adopting it means that IMS community will be able to benefit from our work."

The LDWG's final specification document is anticipated to be ready around May 2002.

For more information on EML, visit the EML website. For more information on the LDWG, visit the IMS website.

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