New vocabulary for describing educational audiences from a UK perspective
Scott Wilson, CETIS staff
September 24, 2001

The Metadata for Education Group (MEG) has produced a new draft document that provides a comparison of different education schemes in the UK, making it easier to classify the educational level of learning resources for UK practitioners.

Metadata schemes such as IMS Metadata and Dublin Core require classification of the educational audience level for a learning resource. At present, the specifications do not relate to the UK context: practitioners are given no guidance, for example, on how "NVQ Level 2" would be classified in such a scheme.

The new document from MEG provides those working with IMS and Dublin Core metadata in the UK with a standard reference for classifying educational levels, including levels from Primary, Secondary, Vocational, Further and Higher education systems. Eventually it may form the basis of a standard controlled vocabulary for describing educational levels in the UK.

The production of this document - and its potential to become a de facto standard also marks an evolution of the role of MEG. Originally formed as a discussion group, MEG may be well placed to assist with the implementation of metadata specifications in the UK, much like the CanCore group in Canada currently provides vocabularies and guidance on IMS metadata for a Canadian audience.

The new MEG educational level vocabulary relates to IMS Metadata element 5.6 (educational.context), 5.7 (educational.typicalagerange) and 5.8 (educational difficulty), and to Dublin Core Education element "DC-ed:audience". More information on these specifications is located on the IMS and DCMI websites.

The document is available from the MEG website.