Open Source IMS VDEX authoring tool available
Wilbert Kraan, CETIS staff
September 19, 2003

Hot on the heels of the spec itself is a first public beta of the first VDEX compliant authoring tool. With it, users can make VDEX encoded vocabularies and explore them for inclusion in IEEE LOM compliant metadata.

The tool itself is a further extension to the Reload learning object packaging software and is currently stand-alone, though the VDEX functionality may be rolled into the general release of Reload at a later stage.

'Reload+VDEX' is developed at Heriot-Watt University's ICBL by Tina Manoharan and Phil Barker, and represents a first stab at IMS VDEX implementation.

The core functionality of the tool is the authoring of VDEX encoded vocabularies, which should make the creation and re-use of application profiles (adaptations of a standard for a particular community's needs) quite a bit easier. 'Reload+VDEX' also allows authors and cataloguers of learning objects to explore VDEX encoded vocabularies for inclusion in the metadata of the object.

The browsing functionality represents quite an improvement to the learning object workflow: application profile specific vocabularies can simplify the huge amount of choices the LOM represents, and the structure and 'human friendly' descriptions that are supported by IMS VDEX make it easier to work with unfamiliar vocabularies.

Possible future functionality includes the inclusion of VDEX vocabularies in the validation of LOM instances, and a VDEX web service which would allow the dynamic acquisition of relevant vocabularies over the web.

Reload+VDEX can be downloaded from the VDEX implementation project at ICBL.

Learn more about IMS VDEX in our earlier article.