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Articles for developers


Joint CETIS-TechDis Accessibility and CETIS Assessment SIG Meeting
The meeting will have the theme of "Accessible Assessment" and will seek to raise the issues, which still need to be addressed in this area.


JISC Toolkits - Peer review meeting
The current round of JISC Toolkits will meet to review each others work in progress.


Portfolio reference models and interoperability
This meeting of the Portfolio SIG will discuss interoperability and related issues directly and in some detail. It will be informed by the discussions on Jiscmail's CETIS-PORTFOLIO and CETIS-PORTFOLIO-DEV.


CETIS wins new JISC interoperability service contract
You might well wonder if providing a service about interoperability standards for JISC isn't what CETIS has been doing for quite a while now; you'd be right, it has. The new contract means a step change in the way CETIS will fulfill that service to the community, though.


EDF-4 Bolton
The 4th ELF Developers' Forum will cover the latest from Toolkit projects including the re-use of Enterprise toolkits and REST Webservices for Personal Learning Environments.


Plex beta available
The Plex beta is available for download.


UCISA workshop slides
The slides and the audio for a talk I gave recently entitled "Challenges for Institutions in Adapting to the Global Information Infrastructure" at the joint ULKON/UCISA/CETIS workshop "Initiatives & Innovation: Managing Disruptive Technologies" are linked from this page.


Joint Portfolio SIG & Lifelong Learning Group Meeting


Joint Accessibility and Portfolio SIG Meeting
The meeting will centre around on-going work connecting e-portfolios with accessibility, in the contexts both of e-portfolio usability and enhancing access to higher education.


IBM and Novell announce support for open-source identity manager
Hot on the heels of more Microsoft anouncements about InfoPath (their new take on the identity management), come Novell and IBM with support for 'Higgins'- also a system that aims to enable cross-system and platform identity management and single sign-on by abstracting over many existing systems. It's a case of Meta-er than thou, basically. Interesting aspect is that it is both open source and based on / run by the very well regarded Eclipse foundation.


InfoCard on the way from Microsoft
It seems Microsoft learned the right lesson from the failure of Passport, its earlier effort in federated authentication. Rather than storing the crucial information about you on a server in Redmond, the new proposal -InfoCard- hands control back to the user. The technology is expected to come out with the new Windows variant (Vista) and its version of the IE browser (7). Says the MS fellow who designed the thing: "It’s important to note that all communications carried out by "InfoCard" use standards-based Web services protocols to ensure interoperability." They're spinning it furiously as the nice friendly interface on a open standards based meta identity system. Let's hope so.


CETIS Assessment SIG meeting
The next CETIS Assessment SIG meeting will focus on issues around eassessment policy and practice, and look at likely future developments.


Meeting to gather feedback on IMS Content Packaging v.1.2
The EC- SIG are hosting a meeting to collect community feedback on the public draft of the IMS CP v1.2 specification to send to the IMS working group.


Call for papers: Interoperable e-learning systems in action
The workshop is being organised and funded by the Telcert project and is sponsored by the European eLearning Industry Group, SURF SiX and European IMS Network. The workshop is hosted by the Open University of the Netherlands, one of the Telcert project partners.


TELCERT Workshop; Tools for the e-Learning Framework
This workshop introduce participants in the e-Learning Framework projects and the broader JISC community to the tools developed by the TELCERT project. These tools exploit the IMS Application Profiling Guidelines which offer the prospect of refining (i.e. profiling) a variety of e-Learning technology specifications so as to better meet the needs of a target community, without breaking underlying interoperability.


Next generation activity based eLearning
The Communities of Practice meeting in Berlin is the FINAL UNFOLD CoP meeting and provides a unique opportunity to participate in a working meeting whose goals are to “map out the requirements for the next generation of Learning Design based systems”. The meeting will be led by Rob Koper of the OUNL.


PLE Reference Model Presentation
Fresh from the CETIS Conference yesterday where our Reference Model presentation sparked off a lively debate. Thanks to all those who contributed and helped take these ideas on. Several people asked for the slides so here they are.


PLE project at CETIS conference
The PLE project will be presenting its work at the CETIS conference on November 15/16 in Edinburgh.


Joint CETIS EC and Accessibility SIG Meeting
The next CETIS EC (Educational Content) and Accessibility SIG (Special Interest Group) meetings will be held jointly and will have the theme of mobile learning.


TechShare 2005
The TechShare conference is aimed at "professionals who work in the field of sight loss or have an interest in technology".


UNFOLD Communities of Practice meeting
The Communities of Practice meeting in Glasgow provides a unique opportunity to spend three days talking with others who are working with the IMS LD specification, and participating in practical workshops.


Alt-I-Lab 2005 Demonstrators
The Alt-I-Lab conference has a regular demonstrators session where participants can show off their latest interoperability wares to the assembled crowd. This session tends to be held in an informal market-style which lends itself to a great deal of informed discussion between participants and really is at the core of what the Alt-I-Lab conference is about.


EDF-3 Manchester
The third ELF Developers' Forum meeting will take place on Wednesday 19th of October 2005 in Manchester in conjunction with the CETIS Enterprise SIG.


e-learning tech that is fit for purpose, innovative and sustainable
Educational technology interoperability standards are at something of a crossroads; the first generation of them are either in wide use, superceded, or in the process of final maturation. In the mean time, open source and service oriented architectures have changed the landscape considerably. Time, then, to re-examine the place of these specs in the wider development of e-learning technology.


Google Maps Creator Takes Browsers To The Limit
By advising web techies to push bleeding edge tech that mau not be universally supported; Microsoft's Vector Markup Language (VML) for example. Not so sure about that one. If you're going to push the envelope, at least use reasonably open stuff, and leave the real whizz bang to applications that are more suitable- like Google Earth. Link via Slashdot


DC-2005 Conference
The fifth International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications will focus on the use of vocabularies and will bring together users of Dublin Core, LOM (Learning Object Metadata), W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Semantic Web, thesauri, subject classifications and taxonomies.


ALT-C 2005: Exploring the Frontiers of e-Learning - Borders, Outposts and Migration
The ALT-C Conference has a number of themes relating to the e-learning - including: Architectures and Infrastructures, Collaboration, Design and Development, and Implementation.


Libraries Without Walls 6: Evaluating the Distributed Delivery of Library Services
An international conference organised by CERLIM (Centre for Research in Library and Information Management) with the theme of whether new services are having an impact on users.


It's a LOM binding, Jim, but not as we know it
For most people who have to describe digital learning resources, IMS Meta-Data is just the ticket. It provides almost everything: the model for the record, the method of encoding it and the means of checking the record. With the new IEEE LOM XML binding, that will change in some subtle ways.


OKI and IMS, wires and sockets revisited
Two years ago, at the alt-i-lab conference in Boston, the relation of the Open Knowledge Initiative's (OKI) Open Service Interface Definitions (OSIDs) with IMS's specifications was discussed at length. Now, just before this year's alt-i-lab conference, the OKI - IMS relation is finalised at the process and part of the spec level. One the wider, technical level, the merits of combining OSIDs with web services will be demonstrated during alt-i-lab in Sheffield.


JISC Legal Conference: Legal Aspects of Online Learning
The JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) Legal Conference will be covering a variety of legal issues regarding online learning.


alt-i-lab 2005
alt-i-lab (Advancing Learning Technology Interoperability)2005 includes working sessions, demonstrations and exchange of e-learning technology.


From RDF to Topic Maps and back again
If you want to share not just content, but your knowledge of a particular domain, there's two standards that can provide the means: RDF and Topic Maps. The two developed independent of each other, but the first survey of how to map knowledge in the one standard to the other has now been published. It'll be the first step to a standardised RDF - Topic Map interoperability guideline.


CETIS Assessment SIG meeting
The sixteenth CETIS Assessment SIG meeting will cover a range of issues around CAA and interoperability standards.


EDF-2 Glasgow
The second ELF Developers' Forum meeting was held on 20-21 July 2005 in conjunction with the CETIS Assessment SIG at the University of Strathclyde.


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


Fundamentals of Flash MX: Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
This is a practical workshop aimed at web users who would like to start using Macromedia Flash to create animated and interactive content for the web.


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


VideoActive Workshop
This two day hands-on workshop will include the use of video and audio for learning and teaching as well as accessiblity requirements.


How to let educational systems talk
The public draft release of the new IMS General Web Services spec, is both a relatively simple and pragmatic guide as well as a milestone of some import for educational technology. It essentially sets out how systems on a network can have a webservice conversation. It doesn't determine what the conversation is about, and the language is from somewhere else, but it does set the basic template of how to do web services in the e-learning domain.


Assistive Technology Conference - Balancing the Equation
This conference will provide a platform for Assistive Technologists and academics with an interest in the role of technology in learner support for students with disabilities or learning differences.


Accessible Design in the Digital World
This conference will explore inclusive design in the real world and the challenges in implementing guidelines and meeting legal responsibilities.


CAL 05 - Virtual Learning?
The CAL Conference covers a number of topics including: Play and Experimentation; Dialogues, Communication and Learning; Education and Network Societies; and Educational Design and Pedagogical Research.


Third CETIS/LIFE codebash goes public
To test the interoperability of educational content, metadata and services there's nothing like getting files into and out of as many different tools as possible. Better yet, get the developers of those tools into one room, and let them sort out any issues. CETIS codebashes do just that, but the third iteration had some differences: it was co-organised with the European LIFE (Learning Interoperability Framework for Europe) project and some of the files are now public.


Free Web Conference on Maximising Accessibility in Academic and Public Libraries
"This EASI Web conference presentation will offer a holistic approach to creating accessible libraries of all types."


Webcasts from the CSUN 20th Annual International Conference
Webcasts from the CSUN (California State University Northridge) 20th Annual International Conference run by EASI (Equal Access to Software Information).


Free Web Conference on Software Accessibility, Usability Testing and Individuals with Disabilities
This conference will be based on the paper: Software Accessibility, Usability Testing and Individuals with Disabilities by Sheryl Burgstahler, Tracy Jirikowic, Beth Kolko, and Matt Eliot.


LionShare releases personal repository milestone
Born of the recognition that the vast majority of learning and teaching material lives on peoples' PCs, the LionShare project aims to provide a simple and trusted way to share those materials with others. The open source application isn't quite done yet, but a useable beta has just been released.


NLN material plugs OK
*update* Prototype materials for the latest round of National Learning Network (NLN) content development have been successfully tested. After a round of trialling and testing by a number of different colleges and educational centres, the interoperable packages were presented in Birmingham by the five content vendors. Unlike previous batches, this round of content procurement by the NLN is aimed exclusively at Adult and Community Learning (ACL).


Software should be stuff that gets you laid...
And inf argues that software is not VLEs or LMSs- its social software such as blogs. It's mostly a rant about the fact that groupware and VLEs are the kinds of things people have to use because they've been told to by management, not because they want to. Its chosen by comparing feature charts, and used as a means of control or saving money.


Interoperability state of play at IMS Melbourne meeting
The open tech forum at an IMS meeting is a public show-and-tell that is occassionally layed on for the benefit of the wider community. The one in Melbourne this week was exemplary in giving a wide variety of people the opportunity to air their views on the state of play in e-learning. The downside is the blizzard of (Power)Points that can unleash. We gather the kernels for your enjoyment.


Learning Design tool bash in Valkenburg
It's like the buses; you wait for one for ages, and then several come along at once. The IMS Learning Design specification was finalised in 2002, and about four implementations are getting ready now. A good time, then, to start playing around with them, exploring what they can do, and seeing whether they interoperate.


Look ma, no metadata forms
It's long been recognised that adding meaningful descriptions is one of the more unpopular and error prone aspects of creating learning objects. One solution that has been touted for a pretty long time is to leave the chore to the machines, but practical solutions have been relatively rare. There is now an open source solution from one of the founders of the Learning Object Metadata standard (LOM): Ariadne.


IMS publishes service oriented architecture whitepaper
The paper is a revised version of a document presented during last year's alt-i-lab conference (the old version date is still on it), and is indeed well worth revisiting. In it, Four experts from IMS, Sun, Microsoft and the Open Knowledge Ininiative (OKI) consider the fundamentals of the approach as applied to the learning, education and training sector.


Secrets of Dynamic HTML
DHTML (Dynamic HyperText Mark-up Language) combines HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and client-side scripting in order to create interactive and animated web pages.


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


Accessible Web Design
"This workshop encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage."


Fundamentals of Flash MX: Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
This is a practical workshop aimed at web users who would like to start using Macromedia Flash to create animated and interactive content for the web.


Accessible Web Design
"This workshop encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage."


Secrets of Dynamic HTML
DHTML (Dynamic HyperText Mark-up Language) combines HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and client-side scripting in order to create interactive and animated web pages.


Fundamentals of Flash MX: Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
This is a practical workshop aimed at web users who would like to start using Macromedia Flash to create animated and interactive content for the web.


Enhancing Your Web Pages: Further HTML, Style Sheets and Accessibility
This workshop will describe how to produce accessible content and will introduce accessibility guidelines and web standards.


Accessible Web Design
"This workshop encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage."


Enhancing Your Web Pages: Further HTML, Style Sheets and Accessibility
This workshop will describe how to produce accessible content and will introduce accessibility guidelines and web standards.


Secrets of Dynamic HTML
DHTML (Dynamic HyperText Mark-up Language) combines HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and client-side scripting in order to create interactive and animated web pages.


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


Accessible Web Design - Wales
"This workshop encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage."


Joint CETIS Pedagogy Forum and Accessibility SIG Meeting
A joint meeting for the Pedagogy Forum and Accessibility SIG with the theme of accessibility and pedagogy.


The state of standards at Online Educa 2004
In amongst many, many other things, Berlin's Online Educa 2004 conference had almost a full day's worth of events on the topic of educational interoperability standards. Since the morning's session was mostly about content interoperability, and the afternoon session about collaborative technology, the panel discussion at the end made for some pretty clear contrasts about where different people think interoperability standards are.


Zeroes and Ones
I've had quite a few conversations along the lines of "XML is great but are all these angle brackets really necessary or just a waste of bandwidth?"


Fifteenth CETIS Assessment SIG Meeting
The fifteenth CETIS Assessment SIG meeting will take place on Wednesday 26 January 2005 at the University of York.


Two-part Series on Specifications for Increasing Online Learning Accessibility - Part 2
This live web conference takes place in two parts on 2nd December and 16th December 2004 at 16:00 Eastern Standard Time (around 21:00 in the UK).


Two-part Series on Specifications for Increasing Online Learning Accessibility - Part 1
This live web conference takes place in two parts on 2nd December and 16th December 2004 at 16:00 Eastern Standard Time (around 21:00 in the UK).


Accessible Web Design
"This workshop encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage."


Second National Workshop and Tutorial on Handheld Computers in Universities and Colleges
This event will focus on handheld computers and mobile learning. It is aimed at lecturers, teachers, staff developers and learning technologists.


Bashers and Pluggers fix IMS Content Packaging spec
There's nothing quite like a bunch of developers with their tools to iron out the pesky little bugs in a spec. That's what participants to the ADL plugfests and CETIS codebashes did, and fixing the bugs that they found took Content Packaging from 1.1.3 to 1.1.4.


Techshare 2004
Techshare is an opportunity to engage with current thinking about the role of technology in the three themes of Learning, Work and Life.


Dreamweaver MX 2004: Accessible Web Design
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


Fundamentals of Flash MX: Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
This is a practical workshop aimed at web users who would like to start using Macromedia Flash to create animated and interactive content for the web.


Enhancing Your Web Pages: Further HTML, CSS and Accessibility
"Accessibilty is rapidly becoming the driving force behind the design considerations for many web sites. This workshop will also investigate some of the fundamental steps required to produce accessible content as well as introducing current guidelines and web standards. This workshop provides a platform from which to make the next step towards more attractive, functional and accessible web content as well as providing a brief overview of some more advanced technologies for web interaction and content management/delivery."


Accessible Web Design
"This workshop encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage."


Fundamentals of Flash MX: Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
This is a practical workshop aimed at web users who would like to start using Macromedia Flash to create animated and interactive content for the web.


Dreamweaver MX 2004: Accessible Web Design
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


Web Accessibility: Design-for-All
This workshop encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage.


Fundamentals of Flash MX: Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
This is a practical workshop aimed at web users who would like to start using Macromedia Flash to create animated and interactive content for the web.


Enhancing Your Web Pages: Further HTML, CSS and Accessibility
"Accessibilty is rapidly becoming the driving force behind the design considerations for many web sites. This workshop will also investigate some of the fundamental steps required to produce accessible content as well as introducing current guidelines and web standards. This workshop provides a platform from which to make the next step towards more attractive, functional and accessible web content as well as providing a brief overview of some more advanced technologies for web interaction and content management/delivery."


Dreamweaver MX 2004: Accessible Web Design
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


Accessible Web Design - England
"This workshop encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage."


Intrallect Developer’s Forum: Repository Interoperability
The purpose of this forum is to discuss potential ways in which other e-learning systems can interoperate with Intralibrary. The day will include demonstrations of intraLibrary’s current modes of interoperability and technical discussions on various system-to-system technologies.


ePortfolio 2004
This is the second International Conference on the electronic portfolio and will cover ePortfolios for schools, higher education, continuing professional development and lifelong learning.


Echopoint components and framework
What looks like a fairly highly developed framework for making stateful web applications- relatively small programmes that work like conventional desktop applications but operate over the web, through your browser. This area of technology is not new (Netscape promised to reduce Windows to a "pile of poorly debugged device drivers" way back when), but has been getting a lot of attention lately.


When metadata becomes content, and authoring learning
and the result an assessment method and part of a learner's/learning profile, you have something like Topic Maps. One of a number of emerging semantic web standards, it is the subject of quite a bit of research and development. The Norwegian estandard project and its members are busy working on educational applications of the technology.


Ninth CETIS-TechDis Accessibility SIG (Special Interest Group) Meeting
This meeting is open to anyone interested in accessibility specifications and e-learning.


Eighth CETIS-TechDis Accessibility SIG Meeting
The eighth CETIS-TechDis Accessibility SIG Meeting will have a "Back to Basics" theme.


Tenth CETIS-TechDis Accessibility SIG (Special Interest Group) Meeting
The Tenth CETIS-TechDis Accessibility SIG meeting will be held at TechDis in York.


Redwood group maps Managed Learning Environments
When any new technology comes on the scene, there's always a scramble of people figuring out methods, and trying stuff that'll work for them. Service oriented approaches (soa) to Managed Learning Environments (MLEs) are no different. Just as certain, however,is the point at which some structure and coherence is brought to bear. For service oriented MLEs, that is exactly what the Redwood Group is planning to do.


Microsoft extends webservices, IMS Enterprise and LIP support
The extended support consists of a raft of new, education specific features built on the Microsoft BizTalk 2004 platform. The lot is known as the Enterprise Services Framework (ESF), and essentially aims to be the traffic cop in the heterogenous, multi-platform environment of a typical FE or HE network. It can take information in wide variety of forms, and push it out again in standard and not so standard formats.


Secrets of Dynamic HTML
This workshop in DHTML (Dynamic HyperText Mark-up Language) brings together the technologies of HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and client-side scripting in order to produce interactive and animated web pages.


Enhancing Your Web Pages
This is a practical workshop for people who have had some experience of creating basic web pages and want to develop their pages further to include accessibility and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


Web Accessibility: Design-for-all
"The "Design for All" principle, which underpins this workshop, encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage."


Secrets of Dynamic HTML
This workshop in DHTML (Dynamic HyperText Mark-up Language) brings together the technologies of HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and client-side scripting in order to produce interactive and animated web pages.


Dreamweaver MX 2004 : Accessible Web Design
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


Authoring Rich Media Content Using SMIL (Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language)
This course provides content developers with information on how to author multimedia content using the features of the SMIL specification supported in the current generation of web browsers and media players.


MMI-Dublin Core Workshop
The MMI-DC (Metadata for MultiMedia Information - Dublin Core) Workshop is an open meeting held by CEN/ISSS (European Committee for Standardization / Information Society Standardization System).


Open source e-learning technology hits prime time
So stand by for the inevitable backlash. But seriously: the relation of open source to open standards was the topic of the opening debate of the big alt-i-lab e-learning technology interoperability do, the open sourcing of LAMS was announced there, the increasingly popular Open Source ePortfolio Initiative (OSPI) held a conference right before it, open source reference implementations were mentioned by nearly everyone there, most of the hotly debated service oriented approaches to MLE design rely wholy or in part on open source components, and even Microsoft announced its inimitable take on the phenomenon by launching a 'shared source' webservices kit for Class server.


Learning Design communities UNFOLD
Not even Einstein could have conjured up something like the theory of relativity in isolation. For that, you need a community of practice. In that respect, implementing, teaching with or authoring Learning Design is no different. The EU sponsored UNFOLD project aims to provide the infrastructure and the expertise to help people form just such communities. The aim: the collaborative building of best practice in the Learning Design area.


IMS Question and Test Interoperability gets major make-over
The public beta of the venerable, comprehensive and increasingly popular IMS Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) specification has been released. Age, popularity and size played a major part in the decision to give it a thorough overhaul: the world has moved on quite a bit from its first appearance in 2000, and the many implementors found some aspects that can be done better.


Transferring resourcelists from a VLE to a library (and back again)
In the notoriously unresolvable discussion over what a learning object is, one category that's easily overlooked is the traditional academic article or monograph. Printed or otherwise, these are bread and butter learning resources in many a course, and constitute one of the main intersections between the e-learning and library worlds. Hence the need to exhange lists of such resources between virtual learnign environments and (digital) library systems, which is now addressed by the new public draft of IMS Resource List Interoperability.


Is IT Accessible?
This one-day conference covers a variety of issues relating to accessibility and I T (Information Technology) including legislation, assisitive technology, and V L Es (Virtual Learning Environments).


Using the Enterprise SDK to create a minimal IMS Enterprise web service
The IMS Enterprise Web Services specification may be a pretty complex spec with reams of documentation, but with the IMS Enterprise SDK for Java the implementation process is drastically simplified. This article shows you how to write and deploy a minimal Enterprise Group Management service - and by minimal we mean minimal!


Matching content to learners
The one year old IMS Accessibility for Learner Information Profile (ACCLIP) specification allows you to store the accessibility preferences of learners in a flexible way. Which is handy, but a less than complete solution until the content a learner wants to look at can be matched to those preferences. With the new IMS Accessibility for Meta-Data (ACCMD) spec, that circle is now being closed.


JOLTS (Joint Learning Technology Standards) Workshop
JOLTS is an exciting collaboration between three groups, who have got together for the first time to bring their work to a wider audience. Each group will hold open meetings on their particular aspect of e-learning specifications and standards – and, as there are three groups, so there are three main strands to this conference: European Standards (CEN/ISSS); Accessibility (CETIS-TechDis); and Conformance (TELCERT) – with a day devoted to each.


UK Ministry of Defence contracts BT for e-learning system
As most large organisations have found at some point, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) found that a) its training requirements can't be met by face to face education alone, and b) its e-learning provision is patchy and disconnected. So a plan was drawn up, and British Telecom awarded about 25 million pounds to provide a system for up to 300.000 users. That's one single system...


Sticking a layer of CORDRA on top
The Carnegie Mellon Learning Systems Architecture Lab (LSAL) published a new paper on ADL's new Content Object Repository Discovery and Registration/Resolution Architecture (CORDRA) initiative. It comes with a major health warning to the effect that it represents nothing but the authors' opinion, but it certainly clarifies what CORDRA is meant to do, and how it could go about doing it.


Fundamentals of Flash MX: Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
This is a practical workshop aimed at web users who would like to start using Macromedia Flash to create animated and interactive content for the web.


Dreamweaver MX 2004 : Accessible Web Design
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


Web Accessibility: Design-for-all
"The "Design for All" principle, which underpins this workshop, encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage."


Fundamentals of Flash MX: Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
This is a practical workshop aimed at web users who would like to start using Macromedia Flash to create animated and interactive content for the web.


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


Institutional Web Management Workshop 2004: Transforming the Organisation
Talks, parallel sessions and discussion groups will address the issues of how the Web is transforming institutions and how their working practices and structures may also need to be transformed in order to make best use of the Web.


Dysg E-Learning Conference
During this conference, a number of speakers will examine the future challenges for e-learning in the post-16 education and training sector.


Fundamentals of Flash MX: Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
This is a practical workshop aimed at web users who would like to start using Macromedia Flash to create animated and interactive content for the web.


IMS revs Meta-data spec
But hang on, wasn't IMS Meta-Data supposed to be succeeded by the IEEE LOM standard? Indeed it is, and that is exactly what the new revision of IMS Meta-Data is mostly about: how to get to IEEE LOM 1.0 from IMS Meta-data 1.1.2. More than that, it is a pretty comprehensive, up to date and accessible guide for anyone who wants to implement the LOM.


Web services stuff we can nick
From an education sector point of view, one of the nice things about a service oriented architecture (SOA) is that the commercial world is heading the same way. IT vendors have seen the signs and have been huddling together in a range of acronyms to bash out service specifications for all sorts of things- and implementing them too. We have a look at some of the latest specs that we could help ourselves to.


4th DIVERSE International Conference on Video and Videoconferencing in Education
DIVERSE covers all aspects of video and videoconferencing in education, such as teaching, research, and management.


Metadata and Digital Repository SIG Meeting


Supporting Students with Disabilities in the Physical Sciences
This workshop will look at the implications of SENDA for the physical sciences and at the "reasonable adjustments" that can be made.


RDN/LTSN Partnerships: Learning resource discovery based on the LOM and the OAI-PMH
Practical article in Ariadne about the design and implementation of the RDN/LTSN LOM Application Profile (RLLOMAP). Less technically: it is a very clear and comprehensive guide for a community to develop their own metadata standard, while preserving as much national and international interoperability as possible. Link via EdTechpost


A British Standard for the Accessibility of e-Learning Systems and Content
This is an open meeting to discuss the requirements for the British Standard for the Accessibility of e-Learning Systems and Content.


Sixth CETIS-TechDis Accessibility Special Interest Group (SIG) Meeting
This meeting is open to anyone interested in accessibility and e-learning and will include a session on the proposed British Standard for the Accessibility of e-Learning Systems and Content.


New version of UK education metadata profile released
A new draft of the UK Learning Object Metadata Core (UK LOM Core) profile has just been made public. This version of the IEEE LOM standard is scheduled to become a full release in the summer, after a consultation period.


New application server marries Java to webservices
With the new, snappily titled Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8, Sun promises to make it easier for Java developers to develop and deploy web services. The new server software is free for both development and deployment, and includes support for the J2EE Connector Architecture to facilitate exposing existing enterprise systems as web services.


Learning Lab 4th Annual Conference and Exhibition
"The focus of this year's conference will be to look beyond e-learning rhetoric and offer delegates the opportunity to hear how organisations have used technology to improve the quality of learning."


Same area, different goals; Sakai and the JISC Framework Programme
With Managed Learning Environment (MLE) implementation increasingly moving from theory to practice, two major initiatives come along at once. One will deliver a customisable but complete 'community source' MLE, the other a means of stitching together an MLE out of bits you already have or want. We talk to Chuck Severance of Sakai and Tish Roberts and Scott Wilson of the JISC Framework Programme about differences and similarities.


LionShare Wiki
The LionShare peer-to-peer personal respository project had opened a Wiki. For anyone already using LionShare, or interested in it, this is the place to get more info and contribute to its further development.


Canadian ADL Partnership Lab opens
With the new ADL Lab in Ottawa, Canada will be the second non-US site in the ADL co-lab network. In a sense, it is a return to base, as the Canadian forces had quite an input in the early development of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) e-learning format.


Enhancing Your Web Pages: Further HTML, CSS and Accessibility
This workshop will also investigate some of the fundamental steps required to produce accessible content as well as introducing current guidelines and "web standards."


Web Accessibility: Design-for-all
"The "Design for All" principle, which underpins this workshop, encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage."


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


Web Accessibility: Design-for-all
"The "Design for All" principle, which underpins this workshop, encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage."


Dreamweaver MX 2004 : Accessible Web Design
This is a practical workshop on the use of Dreamweaver for accessible web page creation, content management and website management.


Fundamentals of Flash MX - Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
This is a practical workshop aimed at web users who would like to start using Macromedia Flash to create animated and interactive content for the web.


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


IMS specifies buckets
Data buckets, that is, in the public draft of the new Sharable State Persistence specification. Its function is as simple as it is useful: it provides a means for learning objects (specifically of the SCORM persuasion) to store data about the state they were left in. These buckets can then accessed by other objects, who can act on the data.


Community and conformance
It's the quintessential paradox of technology standards: enforcing a technical standard, while supporting the peculiar demands of a specific community. Such an exercise in cake possession and consumption is now undertaken by the EU Framework Programme 6 (FP6) sponsored TELCERT project, who aim to give national and/or occupational communities the tools to define their own application profiles, and the means to test conformance to them.


Accessibility in Practice Conference
This is a one day conference to address the gulf between the theory of making websites, multimedia and e-learning accessible and the practice.


Learning @ its Best?
This free one-day conference will focus on the impact of e-learning on widening participation to lifelong learning.


In Search of UTOPIA (Usable Technology for Older People Inclusive & Appropriate)
A free one-day workshop by the UTOPIA (Usable Technology for Older People Inclusive & Appropriate) project on ICT and the older consumer.


Metadata for Accessibility Workshop
A special one-day open workshop session of the CEN/ISSS MMI-DC Workshop, which aims to identify and investigate the way in which metadata can help accessibility.


Questionmark 2004 European User Conference
This conference on Questionmark Perception will cover best practice, learning analysis and product training.


ICEIS 2004
The 6th ICEIS (International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems) covers a number of topics including Databases and Information Systems Integration; Artifical Intelligence and Decision Support Systems; Information Systems Analysis and Specification; Software Agents and Internet Computing; and Human-Computer Interaction.


The Thirteenth International World Wide Web Conference
This conference is organised by the IW3C2 (International World Wide Web Conference Committee) and provides a forum for the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).


Splashing in Ponds and Pools
There's an awful lot going on in the general area of learning resource discovery and management at the moment. Most especialy about finding the right place to store resources, while still making sure that they can be discovered by other people. The Splash peer-to-peer (P2P) personal repository has been around longer than most in this area, and has been connected to nodes at institutional and regional/national level. We look at some of the lessons the developers learned.


ETHICOMP 2004 - Challenges for the Citizen of the Information Society
The Seventh ETHICOMP International Conference on the Social and Ethical Impacts of Information and Communication Technologies aims to present and discuss the social and ethical impact of information and communication technologies (ICT).


Pan European Portals Conference 2004
Focussing on the move from pilots and feasibility studies to campus-wide implementation of a portal, this event will provide the opportunity for managers and developers to check out what's happening in portal developments within HE and FE.


Fundamentals of Flash MX - Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
This is a practical workshop aimed at web users who would like to start using Macromedia Flash to create animated and interactive content for the web.


Web Accessibility: Design-for-all
"Design for All" encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage.


Secrets of Dynamic HTML
DHTML (Dynamic HTML) combines HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and client-side scripting to produce interactive and animated web pages.


Enhancing Your Web Pages - Further HTML, CSS and Accessibility
This workshop will cover CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and some of the steps required to produce accessible content as well as introducing current guidelines and web standards.


Fifth CETIS-TechDis Accessibility Special Interest Group (SIG) Partnership Meeting
Rescheduled from 27th March, the Fifth CETIS-TechDis Accessibility Special Interest Group (SIG) Partnership Meeting will cover a number of issues relating to accessibility and e-learning in the Further and Higher Education environment.


JISC programme to foster the pick 'n mix MLE
The concept of an institutional learning environment that provides the information that people need, when and where they want it has been around for a while, but has not been easy to realise. The JISC's new e-learning programme includes the e-learning technical framework strand, that is designed to make it more do-able. Now that the first call for technical framework projects is out, we look at what the framework sets out to achieve and how it intends to get there.


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
"This workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible."


IADIS International Conference - Web Based Communities 2004
This IADIS (International Association for Development of the Information Society) conference concentrates on the role of web-based communities.


Networked Learning Conference 2004
"The Networked Learning 2004 Conference is a research-based conference on networked learning in Higher Education and Lifelong Learning."


Metadata SIG Meeting
The next meeting of the Metadata and Digital Repository SIG is in at the offices of Learning and Teaching Scotland, Glasgow on 8th March.


UK Museums and the Web Conference 2004
This one one-day event brings together practitioners, policy makers, training providers and commentators, to explore the issues related to building and providing web-based museum content for users of all abilities.


CWUAAT (Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology)
This workshop covers universal access, assistive technology and rehabilitation robotics.


eLearning: Strategy, Development and Standards
A workshop about the Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI) e-learning specifications. The workshop will offer two strands. One, aimed at software developers and other information technologists. The second strand is aimed at educational and industry leaders and decision-makers, and will address the overall educational standards and specifications landscape.


eLearning Results 2004
This is the second of the standards focussed e-learning conference organised by VLE maker Giunti. This edition focusses on implementation and streamlining rather than new specs and practices. The conference will be preceded by workshops on IMS Learning Design, SCORM 2004, OKI, and SCORM and AICC Certification.


Authoring Rich Media Content Using SMIL - (Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language)
This BUFVC (British Universities Film and Video Council) course provides content developers with detailed information on how to author multimedia content using SMIL as supported in the current generation of web browsers and media players.


CSUN (California State University Northridge) International Conference "Technology and Persons with Disabilities"
This is a comprehensive, international conference, where all technologies across all ages; disabilities; levels of education and training; employment; and independent living are addressed.


Fifth CETIS-TechDis Accessibility Special Interest Group (SIG) Partnership Meeting
The Fifth CETIS-TechDis Accessibility Special Interest Group (SIG) Partnership Meeting will cover a number of issues relating to accessibility and e-learning in the Further and Higher Education environment.


CopperCore to power Learning Design implementations
The Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL) has just released CopperCore: an IMS Learning Design engine, the first of its kind. Rather than provide a complete take-it-or-leave-it Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), the open source package is designed to be integrated into a range of existing e-learning infrastructures.


ADL to make a 'repository SCORM'
Having safely delivered the SCORM 2004 (aka SCORM 1.3) e-learning content format, ADL outlined its plans for the Content Object Repository Discovery and Resolution Architecture (CORDRA) at the first ADL international plugfest in Zurich, Switserland. Like SCORM, the lovely named CORDRA will not be a new specification, but a reference model that combines a number of existing standards and specifications.


Beyond the Learner: Student and Government Perceptions of the E-Learning Experience
Organised by Oxford University's Learning Technologies Group and sponsored by the JISC Committee for Learning and Teaching (JCLT), this conference aims to let education managers, Learners, Vendors and ICT Developers debate high level questions about the desirability and direction of e-learning.


Engineering, Mathematics and the Dyslexic Student
This evening of short presentations is run by DDIG (Dyscalculia and Dyslexia Interest Group) and will cover issues relating to engineering, maths and dyslexia.


SCORM and the art of specification maintenance
SCORM 1.3 is dead, long live SCORM 2004! It is pretty much the same thing, but the name change indicates some hectic manoeuvering to satisfy the conflicting demands of stability and predictability versus the need to fix issues. The new version is out now. Also, the first public indications of ADL's desire to hand the present SCORM 'to the community' have surfaced in last week's co-located CEN/ISSS and IEEE LTSC meeting.


A National Workshop and Tutorial on Handheld Computers in Universities and Colleges
The day will focus on giving delegates the necessary background to make informed decisions about using handheld computers in departments, classes and courses.


Fundamentals of Flash MX - Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
This is a practical workshop aimed at web users who would like to start using Macromedia Flash to create animated and interactive content for the web.


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
This workshop in using Dreamweaver for web page creation, content and web site management will also aim to ensure that such content is accessible.


Web Accessibility: Design-for-All
The "Design for All" principle, which underpins this workshop, encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage.


ADL releases new SCORM test suite
One of the strengths of ADL's Sharable Content Reference Model (SCORM) is that the set of integrated e-learning specifications comes with a do-it-yourself test suite. The new version of the suite fixes bugs in the previous versions, so that people can test their SCORM 1.2 e-learning content and tools with more confidence.


More Sakai details revealed and partner programme presented
The Sakai consortium of US universities and the OKI and JASIG standards bodies have revealed more detailed plans for the open source, standard compliant Managed Learning Environment (MLE) that they are building. Most notable is a partner programme by which organisations other than the founding members can join in, and get support- for a fee.


Accessibility-checking Bookmarklets
A very handy collection of bookmarklets -tiny single function programmes that you store as bookmarks- that help make webpages more accessible. Examples include checkers for <th> in tables rather than <td>, switching stylesheets of and on and a rather nifty bookmarklet that shows all <div>s on a page with their ids and/or classes.
Link via Edtechpost


Suite of QTI development tools completed
The CETIS assessment SIG has coordinated the development of a set of three tools that helps developers implement IMS' Question and Test Interoperability specification.


ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association) 2004 Conference
ATIA 2004 serves as a forum for the Assistive Technology community to participate in presentations and discussions about new technology, practical applications, and services.


Joint CETIS Assessment SIG/SURF SiX meeting
The 11th Assessment SIG meeting will be a joint event with the Dutch SURF SiX Expert Group.


OSS Watch survey findings: interoperability a major factor in educational Open Source adoption.
JISC's new Open Source Software Watch (OSS Watch) pilot advisory service was formally launched last week with a conference and the presentation of a scoping study of free and open source use in UK Further and Higher Education. In the study, the single biggest factor that Higher Education respondents mentioned as a motive to choose open source was interoperability through better standards support. Intriguingly, the single biggest factor holding back open source software adoption is ... interoperability and migration concerns.


Identifiers, migrating metadata and orphaned objects
Sometimes you want an identifier to unambiguously refer to a resource: punch in a loved one's phone number, and you expect their phone to ring, and no other. Much the same identifier - resource functionality would be desirable for learning objects, but that has not been sorted yet. CETIS organised a meeting with a broad swathe of stakeholders to address the issue.


Reload releases SCORM e-learning content player
Now that the open source Reload content package editor is maturing and in pretty widespread use and development, the team have added a content player to the toolkit. It plays SCORM 1.2 in a pretty straightforward fashion, but is mainly meant to help content developers understand and control what is going on behind the scenes.


Blackboard Looks Likely To Go Public
Article in the Washington Post (requires a little registration) about the future plans of the 800lb gorilla in the elearning jungle. Note that it all looks quite tentative, with a take-over by Microsoft not ruled out either. This would make technological sense, as Blackboard has moved a lot of its code to MS's .net framework. Note that a subsidiary of the Washington Post has invested in Blackboard, so there maybe some axe-grinding going on.
Thanks to Ray Schroeder at Online learning update for the link


Usability Testing
A half day seminar which will cover usability testing of web sites and the basic principles of web accessibility.


Supporting Blind and Partially Sighted Students in Higher Education
This course has been specially designed to give support and advisory staff a hands-on knowledge of when and how to provide accessible materials, and of the range of access technology, products and services to support students in studying effectively.


Web Accessibility: Design-for-All
The "Design for All" principle, which underpins this workshop, encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage.


Implementing LAMS to Improve Teaching and Learning


Creating Accessible PDF Documents: A Live, Interactive, Online Web Conference
This introduction will not probe deeply into the more advanced features, but if you are creating relatively simple PDF files and want to make those documents reasonably accessible, this hour-long introduction will get you started.


Herding Tigers II: Best Practice in e-Learning Development
This workshop is designed for staff charged with developing and releasing technology-based learning resources for use in their institution. This event will focus on the practical challenges of dealing with some of the current important matters affecting eLearning - accessibility, evaluation, and learning technology standards.


Accessibility and Inclusion in e-Learning
This conference will review the process by which the expectations, demands, and legislative requirements can be converted into e-learning systems that respond to the needs of all learners and students.


LionShare peer-to-peer project kicks off
When the Visual User Image Study at Penn State looked at the use of images by students and staff they discovered a good many hidden treasure troves. How, then, to share these and other digital assets without taking control away from the owners? The LionShare peer-to-peer project aims to reconcile the two. We talk to the project's lead, Penn State's Mike Halm.


US universities consortium starts OKI and Portlet implementation project
Updated. After the release of the first batch of Open Knowledge Iniative (OKI) Open Service Interface Definitions (OSIDs), and the release of the new JSR 168 Portlet specification, the Universities of Indiana, Michigan, MIT and Stanford and the uPortal consortium set up a project that will implement and integrate the lot: SAKAI. The idea behind SAKAI is to build a framework where MLE compontents can be plugged and played in a wide variety of institutional networks.


Open Source Deployment and Development
This is the inaugural conference of the new OSS Watch, JISC's open source software advisory service for UK HE and FE. The conference is intended for the service's three main audiences: developers, IT and senior managers and anyone with an interest in free and open source software.


Difficulties Dyslexics have when Learning Statistics: An Initial Study of Computer-Based Media Effects on Learners who have Dyslexia
This workshop run by DDIG (Dyscalculia and Dyslexia Interest Group) will cover the study into the effects that computer-based media can have on learners who are dyslexic.


Ferl Annual Conference 2003
The Ferl 2003 Conference will address the question: "Are you ready to be a part of the transformation of the post-16 sector?" and includes presentations and workshops.


IMS Abstract Framework names parts
Though it may look like a kind of architecture, IMS' newly released Abstract Framework is more of a reference work. Designed to map out what has already been done and could be done in the eLearning specification world, it provides a guide to the kinds of things that make up eLearning practice. We talk to the principal author, Colin Smythe.


ASCILITE 2003
ASCLITE 2003 is the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education annual conference.


m-ICTE 2003
This is the second m-ICTE (International Conference on Multimedia and Information & Communication Technologies in Education) conference to take place.


Using SHAME to fill your SCAM
The deadly serious people at the Knowledge Management Research group at Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology just released their open source Standardized Hyper Adaptable Metadata Editor (SHAME). The editor is designed to be used in conjunction wih the equally open source, RDF-based Standardised Content Archive Management (SCAM) system. The pair are meant to kick start eLearning on the semantic web.


Accessible Assessment
This workshop will introduce some of the common issues faced by staff in attempting to create accessible assessments.


IADIS International Conference: WWW/Internet 2003
The IADIS (International Association for the Development of the Information Society) Conference aims to address the main issues of concern within WWW (World Wide Web) and Internet.


LOM/CanCore Open-Source Software Components released
Rather than building a complete metadata application that only meets one set of current needs, the CanCore people built a set of components that can be re-used in many digital library applications that suit your requirements. It's an approach to open source educational software development that we're going to hear much more about.


Online Educa Berlin - 9th International Conference on Technology Supported Learning and Training
The Online Educa Conference has several themes including: Learning in Enterprises, E-Learning Policies in Practice, New Roles for Teachers and Trainers, Managing Change in Higher Education, Innovative Learning Approaches, Learning in Distributed Environments, Quality Issues and Management, and Future Technologies for Learning.


Closing The Gap 21st Annual Conference
This conference has many presentations on the topic of computer technology in special education and rehabilitation.


Reusable Competencies moves from IMS to IEEE
In a move that is meant to be the first more, IMS donated the Reusable Definition of Competency or Educational Objective (RDCEO) specification to the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) for development as a standard. Apart from enabling wider adoption of RDCEO, the decision represents a streamlining of the specification-to-standard process that has been widely touted for many years.


UK Learner Profile components to form core of European standard
With the official acceptance of the CEN/ISSS "Guidelines for the production of learner information standards and specifications" workshop agreement, the first steps have been taken to establish a European standard for the transfer of learner information. The agreement will make it easier for learners of all descriptions to present their educational credentials and achievements to employers and colleges both nationally and at the European level.


Future of SCORM 1.x guide published, services top of the menu
It's not a roadmap. It's not, in theory, exhaustive. It doesn't recommend anything in particular. It's not even from ADL itself, so it is not normative in any way. Yet Carnegie-Mellon Learning Systems Architecture Lab's "Technical Evolution of SCORM" probably is the most definitive guide to what could happen to the present form of SCORM. We talk to the author, Dan Rehak.


Fourth CETIS-TechDis Accessibility Special Interest Group (SIG) Partnership Meeting.
The next CETIS-TechDis Accessibility SIG meeting will include presentations and discussions on creating accessible e-learning, specifications and usability.


Update: ISO emphasises free-of-charge use of its country, currency and language codes.
In a further clarification of its position, ISO now emphasises the free use of its country, currency and language codes, even by commercial software developers.


Assistive Technology and Accessible Media in Higher Education - Sixth Annual Accessing Higher Ground Conference
The Accessing Higher Ground Conference focuses on the implementation and benefits of Assistive Technology in the university and college setting. Other topics include legal and policy issues, and making media and information resources (such as web pages and library resources) accessible.


SCORM Dynamic Appearance Model white paper released
In a bid to make learning objects of the SCORM variety truly re-useable, Sun and the Canadian Department of National Defence have released a white paper on the Dynamic Appearance Model (DAM).


Dyslexia and e-Learning
This TechDis workshop offers an overview of the issues that students with dyslexia may encounter when using e-learning materials.


SMIRK (Simple Media-Integrating Resource Creator)
This TechDis workshop introduces SMIRK, which enables academics to produce multimedia presentations that can be loaded into a virtual learning environment.


Fundamentals of Flash MX: Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
Part of the content of this workshop includes making Flash movies accessible.


Fundamentals of Flash MX: Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
Part of the content of this workshop includes making Flash movies accessible.


Fundamentals of Flash MX: Animation and Interactivity with Macromedia Flash MX
Part of the content of this workshop includes making Flash movies accessible.


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
This practical workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Macromedia Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible.


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
This practical workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Macromedia Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible.


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
This practical workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Macromedia Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible.


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
This practical workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Macromedia Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible.


Dreamweaver MX: Creating and Managing Accessible Web Sites
This practical workshop aims to utilise the functionality of Macromedia Dreamweaver for web page creation, content management and web site management, while ensuring all pages are accessible.


CETIS Learning Design Workshop
*** This Workshop is now full. Registrations are closed *** This two day workshop organised by the CETIS Educational Content Special Interest Group (EC SIG) and the CETIS Pedagogy Forum will be held on Tuesday 28th October and Wednesday 29th October 2003, at Learning and Teaching Scotland, Glasgow.


Authoring Rich Media Content Using SMIL (Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language)
This course run by BUFVC (British Universities Film and Video Council) will provide content developers with detailed information on how to author multimedia content using the features of the W3C's (World Wide Web Consortium) SMIL (Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language) specification.


ISO wants to charge vendors for use of country, language and currency codes
In a recent 'clarification' of its policy, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) has decided to start charging commercial vendors for the use of the ubiquitous country, language and currency code standards that it publishes. These standards are directly normative for half of all IMS specifications and the IEEE LOM, and indirectly normative, via the W3C's XML, for all of them.


Open Source IMS VDEX authoring tool available
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.


9th CETIS Educational Content SIG Meeting
*** This meeting is now full. Registrations are closed *** The 9th CETIS Educational Content SIG (EC SIG) Meeting will be held on Friday 12th December 2003, at the Dept. of Computer Science, Manchester University.


Educational Plone-Sprint
The open source Zope application server tends to get developed in 'sprints', and the tradition continues for the newer Plone content management system that runs on top of it. This particular sprint is intended to add virtual learning environment functionality to Plone, including support for a number of IMS specs.


'QTI Ready' almost ready
Adding to the growing pile of IMS QTI compliant software is a new server side plug-in: QTI Ready. Following the emerging trend of supplying applications that are meant to do only one thing, and do it well, QTI Ready allows you to edit and play QTI based quizzes and tests on any J2EE aware webserver. Your existing VLE should be able to take care of the rest.


UKCMF becomes the UK LOM Core
After some soul searching, the name of the Learning Object Meta-Data standard as applied to the UK has changed from UK Core Metadata Framework (UKCMF) to the UK LOM Core.


Courseware Management Systems, Accessibility versus Usability
This presentation, by EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information), takes the form of a Web-based, interactive, voice conference and provides skills to make online educational content more accessible.


New Australian e-learning centre of excellence starts work
The Macquarie e-learning centre of excellence (MELCOE) has just been launched onto the world. Though the centre is new, they are the stewards of the existing COLIS reference implementation of a number of IMS interoperability specifications.


Enhancing Your Web Pages: Further HTML, CSS, Design and Accessibility
Accessibilty is rapidly becoming the driving force behind the design considerations for many web sites. This workshop will also investigate some of the fundamental steps required to produce accessible content as well as introducing current guidelines and web standards.


Canadian Metadata Forum
Library and Archives Canada are hosting a two-day Canadian Metadata Forum, with the purpose of bringing together participants from Canadian metadata communities, both government and non-government, such as libraries, archives, museums, industry, educational institutions and academia.


The dynamic appearance model and implementing SCORM 1.3
About a year ago, the Canadian Department of National Defense presented a white paper about means to make SCORM type content truly re-useable by separating content from presentation. Now they've followed up with another white paper that gets into the nitty gritty of implementing the model while working around a number of SCORM 1.3 issues.


ALT-C 2003: Communities of Practice
ALT-C 2003 is aimed at practitioners, researchers and those interested in the application of learning technology in further and higher education.


Interoperability in practice at the CETIS / LTScotland codebash
Bangor, Wednesday, July 2, 2003. 46 participants from 26 organisations from 4 countries came to the second CETIS / Learning and Teaching Scotland codebash in Glasgow last week, with 2 participants joining in online.


ACM Conference on Universal Usability 2003
The second ACM Conference on Universal Usability will present work which enables the widest range of users to successfully use technology for information, communications, entertainment, education, e-commerce, civic systems and government services.


8th CETIS Educational Content SIG Meeting
*** This meeting is now full *** The 8th EC SIG Meeting is a free all-day workshop and discussion event, with reports on the latest in content-related standards and specs, and demos and presentations on new developments. This meeting is being held in tandem with the CETIS Assessment SIG Meeting on August 29th; go to the Assessment SIG website to register for that one.


A feature or a bug; SCORM and cross domain scripting
People trying to deploy SCORM across several sites have been agonising over the problems associated with playing SCORM content from one domain in a VLE in another domain. We asked SCORM luminaries Dan Rehak, Claude Ostyn, Wayne Hodgins and Schawn Thropp about their views on the nature of the problem, what sorts of solutions might work and what SCORM's makers -ADL- intend to do about it.


QTI meets LOM
The COLA project, run by the Scottish Colleges Open Learning Exchange Group (COLEG), has developed one of the first applications of the IEEE Learing Object Metadata (LOM) standard to online assessment.


HCI 2003 Designing for Society
HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) Conference 2003 will bring together researchers, practitioners, educators and users with interests in the many facets of human-computer interaction, usability and interactive systems.


OKI releases first batch of specs
The Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI) publicly released the first of the long awaited Open Service Interface Definitions (OSIDs)- the connecting bits for the OKI managed learning environment architecture. With these OSIDs, adopters can string together student records systems, virtual learning environments, management information systems and other enterprise applications with a minimum of customisation.


United Kingdom Web Accessibility Congress
CANCELLED: Web accessibility affects everyone with a website - not just corporations and government bodies - so this congress has an international line up of speakers concerned with making websites accessible for all users.


Web Accessibility: Design-for-all Workshop
The "Design for All" principle, which underpins this workshop, encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage. This workshop is aimed at anyone who produces web pages and wishes to understand and explore the principles and practice of producing accessible content.


Next CETIS Assessment SIG meeting - 29 August 2003


OASIS portal spec approved
With the technical committee approval and the endorsement of the usual major IT vendors, Web Services for Remote Portlets is a mere weeks away from being an OASIS standard. That should make it easier to configure portals, and also make more portal content readily available for compliant systems.


CETIS makes online documentation system for QTI ASI available
CETIS Assessment SIG member Niall Barr of Strathclyde University has developed a rather nifty system to browse the many elements of QTI as well as a list of possible response types. Not just that, you can discuss them as well.


INTERACT 2003 - Bringing the Bits Together
The ninth IFIP Technical Committee 13 (TC13) international conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) will act as a platform for HCI research and practice.


Institutional Web Management Workshop 2003: Supporting Our Users
The 7th Institutional Web Management Workshop is organised by UK Web Focus and UKOLN in order to support members of institutional Web management teams within the UK Higher and Further Educational communities.


First draft of UK Common Metadata Framework released
CETIS has released the first draft of the UK Common Metadata Framework, providing practitioners in the UK with guidelines for using learning object metadata.


Big vendors reaffirm commitment to standards
Which is nice, but what does that mean outside of their marketing departments? For a start, a promise to hold them against. But there's more.


IADIS International Conference e-Society 2003
The IADIS (International Association for Development of the Information Society) e-Society 2003 Conference aims to address both the technical and non-technical aspects of the information society - E-Commerce, E-Learning and E-Government.


Encoding Digital Video for Network Delivery - Introduction
This BUFVC (British Universities Film & Video Council) one-day course provides an introduction to the problems and issues relating to digitising moving images for online delivery.


Authoring Rich Media Content Using SMIL (Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language)
This course provides content developers with detailed information on how to author multimedia content using the features of the W3C's SMIL specification supported in the current generation of web browsers and media players.


Encoding Digital Video for Network Delivery - Advanced
This one day BUFVC (British Universities Film & Video Council) course is offered in response to demand for an in-depth programme and follows on from the Introductory course.


Homebrew MLE with a difference
There are plenty of home-grown VLEs. There are even a few MLEs built in-house. But not quite so many with their own XML e-portfolio format, and extending into blogging and/or peer-to-peer software. Why do it that way? Because "In a school, the creation of meaningful data is a social process."


IMS ACCLIP is a public draft
The IMS Accessibility for the Learner Information Profile has entered the public draft stage. Barring some very unusual happenings, the document will provide the basis for a means of storing learner's preferences for how they want or need to access learning content.


Enhancing Your Web Pages - Further HTML, CSS, Design and Accessibility
This workshop explores the use of HTML form tags to create web page interfaces, Cascading Style Sheets, some of the steps required to produce accessible content and will introduce current guidelines and web standards.


7th Educational Content SIG Meeting
This meeting is now full. Special pleadings and offers of good quality chocolate may be sent to the EC SIG Coordinator at sarah.currier@strath.ac.uk


Networking Assistive Technology Workshop
This workshop, run in collaboration with the Sight and Sound and the BRITE (Beattie Resources for Inclusiveness in Technology and Education) Centre, intends to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding the implementation of assistive technologies across institutional networks.


Web Accessibility: Design-for-all Workshop
The "Design for All" principle, which underpins this workshop, encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage. This workshop is aimed at anyone who produces web pages and wishes to understand and explore the principles and practice of producing accessible content.


Web Accessibility: Design-for-all Workshop
Web accessibility affects many different users- not just the visually impaired. "Design-for-all" is a European initiative to encourage designers to develop a single accessible web site. This workshop will be relevant to anyone who is familiar with HTML and wishes to ensure that they are producing accessible web pages.


Web Accessibility: Design-for-all Workshop
Web accessibility affects many different users- not just the visually impaired. "Design-for-all" is a European initiative to encourage designers to develop a single accessible web site. This workshop will be relevant to anyone who is familiar with HTML and wishes to ensure that they are producing accessible web pages.


How Accessible is your Library? Practical Approaches to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
The Open University Library is hosting a Disability Awareness Day on behalf of SEMLAC (South East Museum Library and Archive Council) and BBi (Beds and Bucks Information), which will cover the FE (Further Education) and HE (Higher Education) perspective, how to make websites accessible and will discuss some of the equipment and software available to help disabled users make the most of library resources.


Third CETIS-TechDis Accessibility Special Interest Group (SIG) Meeting
The Third CETIS-TechDis Accessibility SIG (Special Interest Group) Partnership Meeting will take place at the University of Central Lancashire.


Creating Accessible Multimedia
This event will explore the issues surrounding the creation of accessible multimedia and will also act as a swap shop of solutions.


A Quick Introduction to OWL
A link via Elearningspace to the most comprehensible introduction to the OWL Web Ontology Language I have seen so far. OWL is a mark-up language for publishing and sharing ontologies- basic semantic definitions of things you can find on the web and how they relate. It will play an important role in the semantic web, and might be used to ensure semantic interoperability elsewhere as well. The presentation is timely, as the W3C is in the final stages of releasing OWL 1.0


NILTA Technical Conference - Practical Steps to Accessibility
This conference focuses on the practical steps that the post-16 sector can take to implement quality provision. The speakers have been involved in the everyday battle to strive for the best for the students requiring services from the sector. Keynote speakers will provide briefings on current issues which will be supported by practical examples and solutions.


RELOAD releases beta of open source Metadata editor
One issue that keeps popping up in debates about learning objects is the metadata question; how are educators supposed to make an interoperable description of a learning object that will allow it to be found by others? The Reload elarning tool development project decided to attack that problem before any others, with the first results already appearing.


2003 eLearning Results Summit
The summit is a high level get together of interoperability standards luminaries. There are two parts: a free conference sponsored by Giunti labs with talks by people ranging from IMS CEO Ed Walker to Anne Wright of the DfES / e-GIF. The other part is a series of paid-for technical workshops sponsored by IMS and designed to get people up to speed on the various IMS Specs and application Profiles like SCORM.


Harvard's H20 project
The goal of Harvard Law School's h20 project is to build "an interlocking collection of communities based on the free creation and exchange of ideas.", motivated by an even loftier ideal of maintaining the original idea of academe. In practice, the core of the project is a piece of open sourced software, Rotisserie, that manages group discussions. The difference with traditional discussion boards is that a) it compels everyone to respond to an initial question, before all responses are published b) in the second round every participant is assigned a response from the first round that they have to comment on c) it allows multiple courses/rotisseries to be linked. See http://slashdot.org/articles/03/03/26/0139241.shtml?tid=146 for a wide ranging debate about the pros and cons.


IEEE LTSC and ISO SC36 seek to prevent LOM split
Standards are as much process as they are product, and that means they need to move from one organisation to another. Occassionally that goes wrong, with a split standard as the imminent danger. IEEE LTSC and ISO SC36 are now working hard to prevent that from happening to the LOM metadata standard.


WebAIM Training Event 2003
WebAIM's online training event is for web content developers, managers and trainers. It includes real-time audio discussions, streaming video, simulations, tutorials, text chats, and an interactive discussion group and is in itself an example of accessible Web design.


Techshare 2003
Techshare is for professionals who work in the field of visual impairment, or have an interest in technology and how it facilitates independent access to education, employment, lifelong learning and society for people with sight problems.


Major SCORM stakeholders unify message
In a bid to clarify one part of the elearning content field, the IEEE LTSC that is now meeting in Paris will take the initiative to set up both an overarching SCORM / CMI advisory group and a one-stop website for everything you always wanted to know about SCORM and all the specifications and standards it profiles.


CETIS launches Enterprise SIG
Bangor, Wales, 12 March 2003 - the CETIS project is starting a new Special Interest Group (SIG) for everyone interested in implementing or learning more about IMS Enterprise and related specifications.


CETIS Pedagogy Forum - Launch event
The Pedagogy Forum is a new group within CETIS and aims to provide a forum to examine and discuss the pedagogic implications of interoperability standards and identify requirements that can be input into the specification process.


Saba donates free SCORM testing tool to community.
Now this is the sort of thing that benefits everyone. Saba's decision to release the SCORM Detective tool basically means three things: it demonstrates industry support for standards in general -and those of specific players in particular!- it directly helps achieve interoperability and promotes understanding of the specs in the community too.


Learning Design eyes implementation, about to release architecture
After the end of the IMS meetings in Vancouver, the Valkenburg group of IMS Learning Design implementers got together to see where things stand with the spec and its predecessor; Educational Modelling Language. The first glimpses of LD tools are there, but this is just the beginning of a long process.


Second CETIS-TechDis Accessibility Special Interest Group (SIG) Partnership Meeting
Accessibility issues are of importance to all those involved in developing learning technology or creating content for it. The SIG (Special Interest Group) focuses on creation and implementation (i.e. on content authors and on developers) and is open to anyone interested in interoperability standards and accessibility.


IMS Learning Design a full specification
After a fairly smooth period as a public draft, IMS Learning Design has now been accepted as a full specification by a 94% majority of IMS members. In a sense, the real deal starts now, as the specification is now stable enough for the vendors to develop.


The Twelfth International World Wide Web Conference
This conference covers all aspects of web devlopment.


SiX plugfest report: encouraging, but could do better
Dutch educational standards working group SiX just published the results of its plugfest. Over the day, various managed/virtual learning environments were required to import, export and display a standardised set of ADL SCORM 1.2, IMS Content packaging 1.3, IMS QTI 1.2 and IMS Enterprise 1.1 data. Result: familiar problems and remarkable differences between products.


ISO SC36 'Metadata for Learning Resources' working group approved
Following a ballot of its national members, the ISO JTC1 SC36 educational standards body will set up a working group for "Metadata for Learning Resources". But hang on, didn't we already have IEEE's LOM as a standard for data about learning objects? We do, and how IEEE's LOM and ISO's LRM will relate is going to be interesting.


Current snapshot on Open Standards - Status Report #2
Link via Elearnspaces to Marc's [loud] Voice. It's a small snippet with a personal connections diagram (blogs, IM, webservices) that in itself doesn't describe anything very new, but for the observation that they are indeed getting integrated into a 'mesh'. "That mesh is being formed by a loosely coupled conflagration of an open source community of developers building something great. It's a decentralized infrastructure, currently based on nothing but chutzpah and instinct."


CHI 2003 (Computer-Human Interaction) Conference
The CHI 2003 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems is an international forum for the exchange of ideas and information about computer-human interaction (CHI), also known as human-computer interaction (HCI).


BrailleNet 2003 Workshop
This workshop will reinforce the links between the scientific and technical community and will demonstrate that research and development in the field of new technologies can generate helpful digital services for handicapped people. It will also help to integrate the basic concepts of Accessibility and Design for All into any digital product conception.


IEEE to lift SCORM, IMS Content Packaging to standard status, clarifies LOM future.
Though proper standards bodies like IEEE are supposed to be more cautious and slow than specification bodies, IEEE's Learning and Teaching Sub Committee (LTSC) is anouncing a raft of new standards and initiatives for 2003. LOM will get new bindings, the Architecture and Reference Model and the gubbins that define SCORM are nearly standards, Competency Definitions and Digital Rights Expression Language are in various stages of completion and with a bit of luck, the ongoing copyright issue over IEEE standards might get resolved.


Digital Repositories Interoperability spec approved by IMS
The latest IMS spec to reach 'final' status deals with ways to store learning objects and make them available to other people. There are quite a few specs out there that will help systems do that already, but none specifically geared to make use of the IMS Meta-Data spec. Fortunately, IMS is not in the mood to start re-inventing the wheel, and has therefore liberally borrowed from existing specs.


TouchGraph GoogleBrowser V1.01
This one is straight from the cool-web-toys-department: a java applet that visually represents the result from a Google 'what's related' query. Enjoy your wanderings through topic clusters!


5th Meeting- British Standards LT Committee panel (IST/43/-/2)
Fifth meeting: British Standards Learning Technology Committee panel (IST/43/-/2) on a standard for a "Code of Practice in the area of standardising eSupport for eLearning" (BS8426)


EuroTAAC 2003
EuroTAAC (The Alternative Authorware Conference) was launched in 2000 for Authorware developers in Europe.


The one standard, LOM and the semantic web.
In a lengthy and characteristically thought provoking presentation, Stephen Downes challenges both the need and the demand for just one Learning Object Metadata (LOM) standard. That done, the very existence of such beasts as learning objects is called into question. We examine the argument.


6th CETIS Educational Content SIG Meeting
This meeting is now full: registrations closed.


Designing Instruction with Learning Objects
Checklist of dos and don'ts when developing learning objects. Though useful, it suffers from some contradictions: on the one hand, Principle 3 says that learning objects must be small to be reuseable, while Principle 1 says that Learning Objects Must Be Units of Instruction That Stand Alone. i.e."Create the content of a learning object to be similar in scope and nature to the content of a typical "lesson" so as to create instruction, not merely information (Downes, 2000)." Also, Principle 4 holds that A Sequence of Learning Objects Must Have a Context, but "instructional content designed as context-independent chunks in an object-oriented programming environment can be shared with other users, recombined with other objects, or redesigned by other instructional developers with reasonable expectations of cost savings"


Scientists Giddy About the Grid
Short and lightweight Wired article about the benefits of grid computing. "By using [open source] Globus software that is quickly becoming the world standard, earthquake centers can link their computers to each other through one technological language. Voilà! No more bickering and much more collaboration (if all goes well, of course)."


Athens under attack
The security of the UK's de facto education standard for federated web access, Athens, is the target of a scam. A bogus email that purports to come from Athens administrators tries to fool users into submitting usernames and passwords.


BOBCATSSS 2003
The main topic will be: Information Policy and the European Union. It is aimed at information specialists, students, and professors in the field of Library and Information Education and Research, employees of libraries and information departments.


User Interface Engineering (UIE) Web Application Design Summit
The UIE Web Application Design Summit focusses on lessons learned by the leading experts in web application development. Industry leaders will discuss the trials and tribulations of producing browser-based applications.


Vision Loss in the 21st Century - Everybody's Business
This is the second International Symposium: Vision Loss in the 21st Century - Everybody's Business, co-sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind and the Foundation for the Junior Blind.


Granada make QTI Assessment previewer available
In a bid to help development and implementation of the IMS Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) spec, Granada Learning have made a test previewer available online. It allows content developers to upload QTI assessments, and check how they're rendered in Granada's Testwise tool.


Web Accessibility Issues: Developing Policy
The course will be useful to Managers with responsibility for policy development and/or managment of Information Resources within the public, private and voluntary sector. It will be of particular interest to Ethical Companies, Local Authorities and Educational Establishments seeking to comply with the DDA and (Special Educational Needs and Disability Act, 2001).


Designing Courses: Learning Objects, IMS Standards, XML, SGML, etc.
Great link from the elearnspace blog: a pretty comprehensive resource list for anything to do with learning objects.


Accessible Web Design in Practice: a Two Day Training Programme for Web Designers and Website Managers
This course is aimed at web designers with an interest in accessible website design. It assumes that participants have a basic knowledge of HTML. It is a two day course and is designed to allow some flexibility so that it can be tailored to the needs of participants depending on their interests and priorities.


Accessible Web Design in Practice: a Two Day Training Programme for Web Designers and Website Managers
This course is aimed at web designers with an interest in accessible website design.


Exposing information resources for e-learning - Harvesting and searching IMS metadata using the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting and Z39.50
Quite technical and comprehensive overview of both the nacent IMS Digital Repositories spec and the protocols used in JISC's Information environment. "while we are confident that the use of OAI-PMH described here will form a sensible basis for interoperability between different systems, the draft nature of the DRWG specifications probably means that it is a little early to be spending significant effort on supporting IMS metadata in Z39.50 just yet."


Personal Digital Assistants and Disabled Students
This TechDis workshop will examine the use of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and issues that arise for disabled students. Emphasis will be placed on how PDAs can benefit disabled students, and issues of usability and accessibility will also be covered. The workshop will also report on how the Internet, VLEs and other technologies can be accessed using PDAs.


Sit Back and Relax
This TechDis workshop looks at the use, creation and accessibility of electronic books.


Captioning Video Using Magpie
This workshop will provide you with an introduction to the captioning of media files, using Magpie 1.0, which is a free downloadable tool. Captioning of media is an important part of creating accessible multimedia for all learners.


Web Accessibility - The US Experience
Dan Comden, an expert in computer consultancy from the University of Washington, will be holding this workshop for TechDis. This workshop will look into the unique US experience of web accessibility. Topics will include a comparison of the US experience of Higher Education support, compared to that seen in the UK, and important findings on web accessibility within the United States.


IMS Simple Sequencing approved
After some delay, IMS members have voted for Simple Sequencing; a means of describing how a learner can progress through on-line learning activities. The idea is that it will provide a means of choreographing learning objects in a few simple ways. The spec will be part of the forthcoming version of SCORM (1.3) for precisely that reason.


Virtual Learning Environments and Accessibility
This workshop run by TechDis looks at a variety of Virtual Learning Environments and how accessible they are. It will also look at techniques and strategies for ensuring accessible content. There will also be a short session on Computer Based Assessment and Accessibility.


IMS Open Technical Forum and Special Briefing
The Open Technical Forum event is open to anyone interested in the latest developments around elearning interoperability standards. The Special Briefing is more in-depth about the IMS specifications.


Where oh Where is Plug & Play?
Thought provoking and well argued rant about the lack of attention to basic interoperability in elearning standard implementation. Particular ire is reserved for student performance tracking. "...disgruntled customers like Buckman's Ellis don't want to listen to any more visionary talk about reusable content objects until they're satisfied that the basic plumbing works."


Nobody expects the spontaneous integration
Or: how to integrate web-borne systems without even trying. Quite a rollicking read for anyone interested in web services. "By Thursday, the vendor of the library software had withdrawn the Web page on which I'd found the 900 URLs. What had seemed to be an informational Web page had turned out, to the vendor's surprise, to be a directory of Web services. Oops."


Mainstreaming Assistive Technology Conference (MAT) 2003
MAT 2003 explores accessibility solutions and the networking of assistive technology as implemented on a large academic network.


eLearnExpo Paris 2003
The Sixth International E Learning Expo & Conference, is being held in Paris. It will include an exhibition demonstrating the latest products and techniques in on-line conferencing and collaboration tools, an international “eLearning Master Class”, hands-on learning experiences, demonstrations and workshops.


OpenEAI educational middleware launch imminent
The University of Illinois, SCT Corp. and Open Integration, Inc. are about to unveil the open source Enterprise Application Integration (OpenEAI) project. The project will define an XML based message format and a message protocol with standardised APIs in Java for enterprise integration purposes. Certainly sounds like OKI...


Teamrooms: Tapping the Collaborative Learning Advantage
Practical as well as (unintentionally?) thought provoking article on how to implement web-based colloborative software (aka 'teamrooms'). The point is that few organisations seem to have made a good go of it, I suspect because of the pervasiveness of email. "In order for behavioral change to occur, the current ways of working must become so ineffective that we are forced to overcome our resistance to change and experiment with the new processes, as mentioned before. We are nearing that stage with email, particularly as complex, cross-functional teams become the norm for project work."


19th Annual Conference on Teaching and Learning
The Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning provides a forum for the exchange of information on distance education and training. The conference addresses the needs of educators, trainers, managers and designers from throughout the world who are involved in the application of technology to the teaching and learning process and in the planning, administration, and management of distance education programs.


DC-2003 conference
The annual conference and workshop of the Dublin Core Initiative. The conference track is the venue for the latest research on anything to do with metadata; including, but not limited to, educational metadata. The tutorial track features introductions to the spec, and the workshop track ongoing technical development of the spec.


World Education Market
A networking, buying and selling event of about 2000 participants in 2002. Given those numbers, the audience involves almost anyone who has something to do with education and training. As of last year, however, an 'eVillage' is set up with the European Institute for e-Learning (EIFEL).


ADL takes first step to repository profile
With the publication of a report on "Emerging and Enabling Technologies for the Design of Learning Object Repositories", ADL is taking the first tentative steps to designing a learning object repository application profile to complement its existing learning object reference model, SCORM.


I/ITSEC showcases military educational technology, SCORM
The annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) is a large get-together that deals with the training and education of the -mainly US- military. Though a specialised sector -mass destruction simulations, anyone?-, it is one where learning technologies like SCORM are most widely deployed.


Stretching and squeezing (X)HTML to your needs
At the bottom of the pile of educational technology specifications sits (X)HTML; common as grass and about as worthy of comment. Or is it? With new working drafts for Modularization of XHTML in XML Schema and XHTML 2.0, the W3C is squeezing the ubiquitous web language onto more devices and stretching it to cover more functions. Some web geeks can't wait, and have already begun to make XHTML do weird and wonderful things.


IEEE explores Digital Rights Expression Language Standards
The continued, global wrangling over intellectual property in the digital age does not just pass the elearning world by. Whichever position you take on the sort of policy that should dominate, there needs to be some means to assert policies over educational content and applications. Which is exactly what the IEEE is starting to explore in a new draft white paper.


MLEARN 2003 Learning with Mobile Devices
m-Learning and MOBIlearn are two mobile learning projects supported by the European Commission, and which are collaborating to organise MLEARN 2003 in London. A similar event will be held in 2004 in Rome.


4th International Conference on Information Communication Technologies in Education
The fourth International Conference on Information Communication Technologies in Education (ICICTE) will offer collaborative opportunities to educators, administrators, IT specialists, and others from all levels of education, from primary through to post-secondary.


Internet Librarian International 2003
This event is for information professionals to update their skills and learn about new strategies, products and technology for finding, organising and managing information resources.


ETSI, CEN/ISSS, CENELEC Conference 2003 - Accessibility for All
This conference addresses the role of European Standardization for accessibility to products, services and environments for all in response the the designation of 2003 as the ‘European Year of People with Disabilities’”.


EM2: An Environment for Editing and Management of Educational Metadata
A Educational Technology & Society article on an EU project about educational metadata- easily one of the trickiest areas of learning technology. This lengthy piece is pretty compulsory reading for anyone who needs to facilitate metadata searching and creation. It discusses both the practical problems, the most common tools and proposes the architecture of a comprehensive educational metadata management tool.


Assuring Content Quality and Accessibility for your Web Site
Free webcast by HiSoftware and Microsoft on assuring content quality and accessibility for your web site, compliant with Section 508 and W3C Accessibility Guidelines.


Assuring Content Quality and Accessibility for your Web Site
Free webcast by HiSoftware and Microsoft on assuring content quality and accessibility for your web site, compliant with Section 508 and W3C Accessibility Guidelines.


Assuring Content Quality and Accessibility for your Web Site
Free webcast by HiSoftware and Microsoft on assuring content quality and accessibility for your web site, compliant with Section 508 and W3C Accessibility Guidelines.


Assuring Content Quality and Accessibility for your Web Site
Free webcast by HiSoftware and Microsoft on assuring content quality and accessibility for your web site, compliant with Section 508 and W3C Accessibility Guidelines.


Assuring Content Quality and Accessibility for your Web Site
Free webcast by HiSoftware and Microsoft on assuring content quality and accessibility for your web site, compliant with Section 508 and W3C Accessibility Guidelines.


Assuring Content Quality and Accessibility for your Web Site
Free webcast by HiSoftware and Microsoft on assuring content quality and accessibility for your web site, compliant with Section 508 and W3C Accessibility Guidelines.


ADL release new implementation guide, conformance test suite almost final version 1.3 of SCORM
Just ahead of the forthcoming plugfest, Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) release a new implementation guide of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM), as well as an updated conformance test-suite for self-testing content and systems. All of these are for version 1.2; 1.3 is edging closer to 'final' status with a new working draft.


4th International Conference on Information Communication Technologies in Education
The aims of the conference are to provide education and training to practitioners in social, industrial, and economic areas; to provide practitioners in these areas with ideas on integrating technology into all facets of education; and to provide a forum for intensive interaction. Encouraging high levels of academic rigour, the conference will offer keynote and plenary sessions, and workshops with internationally recognized educators and researchers in the theoretical and practical applications of technology in education. ICICTE 2003 will be an integrated event offering collaborative opportunities to educators, administrators, IT specialists, and others from all levels of education, from primary through post secondary. The deadline for proposals of papers is January 6, 2003. The early registration deadline is April 30, 2003.


Z39.50 search and retrieve turned into simpler web service
With the launch of version 1.0 of Search and Retrieve Webservice/URL access mechanism (SRW/U) and the Common Query Language (CQL), webservice implementors of various hue now have a handier way to either expose their own databases, or search others'.


Open uPortal technology gains ground in the UK
Over a series of meetings, US representatives of the Java in Administration Special Interest Group (JA SIG) outlined their open source university portal technology to a diverse sample of UK HE representatives. Result: intriguing points of contact between UK educational software projects and uPortal have been identified, and a UK JA SIG has been set up.


Open-source CMS: On the rise
Content management systems are still a rising meme, but people have less budget to play with these days. Hence this useful overview of the main open source CMS packages. "The tough economic times make open-source CMS look even more appealing, but the ability to customize the code is also a driving force."


A Scalable Architecture for Harvest-Based Digital Libraries
Quite a technical, but interesting article about the ideas that are now being used to make metadata searches easier and more reliable. The article is particularly valuable for those who need to know more about implementing the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting.


Developers content to bash code at CETIS
In the interest of science, about twenty-five developers were happy to have their precious programs maltreated during the CETIS content package codebash. Under the good offices of Learning and Teaching Scotland's (LTScotland) Gerry Graham CETIS' Lorna Campbell, IMS content packages were freely swapped between systems. Conclusion: getting wrapped-up learning objects from one system to another is getting a lot smoother, but we're not quite there yet.


Open Platforms and Tools for Personalised Learning: an overview for potential end-users
A PROACTe paper on a survey of a number of EU funded projects under the Education and Training Action Line of the Information Society Technologies Programme. These projects are "aimed at developing the building blocks for the underlying support services needed to build distributed learning systems in such a way that learning objects (courses, modules etc.) can be flexibly archived, described and retrieved for re-use."


Alternative Architectural Concept 2 - Federated Integration
This is the second in a series of articles discussing possible variations to the Learning Technology Systems Architecture (LTSA) model delineated by the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) working group. In a previous article I covered one of the core structural issues / content object taxonomy. With the taxonomy I implied some deeper philosophical predispositions which I feel are vital to the success of any potential learning architecture.


Content village e-Learning Resource Centre
A new European link lister with a pretty impressive collection of e-learning resources. The content village is an offspring of the eContent programme.


Collaborative Tools for e-Learning
A link from elearnspace.org: a thorough outline why the focus is shifting to collaborative technologies and why that is a good thing. It does mention some technologies, but not Colloquia- of which it is pretty much a blueprint. "As Peter Drucker often points out, we need knowledge workers who are skilled in problem-solving, collaboration and learning. Therefore, education must prepare workers for these environments. Collaborative technologies have emerged to offer a way to familiarize learners with these new expectations and experiences."


OKI, IMS, ADL and SIF join up
The four main US-based educational technology specification bodies are to formalise their ties, set up coordinated activities and provide joint support for developers.


Objective: Re-usable competency
After some extensive technical finetuning, IMS just made version 1.0 of the Re-useable Definition of Competency or Educational Objective (RDCEO) spec available. The purpose of this spec is to make it easy to refer to things like learning outcomes, skills, knowledge and tasks. This is particularly useful when information is required for career plans or when refering to course prerequisites or course outcomes.


Impact of "Too Much Information"
Sound advice for any knowledgeworker from an elearning specialist. "The information worker's dilemma: "What do I have to know, and how do I know I have to know it?" This question is asked with each email, website, article, conversation, phone call."


LSC's Distributed and Electronic Learning Group looks to beef up e-learning support post 16
In a pretty substantial report, the distance and electronic learning group (DELG) of the UK's prime further education body (the Learning and Skills Council, LSC) outline their vision of e-learning post 16 in a series of 154 key issues and recommendations. In very general terms, the aim is to achieve a robust, targeted and comprehensive framework for the whole sector.


First Accessibility SIG Partnership Meeting publishes results
The First CETIS Techdis accessibility Special Interest Group (SIG) get-together was held Tuesday last week. The Manchester meeting brought together, for the first time in the UK, e-learning vendors and specialists, academics from the FE and HE sectors and representatives from disability groups. As the feedback indicates, the opportunity was not wasted to discuss the challenges and opportunities of making e-learning accessible to everyone.


Eduzope initiative seeks to combine standards support with open source
Two trends are starting to dominate IT government policy making in Europe: standard compliance and open source licensing. E-learning is no exception there, and the Eduzope initiative has sprung up to cover both bases.


W3C promotes XML 1.1 to Candidate Recommendation.
The technology that most current elearning standards are based on, eXtensible Markup Language (XML), is slowly advancing to a new version. Version 1.1 will be different mostly in how restrictive the spec is with regard to what is allowed, how newer or as yet undefined Unicode characters are handled in names and older linebreak codes more generally.


"SCORM is not for everyone"- ADL responds
Our 'Dan Rehak: "SCORM is not for everyone"' article provoked quite a few reactions around the web; both positive and negative. But we wanted to give ADL itself an opportunity, and Mark Oehlert, ADL's communications officer, was kind enough to take up the gauntlet and respond to some of the main points reported in the article.


Design Principles for a Distributed Learning Object Repository Network
Characteristically clear outline by Stephen Downes of the architecture of a learning object repository. "The model envisioned by these principles, a network model, may be contrasted with what may be called the silo model for the distribution of learning resources."


ECEL 2002 THE EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON eLEARNING
The European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL) is an opportunity for academics, practitioners and consultants from Europe and elsewhere who are involved in the study, management, development and implementation of web enabled and ICT initiatives in the learning and teaching sectors as well as the professions to come together and exchange ideas and examples of best practice.


5 step guide to becoming a content provider in the JISC Information Environment
Detailed, relatively technical outline in the current issue of Ariadne that shows you how to let your resources interoperate with the JISC Information Environment. "Most content providers will already offer a Web site through which end-users can access their content. To be a part of the JISC-IE, content providers also need to support machine oriented interfaces to their resources."


Building Educational Metadata Application Profiles
A research paper (in MS Word format) by the people who authored the acclaimed CanCore and EdNA metadata profiles, to be presented at DC-2002 conference in October. "Efforts are currently underway to bring these abstract models and theoretical constructs to concrete realization in the context of communities of practice. One of the primary challenges faced by these efforts has been to balance or reconcile local requirements with those presented by domain-specific and cross-domain interoperability."


Blackboard releases version 6, announces SCORM compliance, signs nation wide deal in the Netherlands
Blackboard systems, the dominant learning management system (LMS) vendor in higher education, announced new versions of their Learning System and Community Portal System products, and inked a nation wide licence deal with SURFDiensten- an IT services organisation for the Dutch education sector.


Edutools
An essential resource for HE learning technology has been relaunched. Edutools is the most comprehensive database of LMS software reviews, with many features that allow users to compare and contrast different packages. The site is run cooperatively by two independent academic educational technology centres, sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.


First CETIS briefing on current standards: IMS LIP
The first of a series of CETIS briefings about current e-learning standards is now available. The briefing is a concise overview of IMS Learner Information Packaging, a specification for a standard means of recording information about learners. Future versions of these general outlines will be added to the different standards' entries in the CETIS reference section.


IST 2002 – Partnerships for the Future
A major event of the European Union's Information Society Technology programme. The main goal of the conference is to function as a networking event for researchers.


Dublin Core Initiative proposes library application profile
In an effort to achieve better, more seamless exchange of metadata between libraries and related applications, Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) proposes a new application profile.


Content at Your Fingertips: Better Ways to Classify & Tag
Useful and timely overview of the pros and cons of categorising and tagging content at creation, or later, after publication, by using search algorithms. The article introduces a number of products and flags the trend toward convergence between content classification and search based tagging.


IMS Learning Design reaches public draft stage
In a close vote, members of IMS accepted Learning Design as a public draft. Now that it can be implemented, the specification promises to be a comprehensive and powerful way to design learning experiences on-line. Not just that, it aims to allow educators the greatest possible freedom in designing these experiences, while still promoting content re-use and exchange.


Reusable learning objects in health professional education: from theory into practice


ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2002


Reusable learning objects in health professional education: from theory into practice


Reusable learning objects in health professional education: from theory into practice


Reusable learning objects in health professional education: from theory into practice


Reusable learning objects in health professional education: from theory into practice


Creating Environments for Learning: VLEs, MLEs, digital libraries and middleware


Prometeus in transition
With the two year European Commission funding contract for its support service at an end, PROMETEUS is in the process of mapping out its future as a self funded association with a new board. As the discussion continues, we asked a few stakeholders about their view of the associations' role in elearning.


Dan Rehak: "SCORM is not for everyone"
One the 'chief architects' of ADL's SCORM, Dan Rehak of Carnegie Mellon's Learning Systems Architecture Lab, outlined the future of the widely used elearning specification at the IMS special briefing for implementers on Friday. SCORM is about to gain more flexibility in sequencing, and wider system capabilities further down the line. Strategically, he clarified which pedagogies the model supports well, and which not, and emphasised that ADL ultimately wants to hand over SCORM to the community.


IMS member exchange: Conformance Now!
Two topics were billed for the IMS Open Technical Forum: conformance issues and e-Learning Implementation in the UK. As it turned out, specification conformance was the main topic of practically all presentations. The why and how as well as the why not was illuminated by representatives from a wide variety of organisations.


First CETIS-TechDis Accessibility SIG Partnership Meeting


DfES' e-learning guru: Learning Design is the way ahead.
In her keynote speech to the IMS Open Technical Forum, Professor Diana Laurillard, the head of the e-Learning Strategy Unit of the UK Department for Education and Skills (DfES), called for the widespread adoption of Learning Design. The specification still needs to be formally adopted by IMS, but was hailed for its ability to allow easy re-use of successful learning models, without straightjacketing adopters into one single pedagogical approach.


Carnegie Mellon release SCORM best practices guide for developers.
One of the main contributors to the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) specification, The Carnegie Mellon Learning Systems Architecture Lab, have made a draft version of the SCORM best practices guide for developers available on their website. The guide is neither normative, nor particularly detailed technically, but is intended to get content developers up to speed on SCORM 1.3 instead.


IMS Accessibility charter approved
In a just-in-time vote, the IMS Accessibility for Learner Information Profile (ACC LIP) group charter was approved today. Right after the moment the charter was passed, the project group that is now gathered in Sheffield was able to start designing the accessibility extensions to LIP. These extensions will enable users of managed learning environments to store their technology access preferences in a central place.


Learning content. Theirs, yours, mine and ours.
On the 30th of September, MIT's Open Course Ware (OCW) initiative will make the first batch of MIT learning resources available to the world. Free of charge. On the other side of the pond, the CELEBRATE project has just started to establish a digital repository to see, among many other things, what kind of model will generate a viable stock of learning objects for Europe's schools. Meanwhile, projects like the universal brokerage project and the UK's National Learning Network (NLN) are maturing nicely. The question that arises, then, is where all that learning content is going to come from, and, more importantly, who is going to make it.


Being Objective
Not one but two compelling entries on Jay Cross' blog (there's also The Business of learning objects. He's been to the Learning Object Symposium, and reports on the pretty fundamental discussions on the wisdom of learning objects that took place there. "NETg's Brendon Towle noted that SCORM is inadquate because, among other things

  • SCORM only supports single learner/single LO configs,
  • No way to produce complex sequences of LOs (yet)
  • No inter-LO communications (sims)
  • No concept of pedagogy at all
"


JISC project looks at academics' digital rights
Rights MEtadata for Open archiving (RoMEO) is a one year JISC funded project that will research ways in which the rights of academics over papers they "self-submit" to on-line repositories can be managed.


OAI based federated search service open sourced
The Digital Library Group of Old Dominion University has made the source code for its Arc federated metadata search service available. This will enable developers from a variety of communities to develop their own versions, as well as help improve the features and stability of the software itself.


Learnwise 2 VLE presented at ALT-C conference
Granada Learning announced the availability of LearnWise 2 server --a new virtual learning environment (VLE)-- at the ALT-C 2002 conference in Sunderland.


Macromedia presents Authorware 6.5, cuts education pricing in the US
Macromedia will make a new version of Authorware available at the end of September. Main changes include better accessibility tools and extensive XML support. Meanwhile, deeper discounts are offered to US educational volume buyers.


Technologies for Education: Potential, Parameters and Prospects
Important link picked up from Stephen's Web. It is a UNESCO online book on technology and education in its broadest sense, with articles on topics ranging from deploying interactive radio to wide range ICT for education trend analysis. "This monograph is firmly rooted in a vision of education that begins with the learner and attempts to understand how technological tools can better contribute to educational goals."


Personal toolkit: Knowledge tools need to be personal, not personalized
Article at KMWorld about the value of truly personal, artisanal knowledge tools. "Satisfaction: bonding with our machines These are irrational, emotional sentiments but they won't go away, so we might as well turn them to our advantage."


Software for Online Courses?
Query and discussion on Slashdot about learning management systems. Simply essential reading. "I'd rather go with something open-source, especially since proprietary software seems to come and go, but the best open-source code is forever -- who wants to waste their time building a whole course around the flavor-of-the-month software?"


Find The Experts
Transform Magazine article on expertise management (as opposed to knowledge management). Thoughtprovoking on quite a few levels, particularly with regard to the fact that none of the expertise management system users even consider editing metadata manually. The article should be read with Stephen's Web commentary


Call for nomination of candidates as Officers of the PROMETEUS Association
PROMETEUS (PROmoting Multimedia in Education and Training in EUropean Society) is inviting applications for the positions of President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary of the PROMETEUS Association.


DCMI release paper on records management / recordkeeping metadata
The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) have released a discussion paper on records management / recordkeeping metadata, and invites responses. The paper provides an overview of current initiatives in the field of record keeping preservation, and outlines ways in which DCMI can contribute.


W3C releases working draft of Architectural Principles of the World Wide Web
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released the first public Working Draft of "Architectural Principles of the World Wide Web." The document describes all the fundamental rules of exchanging information on the web, and, at least as importantly how web technology should be deployed and used.


Getting smart with e-learning
Article at the Sydney Morning Herald that outlines an intriguing elearning system that focusses on flexibility and AI in delivery, sequencing and file formats. The Java software has been trialled in a few places, so it doesn't seem complete vaporware.


Bringing Affective Behavior to e-Learning
Thorough essay on Technology Source about the role of affective factors in on-line learning. The piece also outlines a project that attempts to improve the affective aspect by integrating static and synchronous media in to the 'unibrowser'. "Unfortunately, CMSs have few features to 3upport the affective role. How can the twinkle in your eye be transmitted via text?"


Simulation may be the e-learning "killer app"
Summary of a Gartner report into the use of simulations in e-learning. "By 2006, 70 percent of all off-the-shelf and custom e-learning content will include some application of simulations (0.8 probability). "


Survey of Learning Object Metadata Implementations
Useful overview of the work that's in LOM implementations. The list is divided in application profiles, metadata creation tools and repositories.


The Year Ahead:
Useful and timely attempt at disentangling e-learning terminology. "This confusion, in part, is the result of new terms, which have brought into discourse about distance education, and have received uncritical acceptance by us."


Link Types as Enablers of Semantic Navigation in Standard-Based Web Learning Systems
Short but interesting article on applying semantic web ideas and technology to (hyper)links; especially in e-learning material. The ideas are applied to SCORM, but have relevance far beyond that. '' the ability of the link to convey information about some aspects of the relationship between two nodes is underutilized both in the Web and in current Web-oriented educational technology specifications.''


The Next Killer App in Education: An Interview with Michigan's Carl Berger
Interview with a veteran of e-elearning about the future; its mostly a combination of portals and wireless networks. ''Many universities have already installed the first piece, the technology for wireless communication, on their campuses. In addition, some institutions are beginning to develop "push" and "pull" technology.''


Jones e-education Course Management Platform Open Sourced
As part of a move out of the Managed Learning Environment (MLE) software market, the Jones Knowledge group has decided to open source a basic version of its e-education package.


Q&A with Don Norman
Extensive elearningmagazine interview with Don Norman, the useability guru. "Instructional design refers to a particular philosophy of setting your goals upfront and making sure there are various metrics. And what I’ve seen is very uninspiring. It’s all very logical-- and the courses are horrible."


The Survey Of Distance & Cyberlearning Programs In Higher Education, 2002 Edition
Useful summary at distance-educator.com of an extensive and expensive survey of e-learning in US higher education. "Despite some setbacks in the mass marketing of distance learning programs, the survey results show continued astounding growth in the higher education distance learning market"


Techdis publishes VLE accessibility survey.
Techdis, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) e-learning technology accessibility service, has published the results of its VLE accessibility survey. This is rather timely, as legislation will come into effect in September 2002 that will mandate inclusive access across the UK further and higher education sector


Open Forum 2003 on Metadata Registries
This is the sixth in a series of international conferences on this topic. Participants will explore the capabilities, uses, content, development, and operation of registries and related technologies. Emphasis is on managing the semantics (meaning) of data that is shared within and between organizations or disseminated via the World Wide Web.


NSF Middleware Initiative Release 1.0
The US National Science Foundation (NSF) just released version 1.0 of their Middleware Initiative project. The project and the software is intended to make colloboration and integration of resources easier on the Internet and the Grid: a network of high capacity networks and computers that is used by American research institutions.


IMS Special Briefing: Standards & Specifications in E-learning
Following the Open Technical Forum on Thursday the 26th of September, IMS will organise two open sessions on e-learning standards on Friday 27th. The morning track is intended for managers and end users and the afternoon track is aimed at developers.


Lancaster team present evaluation engine for e-learning resource brokerage platform.
A team from the Department of Communication systems at Lancaster University developed an evaluation engine that helps rank e-learning resources in the "Universal Brokerage Platform for Learning Resources".


The Institute of Physics adopts OAI technical framework
The Institute of Physics has recently implemented the Open Archives Initiative technical framework for its Electronic Journals service.


Evaluating the usability of Web-based learning tools
Solid useability study of commonly used VLEs. "However, the simplicity of use for novice users has significant drawbacks. For example, these systems force instructors and course administrators to use predetermined navigation models and course formats."


W3C releases a raft of new XQuery and XPath documents.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has updated draft specs for XML Path and XML Query language specs, data models and use cases.


ERP + eLearning
Short and sharp argument why specialised e-learning vendors could easily be swamped by the big Enterprise Resource Planning conglomerates in the business e-elearning sphere


Doing It with Meaning
It appears that corporate America is beginning to discover the advantages of the semantic web. "Yet the potential payoff—a Web that acts like a single giant database—would be worth all the effort."


Building Communities--Strategies for Collaborative Learning
Practical how-to on the importance of community in e-learning. "Communities are a way to elicit and share practical know-how that would otherwise remain untapped."


Using HTML Email to Deliver High-Impact Episodic Training
A practical guide to using a zero-cost e-learning tool: email. Learners or sysadmins may not always appreciate being spammed with html emails, however...


New Directions
Stephen Downes is reporting live from the Distance Teaching and Learning Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. Today's report deals with new directions in Content Development and Delivery as well as the Elaboration of Learning Environments.


elearnspace Interview Stephen Downes
Interview with Stephen Downes, which outlines a number of his refreshing ideas. "If you look at the field of standards you have the same thing. IMS thinks that it will be the standard for elearning. But IMS isn’t everything. There are initiatives in Europe."


A D-Minus for Computer Exams
A Wired article that outlines the perils of on-line examinations. "Three years after they phased out paper and pencils and began administering computerized versions of the Graduate Record Examination, officials are going back to paper in some overseas regions."


MS Word to SCORM converter tool demonstrated
At ADL's plugfest 6, Recombo inc successfully demonstrated Convertor for Word; a tool that helps convert MS Word or .rtf documents into SCORM 1.2 compliant sharable content.


DC-2002: Metadata for e-Communities: Supporting Diversity and Convergence
This Dublin Core conference will deal with e-Government, search engines and metadata, the Semantic Web and improving communication with educational metadata.


The Languages of the Semantic Web
Readable and concise overview of the practical applications of the semantic web. "Even though this next-generation Web has yet to become a reality, much of the current work on the Semantic Web centers on a variety of technologies that are already in widespread, practical use."


Many Outputs — Many Inputs: XML for Publishers and E-book Designers
Thorough essay on the XML assumption of one content, many formats. "The specific design principles of different media often give characteristic texts, which mean one cannot use these texts in just any environment without changing them."


SCORM 1.3 development update.
Following plugfest 6, Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL), the custodians of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM), revealed a few more details of what will be included in the SCORM version 1.3 application profile.


What Is "Usable" e-Learning?
In depth, thought provoking article on usability. It considers learning in relation to different task goals. I.e. it goes much further than just good interface design.


5th Educational Content SIG Meeting


Course management software transforms higher education
Interesting angle: institutions making their own MLEs are portrayed as the main competitors to commercial offerings. "''Things like Blackboard and WebCT are sort of the AOL in education,'' Schilling said. ''They're really the lowest common denominator approach.''"


IMS releases public draft version 1.0 of the Digital Repositories Interoperability specification.
The Digital Repositories Interoperability (DRI) spec allows Managed Learning System (MLE) users to search, gather and expose various learning objects that are stored in repositories. It also allows people to submit, store and request them, and the resources delivered. And all of this from a spec that doesn't actually specify very much.


Frames to be sorted
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has released a first public working draft spec for XFrames, an XML replacement for HTML 4.x frameset. It is primarily designed to address the useability issues that many developers and users associate with HTML frames.


New UK governmental e-learning standards body proposed.
An initiative to set up a new e-learning standards conformance authority for the UK has been launched. The authority's remit would consist of the drawing up of application profiles that are based on a core of international e-learning interoperability specifications and the testing of applications' conformance to these profiles.


Who Needs Paper? Not Iowa College
Interesting outline at Wired of an attempt to create a paperless college. "But in reality, students often print articles for their class, preferring to read on paper rather than on the computer –- especially if they are in a hurry"


New OU Access Centre Makes Learning Easier For Disabled Students
Staff at the centre, at the university's main campus in Milton Keynes, will carry out needs assessments for disabled students and those in training to identify the specialist technology and other support they may need.


PROMETEUS Conference
The Prometeus conference in Paris has two major aims: 'Improving Learning through Technology' and 'Opportunities for All'.


Dublin Core Metadata anounces new usage documents
The Dublin Core Metada Initiative (DCMI) anounced a new set of usage documents that will incorporate the recent changes to the way DCMI handles new additions to the namespaces it maintains.


The bottom line: effective learning versus low per unit cost.
In a scathing article at E-learning magazine, consultant Frank L. Greenagel attacks the current state of the art in e-learning. He argues that an obsession with low unit cost and a disregard for learning effectiveness has led to courses that are interoperable but "puerile, boring and of unknown or doubtful effectiveness".


7th Assessment SIG Meeting


IBM demos SCORM 1.3 sequencing engine


IMS outline future plans at London meeting
At a meeting of vendors in London organised by JISC, Colin Smythe of IMS outlined some of the specification consortium's plans for the coming year, including recommendation on transport protocols, and a brand new content specification.


DCMI release new XML Schema proposal for Dublin Core metadata specification
The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) have released a proposed new XML Schema for Qualified Dublin Core metadata.


US education consortia release "manifesto" on web services
HEKATE - The Higher Education Knowledge and Technology Exchange - have released a white paper entitled "Web Services Enabling Technology for Application Integration and Assembly". Beneath the somewhat clumsy title is a bold manifesto for using XML-based middleware services in the (higher) education sector. But can it live up to the hype?


2nd Workshop on the Open Archives Initiative (OAI): "Gaining independence with e-prints archives and OAI"
This workshop wants to guide individuals and institutions interested in pursuing open-access solutions for scholarly communication initiatives through the process of conceiving, implementing and maintaining an e-print archive or OAI-compliant repository.


IMS release Enterprise v1.1 specification
The IMS Global Learning Consortium have released version 1.1 of the Enterprise specification, designed to allow systems to exchange information about learners, courses, and groups.


Content Interoperability Conference
The National Learning Network and the University of East London will be holding an interoperability conference on the 11th and 12th of July 2002. The event will focus on the practical implications of adopting IMS and ADL (SCORM) specifications for the development of learning materials. There will be time to try out learning materials within a Virtual Learning Environment and discuss the implementation of the specifications.


IMS release updated white paper on accessibility
The IMS Global Learning Consortium have released an updated set of guidelines on accessibility.


IMS Open Technical Forum
This public forum takes place after the next set of IMS meetings in Sheffield this September. The keynotes have yet to be announced, but the two panel discussions will be on Conformance Issues and e-Learning Implementation in the UK.


Fourth Meeting of the CETIS Metadata SIG


Open Archives Initiative release version 2.0 of the Metadata Harvesting Protocol
The Open Archives Initiative (OAI) has published the second major release of their protocol for harvesting metadata from digital repositories.


Canvas Learning: New website, improved demo now online
Canvas Learning - formerly a part of Can Studios - have updated the online demonstration version of Canvas Learning Author on their new website.


IMS Learning Design specification clears first hurdle
The IMS Learning Design specification has passed the first stage in the process of being released by IMS.


CampusSource - a European OKI?
CampusSource is an open-source initiative from Germany, with strong parallels with MIT's Open Knowledge Initiative.


CanCore produce survey of learning object metadata implementations
CanCore, the producers of a profile of IMS Metadata for use in Canada, have released a survey of metadata implementations. The survey covers application profiles (like CanCore itself), metadata creation tools, and repositories.


ADL release updated sample run-time environment for SCORM 1.2
The Advanced Distributed Learning Network (ADLNet) have released a new version of its Sample Run-Time Environment (RTE) for SCORM 1.2.


UKOLN Institutional Web Management Conference
In addition to sessions on various web technologies and related issues, CETIS' Lorna Campbell and Niall Sclater of the CETIS Assessment SIG will be giving a briefing on learning technology standards, and UKOLN's Brian Kelly will be holding a briefing session on web standards such as SVG, SMIL and RDF.


Update to SCORM Conformance Self-Test released
The Advanced Distributed Learning Network (ADLNet) have released an update to the SCORM 1.2 conformance self-test suite.


Consolidation before the leap; IMS Enterprise 1.1
Wilbert Kraan takes a detailed look at the latest IMS Enterprise specification, and asks is it worth waiting for v2.0?


Blackboard to adopt OKI specifications
Blackboard have announced their intention to adopt the specifications of MIT's Open Knowledge Initiative.


IMS Release Simple Sequencing Specification
The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) have released a new specification tackling the issue of connecting learning objects using sequencing rules.


OAI release beta version of metadata harvesting protocol
The Open Archives Initiative (OAI) has released a beta version of the next major release of their Protocol for Metadata Harvesting.


Who said that? Metadata, trust, and the Semantic Web
A new paper from researchers in Stockholm looks to the future of metadata in eLearning, and in particular the next-generation Semantic Web proposed by Tim Berners-Lee and others. But to get there we need to past some of our preconceptions about metadata - like the idea that learning object metadata can ever be objective.


UK Colleges report on interoperability pilot projects
The final reports from the Further Education colleges participating in a set of JISC-funded interoperability pilot projects have been published.


Berners-Lee: Keep web standards royalty-free
In his opening keynote at the World Wide Web Conference in Hawaii, Tim Berners-Lee has spoken out in favour of keeping standards royalty-free.


Dutch event shows way forward for authoring EML
A few weeks ago a conference was held in the Netherlands attended by various educational and commercial organisations interested in the Educational Modelling Language, developed by the Open University of the Netherlands.


New Sequencing specification imminent - Open Source tools to follow
Phil Dodds of ADL announced yesterday that a new specification for sequencing content would soon be released by IMS.


CETIS-TechDis Accessibility SIG Partnership Meeting
The aim of this meeting is to introduce the Accessibility SIG and to ascertain what is required by the FE and HE sectors in terms of accessibility for learning technology. The Accessibility SIG will be formally launched at this event.


IMS release updated Enterprise specification
The IMS Global Learning Consortium have released version 1.1 of the Enterprise specification.


CanCore release new metadata guidelines
CanCore, the Canadian metadata profile, has two new documents providing guidelines on how to use the Lifecycle and General element groupings in the IMS Metadata specification.


Don't assume because a standard is open that it's free to use - IBM patent move sets a worrying precedent for adopters
It may be an "open standard" but it may not be free to use - this is the message after IBM sets uncomfortable legal precedent for standards adopters.


Content Packaging interoperability tests reveal room for improvement
The CETIS Educational Content Special Interest Group (EC-SIG) recently carried out a set of interoperability experiments to see how well different tools handled IMS Content Packages.


Questionmark announce SCORM 1.2 compliance for Perception
Questionmark have announced that their Perception assessment product is now compliant with version 1.2 of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM).


More OKI interfaces from MIT
The Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI) has released more specifications on its website.


Open Archives Initiative to release new Metadata Harvesting specification
The Open Archives Initiative (OAI) has announced that Version 2.0 of the Metadata Harvesting Protocol will be released on June 1st, 2002.


Syllabus Interviews IMS CEO
Syllabus magazine this month features an interview with Ed Walker, CEO of the IMS Global Learning Consortium.


Wolverhampton-based Learning Lab to establish ADL partnered laboratory in UK
The Learning Lab at the University of Wolverhampton has completed a deal to establish an eLearning laboratory in partnership with the National Guard Bureau and ADL, the Advanced Distributed Learning Network responsible for the SCORM specification.


Making SCORM objects truly sharable - the Dynamic Appearance Model
Canada's Department of National Defence (DND) have released a white paper proposing methods for reusing content while retaining the organisation's "house style". The intention is that sharing SCORM objects between different organisations is made easier and more effective by dynamically altering the appearance of the material without changing its content.


MIT's Open Knowledge Initiative releases first APIs
MIT have released the first set of Application Programming Interfaces for the Open Knowledge Initiative - a project aiming to produce an open architecture for educational software.


K-12 and Rights Management take Centre Stage at IMS Forum
The first IMS open technical forum meeting for 2002 was held on February 27 in Sydney, Australia. Among the issues brought to the fore included interoperability in schools or in the K-12 sector, and rights management for digital resources.


Best of the blogs
Weblogs - personal web journals - are the hot new thing on the web these days. Some of these sites are even talking about standards in learning technology. We take a look around at some of the best standards-related 'blogs on the web.


IMS presentations now online
The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) have published presentations made at the IMS Open Technical Forum in Sydney, Australia last week.


CETIS Assessment Roadshow - Oxford Brookes University


CETIS Assessment Roadshow - ALT eContent Conference


IMS Enterprise workshop
This is a small-group interactive workshop, aimed at people currently developing Enterprise applications. It will attempt to bring together some example implementations and identify the common aspects, and areas of divergence.


SCORM 1.2 Conformance Test Suite released
The self-testing suite for conformance to SCORM version 1.2 has been released by the Advanced Distributed Learning Network (ADLNet).


IMS release QTI v1.2
The IMS Global Learning Consortium have released version 1.2 of the QTI (Question and Test Interoperability) specification.


Open Archives Initiative gathers momentum
The Open Archives Initiative (OAI) have announced new features for Version 2 of its Metadata Harvesting Protocol, while adoption of the existing protocol has been boosted by a new JISC program.


Macromedia to support .NET and XML-based web services in next generation of products
Macromedia has announced broad support for Web services and Microsoft's .NET architecture. This support will feature in new releases of its DreamWeaver UltraDev and ColdFusion products.


CEN report progress towards a standardised Educational Modelling Language (EML)
CEN, the European Committee For Standardization, has released the second of its "eBrochures" on learning technology, describing European progress towards a standard markup language to describe learning activities.


Major players come together on Web Services
IBM and Microsoft, together with some fifty additional industry leaders, have formed a new Web Services Interoperability Organization "committed to promoting interoperability among Web services based on common, industry-accepted definitions and related XML standards support."


Dublin Core education group propose qualifier for 'Audience' metadata element
The education working group of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) have proposed a new qualifier for the 'Audience' element for the Dublin Core Metatada Element Set DCMES)


CETIS Assessment Roadshow kicks off
The CETIS Assessment Roadshow kicked off a tour of the UK this month with its first workshop at Herriot-Watt University.


6th International Computer Aided Assessment (CAA) Conference
This refereed conference focuses on the use of I.T in the assessment process in Higher Education. CAA is becoming increasingly common and this event will be of interest to new practitioners, academic enthusiasts as well as policy makers and administrators.


Tools for implementors
A good way to get an understanding of standards and specifications in eLearning is to try using them - and for that you need some tools to work with. Thankfully, there are other universities and colleges doing exactly the same thing, and have built their own toolkits you can use to get you started.


JISC to fund standards-compliant tools and services as part of X4L programme
The UK's Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has issued a call for proposals under its Exchange For Learning (X4L) programme, including development of tools that support specifications such as IMS and SCORM.


IMS Open Technical Forum
IMS is holding an Open Technical Forum after the working group meetings in Australia.


OUNL conference on EML authoring and content management
The Educational Technology Expertise Centre of the Dutch Open University is staging a three-day conference on EML authoring and content management environments. This is in response to interest shown in EML since the public release of EML v1.0 in December 2000.


Microsoft release LRN 3.0 Toolkit, supporting IMS Content Packaging, IMS Metadata and SCORM
Microsoft has released a new Toolkit for working with content packages and metadata, and initial reactions by users have been very positive.


Perot Systems to release EML Player in Q3
Perot Systems is planning to launch a player for courses developed using the EML (Educational Modelling Language) in the second half of 2002.


Authoring EML: OUNL announces conference
In response to the widespread interest shown in its Educational Modelling Language (EML), the Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL) have announced a conference on authoring courseware in EML.


OKI to release common service layer definitions
Last month, MIT announced significant progress has been made in the Open Knowledge Intitiative, a project to define open architectural specifications for educational systems. The first public fruits of the endeavour, in the form of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for a common service layer, are due for public release over the next two months.


Progress on standards predicted for 2002
eLearn Magazine's predictions for 2002 include progress on standards - according to some contributors, at least.


Sun release XML pack for Java
At the end of December Sun released a 'Java XML Pack', an 'all-in-one' download for developers of Java technologies for XML. The pack includes API's (Application Programming Interfaces) for web services technology such as SOAP, UDDI, and ebXML Registry, as well as the XML construction and transformation technologies SAX, DOM and XSLT.


Click2Learn update Aspen, add SCORM 1.2 support
Click2Learn have released Aspen 1.1. Among other changes, the new version of the "Enterprise Learning Platform" claims support for version 1.2 of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) specification.


QuestionMark, Blackboard build bridges with Building Blocks
QuestionMark, vendors of the Perception assessment suite, announced an agreement with Blackboard to provide interoperability between their respective products using Blackboard's Building Blocks programme.


Dublin Core release new RDF binding
The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) have released a new version of the RDF binding for both Simple and Qualified Dublin Core metadata.


New BSI guidelines 'herald coming of age' of computer-assisted assessment
The increased use of computers in assessment has brought with it new concerns over issues such as fairness and security. Responding to these and other concerns, the British Standards Institute (BSI) has issued a new draft set of guidelines that provide a minimum set of requirements for organisations making assessments using computers.


ADL release conformance test suite for SCORM 1.2
The Advanced Distributed Learning Network (ADLNet) have released a beta version of its conformance test suite for SCORM 1.2.


Macromedia assist developers with accessibility resources
Macromedia have released a free Accessibility and e-Learning Solutions Kit for Flash, eLearning Studio and Dreamweaver.


Take an online course in SCORM
An online course by Edward Jones covering ADL' Sharable Content Object Reference Model specification is available for free online.


IMS release Content Packaging, Metadata errata updates
IMS Global Learning Consortium have released two minor updates to their Content Packaging and Metadata specifications to correct minor schema discrepancies and other bugs.


Repositories open up to web crawlers
A new gateway service allows web crawlers – the programs that index web pages for search engine sites like Google – to access metadata in repositories that implement the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) protocol.


Can Studios preview Canvas, an IMS QTI editor and renderer
Can Studios preview their Canvas content development system, a visual layout tool for building courseware compliant with the IMS QTI specification.


Common Behaviour: IMS and OKI consider architecture issues
At the IMS Open Technical Forum in San Francisco, a panel of representatives from Carnegie-Mellon, MIT and IMS discussed using layered architectures to simplify the process of developing software and content for learning.


IMS QTI group go graphical
At its Open Technical Forum in San Francisco, IMS gave a presentation of its progress in Question and Test Interoperability.


Simple Sequencing is 'no longer simple'
Brandt Darque of Boeing reports on the progress of the Simple Sequencing working group at IMS San Francisco.


IMS Learning Design considers EML-IMS hybrid
The IMS Learning Design Working Group report on their progress, including the consideration of a new integrated EML-IMS proposal.


IMS Enterprise group considers move to transactions model
The IMS Enterprise working group outline future move away from information models to a transaction-based specification.


New IMS Content Package Editor update
The University of Edinburgh have released version 1.1 of their IMS Content Package Editor.


SCORM self-test upgrade
ADL have released a new version (1.1.2) of the self-test conformance suite for SCORM 1.1.


Cisco to work with OUNL on EML, eLearning research
The Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Cisco Systems, Inc. to "build a string strategic relationship for developing and deploying e-learning environments".


THINQ and Macromedia integrate products using AICC, SCORM
THINQ have announced a new partnership with Macromedia to ensure content created using CourseBuilder for Dreamweaver can be used in its TrainingServer learning management system (LMS).


IBM, Microsoft issue Web Services Inspection specification
In a joint statement, IBM and Microsoft announced Web Services Inspection specification (WS-Inspection), defining "how an application can discover an XML Web service description on a Web server".


Saba submits extension to IMS specifications for LMS-VLE communication
Saba has submitted a specification to the IMS Global Learning Consortium for data transfer and communication between a Learning Management System (LMS) and Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).


Blackboard pave road ahead with Building Blocks
Blackboard has rolled out its Building Blocks initiative for extending the Blackboard platform. Third party vendors – and users – can now write plug-in applications and services using the Blackboard API. What will this mean for open standards - and the future shape of the eLearning market?


IMS Open Technical Forum
IMS Open event at Palo Alto, California.


Microsoft unveil new specification for web services architecture
Microsoft have released a new set of specification for XML-based web services, building on existing SOAP, WSDL and UDDI specifications to provide additional standards for security and message routing.


Edinburgh team release open-source IMS content package editor
Earlier this month the UK IMS Content Packaging and Management project at the University of Edinburgh released an editor for working with IMS Content Packages.


IMS release white paper on accessibility
Reflecting renewed international interest in issues of access to eLearning - inspired at least partly by legislative changes in the US - the IMS Global Learning Consortium has released a white paper on accessibility for learning applications.


Gluing learning applications together with SOAP
In our previous article on architectures for learning systems we talked about some of the ways that different standards-compliant programs could be connected using "services". In this article we look at what kinds of services we might use in education systems and take a more detailed look at SOAP, one of the technologies that may be used to implement them.


Europe focuses on EML
Delegates from around Europe converged on Turin, northern Italy this month to discuss educational modelling languages (EMLs): technologies that attempt to model the learning process and not just learning content.


New QTI release from IMS
IMS Global Learning Consortium have released the public draft of Question and Test Interoperability version 1.2.


Education community advises European Commission on standards, open source, and learner profiles
The European Commission's IST Programme has launched an open consultation process to discuss the research and policy priorities in the area of "technology supported learning". So where do standards and specifications fit in?


IMS Metadata 1.2.1 released
IMS has released version 1.2.1 of its metadata specification. This point release is designed to correct "minor discrepancies between element descriptions in [the information model document] and the IMS Meta-Data XML Binding."


Dublin Core becomes ANSI standard
NISO, the National Information Standards Organization and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) have announced the approval by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (Z39.85-2001).


ADL release SCORM v1.2
The Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Co-Laboratory have released version 1.2 of SCORM, the reference specification for sharable content objects for learning. The new release incorporates IMS Content Packaging and IEEE Learning Object Metadata.


The semantic web: How RDF will change learning technology standards
The field of learning technology has entered a phase of intense work on standardization of learning technology descriptions of various kinds. Most of the work so far has focused on XML as the encoding language for such specifications (e.g. IMS, IEEE-LOM and SCORM).

However, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is putting their energy into another model for computerized descriptions, called Resource Description Framework, RDF, which is the foundation for the Semantic Web vision of Tim Berners-Lee.

This raises important question regarding the future of learning technologies: In what way might RDF be useful for learning technology specifications? In what sense does RDF represent the future of meta-data, and how does this affect learning technology?


The next wave: CETIS interviews Mikael Nilsson about the Edutella project
We are in the midst, it seems, of a quiet revolution in computing. The technologies that built the internet, with its giant server farms and gigabyte databases, are giving way to a new wave of distributed technologies. After the furore over music network Napster dies down, we are seeing a new generation of projects in the education field taking up the peer-to-peer challenge of building distributed, "democratic" learning technology. One of the most interesting new projects out there is Edutella, an attempt to create a distributed web for learning metadata making use of emerging standards. We talked to Mikael Nilsson about the project, and what the future holds.


Dublin Core provide RDF binding
The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) have released two new documents describing how Dublin Core metadata elements can be used with the Resource Description Framework (RDF).


New vocabulary for describing educational audiences from a UK perspective
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.


Digital repositories: IMS releases white paper
The IMS Global Learning Consortium has published a white paper on digital repositories for learning objects and other assets. The paper, by the IMS Digital Repositories working group, describes the digital repositories "problem space", and takes a look at some of the implementations of repositories from around the world.


IMS Meta-data, Content Packaging & Enterprise: An advanced technology course
Course from IMS giving an in-depth explanation of the key IMS specifications that support the exchange of content and course information.


Macromedia announces availability of eLearning Studio, Authorware 6
Macromedia's latest eLearning content development solutions, offering compliance with ADL, IMS and AICC specifications, are now available for purchase.


New SCORM release will incorporate IMS specifications
The Advanced Distributed Learning Network (ADL) is due to release a new version of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) in the next few weeks, incorporating two IMS specifications.


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.


Standards bodies face call for more language codes
The standard language taxonomies used widely today are coming under increasing criticism from a number of industries. Existing schemes support only a fraction of the languages and dialects in use around the world, which poses a problem for many applications, including learning technology.


New SCORM self-test suite released
ADL have released a new version of its conformance-testing suite. The suite enables organisations to test their own applications and content for SCORM 1.1 compatibility.


IMS, DCMI, IEEE to work together on metadata issues
Organisations working on standards for educational metadata have issued a communique setting out how they plan to work together to solve issues affecting the education and training communities.


ADL Plugfest 5
Plugfest brings together adopters of the SCORM specification to experiment and demonstrate interoperability of content from many sources over multiple learning management systems and from separate organizations.


EU Open Consultation on technology-supported learning
Workshop for the EU Open Consultation process to discuss the Research and Policy challenges and priorities in the area of "technology supported learning". The aim of the Workshop is to animate the discussion among the participants on the topics of the Consultation.


Dublin Core releases draft of government metadata extensions
The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) has revealed its proposed set of extensions to its metadata standard.


The next big thing? Three architectural frameworks for learning technologies
A key event at the IMS symposium in Ottawa on August 2001 was a panel on Architectural Frameworks. Representatives from IMS, MIT’s Open Knowledge Initiative, and Carnegie Mellon University put forward three ways that learning systems of the future could be designed.


Canadian Forces ADL lab to investigate look-and-feel issues in SCORM
The Canadian Department of National Defence announce the setting up of a test laboratory to conduct research and development on SCORM.


IMS and ADL to collaborate on sequencing, provide free software
IMS announces the setting up of a new fast-track working group to tackle sequencing. ADL promise free compliant sequencing software to follow.


CanCore strip down IMS metadata specification for easier implementation
In a speech by Norm Friesen at the IMS e-Learning Specifications and Standards Symposium, CanCore outlined their stripped-down version of the IMS metadata specification.


IMS Working Groups Report Progress
The symposium provided IMS with an opportunity to report on the progress made on specifications by its working groups.


CeLT announces new content packaging tool
The Centre For Learning Technology (CeLT) announced this week that they will release PackageIt!, a new IMS-compliant content packaging tool in the coming months.


IMS Releases Content Packaging 1.1.2 specification
This month the IMS Global Learning Consortium released version 1.1.2 of its content packaging specification.


Macromedia releases eLearning Studio with support for LT standards
Macromedia, creators of popular web content creation tools Dreamweaver and Flash, today announced the release of eLearning Studio. The new package combines version 6 of learning content creation tool Authorware with Dreamweaver 4 and Flash 5, and claims support for ADL, AICC and IMS standards.


CETIS Workshop at ALT-C 2001
On Monday 10 September CETIS will be holding a one day pre-conference workshop at the ALT-C 2001 conference in Edinburgh.


New utility helps WebCT users share learning content
Vendors of integrated learning systems WebCT have released a new utility that allows users to import or export content from WebCT's e-learning system in an IMS-compliant format.


MIT and the Open Courseware Initiative
MIT make their materials freely available and begin to develop Open Source tools for learning.

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