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Articles for members


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.


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.


ePortfolio 2006: Fourth International ePortfolio Conference
The ePortfolio 2006 conference organisers have the pleasure to invite all policy makers, human resource managers, teachers, trainers, education managers, school heads, school administrators, ICT providers, and members of organisations promoting the use of ePortfolio to submit their contribution to the 4th International ePortfolio conference - Oxford, 11-13 October 2006. The main theme for the 2006 conference is: "eStrategies for Empowering Learners."


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.


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.


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 Metadata and Digital Repository SIG meeting
The next CETIS Metadata and Digital Repository SIG meeting will look at reference models, specific requirements from eLearning repositories and the OAIS model.


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.


13th CETIS Enterprise SIG Meeting: XCRI Showcase


Call for papers - 6th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT2006)
Theme: "Advanced Technologies for Life-Long Learning". Life-long learning becomes much more achievable as versatile infrastructures for mobile communication and portable Web access emerge. Supplementary to this, social software for supporting learners in sharing common views and actually build authentic understanding on relevant themes for learning needs to be conceptualized and experimented with.


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.


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.


UML For Everyone


12th CETIS Enterprise SIG Meeting


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".


Blackboard to acquire WebCT
For the academic sector, this looks like the final act of consolidation in the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) market. The two former rivals will officially merge, but much larger Blackboard will provide the brand name for the resulting company.


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.


Connecting Teachers & Technologists
Organized by the Enterprise SIG, the Pedagogy Forum & the JISC e-Learning Focus Journalists


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.


Tag me stupid, baby!
Collection of rather biting commentary on an equally vitriolic piece on a well-intended but slightly misguided attempt to introduce the world to 'honor tagging'; a way to categorise your own blog posts by your communicative intention. Great for gratuitous metadata abuse ("The Road to Hell looks like it's going to be Tagged With Good Intentions") , but this should give pause for thought: "Failure is pretty much guaranteed when such cumbersome tagging systems are proposed, for the same reasons the semantic web has gone nowhere. Principally, it's impossible to imagine any non-Android volunteering to tag their own communications, before or after the fact." Unless, I'd say, there is an incentive for that non-android to tag with a reasonable degree of accuracy.


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.


Advancing ADL through Global Collaboration
The Australian Department of Education Science and Training (DEST) and the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL) are proud to announce Advancing ADL through Global Collaboration, an international forum on the future of ADL technologies. The event will be held 4-6 October 2005 at the Hilton on the Park in Melbourne, Australia.


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.


ePortfolio 2005
the 3rd International Conference on the electronic portfolio


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.


Next EC-SIG meeting
The next EC-SIG meeting will take place on Monday 13th June at the University of Bolton.


10th CETIS Enterprise SIG Meeting


Another test
with a description


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.


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.


IEEE LTSC face to face meeting
IEEE LTSC Working Groups will be holding face-to-face meetings the ADL Co-lab.


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.


Getting to grips with Learning Design
The IMS Learning Design workshop in Valkenburg is well under way now, with the first real life experiences of authoring and running Units of Learning (UoL) being uploaded for other people to test. We chatted with a couple of participants.


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."


Games help you 'learn and play'
BBC report on research findings that specific kinds of games can help learning. While that may not be shocking news, the game and the domain of learning the research focussed on is: language learning via the Sims. The argument is that, rather than rote learn vocabulary and abstract structure, modified versions of the Sims allow learners to explore and acquire the language in a context. Also notable is the indication that it is getting easier to modify existing games for such educational purposes, which addresses the old gap in production values between commercial and educational games.


Patents, Open Standards and Open Source
In the last few months, there's been quite a lot to do about software patents: the idea of claiming intellectual property rights over ideas implemented in software, rather than just copyright over the software itself. An issue that used to just exercise corporate lawyers in the US is now starting to hit educational institutions everywhere, including the UK.


From individualisation to co-creation
Typically free form musing of Jay Cross, the well-known e-learning guru, about how "learner centric" has been well and truly dealt with, and how it's time to start focussing on things like collaboration, forging connections and other 'co-'s. What's notable is that Jay's thought seems to connect with a general shift in more than one way: it's not just that personalised content is bad, and collaboration good, it's more that we've done enough on the former, and need to focus on the latter.
"Learning isn’t content. Learning isn’t infrastructure. Learning is a process of forging neural links."
Thanks to elearnspace for the link.


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.


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).


Next EC SIG meeting
The next meeting of will be a joint meeting between the Metadata SIG and the EC SIG. The meeting will focus on two standards that are of interest to both communities - namely METS (the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard) and Topic maps.


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.


How Technology Will Destroy Schools
This will have the Ivan Ilich crowd sniggering in their beards: a bunch of luminaries from the received elearning crowd (David Wiley, Dan Rehak, Erik Duval, Wayne Hodgins) have arrived at the same conclusion as the hippy learning guru did thirty years ago: technology will allow us to blow up schools. What's more, the how is also quite similar: by shifting the focus from rote learning to the critical, social skills needed to deal with information. As with many of David Wiley's posts, the comments are at least as valuable as the post itself.


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."


UK Creative Commons licence announced
From November 1st, the UK will have its own version of the popular Creative Commons licences. The basic idea of making sharing work easy without getting ripped off is the same, but the legalese behind these licences are expressed in UK, rather than US terms.


Learning Object Metadata use survey: sticking the short and wide in the long and thin
The recently revamped CanCore initiative, with assistance from the Finnish delegation to ISO SC36, completed a survey of the widely used IEEE standard for Learning Object Metadata (LOM). The findings paint a picture of communities using relatively small parts of the long list of elements that the LOM provides, but do use their own vocabularies for the elements that are used.


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.


Web services what Web services?
Throughtful article by Derek Morrison at Auricle. It deals with the question of what webservices are, but also tackles the necessity of a good demonstrator to show what it can do. Some services will be rolling out of the first development of the ELF soon and will be demonstrated in November. Still, setting up a simple page of demonstrators of these services on the planned ELF test server would be a good idea.


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.


Intrallect wins JORUM UK national repository contract
With the awarding of the 250.000 GBP contract, the JISC sponsored JORUM project will start the transition to a national repository of learning materials, to be made available to the UK Further and Higher Education by August 2005.


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.


Tenth CETIS Educational Content SIG meeting.
The next meeting of the EC SIG will be on Thursday, 2nd September, at Learning & Teaching Scotland.


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).


Alt-I-Lab results: mind the gap...
between user expectation of interoperability and reality. Or so the University of Waterloo's Tom Carey thought. And repeated it in at least four other varieties of English to make sure the message hit home. Because last week's was the second alt-i-lab, we can begin to look at whether the participants in the interoperability fest are actually closing that gap.


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).


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.


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.


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."


HEFCE presents more details of UKeU restructuring plans
Following the restructuring announcement earlier this year, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has announced more details about the future of the troubled UK e-Universities (UKeU) project.


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.


Framework for the Pedagogical Evaluation of eLearning Environments
(652 Kb, MS Word) A restructuring and update of an influential JISC report on pedagogic aspects of virtual learning environments. Authors Sandy Britain and Oleg Liber take both an organisational and educational theoretic approach to the subject, informed though Stafford Beer's cybernetic perspective. The VLEs that are evaluated include WebCT Vista, Blackboard Academic Suite, Granada Learnwise, FirstClass, LAMS, COSE and Moodle. Link via EdtechPost


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.


Blackboard, OUNL deal widens Learning Design access
IMS Learning Design and Educational Modelling Language (EML) pioneers the Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL) and Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) makers Blackboard inc. have inked a strategic alliance that allows the OUNL's Edubox player to be integrated with the Blackboard VLE and portal. The deal will make it easier for institutions with Blackboard installations to take advantage of the pedagogic flexibility and power of EML, or, in the near future, IMS Learning Design.


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."


Eduplone reveals initial IMS Learning Design support
And very initial it is too: current material does not go far beyond what's possible with conventional learning objects. But the idea of welding the pedagogic flexibility of Learning Design to the flexibility of the open source Zope/Plone web content management system is intriguing, and the support for basic e-learning standards in Plone useful.


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.


6th Enterprise SIG Meeting


Metadata Quality in e-Learning: Garbage In - Garbage Out?
One of the first things I ever learned as a schoolgirl about computers and computer programming was the acronym GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out. As a grownup librarian working in e-learning, I was surprised to find a few years back that those who were thinking about metadata for learning objects appeared to have forgotten this truism.


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.


Live Satellite Broadcast - "Untangling the Web: Making Online Teaching and Learning Accessible"
A satellite broadcast by the University of Maryland University College on the implications of accessibility for online education (video streaming is also available).


Major single sign-on work starts in the UK and Australia
It should be so simple: just log in once, then get access to all networks, electronic journals, learning objects, applications and sundry other stuff that you have the right to access. But experience teaches that isn't so easy, yet. Two programmes are addressing this problem of authentication, authorisation and access in truly networked environments. Many more are waiting to see how they could benefit from the outcomes.


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.


Blackboard files for IPO at SEC
Some suit type acronyms for a change: it means that Blackboard the VLE maker will be listed on the stock exchange: as BBBB on Nasdaq, to be precise. Quite an achievement for an almost pure e-learning vendor. Link via Edtechpost and Online Learning Update


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).


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.


The cockroach of repository interoperability: Simple Query Interface
The European educational interoperability standards agency, the CEN-ISSS Learning Technologies Workshop, recently started specification and experimentation work on the Simple Query Interface (SQI). The specification candidate is based on work by a range of European and international projects and agencies. Given the plethora of digital repository interoperability specifications that already exist, we asked editors Erik Duval and Frans van Assche about the reasoning behind this one.


Fostering interoperability, Japanese style
Japan's Advanced Learning Infrastructure Consortium (ALIC) has been promoting e-learning interoperability standards in their part of the world, much like Industry Canada, SURF SiX or CETIS. Except that it funds single open source implementations of specifications. By Japan's main educational software vendors themselves. We ask ALIC's Kyoshi Nakabayashi about their experiences with the approach.


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 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.


WONDER (Widening Opportunities in Educational Resources) Conference
This is a one-day event aimed at promoting discussion and information exchange among local groups of disabled people, businesses and further education establishments.


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.


W3C releases major Semantic Web building blocks
The ambitious, five year old vision of the Semantic Web is a major step closer following the release of the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and the Ontology Web Language (OWL) as full World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendations. We assess what it is and what it might mean for e-elearning.


JISC Conference 2004
Delegates will be given opportunities to learn about the full range of JISC’s work by participating in seminars, debates, workshops and demonstrations. In the exhibition area, JISC services and initiatives will be able to provide you with advice and guidance on a range of support and resources available to your institution.


International Plugfest 1
The International Relations and Security Network (ISN) will host the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) International Plugfest 1 in Switzerland. International Plugfest 1 will begin with pre-conference workshops on Monday, February 16, 2004. On Tuesday, February 17 a Global e-Learning Summit will be hosted for participating international organizations to brief the Community on the current status of their adoption and implementation of e-Learning standards in general and the SCORM in particular.


Bridging the Divide workshop
Not an event about the digital divide between digital haves and have nots in the wider world, but a JISC consultation workshop that will examine the exploitation of ICT in lifelong learning and the seamless service that JISC and its partners are aiming to achieve, particularly in the following key areas: connectivity, data transfer and student and staff information skills. Presentations and discussion groups will explore:


Bridging the Divide workshop
Not an event about the digital divide between digital haves and have nots in the wider world, but a JISC consultation workshop that will examine the exploitation of ICT in lifelong learning and the seamless service that JISC and its partners are aiming to achieve, particularly in the following key areas: connectivity, data transfer and student and staff information skills. Presentations and discussion groups will explore:


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.


ePortfolio London 2004
Following the success of the first international conference wholly devoted to the ePortfolio (electronic or digital portfolio) in Poitiers, the European Institute for ELearning (EIfEL) and the Cass Business School have great pleasure in inviting you to a follow-up event in London, to move the agenda forwards.


Microsoft Files for Patents Related to XML Parsing and Word Processing.
In a sense, this was predictable: Microsoft's empire is largely built on locking the world into its proprietary document formats (MS Office). World moves to interoperability by adopting an open data interchange standard: XML. MS needs to interoperate with XML, but doesn't want to loose the lock-in. Result: Office has XML interoperability, but MS files a raft of patents to prevent anyone else offering an alternative to Office.


Portal or VLE?
Challenging rant from Derek Morrison at what looks like a blog that's well worth watching: auricle, the blog of the elearning at Bath team. This post is about the paucity of genuine interoperability, mainly because of the tendency of some vendors to "enhance" interoperability specifications with their own extensions.


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.


Consultation about UK e-Government meta-data standard starts
The snazzily titled Office of the E-Envoy (the cabinet office bit responsible for online government stuff) has put out version 4 of its e-Government Metadata Standard (e-GMS) for public consultation. New features include a way of integrating e-GMS metadata in webpages.


'Institutional Digital Repositories' and 'Learning Object Repositories' - What's the Difference?
Quick and dirty survey-on-a-blog at Scott Leslie's EdTEchPost. The purpose is to help him make a comparison between various repository software packages. It is an interesting question in its own right, though.


Opening Up Online Education
The dangers of overhyping: a piece outlining the joys of the MIT-led Open Knowledge Initiative, from MIT's 'Technology Review'. While OKI can play an important role in integrating educational technology, it is not likely to be the revolution the article suggests. Especially given the increasing spread of webservices elsewhere in IT. There's also some inaccuracy regarding CETIS: we are not building a national infrastructure (though we help and advise), and the UKeU is quite independent in its own systems design. Also, the following quote of IMS' Ed Walker on OKI seems a bit implausible: [OKI is] "easily of the importance of moveable type, the alphabet, and printing,"
Link thanks to Raymond Yee's blog


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


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.


The E-Learning Conference: Collaboration in Practice
This conference aims to raise awareness of the benefits of using on-line technologies in teaching, learning and assessment.


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.


We are the Problem: We are selling Snake Oil
Quote: "We now have ample data to show that: Training does not work. eLearning does not work. Blending Learning does not work. Knowledge Management does not work." That should ruffle some feathers. It's also backed-up by decent evidence, written by a veteran in the field, and published by one of the main elearning think thanks. There's a few caveats, though, both signposted and not. First, it only concerns the commercial training market, and focusses almost exclusively on methods that cram content, and performance indicators that try to measure the amount of content that stuck. Second, the author is a great believer in "workflow learning"; some axes being ground, i.o.w. The extensive comments are equally interesting
Link via Autounfocus blog


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.


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.


4th CETIS Enterprise SIG Meeting
The meeting will be held in the Tower Building of London Met University, across the road from Holloway Road Tube Station. It is not advised to attempt car parking in this area.


Dyslexia: The Dividends from Research to Practice
This is the 6th International Conference of the British Dyslexia Association in Warwick and will provide a forum for discussion and debate on a broad range of topics. It will also present a state of the art series of snapshots of developments in dyslexia.


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


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.


Online Conference - VLEs: Beyond The Fringe... And Into The Mainstream
Ferl is staging an online conference on VLEs (Virtual Learning Environments), which will help practitioners develop an approach to mainstreaming VLEs in their college, and to share good practice.


The WebCT Community Forum Event
The 6th WebCT Community Forum will provide an opportunity for academics, educational developers, learning technologists and WebCT administrators to meet and exchange ideas and experiences of using WebCT.


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.


IEEE approves the CMI / SCORM JavaScript API as a standard.
Though approved as a formal standard in August, the formal acceptance of the "Standard for Learning Technology, ECMAScript Application Programming Interface for Content to Runtime Services Communication," has just been formally announced. The wieldy title of the standard refers to what's affectionally known as the SCORM JavaScript API: a widely used way of letting content talk to a VLE.


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.


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.


A recipe for interoperability in practice
At the 8th CETIS Educational Content SIG meeting held in Glasgow on 28th August, Colin Milligan (RELOAD), Martin Morrey (Intrallect) and Gerry Graham (Learning and Teaching Scotland) presented a demonstration of practical interoperability between a content repository (the JORUM Intralibrary) and a virtual learning environment (PIONEER), mediated by the RELOAD Editor. For full meeting minutes and presentations, see the EC-SIG web page at: http://www.cetis.ac.uk/educational-content/


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.


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.


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.


WebCT 4.1 adds further IMS Content Packaging support
The latest version of the popular VLE makes it easier for users to add course material in IMS Content Packaging format. Export is a slightly different matter, however.


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.


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.


Learning Design and reuseability
A recent article by Stephen Downes about the reuseability of instructional or learning designs in general, and those compliant with IMS Learning Design in particular, caused rather a response in the CETIS Educational Content Special Interest Group (EC SIG). We examine the issue and summarise the discussion.


Distance Learning and Disabled Students Workshop
This workshop run by TechDis will outline the various modes of course delivery employed in distance learning and will examine some of the issues surrounding distance learning and disabled students.


The Open Source Portfolio Initiative releases 1.0
Earlier this year, the university of Minnesota realised that its well regarded and mature e-portfolio system would have a much better chance of reaching its full potential by open sourcing it, and getting others involved. The first fruits of that decision are now available for demo and download. Next stop: OKI and IMS "compliance"...


Dyslexia Friendly, User Friendly ICT Conference
The Conference aims to illustrate where teaching in a dyslexia friendly, user friendly way will benefit, not only dyslexics, but disaffected learners, people with other disabilities and older learners.


Dyslexia Friendly, User Friendly ICT Conference
The Conference aims to illustrate where teaching in a dyslexia friendly, user friendly way will benefit, not only dyslexics, but disaffected learners, people with other disabilities and older learners.


Dyslexia Friendly, User Friendly ICT Conference
The Conference aims to illustrate where teaching in a dyslexia friendly, user friendly way will benefit, not only dyslexics, but disaffected learners, people with other disabilities and older learners.


'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.


Course identifier standardisation work started
Before you can say or do anything with a course, you have to be sure which one you're talking about. Since most institutions, or even departments, refer to courses in different ways, this leads to problems when sharing access.


Transformers!
The advantage of a standardised, structured data format is not limited to data exchange with other systems that understand the same format. Some cool work with XSLT by Raymond Yee and also the Digital University (DU) of the Netherlands demonstrates that content in one standard format can be transformed into another in practice.


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.


Beyond Labels: Working Towards Equality and Diversity Through ICT Conference
This conference will focus on the development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) initiatives that directly support social inclusion in teaching and learning.


e-books: 3rd Scottish Annual e-book Seminar
This seminar will bring together speakers from the major e-book players, including librarians, researchers, user groups and publishers. Speakers will be exploring the challenges of e-book integration, issues of access, content availability and promotion.


IMS and OKI, the wire and the socket
There was a reason last week's alt-i-lab e-learning standards conference took place at MIT in Boston: OKI's main developers are there, and their baby is just about ready to stand on its own two feet. The OKI specifications are not very sexy of themselves, and they are surrounded by a fair amount of confusion, but it is well worth exploring what it can do for your institution's MLE.


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.


MIT alt-i-lab Day One
David Whiley's quick but comprehensive overview of the first day of last week's alt-i-lab: a more or less closed get together of essentially all the interoperability specification bodies, and their various representatives. The page also links to David's and Raymond Yee's report on the session on tools at the conference.


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.


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.


EVA 2003 London: 'Culture x Technology' Across Europe & Internationally
EVA (Electronic Imaging and the Visual Arts) 2003 London is a for users, suppliers, researchers and government in 'Culture x Technology'.


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.


Libraries Without Walls 5: The Distributed Delivery of Library and Information Services
This international conference organised by CERLIM (Centre for Research in Library and Information Management) brings together international perspectives on the delivery of library and information services to users who are not in the physical library.


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.


Library and IT Gregynog Colloquium
A residential colloquium for IT and library staff to discuss recent developments and to exchange experiences.


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.


Olympus comes to Snowdon: Transforming Teaching and Learning in Wales
To celebrate the successful completion of the project, seminars and workshops to showcase the bilingual Learnwise Olympus system are being presented.


Next CETIS Assessment SIG meeting - 29 August 2003


7th International Computer Assisted Assessment (CAA) Conference
This conference focuses on the use of I.T in the assessment process in HE (Higher Education). CAA (Computer Assisted Assessment) is becoming increasingly common and this event will be of interest to new practitioners, academic enthusiasts as well as policy makers and administrators.


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.


The International Association of Science and Technology for Development (IASTED) International Conference on Computers and Advanced Technology in Education (CATE) 2003
This conference will provide an opportunity for specialists, researchers, and engineers throughout the world to share their latest research in the area of technology and its role in education.


eLit 2003: Second International Conference on Information and IT Literacy
eLit2003 will focus and reflect on the implementation of learning opportunities enhanced by eLiteracies; on learning and infrastructure support staff; and on the significance of eLiteracies for education.


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
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
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.


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.


CLAUD Conference: Mental Health: An Emerging Issue for Academic Libraries
This conference aims to give information and advice to front line staff and others regarding the provision of accessible services to users with mental health difficulties.


Designing Accessible Web Sites
A practical look at accessibility issues for web page design to help you design a site that can be viewed by everyone.


5th International Conference on New Educational Environments (ICNEE): The Know-how Hub for Blended Learning
The 5th ICNEE Conference focuses on the results and experiences of international research in methodology and technology related to blended learning, teaching and distance collaboration.


Use and Access
This course examines some of the accessibility issues regarding the use of ICT in Libraries.


Use and Access
This course examines some of the accessibility issues regarding the use of ICT in Libraries.


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.


No one standard will suit all
Not a new sentiment, really, but one worth repeating. And it was repeated, in many different ways across a rather wide spectrum of speakers at the eLearning Results conference in Sestri Levante, Italy, yesterday.


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


Three Objections to Learning Objects
A thoughtful and thorough critique of the learning object concept. Particularly notable about it is Norm Friesen's tracing of the learning object's provenance in the training and military world. i.e. context is demonstrated to be the problem at two levels: that of a learning object itself, as well as the concept of them. Also notable is his contrast between the specifity of the technical domain from which the 'object' concept came, and the inherent ambiguity and vagueness of 'learning' or 'pedagogy'. The paper does not outline an alternative to replace learning objects, however.


Smarter, Simpler, Social
Link via elearningspace to a white paper on social software by a new consultancy on knowledge management and e-learning. The interest here is that it strongly suggests that the trend away from monolithic, technology focussed systems to smaller, more flexible applications that are designed to fit into people's social networks is getting into the e-learning sphere from both the commercial and the education domains. "If we recognise that organisations and communities are not simply reducible to their component parts – if they behave like complex systems – then surely the applications we use to connect people must reflect this?"


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.


The teachers teach the techies
The launch of the new CETIS Pedagogy Forum yesterday is a strong indication of a shift in the way e-learning (content) interoperability standards are developed. The techies got the standards out there, but now it's the teachers' turn to drive the agenda and get their concerns heard. And people sit up and take notice; both the DfES and ADL had representatives eager to learn what educators might bring to their organisations' plans.


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.


Using Information Technology in support of Personal Development Planning
A major conference on PDP and IT, co-organised by Thames Valley University, Oxford Brookes University and The Centre for Recording Achievement.


Challenging Ocularcentricity in the Museum - Translating Vision
Is visual knowledge radically untranslatable or can it be made accessible to blind people? In either case what educational models exist that can potentially bring art and artefacts within the meaningful reach of blind visitors to museums?


Learning objects: difficulties and opportunities
An eight page article by David Wiley that takes a pretty critical look at the whole learning object idea. Most damningly, it contends (with cited evidence) that the whole re-useability idea isn't really working in object oriented software- and that's where the whole object idea came from in the first place. Not just that, the article also argues that the commercial content domain shows that the learning object economy is unlikely to materialise either. So is there no hope for either re-useability or the learning object idea? "If we are to follow the software development model we claim to hold dear, learning objects should not contain content at all; rather, they should contain the educational equivalent of algorithms – instructional strategies (teaching techniques) for operating on separately available, structured content."


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


Multimedia Information & Technology Group (North West) Seminar: Technology Without Barriers: Putting Disability Awareness into Practice
Duties under the Disability Discrimination Act require providers and facilitators of public services, and most recently of education and learning, to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people are not treated less favourably or placed at a substantial disadvantage. The seminar will address both strategic and action plans for library and information services.


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.


Challenging Ocularcentricity in the Museum - New Strategies for Learning
In what ways would a thorough rethinking of ocularcentricity impact upon museum space and educational provision? Where do we go from here in relation to educational approaches, policy and institutional aspirations?


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.


European electronic collaborative learning resource launched
To support the growing interest in the Communication bit of ICT in education, the EU funded ITCOLE (Innovative Technologies for Collaborative Learning and Knowledge Building) project opened a site that agregates practice, resources, ideas and discussion about on-line collaborative learning. Not surprisingly, they want you to chip in.


Open Source Content in Education
In a vivid illustration of what difference being connected makes, I came to this article via a link on Elearning Space to the new Object Learning blog which had a belated link back to an earlier post on George Siemens' Elearn Space, which was written in collaboration with Stephen Downes of Oldaily. It is this interconnection and collaboration that the authors seek to harness in a educational content development initiative, that will be presented formally on May 30th. "The DOSC concept is captured by two statements of learning objects/content: open access, continual improvement."


Use and Abuse of Reusable Learning Objects
Peer reviewed paper in the Journal of Digital information that takes stock of the never ending discussion about what a learning object is. As such, it provides a good overview, even if the proposed definition may not be that much more enlightening. Essentially, the author bases the definition on learning intention, operationalised as form (i.e. the context of a course), relation (to some kind of exposition) and re-useability.


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.


Professors Laurillard, Liber, Conole and Stiles to speak at CETIS pedagogy forum launch.
Now that the initial push for educational technology interoperability standards is taking effect, CETIS is turning its attention to their pedagogical ramifications by setting up the CETIS pedagogy forum. Unlike the well known CETIS Special Interest Groups (SIGs), the pedagogy forum will not just concentrate on one particular set of standards, but focus on the teaching and learning implications of all of them.


Canvas Learning release QTI, SCORM Player and Author tools
What's more, there's demos for everyone and the Canvas Learner Player is free for educational usage while the Author has a 50% introductory price. So what does the goody bag contain? Essentially, a simple, slick-looking, accessible and low cost question-and-test module.


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.


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.


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.


We've got the tech, lets build some communities
At the quarterly IMS meetings, the open technical forum is often the one to watch for the latest trends in elearning. The tech forum that is taking place in Vancouver, Canada right now is no exception, and the next priority is clear: building communities.


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.


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.


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.


Artificial, uh, Intelligence?
This was bound to happen at some point: an artificially intelligent agent as a learning technology. Perhaps just as inevitably, this one is out of the US military. "Like it or not, this is the face of your future online mentor."


UK higher education reform: the implications for educational technology
The impact of the UK government's 'The future of Higher Education' white paper is still reverberating around the system. We know about the tuition fees, and the 50% participation rate, but what's the role of e-learning in all of this?


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.


Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2003
This annual conference offers opportunities to share ideas and expertise on all topics related to the use of information technology in teacher education and instruction about information technology for all disciplines in preservice, inservice, and graduate teacher education as well as faculty and staff development.


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.


UKSG Conference
The UKSG (UK Serials Group Conference) relates mostly to libraries and digital resources.


AUA Annual Conference - Supporting Success
The conference covers many of the administrative functions of an institution and there is a a wide choice of sessions - communications and information technology, marketing, estates, human resources, finance, and student services.


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


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.


Vison 2005 London
This conference is sponsored by the International Society for Low Vision Research and Rehabilitation (ISLRR). It will include a large exhibition, speakers, key people in the field from across the world and seminars.


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.


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.


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).


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.


JISC calls for new round of MLE and Lifelong Learning projects
The UK's JISC has just sent round Circular 01/03, which calls for project proposals in the field of MLEs and lifelong learning. Successful projects will be part of phase 2 of a programme that explores how digitised learner information can be made interoperable, how it impacts within and across organisations and tests the personal development planning section of the UK's learner profile. Practically all projects are expected to use IMS LIP.


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...


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.


Annual Convention of the International Association for Educational Communications & Technology
"Surfing New Waves of Innovation, Leadership and Learning". A research oriented conference for both the practice and theory of electronically enhanced learning.


The Evolving Role of Course Management System Providers in the Transformation of Education: An Interview with Blackboard's Matthew Pittinsky
Crystal clear outline of Blackboard's intentions: they'll own and monetise the platform, everyone else can supply the value added. Really good question: "By considering itself an OS and by requiring external developers to adhere to its own Building Blocks development protocol, is Blackboard trumping the evolving industry standards in favor of its own proprietary one?"


Connexions on the Creative Commons
Fine grained learning objects? Check. Separation of content from presentation via XML? Check. Storage in a repository? Check. Open Source tools? Check. Free content? Check. Collaborative content development? Check. Standard compliant? kind of. So what is new about Rice University's Connexions? Its all of these things in one well funded project.


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.


BETT 2003 - The Leading Light for Teaching and Learning
The British Educational Technology and Training Show (BETT) 2003 covers educational technology and ICT related products and services for all subjects and levels of education and training. Some of the seminars cover special educational needs and ICT.


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.


Preparing Teachers To Use Learning Objects
Not a ground breaking article, but a very useful collection for introducing post secondary teachers to learning objects. The value lies in being very precisely aimed at helping e-learning champions convince their colleagues why they may want to roll their own objects. "It would be foolish for every teacher to write his or her own textbooks. Similarly, it is not feasible for every teacher to create all of the learning objects for a course."


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.


The Lattecentric Ecosystem
Yet more evidence of a spreading trend for individualised, even peer to peer approaches to elearning. Stephen Downes tackles the vexed question of learning object granularity and how it fits certain approaches to elearning. The 'latte' refers to caffè latte: learning as a conversation between friends in a cafe.


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.


INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ADVANCES IN INFRASTRUCTURE FOR ELECTRONIC BUSINESS, EDUCATION, SCIENCE, MEDICINE, AND MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES ON THE INTERNET
This is the winter edition of a rather wide ranging conference that covers most topics that touch on electronic communication. The interest for learning technology professionals lies in the two opening keynotes: "The Semantic Web" by Erich Neuhold of Fraunhofer IPSI and University of Technology Darmstadt, and "The Future of Education" by Neville Holmes, School of Computing, University of Tasmania. The fee for the conference is € 600 (not applicable to those with accepted papers). Deadline for payment is December 10, 2002. Conference capacity is 200, so first come, first served.


CEN/ISSS Learning Technology Workshop meeting
This meeting follows on directly from the IEEE LTSC meeting at the same location. The meeting is open, but will be mainly of interest for people involved in ongoing work of the CEN/ISSS LTW work.


IEEE LTSC Meeting
This meeting will be immediately followed by a CEN-ISSS LTW meeting. As a regular meeting, it will cover all ongoing LTSC concerns. These will include topics like the Learning Technology Systems Architecture Ballot report and a report on IMS Reusable Competency Definitions work.


Problems and Issues in Online Learning, October 2002
The title maybe a bit expansive, but this is a taut and to the point state-of-the-art article by Stephen Downes. Because it is by Stephen, it is not just a list of issues either; he argues consistently against monolithic, separate learning systems on both technical, functional and economic grounds. "The silo model is dysfunctional because it prevents, in some essential way, the location and sharing of learning resources."


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.


The EU's new research plan and eLearning: open source and multilingualism
Now that the sixth research Framework Plan for the EU and associated nations (FP 6) is about to start, the priorities for eLearning research and development in Europe are becoming clearer. According to Luis Rodriguez-Rosello of the European Commission, there are two keywords: open source and multilingualism.


Major Copyright Bill Affecting Distance Education Becomes Law
One of the most readable yet comprehensive overviews of the controversial new TEACH act that just came into force. The act may not have immediate consequences outside the US, but, like so much else, it could have repercussions for the way copyrighted material is used in elearning elsewhere.


elearnspace Interview Jay Cross
Wide ranging interview with the elearning expert, author of the internettime.com blog and master of quips. "We've moved from measuring butts in seats to hits on a web page"


Student-Centered Teaching Meets New Media: Concept and Case Study
Thorough case study of Student Centred E-learning. Results indicate that it is possible to retain the advantages of a very student centred approach but keep costs manageable by using elearning. "the computer takes over the task of providing information, while presence phases can be used for giving the content more meaning by means of transparent, open, respectful and empathic interactions within the group."


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.


The Role of Quality in e-Learning: From Page-Turners to Motivating and Engaging Online Courses
Powerpoint presentation by Stephen Downes on current developments in e-learning and e-government, and the potential synergies between them. "The key to success in both e-learning and e-government hinges on the idea of participation. This involves changing learners from passive consumers of learning to active producers of learning. And in e-government, this involves changing citizens from passive consumers of governance to active producers of governance"


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.


University of Washington Creates Online Portfolios for Students
Brief outline of a project at the University of Washington that implements fairly comprehensive student portfolios. The crux is that it utilizes a tool that makes it easy for students to build and publish on the web collections of their work.


"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.


Quality and eLearning in Europe
An interesting, if not entirely scientific, survey of mainly European educators and trainers. Main finding: "61% of all respondents rated the overall quality of eLearning negatively - as ‘fair’ or ‘poor’." Mostly because of poor experiences with technical interoperability. The report is a free summary pdf of a more extensive, paid-for report.


TechDIS FE coordinator receives Chair's Award at NILTA conference
Allan Sutherland, the Further Education (FE) coordinator at TechDIS (JISC's technology and disability service) picked up the prestigious Chair's Award at the National Information and Learning Technologies Association (NILTA) Annual Conference Dinner on behalf of the whole service. They earned the honour for their work on the accessibility of e-learning.


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.


EU e-Accessibility network underway.
The European Design for All e-Accessibility Network (EDeAN) is now well underway with more than 90 organisations represented already. The network was set up as part of the eEurope 2002 Action Plan, and particularly the Design for All approach that was set up to ensure that mainstream information technology is accessible to as many different groups as possible.


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.


Wireless Interactive Teaching Simulations
A report on a pioneering attempt at wireless elearning- or 'mlearning'. The project seems a little too focussed on trying to save money by lecturing very large numbers of students with mobile tech, but the report pulls no punches in self-criticism. "These tools tend to have the same overall structure; they allow students to externalize their thinking by “playing” some value or inputting some variable into a system."


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.


ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2002


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.


Administrative and Instructional Portals
Solid and readable overview of the present 'portal' hype. Organizationally, this is probably the key: "Building a portal presents challenges in providing the right content and overcoming the politics and feeling of ownership."


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.


Consolidation continues: Skillsoft and Smartforce merge
In the widely predicted period of consolidation in the e-learning software market, two of the largest vendors have just completed a merger.


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"


CAMPUS CARDS: The Power of Plastic
Short but comprehensive overview of developments in campus ID cards, and how they are getting tied in with portals. "Now that colleges and universities are tying cards to Web pages that track on- and off-campus purchases, the campus ID card is becoming an e-card, says campus card analyst Bob Huber"


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.


Ed-Tech Crusaders Seek D.C. Bucks
Article at Wired about a very ambitious iniative to set up a federal investment trust for education along the lines of the NSF or DARPA: the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust. "It would also pay for the digitizing of all materials in the country's museums, libraries and universities, and would make these resources more available to the general public"


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".


An Educator's Guide To Access Issues
Comprehensive and very readable literature review about accessibility in its wider sense, divided in handy subtopics. The focus is pretty exclusively American, but the fact that it follows up on a similar exercise done in 1999 makes it worthwhile.


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.


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."


Study shows no demonstrable link between choice of MLE and educational approach.
A team of Dutch researchers investigated the relation between various educational approaches (e.g. traditional, guided learning, active learning and experience-based learning) and the design and use of different virtual learning environments (VLE). Conclusion: it's not really possible to map an educational approach to a specific type of VLE.


JISC invitation to tender; technical review of portals
JISC is inviting tenders to review systems developed by the JISC 'Building MLEs in HE' (7/99) programme. The review will consider so-called Campus or Educational portals and similar systems.


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."


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."


A Metadata Approach to Preservation of Digital Resources: The University of North Texas Libraries' Experience
Extensive essay that outlines a project to preserve digital assets, with an emphasis on preservation metadata.


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.


UK learning and skills council report on elearning released
The Distributed and Electronic Learning Group (DELG) has published a final report into the role of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in relation to e-learning. The report was commissioned by the LSC.


A Moving Target: eLearning Vendors Take Aim in a Changing Environment
Slightly oversimplified, but useful overview of what kinds of e-learning systems are available. "In many cases, the true value of the new alliances cannot be fully realized unless an institution decides to wholly embrace a particular product or product line."


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.


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.


Your content in DSpace.
MIT and HP are working together on a new content repository system. The idea is that large numbers of research institutes will federate all the data that they currently hold locally and make it available online.


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.


ALT Workshop 'Using XML for Educational Content Management'


New JISC projects to look at cross-sector interoperability
Two new projects funded by JISC are taking the "Managed Learning Environment" (MLE) programme to a new level, by trying to create interoperability not only between systems, but between systems in different institutions in both higher and further education.


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.


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


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


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.


JISC announce new round of FE college interoperability projects
JISC, the UK's Joint Information Systems Committee, has published an invitation for proposals to conduct interoperability projects in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The projects will use IMS specifications to provide interoperability between components of college Managed Learning Environments (MLEs), for example between a student record system and a virtual learning environment.


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.


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.


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.


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.


New version of WebCT Campus Edition released
WebCT announced this week the release of WebCT Campus Edition 3.7. The new version features improved performance, support for a MathML-based equation editor, and "enhanced support" for IMS Enterprise.


IMS seek feedback on Digital Rights Management
The IMS Global Learning Consortium has opened a forum to gather opinions on digital rights management. The focus of debate is a briefing paper submitted by IPR Systems and the Australian IMS Centre.


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.


Technology Source interviews MIT's Phil Long on the Open Knowledge and Open Courseware Initiatives
The Technology Source website recently carried an interview with Phil Long - "the senior strategist for the Academic Computing Enterprise at MIT" - about the Open Knowledge and Open Courseware initiatives at MIT.


CETIS Assessment Roadshow - Oxford Brookes University


CETIS Assessment Roadshow - ALT eContent Conference


University of Michigan unearths digital 'pearls' with OAIster
The University of Michigan has begun work on a project to make previously difficult-to-access digital resources easily available - and the project will use the metadata harvesting specification produced by the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) to make it happen.


Third Meeting of CETIS Metadata SIG
The focus of this meeting will be on how to support the community through guide material.


Finnish universities release free VLE with support for Educational Modelling Language (EML)
Fle3 is a new open-source web-based learning environment. FLE builds upon the open-source content management platform ZOPE (the platform used to deliver the CETIS website). Fle3 is also notable for being one of the first third-party applications to develop support for the Educational Modeling Language (EML) developed by the Open University of the Netherlands


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.


Re-inventing the Wheel? Standards, Interoperability, and Digital Cultural Content
Interesting item by Tony Gill and UKOLN's Paul Miller in D-Lib Magazine.


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.


Yahoo! enter the VLE market
Yahoo! have entered the VLE market, developing their Yahoo!Groups service into a course development and student communication tool.


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.


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


University of Glasgow release IMS report
A report entitled "Testing IMS in Real Contexts: Implementing IMS Specifications, Implications and Best Practice" has been published by the University of Glasgow.


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.


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.


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


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.


Web Based Learning Environment
Three-day conference on web-based learning in Sweden, stressing e-Learning in a life-long learning, continuous education and vocational training perspective. One of the four conference themes is standardisation and harmonisation, and looks like it will contain some interesting material on standards.


ISO cancels SC36 Plenary in Denmark
The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has cancelled the Plenary of SC36, the committee responsible for standards in learning technology. The event was due to have taken place in Denmark this week.


Evaluators sought for new content packaging tutorial
The JISC funded IMS Content Packaging and Management Project are seeking volunteers to evaluate their online tutorial on the development of reusable educational resources.


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, Oracle announce free iLearning classes
IMS and Oracle are making freely available three online courses covering IMS standards.


Blackboard and Datatel announce integrated online campus solution
Blackboard and Datatel have announced that they are developing a unified solution for online campus environments, bringing together learning systems and administrative systems such as student information and financial systems.


CETIS special interest groups meet in Bangor
On the 23rd and 24th of July, representatives of the CETIS Special Interest Groups (SIGs) met at the University of Wales, Bangor. The meeting allowed SIGs to report on what has been happening in their areas of interest, and to discuss ideas with other CETIS members.


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.


New CETIS website launched
CETIS has revealed its new portal site for anyone interested in interoperability standards.


IMS, ADL and MIT agree to work together
On July 11, 2001 - Leaders of the MIT's Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI), the Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Lab (ADL), and the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) issued a joint press release announcing their intention to cooperate to "close the gap between innovative pedagogical technology and production learning resources."


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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