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Articles about profile

OpenID group service proposal lacks key feature: OpenID
The OpenID group protocol is an interesting, but flawed, proposal for a new mechanism for querying groups. A group is defined simply as the collection of URIs that it contains, and a number of methods are exposed for interacting with the collection.

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.

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

Joint Portfolio SIG & Lifelong Learning Group Meeting

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

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

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

13th CETIS Enterprise SIG Meeting: XCRI Showcase

UML For Everyone

12th CETIS Enterprise SIG Meeting

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.

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

Digesting Alt-I-Lab 2005
Since it is the biggest e-learning interoperability do on the calendar, alt-i-lab is both a good bellwether for new trends, and a bit of a powerpoint blizzard. From Professor Laurillard's high level and wide ranging vision of the UK e-learning strategy, to the pithy pronouncements of Sakai's Brad Wheeler, we pick some highlights.

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

Bodington Buzz - making learning more effective
The LAMS learning design package has recently been released as Open Source; TOIA is a highly regarded assessment engine free to UK Education institutions; Personal Development Planning is becoming increasingly required for institutional assessments either using blogging, e-portfolios or other methods; institutions are increasingly looking to share data in a secure way with other collaborating institutions with Shibboleth technology being favoured. All these topics are addressed in the JISC e-learning framework, and all have been integrated using the Bodington VLE.

ePortfolio 2005
the 3rd International Conference on the electronic portfolio

10th CETIS Enterprise SIG Meeting

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.

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.

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.

Developing a Course Information Standard meeting

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.

Open meeting of the CETIS LIPSIG

9th CETIS Enterprise SIG Meeting / ELF Developers Forum

Filling out the E-Learning Framework boxes
The results of the first JISC/CETIS conference in Oxford are now available online. The conference brought together specialists from a number of international e-learning initiatives with all current JISC sponsored e-learning technology development projects. Purpose: to start filling out all those boxes in the E-Learning Framework (ELF), but also to give geeks and regular people an opportunity to explore trends in e-learning technology in general.

IMS releases ePortfolio spec
*updated* Most of the guts of the public draft of the spec aren't entirely new, but it does draw together parts from a number of existing IMS specs, and shows how they can be used to contruct a variety of different kinds of ePortfolio that can be exchanged between different systems. Significant potential gotcha: there's a known licensed patent on part of the spec.

Bodington Buzz: Introduction to the Bodington VLE System
With the growing interest in open source solutions for Virtual Learning Environments, the Bodington team would like to invite you to a free one-day seminar demonstrating the Bodington Open Source VLE system.

8th CETIS Enterprise SIG Meeting

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.

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.

7th CETIS Enterprise SIG Meeting

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.

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.

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

Most effective pedagogic technique ever or 21st century cannon fodder processor?
As Centre for Recording Achievement (CRA) director Rob Ward reminded the audience, the dream of a lifelong learning record is hardly new. Yet considerable political will at the national and European level, combined with an increasingly networked world and maturing technical standards mean that the dream is getting rather closer now. But what about the nightmare scenarios of invaded privacy, litigated universities, and co-erced or apathetic learners? The CETIS pedagogy forum organised a debate to consider the consequences.

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

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

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.

6th Enterprise SIG Meeting

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.

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

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.

5th CETIS Enterprise SIG Meeting / JISC Framework Programme Tenders Town Meeting

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

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

Sakai formally announces partnership programme
The standards based, open source Managed Learning Environment (MLE) development project has started its Sakai Educational Partners Programme (SEPP). The programme is run by Jim Farmer of Ja-SIG fame.

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.

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:

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.

IMS presents public draft of Enterprise Services, reference implementation to follow soon
IMS Enterprise Services for Web Services is in effect a successor to Enterprise; IMS' venerable spec for person and group management. Where the old one was just a data format, the new provides a means to exchange, say, enrollment data between a VLE and student record system dynamically. A reference implementation was developed by CETIS at the same time, and will be available at the same time as the full release.

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

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

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.

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

Towards making your Personal Development Planning/e-portfolio systems interoperable
An opportunity to participate in a forthcoming Workshop of the LIPSIG/JISC ‘MLEs for Lifelong Learning’ Programme.

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.

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

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

3rd CETIS Enterprise SIG Meeting

IMS Vocabulary Definition EXchange (VDEX) is a public draft.
IMS have just released a rather handy, small and general purpose specification for the exchange of vocabularies. There are a good many potential uses for the spec, but one of the main ones is as a means to facilitate interoperability between different application profiles of existing IMS and other learning technology specifications.

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"...

Blackboard and SCT link up
The VLE maker Blackboard, and information systems maker SCT announced an agreement to smooth integration between two of their main products.

Conformance programmes gather momentum
For as long as we've been talking about standards and specifications the issue of conformance has kept cropping up. The lack of any sort of trusted agencies bestowing the Official Stamp of Approval on e-learning products brought us to a state where the claims of vendors regarding standards compliance are treated as highly suspicious - and rightly so. However, this year we've seen several strides forward, and some hints of better times to come.

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.

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.

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

2nd Enterprise Special Interest Group Meeting
The 2nd Enterprise SIG Meeting will take place at Brockenhurst College, Hampshire. The meeting is free and lunch will be provided.

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.

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.

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.

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.

CETIS Enterprise SIG Launch

Northern Ireland students will 'access the data they need, when they need it'
The Northern Ireland Integrated Learning Environment (NIIMLE) project has just been formally presented at a well received launch. The idea is to provide all FE and HE students in the region with a single, secure access point for all study information from whichever FE or HE institution they are at, have been to, or might go to in the future.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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...

The Electronic Portfolio Boom: What's it All About?
Syllabus article linked via Serious Instructional Technology. Slightly over-excited but informative article on e-portfolios. The interest here's in the author's perspective: that of a writing programme educationalist who's been doing portfolios-as-collections-of-work on the web for years. "Experience on one campus shows that, even though 100 percent of the faculty in a program have adopted ePortfolios, students still may not see their value because the faculty have not re-thought their courses to accommodate electronic portfolios"

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

JISC publishes MLE briefing, supports new MLE projects
The UK's JISC demonstrates its ongoing commitment to technology awareness raising by releasing a comprehensive briefing about the future of MLEs in Further Education, starting a new series of interoperability pilot tests and supporting a project that will research the pedagogical implications of new elearning standards.


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

IMS Enterprise Workshop for JISC Programmes
A one-day workshop for projects involved in current JISC MLE Programmes ('SW&NI' and '1/01') covering use of the IMS Enterprise specification.

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.

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."

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.

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.''

The Survey Of Distance & Cyberlearning Programs In Higher Education, 2002 Edition
Useful summary at 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"

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

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

E-learning comes to CRM
Research from the METAgroup about e-learning trends in the private sector. Like other commentators, the expectation is that corporate e-learning will be integrated into ERP systems within a few years.

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.

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'.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

Universities face profiles challenge
Representatives including principals and registrars from many UK universities attended a special event last week on the subject of transcripts and personal development planning in UK education.

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

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

CampusPipeline release Luminus Integration Suite with IMS support
As part of their new Luminus product line, CampusPipeline have released the Luminus Integration Suite, incorporating support for the IMS Enterprise specification.

Giunti announce new learning content management platform with strong emphasis on standards
Italian publisher Giunti Interactive Labs have announced a new learning content management system (LCMS) conforming to IMS, SCORM, and other specifications.

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

Universities UK: CETIS Profiles group present UK HE Transcript
A major consultative conference on implementing the HE transcript is being held at Universities UK on 30 November 2001. The CETIS Profiles group will present a Consultative Document mapping the UK HE Transcript against the IMS Learner Information Profile specification.

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

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

IMS Meta-data, Content Packaging & Enterprise: An introductory course
An introductory course by IMS on specifications that support the exchange of content and course information.

IMS Meta-data, Content Packaging & Enterprise: An introductory course
Course for managers and users on IMS metadata, content packaging and enterprise.

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.

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.

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

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.

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."

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