Case Study: Data Harmony Custom Features as Implemented for Triumph Learning

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Kirk Sanders, an editorial project manager at Access Innovations, Inc., explains how Data Harmony software was used to build taxonomies. These taxonomies were implemented to assist educational publisher Triumph Learning in precisely aligning standards-based instruction materials into a new content management system, or CMS.

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Case Study: Data Harmony Custom Features as Implemented for Triumph Learning

  1. 1. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Triumph Learning Taxonomy Development With launch of a new Content Management System (CMS) for writing teams, Triumph Learning needed integrated taxonomies for precise alignment of standards-based instructional content. To design their vocabulary axis, the supplemental education publisher joined forces with Access Innovations for thesaurus development and customization. “The taxonomy contains terms reflecting concepts, skills, and learning standards in a hierarchical structure.” – Press Release: New York, NY May 13, 2013 Triumph Learning publishes supplemental educational content for print & digital media.
  2. 2. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Project Goals – Math, English Language Arts  Develop structure for supplemental educational content: • Quizzes, games, and learning videos • Content objects need to allow for interactivity – if a quiz question is answered incorrectly, the user is steered towards a relevant lesson based on the ‘misconception’ • Terms that describe a ‘skill mastered’ or a ‘learning misconcept’ must be useable in different ways across grade levels and learning strands [Reading, Writing, etc.] • Multi-directional navigation is key for these controlled vocabularies!  Alphanumeric coding of Common Core terms for data linking, automated search and robust indexing capability Master Skills ConceptsCommon Core Standards
  3. 3. Access Innovations/DataHarmony, February 2014 Kirk Sanders, Project Manager – Editorial Dept. Copyright Access Innovations, Inc. 2014
  4. 4. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Taxonomy configuration had to accomplish essential project directives:  Design multi-dimensional term mappings to interrelate content objects across diverse taxonomy branches  Construct thesaurus hierarchies to reflect strengths of the Common Core State Standards  Make flexible configurations to advance Triumph territory, in high-definition conceptual schemas  Support pre-flight testing with clear design principles for CMS launch – multi-directional navigation for an improved creative writing environment Related items of interest: 1. Storing standards as text is an unusual use for thesaurus software.* 2. The standards coding scheme needs to be captured, and 3. Implementing a rulebase isn’t on the client’s drawing board.
  5. 5. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. In addition, Access Innovations’ taxonomy development process would have to involve:  Customizing Thesaurus Master® software to maximize project gains and generate powerful exports that will drive Triumph Learning’s content management engines Access Innovations editors and DataHarmony programmers visualized solutions and creatively combined our efforts to accomplish the project directives. Multiple software customizations were conceived, designed, and tested while the Editorial Team was producing the terminology sets. We repeatedly reconfigured data elements based on the nature of the input data.
  6. 6. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. “Common Core State Standards” – What are they?  Common Core represents national standards created from a consensus process involving educator groups and other key players  States may comply at their prerogative, either by implementing the full set of standards, or parts of it; or by individualizing the material for unique educational goals and conditions
  7. 7. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Each state may ignore, adapt, adopt and/or expand on the Common Core State Standards for implementation in curriculum planning, test design and educator performance measures. New Mexico’s CC site has entry points for four different audiences – the first three groups correspond toTriumph’s major audiences  skills terms need to have phrasing that is specific to educators, and also be the source of phrasing ready for alternate display to students.
  8. 8. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. * Storing a text standard in thesaurus format is unusual. It was the nature of the input sources... so we implemented a flexible configuration for the term records. Using a consistent method, we streamlined all term names for the narrowest levels in the Common Core standard, as a significant adaptation for taxonomic value!
  9. 9. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Common Core data is stored in appropriately-configured fields for flexible implementation and related with nonCommon Core information. Nature of the data:Terms without Rules.
  10. 10. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Master Skills terms have 2 fields containing text for display to different audiences: ‘Teacher- facing Skill’ and ‘Student-facing Skill.’ Originally configured as NPTs for the Skill-name, we changed them into simple text fields – permitting the client’s math and English teams to use identical text in both, when necessary.
  11. 11. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Challenge – Regarding the taxonomy export format for importing intoCMS. Triumph Learning wanted groups of PreferredTerms nested in each broader hierarchy level… which isn’t the wayThesaurus Master usually groupsTerm Records. Common Core State Standard hierarchy goal for Mathematics: TAXONOMY MAIN BRANCH / AUTHORITY LIST /TOPTERM ENTRY POINT FOR CMS |__MAJOR SUB-BRANCHES |__COMMON CORE GRADE-LEVEL |__COMMON CORE DOMAIN-LEVEL |__COMMON CORE CLUSTER-LEVEL |__STANDARD-LEVEL. Common Core State Standard hierarchy goal for English Language Arts: TAXONOMY MAIN BRANCH / AUTHORITY LIST /TOPTERM ENTRY POINT FOR CMS |__MAJOR SUB-BRANCHES |__COMMON CORE STRAND/GRADE-LEVEL COMBINATION |__COMMON CORE GRADE-LEVEL |__COMMON CORE DOMAIN-LEVEL |__COMMON CORE CLUSTER-LEVEL |__STANDARD-LEVEL |__ COMPONENT-LEVEL.
  12. 12. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Creative solution!  Lamine customized an export format that contains the ‘full path’ through the branches of the vocabulary, for every PT: • From any location, the export always answers the query ‘How did we come through the hierarchy to reach this term?’ • Using term-lists, he grouped the terms in a way to capture this information, not previously captured by any Thesaurus Master exports  Full Path export format enables XML developers to hook into those upward/downward paths through the taxonomy structure, for programming flexible navigation options and other CMS functions – from anywhere in the taxonomies • This capability is in addition to CMS functions that Triumph built based solely on relations, codes and IDs already present in the terms
  13. 13. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Thesaurus Master export formats showing ‘Full Path’
  14. 14. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The ‘Term-list’ element helps to achieve the goal of capturing the full path.
  15. 15. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Why do taxonomy terms need italics? Common Core State Standards for Mathematics – excerpt from the Introduction.
  16. 16. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Right-clicking to ChangeTerm also brings up the EnterTerm dialog box with emphasis buttons, for adjusting terms.
  17. 17. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Here’s one of the test terms we used for displaying emphasis inThesaurus Master™
  18. 18. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  19. 19. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Questions or comments?  Kirk_Sanders@accessinn.com
  20. 20. © 2010. Access Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Acknowledgements: Thank you!  Margie Hlava – Client Consulting & Taxonomy Design  Jay Ven Eman – Project Sales & Communications Oversight  Bob Kasenchak – Project Coordination Oversight  Raj Chary – Technical Lead at Triumph Learning  Mary Garcia – Editorial Support, Workflow & DataHarmony Maintenance  Lamine Idjeraoui – Programming in Java for DataHarmony Development  Dan Vasicek – Programming  Alice Redmond-Neal – DataHarmony Lead Trainer  Leland Yates – Project Proposals, Sales & Marketing  Access Innovations Editorial Staff – Branch-building & Quality Control

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