Metadata Cloud


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Over the last 10 years, the status of educational metadata, specifically
as they relate to learning objects, has changed radically. In the heady
days of the turn of the millennium, learning objects and their metadata
were seen as being destined to forever change the shape and form of
learning; by 2007, this approach has been derisively labeled "industrialist", and said to be quickly running "out of steam."
Given such drastic changes, how are metadata to be understood in the context
of different and emerging approaches to online learning resources, above
all those labelled 'open'? This question will be the focus of this presentation by Dr. Norm Friesen, Canada Research Chair in E-Learning Practices at Thompson Rivers University and Director of the CanCore
Initiative. Dr. Friesen will consider a number of alternatives to "learning object metadata." Dr. Friesen will conclude his
presentation by discussing an alternative that incorporates both high tech and ow tech approaches --one that is currently under
development as a multi-part international standard under the auspices of ISO (the
International Organization for Standardization).

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Metadata Cloud

  1. 1. Dr. Norm Friesen [email_address] Athabasca, AB 11/12/09 Metadata Possibilities: from the IEEE LOM through Dublin Core to …the “Cloud”? Photo: EssjayNZ
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>What is a standard & how can it be evaluated? </li></ul><ul><li>Standards to consider for metadata for online learning resources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning Object Metadata (IEEE LOM) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dublin Core </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ISO/IEC JTC1 SC36 “Metadata for Learning Resources” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A case for a “new” approach </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is a standard? <ul><li>&quot;documented agreements containing technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines, or definitions of characteristics, to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Fit for Purpose: discoverable, reusable, interoperable, adaptable, accessible </li></ul><ul><li>De facto / de jure standards: complex relationship </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. Dublin Core, folksonomies, etc. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Standards are “Living” Documents: They have a 5-7 Year Lifecycle
  5. 5. Three Standards for Educational & Generic Resource Metadata <ul><li>IEEE Learning Object Metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; Standard released in 2002; renewed in 2009; CanCore as documentation </li></ul><ul><li>ISO Dublin Core (OCLC –Online Computer Library Centre) </li></ul><ul><li>American (ANSI/NISO) Standard in 2001 (Z39.85-2001) </li></ul><ul><li>ISO Standard 15836:2009 </li></ul><ul><li>IETF RFC 5013 of August 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>ISO/IEC JTC 1 Learning Resource Metadata (will be standardizing IMS Content Packaging and SCORM) </li></ul><ul><li>2009/09 (framework); 2010/03 (Dublin Core elements) </li></ul>
  6. 6. IEEE Learning Object Metadata <ul><li>1484.12.3: Standard For Learning Technology-Extensible Markup Language (XML) Schema Definition Language Binding For Learning Object Metadata (2005) </li></ul><ul><li>“ On 13 May 2009, the IEEE-SA Standards Board approved the reaffirmation of LOM. That means that LOM has entered its second 5 year period of being an active standard.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. LOM Basics: 76 Elements <ul><li>General (10) </li></ul><ul><li>Lifecycle (9) </li></ul><ul><li>Meta-metadata (10) </li></ul><ul><li>Educational (11) </li></ul><ul><li>Technical (12) </li></ul><ul><li>Rights (3) </li></ul><ul><li>Relation (7) </li></ul><ul><li>Annotation (4) </li></ul><ul><li>Classification (9) </li></ul><ul><li>2 types of elements: </li></ul><ul><li>Ones containing others </li></ul><ul><li>Ones containing data </li></ul><ul><li>6 types of data: </li></ul><ul><li>CharacterString </li></ul><ul><li>LangString (value, language indicator) </li></ul><ul><li>DateTime, Duration </li></ul><ul><li>Vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>vCard </li></ul>
  8. 8. How elements & data work together <ul><li><general> </li></ul><ul><li><identifier> </li></ul><ul><li><catalog>CAREO</catalog> </li></ul><ul><li><entry>632844</entry> </li></ul><ul><li></identifier> </li></ul><ul><li><identifier> </li></ul><ul><li><catalog>URI</catalog> </li></ul><ul><li><entry></entry> </li></ul><ul><li></identifier> </li></ul><ul><li><title> </li></ul><ul><li><string language=&quot;eng&quot;>Idea: The Inter…</string> </li></ul><ul><li><string language=&quot;fra&quot;>Idea: la base… </string> </li></ul><ul><li></title> </li></ul>
  9. 9. Complex structures: classification, lifecycle, technical <ul><li><contribute> </li></ul><ul><li><role> </li></ul><ul><li><source>LOMv1.0</source> </li></ul><ul><li><value>editor</value> </li></ul><ul><li></role> </li></ul><ul><li><entity> </li></ul><ul><li>BEGIN:VCARD </li></ul><ul><li>VERSION:3.0 </li></ul><ul><li>N:Smith;John;W.;Dr.; </li></ul><ul><li>FN:Dr. John W. Smith </li></ul><ul><li>ORG:Open Learning Agency </li></ul><ul><li>END:VCARD </li></ul><ul><li></entity> </li></ul><ul><li><date> </li></ul><ul><li><dateTime>2003</dateTime> </li></ul><ul><li></date> </li></ul><ul><li></contribute> </li></ul>
  10. 10. How are these Elements used? International Survey from 2006 <ul><li>5 Sets of records varying in size from 75 to over 3000; 50 randomly selected from each (n=250): </li></ul><ul><li>ARIADNE Project (EU) </li></ul><ul><li>the LTSN (UK) </li></ul><ul><li>Metalab (France) </li></ul><ul><li>CELTS (China) </li></ul><ul><li>CAREO (Canada) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Frequency of Element Use
  12. 12. Frequency of Element Use <ul><li>The most frequently used elements (not container elements; %-tage) : </li></ul><ul><li>Title, Description, Keyword </li></ul><ul><li>Format (e.g. .html, .jpg, .doc) </li></ul><ul><li>Language (human) </li></ul><ul><li>Author </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Resource Type (simulation, exercise, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Subject Classification (Purpose=Discipline) </li></ul>
  13. 13. How are used elements populated? <ul><li>Contributor Types  </li></ul><ul><li>Info about contributors  </li></ul>
  14. 14. Conclusions: Elements and Values Selected Frequently <ul><li>The LOM is used to describe intellectual content of resources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General: Identifier, Title, Description, Keyword </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LifeCycle.Contribute (role = Author and publisher) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classification (Purpose=Discipline) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The LOM is used to describe file and media characteristics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical.Format, Technical.Size, Location </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educational.Learning Resource Type (text, hypertext, notes, etc.) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Conclusions: Elements and Values Seldom Selected <ul><li>LOM use does NOT emphasize description of an educational context or level: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Educational.Semantic Density 0% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educational.Context <20% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EndUserRole 40% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LOM is NOT used to describe resources in terms of software objects: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structure, Version (i.e. Alpha, Beta), Status <18% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aggregation level <27% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contribute.Role=&quot;terminator&quot; “technical implementer/validator“ 0% </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. “ De facto status” of IEEE LOM
  17. 17. “ De facto status:” LOM vs DC
  18. 18. Criticisms <ul><li>“ The “industrialist” Learning Objects approach has run out of steam” (OLCOS Roadmap, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it simple (stupid!) E.g., see Wilson 2005: </li></ul><ul><li>notepad test - can you create a valid data instance in Notepad in less than 4k? </li></ul><ul><li>reading test: can you read and understand the basics of the specification in less than one hourr? </li></ul><ul><li>scripting test - can you script a simple client or service provider in one day? </li></ul><ul><li>Embed in html; realize value with small investment; compatible with “Web 2.0” technologies & practices (interactive information sharing; collaboration; distributed) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Dublin Core <ul><li>ISO Standard 15836-2003 of February 2003 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 nd edition available as of  2009-02-18 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ANSI/NISO Standard Z39.85-2007 of May 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>IETF RFC 5013 of August 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>OCLC </li></ul><ul><li>As a de facto standard? </li></ul>
  20. 20. 15 Elements in the DCES <ul><li>Contributor </li></ul><ul><li>Coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Creator </li></ul><ul><li>Date </li></ul><ul><li>Description </li></ul><ul><li>Format </li></ul><ul><li>Identifier </li></ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><li>Publisher </li></ul><ul><li>Relation </li></ul><ul><li>Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Source </li></ul><ul><li>Subject </li></ul><ul><li>Title </li></ul><ul><li>Type </li></ul>
  21. 21. Expressing Dublin Core Description Sets using XML (for title) <ul><li><?xml version=&quot;1.0&quot; encoding=&quot;UTF-8&quot; ?> <dcds:descriptionSet </li></ul><ul><li>xmlns:dcds=&quot;;> </li></ul><ul><li><!-- Description Element --> </li></ul><ul><li><dcds:description> </li></ul><ul><li><dcds:statement </li></ul><ul><li>dcds:propertyURI=“...dc/terms/title&quot;> </li></ul><ul><li><dcds:literalValueString>DCMI Home Page </li></ul><ul><li></dcds:literalValueString> </li></ul><ul><li></dcds:statement> </li></ul><ul><li></dcds:description> </li></ul><ul><li></dcds:descriptionSet> </li></ul>
  22. 22. RDF: &quot;The resource ( has the subject 'Ornitology' from the vocab: …/taxonomy/MyVocab&quot; <ul><li><rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf=&quot;; xmlns:dcterms=&quot;; xmlns:ex=&quot;; xmlns:dcam=&quot;;> <rdf:Description rdf:about=&quot;;> <dcterms:subject> <rdf:Description> <dcam:memberOf </li></ul><ul><li>rdf:resource=&quot;;/> <rdf:value>Ornitology</rdf:value> </rdf:Description> </dcterms:subject> </rdf:Description> </rdf:RDF> </li></ul>
  23. 23. What does RDF in particular enable? <ul><li>&quot;a recommended best practice for exposing, sharing, and connecting pieces of data, information, and knowledge on the Semantic Web using URIs [Web addresses] and RDF.&quot;  </li></ul><ul><li>“ The properties and classes of DCMI Metadata Terms have been defined for compatibility with Linked Data principles” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Over the past two years, vast amounts of commercial and public-sector data have been added to a growing to a linked data cloud.” </li></ul>
  24. 24. Courtesy Gilles Gauthier
  25. 25. E.g. Searching in Wikipedia vs. DBpedia <ul><li>Wikipedia Article: Max Schreck </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  26. 26. DC: Levels of Interoperability <ul><li>Level 1: Shared Term Definitions -based on shared natural-language definitions </li></ul><ul><li>Level 2: Formal Semantic Interop: based on the shared formal model via RDF & linked data </li></ul><ul><li>Level 3: Description Set Syntactic Interop: share abstract syntax for validatable metadata records </li></ul><ul><li>Level 4: Description Set Profile Interop: shared vocabularies & view of world </li></ul>
  27. 27. Metadata for Learning Resources <ul><li>ISO/IEC 19788-1 ITLET – Metadata for Learning Resources –Part 1: Framework 2010-09 </li></ul><ul><li>ISO/IEC 19788-2 ITLET – Metadata for Learning Resources – Part 2: Core Elements 2011-03 </li></ul><ul><li>“ The DC-Education Community is working with the ISO Metadata for Learning Resources group to ensure compatibility of the DC-Education Application Profile Module and the ISO MLR-5: Educational Elements standard. We will be attending ISO MLR webconferences on 16 November 2009 and 18 December 2009, in preparation for the group's big meeting in Osaka in 2010.” </li></ul>
  28. 28. MLR – Characteristics <ul><li>Multilingual capability: for element contents, for documentation and support </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility: one part of the standard will be devoted to accessibility; accessibility experts have been providing input throughout </li></ul><ul><li>Compatibility: with the IEEE LOM (as an application profile), with Dublin Core (very directly), with Dublin Core RDF </li></ul><ul><li>Support: implementation guideline(s) planned </li></ul>
  29. 29. MLR Part 1 Courtesy Gilles Gauthier
  30. 30. MLR Part 2: Dublin Core Elements <ul><li>“ This Part is provides full Dublin Core interoperability for this Standard. This is achieved through the description of each Dublin Core element using the MLR data element specification template provided in the MLR Part 1 Framework. In addition, Dublin Core definitions were reviewed in order to level out interpretation [and] ambiguity[,] and best practice guidance is provided in notes.” </li></ul>
  31. 31. How RDF works Oval = Resource (URI) Rectangle = Literal (String) Courtesy Gilles Gauthier
  32. 32. References <ul><li>ISO SC36 Livelink: </li></ul><ul><li>Dublin Core </li></ul><ul><li>My blog: </li></ul>