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Learning design :: Blog :: Some new work in LD

June 13, 2007

Hi all,

At CETIS as part of our work in the TENCompetence project we are doing some interesting stuff with IMS Learning Design.  As always every solution we develop raises two more questions or ideas! We'd be delighted to pick up on them in the context of Emerge.

Here is a brief summary of current work

a) Extending the services available to LD runtime systems. Scott Wilson has proposed an architecture for providing more flexible services in LD runtime, and it is currently being implemented by Paul Sharples at CETIS. We have written a paper for the TENCompetence workshop next week (Barcelona, all welcome!). The paper says:

Widgets have a number of properties that make them of interest in extending Learning Design. First, the large number of existing Widgets and their ease of development offer a potentially effective way to enrich a Learning Design platform with new functionality. Second, while there are relatively few collaboratie Widgets today, a Learning Design framework offers a context where such Widgets may be usefully developed. Finally, Widgets provide a very attractive and interactive user interface that could improve engagement with Learning Design-based systems. The authors feel that Widgets offer an interesting new take on adding interactive features to learning designs, and one which could be implemented in a relatively straightforward fashion building on existing tools and conventions.

 We think this opens up very exciting possibilities for LD, especially in creating more and more varied collaborative services such as chats and forums, and also in providing focussed services such as simulations, unit conversion, geographic information, etc.

It also suggests the longer term option of breaking up the typical grid of an LD player, so that, for example, you could have "my activities" widget. 

We also think that this approach may have applications outside  LD, wherever you need a shared tool set.

 b) Authoring IMS LD Units of Learning with Reload is not something that most teachers feel that they can engage with (although we have seen from the work done by Liverpool Hope that a lot can be done with a little support). We are developing a new successor to the Reload LD editor in order to make the authoring process more accessible. This leverages the Eclipse GEF and EMF frameworks to provide a graphic editing environment. Among the inputs to this has been discussions with our friends at Liverpool Hope, and they will be trialling the new application when the Level A editor is released (scheduled for September 2007). We will be extending this to include Levels B and C in the following six months. We will also be working on the interface, which I am sure will raise a host of interesting questions.

c) The OpenDocument.net repository, developed in the context of the OpenDock project is a lightweight repository that you can install on rented webspace. It has an XML parser module, which can provide information about any manifests or other XML in the objects which are stored. It provides an API, which has been used to link the Reload LD Editor (the existing version) with to OpenDocument.net. This has been implemented by Roy Cherian of CETIS in the DesignShare project. It enables the user to browse directly into the repository, and to download the materials for use in Reload. This provides valuable functionality, but we feel that there is still a lot more to be done in thinking through what the integration of an authoring tool, repository and runtime means, and what additional functionality we need to provide.

d) The TENCompetence Personal Competence Manager (PCM) will soon be released. This is in many ways similar to a PLE, but with the additional capability to support all the conversations around competences (their definition, exchange, acquisition, etc.). The PCM  includes a simple activity sequencer for the development of competence development plans, and this will export to IMS LD. The PCM works with a server, which is updated in response to users actions, including changes to the competence development plans. This offers a lot of flexibility to designers, who can change sequences (simple ones) on the fly. The relationship of this system to the new LD editor and the Widget server (discussed above) is very interesting, and should throw a lot of light on the role to be played by IMS LD in the coming years.

 I'll post more on these issues as more info becomes available in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime,

Does this spark off any thoughts, questions, comments or suggestions from my co-Emergers?

Is anyone else doing something with learning design or IMS LD which they'd like to share?



Posted by Learning design - Dai Griffiths

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