Friday, 29 October 2004

Interoperability in action - a Video Presentation

via Stephen Downes' OLDaily.

This video has been produced to demonstrate the important role of interoperability and standards when creating and sharing learning materials.

Yes, the video has done its job, brilliantly in fact. There are several things demonstrated in the video. I won't go over them one by one. But it also shows several issues which we should address as well:
  • how disconnected the learning technologists are with the educators

  • the ego-centric view of the repository paradigm

  • content updates

  • content customisation

  • Here are my reasons to support the above "claims":

  • I got a feeling of the over-emphasis of meta data. From a traditional teacher's point of view, filing and storing a resource is the job of the librarian. I only want to do my job - which is to create learning content and give it to my students. (OK, I may also improve my teaching techniques, but that's another issue here.) I have created a learning resource and am happy to share with others. But, why I need to care where it is should be filed in the library? Can I just do it without the meta-crap? Most of the time, I know of good learning resources not by searching the library, but by words of mouth from my trusted colleagues.

  • A year has now passed. I have made some improvement to my learning resources. Can I update my resources? Oops, it was used in so many different courses that I have lost track of them. How can I update all instances of this learning resources? Hey, isn't it one of the promise when you sell us the repository? What did you say about centralised control of learning resources? Now, just update all the instances for us please!

  • All the HTML files in the same directory (a flat structure which is only good for a couple of files) so that all the files can reference the same CSS file for look and feel. In a practical course of any reasonable size, a flat structure for all the files is really not a good idea, then we shall run into the problem of referencing the CSS file at different directory levels.

  • I have hidden this shameless pluck in white. Since you are reading it right now, you must be desperate for an answer. Then go to my SCORM paper web site and have a good reading.

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