An Architecture for Web-based e-Learning Promoting Re-usable Adaptive Educational e-Content

Fabrizio Cardinali, Educational Technology & Society, Dec 05, 2002
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Anyone familiar with the IMS packaging specification will find this an easy read. Essentially, what the authors propose in an extension to the specification that enables the packaging of adaptive learning packages. It's a good idea and the final IMS specification will likely contain something like this. However, the authors go about it in the usual centralized IMS way, and their architecture illustrates the flaws of such an approach. Specialized KOD packages are, of course, different from IMS packages, and therefor require the use of a "KOD adapter" in order to be used (figure 7). Moreover, since the learning package includes physical files (figure 2), much greater storage and data processing capacity is needed. And the model of a KOD "factory" (figure 3) will send justifiable chills up the spine of many educators. But most of these flaws are inherent in IMS and the authors do a good job of working within these limitations.
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