RDF Site Summary 1.0 Modules: Learning Object Metadata


Stephen Downes, NRC E-Learning Group, Moncton


Latest Version: http://www.downes.ca/xml/rss_lom.htm

0.5 10 May 2003




Copyright 2003 by the Authors.

Permission to use, copy, modify and distribute the RDF Site Summary 1.0 Specification and its accompanying documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted in perpetuity, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph appear in all copies. The copyright holders make no representation about the suitability of the specification for any purpose. It is provided "as is" without expressed or implied warranty.

This copyright applies to the RDF Site Summary 1.0 Specification and accompanying documentation and does not extend to the RSS format itself.


The 1484.12.1 - 2002 Learning Object Metadata (LOM) was approved by the IEEE-Standards Association on June 12, 2002. The purpose of IEEE-LOM is to provide structured descriptions of re-usable digital learning resources, sometimes known as "Learning Objects." This standard was authored by the Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) Learning Object Metadata Working Group and was based on previous work by the IMS Global Learning Consortium. Applications of the IEEE-LOM (as it is typically called) include the Sharable Content Object Reference Model and CanCore, among others.

The RSS-LOM Module provides translation from IEEE-LOM to RSS 1.0 to allow learning object repositories to syndicate listings and descriptions of learning objects. An RSS feed provided by a learning object repository is harvested by a metadata repository and aggregated with feeds from other learning object repositories. These aggregated feeds are then made available as a searchable resource, the links provided ultimately pointing to the learning objects provided by the original learning object repositories.

Note: though this document provides a complete translation from IEEE-LOM to RSS 1.0, much of IEEE-LOM is not useful for the present purpose. IEEE-LOM has a history of having been developed in a non-RDF environment and (therefore) in complete isolation from other XML initiatives. For most purposes, the use of Dubmin Core (DC) with only the educational and the classification schemas ought to be sufficient for syndication.

Namespace Declarations

Since IEEE-LOM is authored as flat XML, and since RSS 1.0 modules require specification in RDF, the IEEE-LOM RDF binding is used. This binding provides the following RDF schemas for use by RSS-LOM:

Please note that the IEEE-LOM RDF binding includes instances of Dublin Core as well. For completeness, those instances are reproduced below and the namespace declaration included here:


<item> Elements: