Metadata Standardisation Update

Lorna Campbell, CETIS, Sept 30, 2005
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The best PowerPoint presentation on this subject I've seen in a while, this report summarizes discussions surrounding the creation of an educational (read: learning objects) profile for Dublin Core (DC). Highlights include Jon Mason advocating a view very similar to mine regarding the definition of learning objects ("It's the act of re-purposing an object that turns it into an educational resource. It is assigning educational metadata to a resource that makes the resource educational.") and Mikael Nilsson illustrating, at some length, why learning object metadata (LOM) needs to be expressed in Resource Description Format (RDF) in order to be adapted into DC. It's a good argument, and many of the same considerations apply when adapting LOM to RSS (though I wonder whether we can't get RDF-on-the-cheap the way RSS 2.0 does through extensions). Still, the presentation makes me think that the best argument for an educational profile in Dublin Core is that it thereby opens to educators the millions of resources already described in DC, that will never be described in LOM, but could become learning objects merely by being used in learning, and therebby acquiring the appropriate metadata. Of course, then, we wouldn't really need LOM, would we?
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